From the deserts to the mountains, hot air balloon events in Utah have really taken off.
Alright you balloonatics, get your head in the clouds. Utah’s hot air balloon festivals light up every year, from January to September, and we promise Utah is just as beautiful from 1,000 feet up as it is from ground level. But it’s not just a bunch of hot air, these fests are full-on celebrations. Watch pilots navigate their colorful crafts over some of Utah’s iconic landscapes like Valley of the Gods and Bryce Canyon Country. Eat local food and meet balloon chasers who come from all over the world to fly. All of the festivals are free for spectators and some even offer tethered or untethered rides. Bring the kids, a camera and a few extra dollars for local deep fried delicacies.
January | Bluff, UT | Annual Bluff Balloon Festival
Down in the southeast corner of Utah, the town of Bluff hosts the Annual Bluff Balloon Festival. A sandstone’s throw from Monument Valley, spectators can watch balloons float over the red rock spires of Valley of the Gods. If you really want to ride, sponsor a balloon for a few hundred dollars. But if your feet and wallet need to stay firmly on solid ground, you can crew (assist with set up and take down) for a pilot or just enjoy the evening Glow In, music and local fry bread.
February | Kanab, UT | Kanab Balloons & Tunes Roundup
Part balloon fest, part street party, Kanab Balloons & Tunes Roundup is a whole weekend of ballooning around. Start with the early morning launch, then spend the day perusing Main Street and listening to live music. Meet on North Main Street on Friday night to release a wish and a lantern into the night sky (Wish for good flying conditions!). Don’t miss the Balloon Glow in the evening when pilots inflate their balloons and you can get a close-up of the cockpits. And just in case your wish didn’t come true and the weather is bad, there's plenty of hiking and sightseeing around Kanab.
June | Springville, UT | Springville Art City Days Balloon Fest
Springville is proud to be the home of Utah’s oldest fine art museum. They celebrate their artsy heritage every year with Springville Art City Days. The Balloon Fest portion kicks off with the Balloon Glow and a family-friendly dance party. Wake up early on the last day so you can see the balloons launch and get showered with candy from lucky passengers. Have your face painted (they love art so much they want it on your face) and sign up to get a ride in a tethered balloon.
June | Salina, UT | Eyes to the Sky Balloon Festival
Salina is already beautiful enough but add some sky candy and hot damn — you’ve got Eyes to the Sky Balloon Festival. Every summer Salina invites balloonists from all over the world to fly over the town with Fishlake National Forest as their backdrop. Keep your eyes to the sky to see daredevils fly over Main Street at the freestyle motocross event. Then toss the kids in a basket for a free tethered balloon ride. Stay until dusk to see the Balloon Glow and entertainment from live bands, magicians and the summer stars.
June | Panguitch, UT | Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally
Untether yourself for a weekend and head to Bryce Canyon Country for the Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally. The historic town of Panguitch is the gateway to Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument and Dixie National Forest. Add 40 balloons to the sky and it really doesn't get any better. Watch the early morning launch from your picnic blanket then run the Balloon Rally 5K. Peruse local crafts, enjoy live music and the evening Balloon Glow on Main Street. For more beautiful scenery, drive home on scenic Highway 12, even if it's not actually on the way home.
August | Eden, UT | Ogden Valley Balloon Festival
The Ogden Valley Balloon Festival started in 1994 with just a single balloon. It has grown into a balloon blow-out with balloon launches, live music, an evening glow and local vendors. Get a sample of hot air ballooning with a tethered ride. Eden is located in the green hills of Ogden Valley, just 12 miles east of Ogden. Take scenic Ogden Canyon road that follows the Ogden River up to Pineview Reservoir. Bring the paddleboards for post-balloon fun.
September | Park City, UT | Autumn Aloft
See the yellow aspen leaves of the Wasatch Back from a wicker basket during Autumn Aloft, Park City’s annual hot air balloon festival. Small but mighty, this balloon festival has an Evening Candlestick glow on historic Main Street and two morning launches. Hike to the perfect vantage point to get eye-to-eye with the balloons. Wine and dine at an upscale restaurant or explore Park City’s mining history at the Park City Museum.
Balloon festivals in Utah are getting bigger and better every year. But if you can’t wait for the next fest, book a hot air balloon ride in Utah with Redrock Ballooning. Get a balloon-eye view of Canyonlands National Park or Arches National Park. And who knows? Maybe they’ll even let you crew.