Snowmass Balloon Festival Overview
The Snowmass Balloon Festival fills the sky with one of the highest-altitude balloon events in the country. Highlights include a specialized Kid's Zone and the Saturday evening glow, barbeque, and free concert where brightly colored balloons light up the night sky and twinkle on and off like starts. This is one of our fastest growing events and is co-sponsored by the Denver Post.
“I did a balloon ride in Snowmass a few years ago. I was really an awesome experience. For one you do get to help with the inflation of the balloon. They do not let you walk inside, but you are able to stand at the opening and peer inside, Awesome! Getting off the ground is nice, but when you get up in the air is when it all happens. We did get up to the 10,000 ft elevation. Now granted that is only 2000 ft above ground level up here, but how oven does one get there in a mostly motionless station position. The panoramic 36o degree views of mountains and valleys as far as the eye can see. Looking down on the action on the ground. I did go up on a very clear low wind morning and visibility seemed endless. Although we did not get to view any wild life the possibility is there. I would do this again in a heartbeat.”
- Rat Race - Down Valley Distance Race
- The first "public" event is called the Colorado Rat Race because Randy Woods, former owner of Unicorn Bookstore got a reputation for being a "dirty rat" and then showed up one year at this event premiering a new balloon with the profile of a rat. It's a distance race that starts at Cozy Point and lands anywhere from there to Glenwood. Last year the distance record was set by landing on the side of Red Mountain down by Glenwood. There's a time limit of approximately 3 hours to see how far they can get. Generally balloons fly along the 82 corridor and the balloons typically launch right at rush hour. People can pack a picnic breakfast and head to uphill places like McClane flats or Basalt Mountain to watch.
- Dawn Quixote
- At the "Dawn Quixote" they anchor 20-25 enormous helium balloons with pennant balloons about 50-75 feet off the ground and all the pilots are sent into the air to compete in close quarters and win by popping the most helium balloons with a ski pole. Winner usually bags 2 or 3.
- Nite Glow
- The glow takes place around sunset on the Softball fields and ALL BALLOONS ARE TETHERED TO THE GROUND. No baskets are allowed to leave the ground. The pilots fire up the burners, which lights up the balloons like Christmas ornaments. They try to choreograph some burns so they all do it as brightly as they can for 15 seconds then go to complete darkness, then twinkle off and on.
- Target Tubing
- Target Tubing also starts at the Snowmass Softball fields but moves over to the golf course ponds. Public can park at the rodeo to watch balloons go up, then walk across the street. Large inflatable rings will be tethered in the ponds, and each pilot gets 10 balls to try to get in the tubes from altitude of no more than 100 feet. They're allowed no more than 2 balls per tube.
Lodging & Event Information
For all-inclusive event packages, including lodging, airfare, rental cars, or anything else you may require, call one of our local vacation experts. Call 888.649.5982 or book online below.