Telluride Balloon Festival
June 3rd- 5th, 2016.
It’s a bit early to have information about the 2016 Telluride Balloon Festival, but it’s not too early to book lodging. Many veteran festivarians book their condos and hotel rooms a year in advance and the town of Telluride is mostly sold out six months before the festival! Come back later for more information on this festival.
2015 Balloon Fest
The 32st Annual Telluride Balloon Festival was held the weekend of June 5-7 2015. June 6 was the most active day beginning with an early morning launch from Town Park and ending with the "glow" on Main Street in the evening. Saturday afternoon, there was a photography workshop geared specifically to photographing ballons. Sunday morning the balloons were scheduled to launch again from Town Park.
It is possible to take a ride on a balloon either Saturday or Sunday, but there are a limited number of slots. Usually, the crowds are thinner on Sunday morning. You will improve your chances by being willing to help inflate the balloon, so get there by 6am and ask to help. Most years, at the balloons will launch at least one of the two days, but there's no guarantee. Safety comes first and the weather must cooperate.
General Festival Information
While the Telluride Balloon Festival is one of the smaller festivals, it is arguably the most beautiful of the season. Weather permitting, over a dozen hot air balloons launch from Town Park on the east end of town and sail down the valley landing about one mile out of town. The balloons launch at sunrise (between 6:45 and 7 am) and bystanders often get to help with the launch -- and get a ride to boot!
On the last night of the festival, the balloon pilots inflate their balloons along Main Street and fire up the propane for the "Glow". This is a beautiful and incredibly unique sight.
All of the events are subject to weather conditions -- The box canyon is a very tricky place to fly as we are surrounded by the San Juan Mountains. But if you are lucky enough to get a chance to experience the flight of the balloons, it is an unparalleled moment. This event is entirely free; remember to bring your camera!