What Is The Right Time Of Year For a Hot Air Balloon Experience In Napa?
Hot air balloons are becoming a popular part of people’s vacations when going to Napa, giving your a 360-degree view of the stunning valley and wineries, but when is the best time to book your experience?
Well, one of the best parts about hot air ballooning in Napa is that they operate all year round, but the most popular time to book your balloon ride is between April and October since there is a lower chance of rainfall affecting your booking.
Down below in our information guide, we will take you through how seasons affect balloon riding in Napa, what to expect when going on a hot air balloon ride in Napa, why you should try a hot air balloon ride and all the other essential info for booking your trip.
How Do Seasons Affect Hot Air Ballooning In Napa?
As we mentioned above, you can take a hot air balloon in Napa nearly all year round, but during April and October rainfall is less likely which reduces the risk of your booking being cancelled.
Seasonal weather can massively affect your hot air balloon experience, too much wind, rain or poor visibility can all be reasons not to fly, the conditions have to be perfect for safe takeoff, ride and landing, Napa especially can be known for fog in the early mornings, which can affect visibility.
We’ve listed below the different seasons and what to expect when hot air ballooning during these times.
- Spring – Hot air ballooning in Napa can be a great choice during spring, winter has ended but the temperatures are still crisp, with warm afternoons, most people go later April during this time to avoid the rains.
- Summer – One of the most popular times for a hot air balloon ride in Napa in the summer due to the hot temperatures and festivals, beware of the fog during this time though, from San Francisco, this could cause your take-off area to be moved.
- Fall – Fall is a great time for spectacular views, with leaves dotted over the wineries and cooler summer nights, heavy rains will be expected in late fall.
- Winter – Winter remains with mild temperatures but there is an increased chance of rain.
What To Expect When Taking a Hot Air Balloon Ride In Napa
For first-timers of hot air balloons, you might be wondering what your Napa flying experience has in store for you, without spoiling the fun, we’ve outlined what to expect so you can prepare below.
- Time – Most of the time, your hotel in Napa will have a pickup in the early hours of the morning for your balloon ride, the ride can be anytime between an hour or three and will happen during the weakest winds of the morning.
- Breakfast – While waiting for your hot air balloon to fill up with hot air, you will likely be offered some coffee, tea or pastries for your breakfast.
- Liftoff – Now it’s time to lift off, this can almost feel like floating off the ground as your pilot adds more hot air into the balloon to take you higher.
- The ride – After lifting off, it’s time to enjoy the experience and views floating above the Napa valleys, don’t forget to take pictures.
- Landing – Now it’s time to land, your pilot will choose a soft landing spot, you will then need to wait a few minutes before exiting the balloon.
- Celebration – It’s time to celebrate, crack open the champagne!
Tips For Booking Your Napa Hot Air Balloon Ride
Booking a hot air balloon experience over the valleys of Napa is the best way to get a bird’s eye view of the landscape, to help you get the best experience, we’ve listed some tips and tricks for booking below.
- Consider the price – Typically, Napa hot air balloons will cost around $200 per person.
- Choose the right company – Choosing the right company for your Napa hot air balloon ride is important, some reputable ones to name are; Napa valley balloons or Balloons above the valley.
- Leave a few days after the booking date – You never know when weather conditions can change, leaving a few days after your booking date allows you to move your booking if needed.
- Take a jacket – Napa temperature remains pretty mild but it can get cool during the early mornings, take a jacket just in case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hot Air Balloon Rides & Napa
Can I go on a hot air balloon ride during the Winter in Napa?
Yes, you can book a hot air balloon ride during winter in Napa, there is a bigger risk of rain then but the temperatures will still be mild with some dry days.
Are hot air balloon rides in Napa safe?
Hot air balloon rides are very safe with pilots and balloons having to be licensed and checked regularly.
Does weather affect hot air balloon rides in Napa?
Yes, one of the biggest weather factors in Napa is the fog which can come over from San Francisco, fog can affect visibility when flying and make take off unsafe.
What time will a Napa hot air balloon take off?
Your Napa hot air balloon will take off before dawn for flying during sunrise, this could be around 5.00 am to leave your hotel.
Is there a hot air balloon festival in Napa?
Yes, there is a hot air balloon festival in Napa called the Sonoma county hot air balloon classic which happens every year.
To conclude, the best time of year for a hot air balloon experience is between April and October since the chances of rainfall are few. You can go on a hot air balloon all year round, however, but be prepared for changes according to unexpected weather, leave a couple of days after your booking.
Always book your tour with a reputable company and remember to budget around $200 per person for the experience.
I’m Annie, a twenty-something year old girl who loves hot air balloons. So much so, that I have a full time job as a Flight Instructor and it is all I love talking about. Something about being up there in the elevated altitudes helps all my stresses float away!