Even if heights aren’t your thing, take advantage of the colorful flight of the hot air balloons by watching them take off!

DIFFICULTY: 1 out of 5
DESTINATION HIGHLIGHTS: Great for families, panoramic views
SEASONALITY: Year-round 

Experienced guides offer you everything you need to enjoy a quiet view from above. Rides are available year-round, and in September, the city hosts the annual Autumn Aloft festival, which brings in dozens of hot-air balloons to enjoy.

A hot-air balloon ride is truly one of those adventures that can define a vacation. An experienced pilot guides you over the Park City area on a ride that’s both thrilling and tranquil.

Park City Balloon Adventures offers one-hour flights year-round, depending on weather conditions. It can organize groups from two to 30 for a morning flight, which can include continental breakfast and champagne. Transportation to the launch site and meeting place from the landing site is provided.

Trips involve flying low enough to see the wildlife, such as mule deer and elk, and high enough to get a view of the Salt Lake Valley over the Wasatch Mountains. The launch site elevation is 6,500, and the flight can take riders as high as about 11,500 feet above sea level.

The Skywalker Balloon Company also offers sunrise balloon flights, about an hour in length, over the area surrounding Park City. The company was founded by Will Drummer, who came to Utah from Austria to visit friends in 1994. He never left, instead deciding to become a balloon pilot, which he’s been doing for more than 20 years. He focuses on small groups in an effort to offer a personalized experience.

Even if you aren’t interested in taking a flight yourself, the annual Autumn Aloft Balloon Festival in Park City is a sight to behold. Dozens of balloons are brought to town for the three-day festival. The balloon launch zone is at the North 40 Playing Fields, directly behind the Treasure Mountain Middle School. Watch the launches in the mornings, or see the balloons glow at night.

Anyone up for a bit of adventure should love a balloon ride. It’s a relaxing ride with incredible views.

Reservations are needed for both Park City Balloon Adventures and the Skywalker Balloon Company. See their respective websites for more information regarding the logistics of the ride. Both offer transportation in the Park City area, to and from a specified meeting place.

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