Selecting the best Seattle hot air balloon company

You should be asking yourself if you want to fly in a hot air balloon directly in front of Mt. Rainier, or are you okay just seeing it from the air. That is the core difference between the hot air balloon ride operations North of Seattle in Snohomish and Woodinville and where Seattle Ballooning operates in Enumclaw at Mt. Rainier’s base.

All the hot air balloon pilots in the State of Washington are fantastic balloon pilots and have well maintained hot air balloon ride equipment. All balloon ride companies provide hour-long rides and go up to a few thousand feet. No matter which company you choose to go with, you can rest assured that you will have a safe and great hot air ballooning experience.

As you do your research, you’ll find low-cost hot air balloon ride companies and those that charge a premium. Why is Seattle Ballooning the premium option? It all comes down to four specific factors: Location, launching before sunrise, good champagne, and fantastic customer service.

Our Mount Rainier flying area

We fly our hot air balloons in an extraordinary area. Enumclaw is just 35 minutes south of Seattle and is home to some of the most beautiful untouched places in Washington State. Our hot air balloon rides take place as close as possible to Mount Rainier. The view can only be described as epic. We have two rivers that are only accessible by hot air balloon.

Hot air balloon with sun rays in the background flying South of Seattle

Flying over the White River

The White River is filled with old-growth trees, stunning cliffs and is home to dozens of bald eagles. During many flights, we have the opportunity to use the orographic winds and fly just above the treetops. If the direction and speed are perfect, you may have a chance to have the basket touch the river’s water. It’s a fantastic experience to be to a place no one can get to on foot.

Seattle Balloon rides flying down the white river

Flying over the Green River

The Green River is windy and awe-inspiring. It’s one of our favorite places to watch the sun come over the Cascades. The pastures around the river are filled with horses, Christmas tree farms, and large family properties. At dawn, the wind drains to the West, offering a beautiful river tour. We often find the river is full of low lying fog and is a photographers dream.

Seattle hot air balloon ride green river fog flight

Flying over Lake Tapps

Lake Tapps is a large man-made lake surrounded by beautiful homes. Whenever the wind direction is favorable, we try to fly over it. Flying in a hot air balloon over the lake is unique, whether at sunrise or sunset. You’ll feel like you are famous. Typically 20-30 boats race toward the balloons to see us skim the water. In the morning, when the water is glassy, the balloon’s colors reflect in the water and create an unbelievable memory.

View of Mt. Rainier and Lake Tapps from 500 feet in a hot air balloon

See the sunrise from the sky

Our area is also particular as it is large enough, allowing us to launch prior to sunrise. Hot air balloon flights that launch pre-sunrise are called dawn patrol. We launch 30-45 minutes before sunrise using special FAA-approved hot air balloon lights. Usually, hot air balloons can’t legally launch until official sunrise. At Seattle ballooning, we take advantage of the fact that we have dawn patrol lights; this allows guests to see the sunrise from the sky. Also, the colors are epic.

Pre sunrise hot air balloon ride Seattle

Champagne toast post-flight

You can’t have a hot air balloon ride without a champagne toast! Champagne has been a part of ballooning since the first balloon flight in 1783. The champagne was traditionally hung from a rope beneath the balloon to let landowners know that the balloon was not a dragon. That champagne was from the king’s stash and was none other than Dom Perignon. We believe that if you are going to go on a grand adventure, it shouldn’t be ruined with a cheap bottle of Cooks. We serve aged champagne imported from France. One guest said, ” the champagne was almost as amazing as the balloon ride.”

Fantastic customer service

Although the Holiday Inn and the Ritz Carelton both are hotels, the experience is entirely different. Seattle Ballooning is the Ritz Carlton of the commercial balloon world. We have extraordinary customer experiences and are proud to have all 5-star reviews. If there is an issue, we will take care of it. That is our promise. The good news is that we are only around $50-$75 more per person. For most guests going on a hot air balloon ride is a bucket list item. You are most likely going to do one balloon ride in your life. It’s worth the extra money to make it an extraordinary experience vs. an okay one.
We look forward to taking you on a grand balloon adventure! You will want to reserve your hot air balloon flight early. Due to our popularity, we typically book out 2-3 weeks in advance!

Hot Air Balloon Pilot Eliav C.
About the Author

Chief pilot of Seattle Ballooning. I get the opportunity to provide luxury hot air balloon rides just South of Seattle in front of Mt. Rainier. When you do what you love, it’s not considered work.

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