Hot Air Balloon Over the Unique Sonoran Desert Environment Around Phoenix

hot air balloon rides phoenix
Hot air balloon over the Sonoran Desert around Phoenix, a desert environment rich in plants and wildlife

Phoenix, Arizona, is located in the heart of the Southwest’s Sonoran Desert and it’s also a mecca for hot air ballooning. The outfitters in the gallery and the infographic below provide hot air balloon rides from Phoenix over the picturesque and unique Sonoran Desert environment.

A Brief Introduction to the Sonoran Desert

The Sonoran Desert is a region of approximately 100,00 square miles in southwestern Arizona, southeastern California, most of Baja California and the western half of the state of Sonora, Mexico. Warm winters attract residents and tourists to Sonoran desert cities including Palm Springs, California, and Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. Phoenix is right in the center of the desert. The Sonoran Desert is one of four major deserts in North America, the other three being Great Basin, Mojave, and Chihuahuan. A major difference distinguishing the Sonoran from the other three deserts are mild winters. Most of the Sonoran region rarely experiences frost. The Sonoran is rich in plants, trees, and vegetation compared to other deserts. Over 2,000 species of plants have been identified in the Sonoran. It is the only place in the world where the saguaro cactus grows in the wild. The desert is home to 60 species of mammals, 350 species of birds, 20 amphibians, 100 reptiles, and around 30 species of native fish.There is no better way to experience the remarkable natural environment of the Sonoran Desert than from the basket of a hot air balloon.

Hot Air Balloon Rides Phoenix Over the Sonoran Desert

All of the balloon operators included in the gallery above and the infographic below take off from Phoenix for hot air balloon rides that include the Sonoran Desert. Most operate flights over different locations as well and offer a variety of trip packages. A typical flight last about an hour but preflight and post-flight activities may stretch that out to two to four hours. Popular rides are sunrise flights that include a traditional brunch upon landing. If you have taken a hot air balloon ride over the Sonoran Desert with an outfitter not included here that you would like to recommend to others, add their name and contact information in the comments box below.

Outfitters Who Provide Hot Air Balloon Rides From Phoenix Over the Sonoran Desert

Operator Length of Experience Typical Flight Special Flights Comments 2-4 hours from pickup to drop off; 1 hour in the air Sunrise and sunset flights Private flights for anniversaries, birthdays No more than 5 passengers per basket on regular flights
Aerogelic Ballooning Depends on package Sonoran Desert aerial tour Night flights No more than 12 people per ride
Arizona Balloon Safaris Average flight is around 45 minutes Flights operate daily at sunrise year-round Attach a banner to balloon to announce a special occasion Balloon is followed by a chase van in radio contact
Firebird Balloons Can vary Sunrise and sunset rides over Sonoran Desert Tethered balloon rides for special events Operates small balloons for 2 to 4 passengers
Float Balloon Tours 1 hour to 1.5 hours. Time varies depending on package Sunrise desert ride with brunch. Includes photographer on site Private hot air balloon photography workshop Multiple balloons are certified to carry 2, 10, and 15 people
Hot Air Expeditions Average 45 to 60 minutes Flights over the Sonoran Desert Tethered rides to enhance a party or special event Family operated for 25 years

Every effort is made to compile profiles of the top Sonoran Desert outfitters who are professional, popular with their customers, and committed to environmental excellence. No advertising fees are involved. If you have had a good experience with an outfitter not included here and they meet the above criteria, add their name and contact information in the Comments box below and BG will follow up. Outfitters must have a website to be included.

Brown's Guide
About Brown's Guide 369 Articles
Brown’s Guides is a website about the top outdoor experiences in America and about the professional outfitters and guides who know them best. BG selects guides and outfitters located in or in close proximity to the Natural Areas they provide activities in. These outfitters know the areas and care about protecting and preserving them in a way that outfitters based in other states never can. Hiking, biking, sea kayaking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and other outdoor activities are indexed on the site. BG has been doing this type of thing since 1972 in books, magazines, maps and on the Internet.

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