Experience the once in a lifetime opportunity to drift over the Napa Valley in a hot air balloon. Take in panoramic views of the Mayacamas mountains and surrounding peaks. Catch the sun rising over the top of Howell mountain and parting the fog covering the valley floor. With a variety of colorful state-of-the-art balloons that range in size from 140,000 cubic foot to 315,000 cubic foot, safety is our main concern. While they are designed to carry more guests, we under load our balloons by 20% limit our baskets to a pilot and anywhere from 2 – 16 guests depending on the balloon.
Guests are met pre-flight and pre-dawn at the Historic Train Depot on Calistoga's main drive, Lincoln Ave. After everyone has checked in and is ready, you are taken to one of our numerous launch site options determined by our pilots to provide you with the safest, most enjoyable and scenic flight available that morning.
At the launch site, you are greeted by the humming of the inflation fans as they fill your balloon with cold air and the balloon gently begins to take form. Once your balloon has been packed with cold air and with it’s vibrant colors on full display, the pilot adds a few blasts of flame and hot air an balloon stand upright. You climb aboard as the pilot adds more hot air and before you know it, you gently float away into the early morning breezes. A few more blasts of heat and the balloon climbs revealing the glorious morning views. As the pilot navigates the morning winds, he acts as your guide and entertainer, sharing with you points of interests and stories and anecdotes of ballooning.
The Calistoga area is geologically distinctive as it features natural hot springs, geysers, and the rich volcanic soil for which the wine country is known. You may catch sight of Old Faithful Geyser, one of only three in the entire world. The geyser has erupted up to 7 times in one flight and has been featured on National Geographic. We often fly near the dramatic Palisade Cliffs of Napa Valley as well as the highest peak in Napa County; Mount St Helena. You could also float over the famous vineyards of wineries such as Clos Pegase, Sterling Vineyards, Charles Krug Winery or the medieval Castello di Amorosa. Some of our flights have ranged over Chateau Montelena, the winery featured in the movie Bottle Shock and known for its performance in the French tasting.
Each flight is completely unique and the microclimates of the upper Napa Valley breezes dictate where the flight will go each day.
As your flight reaches it’s conclusion and the balloon returns to earth, your crew quickly pack up your balloon and you are take to our post-flight breakfast where you toast another successful flight with a mimosa or glass of sparkling wine.