Why Choose Rainbow Ryders


At Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Ride Company, safety is one of our core values! We have been in business for close to four decades with an impeccable safety record. We take pride in meeting and exceeding all FAA regulations. While leading our industry to drive new regulations to improve overall safety for our industry.

We have won countless awards and have been entrusted since 2002 as the official ride operator for the largest hot air balloon event in the world, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® as well as other large festivals like the Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off.

Safety Requirements

  • All of our pilots hold FAA-certified commercial ratings with a minimum of 500 flight hours and complete annual flight reviews exceeding the FAA 2 year requirement.
  • Our pilots maintain a 2nd Class Medical Certificate and undergo regular drug and alcohol testing.
  • Our pilots attend multiple safety seminars throughout the year to stay current on all aviation related topics involving our industry.
  • We provide insurance that is secured at the highest limits available within the industry. To request a copy of our insurance certificate, please call (505) 823-1111.
  • Experience

    The sport of hot air ballooning is one of the oldest and safest forms of aviation in the world.. It is a 230 year old tradition enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of passengers and millions of spectators each year.

    Our mission has always focused on providing an unforgettable bucket list experience! The tranquility and peace offered in a hot air balloon is the ultimate free flight experience. Rainbow Ryders, Inc. started offering hot air balloon flights in the scenic Rio Grande Valley back in 1983 and has grown to become the premier and largest hot air balloon ride company serving the Southwest, with flights offered in Albuquerque, Phoenix, and Colorado Springs.


    We lead the industry in brand new aircraft purchases, providing our customers one of the most elite fleets in the business, all manufactured in the U.S.A. We are regularly adding new balloons to our fleet to meet our growth, which brings our total count of aircraft to 39 hot air balloons throughout our three locations. Our fleet varies in size to accommodate any type of requests and party size.


    No “Hops”

    At Rainbow Ryders, safety and quality control are two of our top priorities. Though there are some aspects of the experience that are off-the-cuff, your whole hot air balloon ride, beginning to end, is carefully constructed by our team. Because of how we have constructed our standards of operation and the experience we want our passengers to have, we made the decision 10 years ago to stop including hops in our regular flight operations.

    Flying a “hop” involves two groups (usually comprised of 8-10 passengers each that may or may not know each other) that take turns on the hot air balloon. The first group will fly for roughly 30-45 minutes while the second group follows along in the chase crew van. The balloon will land, the groups will swap places, and the balloon will launch again for another 30 minutes. There are some hot air balloon ride companies that still use this approach to be able to book as many people as possible for a morning. This practice severely diminishes the experience for all passengers involved in the following ways:

    • Both groups typically have a shorter flight than the usual 45 minutes – 1 hour
    • The second group of passengers has to ride in a van for almost an hour before they get to fly
    • Sometimes the weather can change in the span of the first flight, preventing the second group from flying at all

    Hops introduce a level of unnecessary and unmanaged risk to passengers, staff, and equipment. While it is an important term to know and understand, it has no place in our flight operations.


    Availability and Experience

    We fly everyday of the year (weather permitting, of course), allowing for greater freedom to select a day and time that suits your schedule best. We are able to provide that kind of availability due to the depth of experience within our pilots, as well as our large hot air balloon fleet.

    We have the resources and experience to accommodate your preference of flight date.



    Daily Flights Year Round


    Daily Flights Year Round

    Colorado Springs

    Daily Flights June - September

    Park City

    Daily Flights June - September


    Albuquerque International Balloon Festival

    Albuquerque, NM

    Labor Day Lift-Off Colorado Springs, CO

    Colorado Springs, CO

    Red Rock Balloon Rally

    Gallup, NM

    Spooktacular Balloon Festival

    Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Arizona