Our intimate balloon ride business emerged in late 2013. A project of General Manager, Michael Veliz, Yolo Ballooning Adventures was developed with the desire to offer a unique and personalized experience that showcases the beauty of Yolo County; Especially from the air! Our staff is invested in making every flight safe and memorable for all of our passengers.

Mike Veliz

A life-long Yolo County local! Mike has been captivated by hot air ballooning in California since 2001. At the age of 15 he began working at a local hot air balloon repair station certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. He now runs that very business, California Balloon Repair Inc., performing necessary maintenance and inspections on balloons across the West Coast. As a Commercially Certified hot air balloon pilot, Michael enjoys providing safe, enjoyable and memorable experiences for each of his passengers. His unique beginnings in ballooning give Michael a level of experience and knowledge unmatched in the industry.

Ignacio Lopez

Ignacio’s early beginnings in ballooning started in Napa Valley. Starting off as a  part-time crew member for two Napa ride businesses. Ignacio joined Yolo Ballooning Adventures team in 2016 as our lead Crew Chief. His love for ballooning lead him to become a Commercially certified balloon pilot himself. Be sure to look to the skies to see him soaring above Yolo County!

Our Hot Air Balloons

We started with one balloon that was a 90,000 cubic foot, two passenger balloon. Since then we have expanded our balloon fleet to three separate balloons ranging from a 105,000 cubic foot 4 passenger basket, up to a 210,000 cubic foot 10 passenger basket. The variety in our balloon sizes allows us to cater to larger groups, as well as smaller groups, while still maintaining the personalized attention our passengers deserve on our balloon flights over Sacramento Valley.

Our state-of-the-art FAA certified hot air balloons are built by Cameron Balloons U.S., in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Considered to be the top U.S. manufacturer of hot air balloons, Cameron designs balloons that not only outperform those of competitors but that are also more durable. While foreign and other U.S. manufactures may offer a lower purchase prices, the comfort and knowledge that you are flying in the best that money can buy is priceless. Our balloons vary in size but our largest can carry as many as 10 passengers. The baskets are compartmentalized to maximize the space, comfort of and safety of each guest. They are constructed of rattan which is both light weight and extremely durable. Each basket is individually woven by hand onto a rigid frame. The envelope is typically constructed using fire-treated nylon or dacron that meet specific manufacturer requirements and while the material is lightweight, it is also very strong.

You can experience more ballooning adventures with other premier balloon ride destinations. Take a Napa hot air balloon ride and see wine country from above. Venture above the water on a balloon ride over Lake Tahoe, or see Carson Valley in hot air balloon.

History of Hot Air Ballooning: An Abbreviated History

  • September 19, 1783 ~ A sheep, a duck, and a rooster become the first passengers in a hot air balloon launched by the Montgolfier brothers, Joseph and Ettienne.
  • November 21, 1783 ~ The first recorded manned flight in a hot air balloon took place in Paris. Built from paper and silk by the Montgolfier brothers, this balloon was piloted on a 22 minute flight by two noblemen from the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
  • January 19, 1784 ~ In Lyon, France, the only recorded flight by Joseph Montgolfier was made in one of the largest balloons ever made.
  • September 15, 1784 ~ An Italian, Vincenzo Lunardi, made the first balloon flight outside of France. The 500 cubic metre balloon flew from Moorfields in England and landed near Ware.
  • November 30, 1784 ~ Launching their balloon from Rhedarium Garden, London, another Frenchman, Jean-Pierre Blanchard, and an American, John Jeffries, make their first flight.
  • January 7, 1785 ~ the same team of Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries became the first to fly across the English Channel.
  • January 9, 1793 ~ the first flight of a balloon in North America occured in Philadelphia and was piloted by Jean-Pierre Blanchard.
  • October 10, 1960 ~ the official birth date of the modern hot-air balloon. The first man-carrying free flight took place at Bruning, Nebraska, in the Raven prototype ‘modern’ hot-air balloon. The 30,000 cu ft envelope was constructed of a polyurethane coated nylon and the burner was propane powered.
  • By 1963, the growing sport was able to sustain the first U.S. national championships.