Sunrise Hot Air Balloon rides near Seattle

A Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride near Seattle

Mt. Rainier from a hot air balloon
A must-do Seattle adventure! Start the day floating over the Woodinville Wine Country centrally located between Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, the Olympic and Cascade Mountain Ranges – only 20 miles from downtown Seattle.
We meet in Woodinville early in the morning – shortly after sunrise, so at 6:00 am May through mid-August. As the days start getting shorter, sunrise becomes later each day so the meeting time is adjusted accordingly (check booking schedule for actual meeting times by date).
Some people prefer to sleep in when they are not working. But if you’re into photography you may prefer the fresh clean air of the new day. Camera buffs have reported that it provides the optimum opportunity for super clear shots. Get a bird's eye view of Seattle on a hot air balloon ride. The wind is usually calmer in the morning which allows for a little more time aloft. It can be a great way to start a day of sightseeing and other adventures you may have planned. Some say getting up early for an exhilarating experience is a great way to begin one’s day!

Getting Started

Sunrise meeting location for Over the Rainbow Hot Air Balloon Rides
We will be meeting you in the parking lot at the Downtown Woodinville Shopping Center on Garden Way. A few minutes before the meeting time, a van will arrive. It will be in the parking lot in the parking spots closest to Garden Way directly across from Haggen's. The address is 17641 Garden Way NE. That is where we recommend you park.
Once everyone has arrived and checked in you’ll board the van, (which is also known as “Chase Vehicle") to be driven to the launch site – usually 10 - 15 minutes. The people you’ll be flying with will ride to the launch site together in the van – a great opportunity to get to know each other! When the van stops, you will be only steps from your balloon and your Professional FAA Certified Pilot will greet you as you exit the van and you will instructed on what to expect as the balloon is inflated.
filling the hot air balloon with the fan
Now the excitement begins! You’ll watch our crew get everything set. First the balloon will be unpacked with the envelope (the fabric part of the balloon) stretched out and lying flat on the ground. Large fans will be positioned then started which forces air into the envelope. Warning: the fans are pretty loud but are engaged a fairly short time. A couple of volunteers will be holding the opening of the balloon open to make it easy for the air to enter. You’ll be amazed how quickly your giant balloon fills with air and begins to take shape. Before long, the balloon will look pretty full. Your pilot will have done a thorough Pre-Flight Check and will begin blasting the burners – also loud – to heat the air in the balloon. You know what happens with hot air – it rises! That causes the balloon to stand up and brings the basket to an upright position with it. The fans are retired at that point and the system is in place and ready for you to climb in. It’s important to be ready to board the basket as soon as it is upright to avoid it being airborne without you!
When everyone is settled on board and your Captain is ready you will receive a briefing. Then you begin gently rising into the sky as your ground crew slowly releases the tether. The flight begins as the burners continue to heat the air to rise above the earth. The burners will be engaged only intermittently as needed from this point on so all the noise from inflation will subside somewhat. You’ll begin to notice buildings, houses, cars, trucks, even trees and especially people becoming smaller and smaller like pieces on a Monopoly board and the surrounding views are magnified.

With Mother Nature in control

fall hot air balloon ride
The burners allow the pilot complete control of ascending and descending. But the balloon is propelled by the wind. Wind directions and speeds usually vary at different altitudes. The skill of the pilot becomes evident as he navigates up and down taking advantage of what the atmosphere has to offer, maneuvering to an appropriate place to set down. We use a dozen or so different places for launching. Which one is selected is based on careful consideration by the staff based on weather reports from several official weather sites taking into consideration where we want to end up.
The normal summer morning wind direction here in Woodinville is out the northeast which makes our favorite launch site a big field behind the Maltby Café in Snohomish. From there the winds carry us over some of the most beautiful scenery in the Pacific Northwest. To the east you will see foothills leading to the sweeping Cascade Mt. Range, to the west you will see Puget Sound and her islands, the beautiful skylines of Seattle, Bellevue and other surrounding cities with the majestic Olympic Mountains as a backdrop as we effortlessly drift back towards the Woodinville Wine Country skimming over forested areas and the many smaller local lakes.
Occasionally we have a light morning wind out of the South-Southwest in which case we launch in the Woodinville valley and fly north towards the old railroad stop of Maltby or even as far north as the Snohomish valley. You will enjoy all the same astounding views on this path. Our crew calls it our backwards flight.
Every flight is an adventure so we are never quite sure exactly where we will land. Wind speed and direction will determine how far you go on a sunrise hot air balloon ride. On average you will travel five to eight miles. Our experienced crew is tracking your flight from below and continuing to examine wind conditions. They remain in contact with the Captain providing reports about the wind. Part of the adventure riding in the sky is taking what nature has given us on this day.

Landing and Champagne Toast

Our ground crew will be nearby when the flight descends gracefully back to earth. The pilot identifies where he intends to land and advises the crew. They zoom in to the spot and are ready to assist as much as needed. That means your van is there to provide transportation back to your car when it's time.
hot air balloon landing Seattle Washington
Wherever the balloon sets down ,the excursion concludes with the traditional champagne and juice (mimosa) toast. The Pilot shares a lighthearted tale of how ballooning began and the origins of the champagne toast tradition. Of course, if you don’t want alcohol and for those underage, sparkling cider is available to keep everyone in the spirit of the toast.
Now it’s time to relax and review photos and chat with new friends! When everyone is ready, we will return you to your vehicle. Often everyone is surprised at the distance back to Haagen's
More Info coming soon!

You will need to allocate about 3+ hours for this adventure.

Return to Your Vehicles

After the experience is over, we will take you back to your vehicles at the meeting location for you to continue your day. In all the entire tour will last about three hours.
We do recommend taking in some of the local world-famous attractions like:
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