Moab Adventure Center Introduces a First - Hot Air Ballooning
Over the Red Rock Desert of Moab, Utah
Utah outfitter, the Moab Adventure Center, creates diverse opportunities to explore a red rock playground that borders both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Now for the first time, visitors can soar above it all in a hot air balloon. Hour-long balloon flights begin at sunrise giving passengers a bird’s-eye view of multi-colored sandstone formations, mesas, buttes, deep canyon mazes and natural arches. Rates are $235 for adults and $195 for youth six and up.
"It’s obvious why Hollywood chooses this set for westerns and contemporary movies," says Brandon Lake, Co-Founder of Moab Adventure Center. "It’s truly one of the natural wonders of the world."
Sights include the rugged red rock canyons carved by the Colorado River, fanciful rock towers and arches and often such wildlife as desert big horn sheep, mountain lion, pronghorn antelope and bald and golden eagles.
Lou Bartell who owns and pilots the six-passenger balloon explains how he showcases this region. "I enjoy close-to-the-ground flying. This gives a very unique perspective of the landscape. The sensation of climbing over a sandstone butte then suddenly watching the ground drop hundreds of feet below you can only be compared to rock climbing.The biggest difference with a flight in Moab to anywhere else is that you are actually a part of the landscape, not just an observer. Conditions permitting, I also like to fly up to 4,000 feet above the valley floor to give everyone an overview of the entire area."
Bartell assures his guests that credentials for hot air balloon pilots are similar to those for manning fixed wing and rotor-wing aircraft. Pilots must complete a private and commercial ground school and hours of practical training. Bartell maintains a class 2 FAA flight physical for his commercial and instructor ratings. The balloon is a commercially registered FAA aircraft requiring 100 hours of inspections annually. All repairs and maintenance must be performed by a certified FAA repairman with an FAA repair station license.
The rate includes a post-flight toasting ceremony and photos, upon request. The balloon rides can be combined with two other Moab Adventure Center activities for a 10 percent savings.
For details please visit http://www.moabadventurecenter.com.
Moab Adventure Center (www.moabadventurecenter.com) is a division of Western River Expeditions (www.westernriver.com), an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. The company is the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT. Its programs are available from March through October.
Established in 2004, Moab Adventure Center serves active travelers with half, full, and multi-day adventure programs including Moab rafting, Hummer safaris, Arches National Park Tours, canyoneering, Moab mountain biking, Colorado River jetboat tours, horseback riding and hot air balloon rides. In addition to activities, the Adventure Center also offers Moab lodging and Jeep rentals as well as complete Moab vacation packages.
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