Hot Air Balloon Ride: Rainbow Ryders
April 22, 2019
When you’re visiting Phoenix, AZ, you have to take an sunrise hot-air balloon ride with Rainbow Ryders. This town’s much-hyped desert terrain is even more breathtaking from above. It is the kind of worthwhile splurge that you’ll be talking about long after you’re back on solid ground.
We got up before the sun (4am to be exact) and headed to Rainbow Ryders for a sunrise balloon ride. Once we arrived to the Rainbow Ryders office, we hopped in a van with the rest of our group and headed out to the desert. The crew determined a suitable launching point. Then they started securing the flat balloon to the tipped-over basket. Next they attached the balloon envelope and begin laying it out on the ground. Once the envelope is laid out, the crew begins inflating it, using a powerful fan at the base of the envelope. When there is enough air in the balloon, the crew blasts the burner flame into the envelope mouth. This heats the air, building pressure until the balloon inflates all the way and starts to lift off the ground. Amazingly, this entire process only takes 10 or 15 minutes.
There’s nothing quite like floating over the Deer Valley and Sedona’s Red Rocks. No matter how scared you may be of heights, you’re safe in a basket, so most of the fear goes away. Thrilling as it all may be, hot air ballooning is also actually one of the safest ways to fly. This is because hot air balloons travel slowly, and their design or concept is simple. There are no complicated moving parts, and the single most limiting factor in the ride is the weather. Hot air balloon rides are also very calm and peaceful, almost as if you are simply floating above the ground.
As we took off, I peeked out of the basket at the landscape and our pilot Jesse pointed out natural landmarks. The views from the basket offer a vantage point that lets you appreciate just how beautiful the land below. Unlike an airplane or helicopter, you have 360 degree views surrounding you.
You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a sky full of colorful hot-air balloons. Goodness it was gorgeous. After a relaxing ride and a smooth landing, we enjoyed a toast and mimosas. Once you get back to the Rainbow Ryder office, you have a post-flight celebration that includes a Sonoran Sunrise Gourmet Breakfast with signature Prickly Pear Mimosas and local Arizona treats. You also receive a commemorative flight certificate. I’m already wishing I were back in the sky, floating in the clouds and gazing down at the beautiful desert scene below.
You can book your hot air balloon ride HERE!
Photography by: Anelia Miller Photography