Lake Tahoe Balloons

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by hellotmf on June 11, 2006

A balloon ride with Lake Tahoe Balloons offers a breath-taking view of Lake Tahoe from 10,000 feet above sea level and is one of the few ways to see the lake in its entirety. If the weather and winds permit, you may also be able to fly above the nearby Carson Valley.

Lake Tahoe Balloons is the only balloon outfitter in South Lake Tahoe, and is also the only balloon outfitter in the world that launches its balloon rides from the water. The balloon is launched from the worlds only US Coast Guard certified balloon launch and recovery boating vessel, the “Tahoe Flyer”. Lake Tahoe Balloons has a perfect safety record and all pilots are FAA licensed and certified, making ballooning a very safe and enjoyable activity. (For more information on safety, see

The ride in its entirety takes about 4.5-5 hours. Guests are picked up from their local area hotels at 5:00am and then they board the “Tahoe Flyer” boat. After boarding the guests will enjoy a free continental breakfast that consists of unlimited juice, coffee, soft drinks, pastries, fruits, and cereals. Be sure to dress warm and in layers as it is cold on the lake, but very warm in the balloon basket because you stand near the engine.

You will ride on one of the two balloon rides. This gives you the opportunity to fly in the balloon and also enjoy watching the other ride take place from the boat. The boat will follow the balloon as it drifts in the air, giving guests on the boat a great ride on the lake.

The ride in the balloon itself is about an hour. The ride is so soft and subtle that you will hardly believe how fast you rise and fall in the air. While gliding in the air, the pilot gives a great description of the area and its history. All of the staff are friendly, upbeat, and add a great deal of charisma to this adventure. To cap off the adventure, Lake Tahoe Balloons offers complimentary mimosas and a free souvenir to remember your trip.

The combination of the breath-taking balloon ride, boat ride, and breakfast make this adventure well worth the time and money. While the price may seem steep, balloon rides in other places around the world, such as Africa’s Serengeti, are $100+ more than the price listed for Lake Tahoe balloons and do not include the boat ride.

Lake Tahoe Balloons offers group rides and even wedding packages. Currently there are no online reservations but you can make a reservation by calling: 1-800-872-9294. Credit cards are accepted, and no fees are charged if weather does not permit flying, however the ride is non-refundable if you cancel after 48 hours and they are unable to re-sell your space. Book this activity early in your trip. If bad weather prevents you from flying you can then reschedule.

This is an adventure of a lifetime!

See Lake Tahoe Balloon’s website at
Hot Air Ballooning
Lake Tahoe, California

© LP 2000-2009