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Balloon Nevada - Carson Valley Hot Air Balloon Rides

Outdoor Adventures, Guide or Outfitter
Looking west over the Carson Valley towards Lake Tahoe. – Whit Landvater

ADA Accessibility Notes

Balloon Nevada is locally owned and operated by Carson Valley residents. We live here, fly here, and buy here which is why locals choose Balloon Nevada.

Balloon Nevada provides hot air balloon rides over the beautiful Carson Valley in northern Nevada, just a few miles east of Lake Tahoe and south of Reno. The Carson Valley, like many other mountain valleys, is an ideal location for hot air ballooning, not only because of the natural beauty, but due to the favorable atmospheric conditions which produce multiple layers of air flowing in different directions at different altitudes. Since hot air balloons cannot be steered mechanically, balloonists rely on these various wind layers to maneuver around the valley.

We float like a cloud in these air currents much like a raft floats on river currents. Unlike any other type of aircraft, there are no sounds other than the occasional burner sound as heat is added to the balloon. Often times, we are able to talk to people on the ground who regularly ask us to land on their property or invite us for coffee.

Our altitude varies throughout the flight. We usually start off by flying low (treetop level) to demonstrate the maneuverability the balloon has, then we'll climb to higher altitudes for spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe, Heavenly Ski Resort and the entire Carson Valley, often floating high enough to see the Sierra reflected in the water of Lake Tahoe to our west.

Balloon Nevada flies once a day, soon after sunrise, and always weather permitting. Our flights last at least one hour, averaging 1.25 hours, but please allow three hours of your morning for the entire balloon adventure. We fly year-round by reservation only. After the balloon flight, we'll celebrate your courage and bravery with a traditional champagne (or sparkling cider) toast.

Areas of Service and Expertise

Balloon Nevada is the only full-time, year-round balloon ride company providing private hot air balloon rides in the Lake Tahoe region. When you go ballooning with Balloon Nevada, you won't have to share the adventure with a group of strangers. It will only be the two or three of you and your pilot. That's it. This allows us to concentrate on you, not crowd control.

All balloon flights take place in the Carson Valley which consists of the towns of Minden, Gardnerville and Genoa, Nevada. To get to the Carson Valley from south Lake Tahoe is a scenic 25 minute drive. Carson City, Nevada's capital is a 20 minute drive, and the drive from Reno is approximately 50-60 minutes.

Whit Landvater, the owner and pilot at Balloon Nevada has over 30 years of ballooning experience and has flown thousands of passengers throughout the entire United States as well as in Belgium, Canada, Holland and Switzerland without a single incident. These ballooning travels are what got Whit to the Carson Valley where he has spent the last 18 years ballooning. With his experience, knowledge of the area and atmospheric conditions, you are assured a safe and enjoyable ballooning experience.

There are several nice hotels, motels, resorts and bed and breakfasts here in the Carson Valley for those of you that would like an escape from the crowds and experience the lifestyle here in rural northern Nevada. We're more than happy to assist you in any way when choosing accommodations or planning your trip to the area.

Eco-Friendly Notes

The Carson Valley is a rich agricultural area. From the air you'll see large cattle ranches and alfalfa fields stretching the entire length of the valley. Although these areas look like perfect places to start or end our balloon flights, they're not. In fact, we go through great lengths to plan our flights to avoid landing on these areas. Therefore, our flights sometimes last longer than an hour as we maneuver our balloon away from these sensitive areas and into "balloon friendly" areas, sometimes adding a little "harmless drama" to the flight. Our passengers seem to really enjoy these maneuvers and often cheer once we've accomplished our goal.

Pet Friendly Notes

We are animal lovers and pet owners ourselves, but ballooning is not a "pet friendly" activity. Therefore, we ask that you leave your furry or feathered friends at home. If you are traveling with a pet, we may be able to accommodate your pet while you are ballooning, but for safety reasons, we do not allow pets to fly in the balloon.

Types of Experiences and Trips Provided

Balloon Nevada is the only balloon ride operation providing private balloon flights in the Carson Valley / Lake Tahoe area. Photographers will appreciate this privacy as there are no obstructions to get in the way of that perfect photograph. For those of you considering marriage, our private flights offer you the perfect opportunity to "pop the question" to your loved one.

Balloon Nevada also provides intimate hot air balloon weddings for those looking for a "nontraditional" wedding ceremony. Your pilot is also a minister, able to officiate your wedding or serve as your witness if you'd like to provide your own minister. Feel free to call us at 775-344-9988 or visit for more information regarding our high Sierra hot air balloon wedding services.

Important notes:

* Passengers are asked to dress casually and wear comfortable shoes or boots, a hat or cap and sunglasses as it is bright and sunny while in the air.

* Unlike those flying large groups, our balloon basket has a nice padded seat which comfortably seats two people without sacrificing the views!

* We provide complimentary transportation from landing site back to our meeting location.

* Flights are planned to last one hour, but please allow 3 hours for the entire experience.

* For safety reasons, children under the age of 7 or under 42 inches tall may not fly.

* Pregnant women, or women that may be pregnant may NOT fly. No exceptions. (Please come back after the baby is born.)

* Anyone with back, knee or hip problems, anyone who has had recent surgery, anyone that can't stand up or support their own weight may NOT fly.

* Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

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