Reno, NV is Full of Hot Air, and We LOVE it

Every year, Reno, Nevada hosts the Great Reno Balloon Race, usually during the second weekend of September. If you haven’t been, it’s an an amazing day trip that you will never forget, set right out of Rancho San Rafael Regional ParkIt’s magical, mystical and plain ole fun.

Hot air ballons all over Rancho San Rafael Regional Park prepare for lift off

Hot air balloons all over Rancho San Rafael Regional Park prepare for lift off


Seeing around 100 balloons blowing up and getting ready to take flight is a different type of magic that one can’t explain. It’s definitely a “you just have to be there” kind of magic. Visitors are free to roam the park to watch and wonder as balloon operators ready their aircrafts for lift off.

Dawn Patrol at the Reno Hot Air Baloon Festival

Dawn Patrol at the Great Reno Balloon Race


Our recommendation is to arrive to the park by 4:30am at the latest. We’ve heard through a reliable UNR student resource, that many of the “locals” park and “nap” there the night before, just to be sure they have a great spot. (This editor prefers to sleep in a comfy bed until the last possible second, instead of in a field. Call it a “no longer in college anymore” thing, or whatever you want, but I can guarantee I slept better. Then again, if I were still in college, I wouldn’t be so obsessed about a good night’s sleep, would I?)

Anyway, get there super early so that you may enjoy the experience of Dawn Patrol. It is worth the sleep deprivation, as there’s nothing like seeing these beautiful balloons lights up and glow in sychranicity to the music.

It’s simply spectacular!

Lift Off! Around 100 balloons join in the annual fun of the Reno Hot AIr Balloon Festival

Lift Off! Around 100 balloons join in the annual fun of the Great Reno Balloon Race


Experiencing the wonder of watching these balloons float across the sky is zin-like fun for everyone. The brightly colored crafts captivate those who choose to stroll the park seeking out their favorites from years past, and admiring new balloons who have joined in.

Some just throw down a blanket, kick back and watch as their surroundings lift effortlessly into the sky and bobble around serenely.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Great Reno Balloon Race, for the weekend of Sept. 9-11. For more information, click HERE.


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