California Balloon Rides Commonly asked questions
How long will I be in the balloon?
Air streams and weather condition essentially control the length of time your trip lasts, but anticipate up to an hour. Add pre-launch groundworks and landing and you can expect up to a 4 hour experience all together.
How high do you go?
Your elevation will vary during your flight, but most flights travel between 500 and 3,000 feet. The balloon may go higher if the day's winds enable your pilot to do so. Winds permitting, some flights will also occur at lower elevations (treetop level) that supply a nice close up of the landscape below.
What radius does the balloon go during the flight?
Because your balloon flight depends 100% on the wind, no two trips are exactly alike, but most Balloon Tours in California journey approximately 2-5 miles.
Does California Balloon Rides offer hot air balloon trips in my part of the state?
Our Balloon Flights in the California network are some of the biggest, so chances are no matter where you find yourself in the state we'll have a site to satisfy you.
What is the passenger capacity of your hot air balloon baskets?
It depends upon the overall size of the balloon. The majority of our areas have several sizes of balloons, the largest with the capability of taking 16 persons, plus the pilot. We are typically flying our bigger balloons on the weekends. However, we have 12 person, 10 person, 8 person and 4 person balloons for smaller sized groups. We employ the very best size to easily lift the amount of people who book on a given day.
Exactly what should we wear?
We suggest wearing everyday clothes and shoes that will be comfortable during an outside event. Think of what season it is and layer outerwear so you can shed shirts as needed as the day gets hotter. The wait on the ground is typically the coolest temperatures you'll experience. Once the heaters are going and you're in flight you'll find that even in wintertime the basket is good and cozy. But to stay warm during the wait, plan to pack winter-appropriate clothes and accessories, including sunglasses for the bright winter sunshine in the air. In the summertime you can consider wearing long pants, a short-sleeve t-shirt and sunscreen with sunglasses since there is not going to be cover above the treeline. Please do not wear short pants, flip-flops or open toed shoes.
What extra accessories should I bring for the trip?
Most people arrive with a digital camera or other method of recording the experience. A quality video camera is always a good idea. A bag of potato chips or a drink for the launch will keep your body from rebelling during the experience.
How loud is it in the balloon?
When the heat unit is off, it is very quiet. Silence is one of the most enjoyable aspects of California Hot Air Balloon Rides.
How cold is it during the trip?
Unlike popular belief it will be hotter in the air than on the ground, particularly during a sunrise trip when the temperature level of the ground might be chilly. The coolest you'll be is before we take off, while you're waiting for the balloon to get ready. Then it gets warm, as the heat from the heat unit increases the basket temperature level and we move into hotter air above ground. Dressing in layers will keep you from being too hot during the actual flight.
Does the basket rock and shift when travelling?
The balloon moves along with the wind, so we don't experience any swaying motion.
How do hot air balloons work?
It's fairly easy really, hot air balloons are filled up with hot air which causes the balloon and basket to rise above the colder air below.
What is the procedure for blowing up the hot air balloon?
A fan is used to blast cold air right into the balloon. Later, the burners are used to heat the air as the balloon rests on the ground. Slowly, the balloon will grow to an upright position.
What is involved in steering a hot air balloon?
There is no actual "steering," simply capitalizing on air currents. But at California Balloon Rides our pilots are trained at employing the natural patterns in the sky for navigation.
Are my kids allowed to ride with me on the hot air balloon ride?
When your little one is tall enough to see over the basket and can sit still for the hour of flight time you're more than welcome to bring him/her. Some kids won't like the startling roar of the burners but will get a kick out of the actual flight. Many will enjoy the journey itself, in which they can identify how small or different it all seems from up high. Wait on bringing children who are too small to see over the basket or wouldn't recall the trip until they get a little older or taller.
What about specific requests?
Since we are devoted to delivering tailored ballooning experiences, our staff is available to help you with special requests to make your experiences with us even more memorable. We regularly accommodate in-flight weddings and marriage proposals, for instance. Gift certificates for special events are also provided.