Fly High in South Dakota with Black Hills Balloons

Chances are that you have seen hot air balloons; however, you may think that the opportunity to get into one is out of reach. This couldn’t be further from the truth! If you are looking for things to do in Black Hills, SD, you’ll be surprised to find that there is a 30-year old company that offers hot air balloon tours in the Black Hills: Black Hills Balloons. It is one of the many family-friendly activities in the Black Hills area, perfect for a summer vacation.

We recommend it to all of our South Dakota Executive Lodging guests!

The History of Black Hills Balloons

Many find it unusual to find a hot air balloon company in Black Hills, except those who call it home, who saw it as the perfect place. It is among the most popular tours in Black Hills. The Black Hills Balloons Company began operating in 1984. The company pilots have earned many awards and have been recognized by USA Today, and notably, TripAdvisor. 

air balloons on a rocky landscape

The company is situated in Custer Valley inside the Custer State Park, a couple of miles from Crazy Horse Memorial, Wind Cave National Park, and Mount Rushmore National Monument. Therefore, anyone who is visiting these tourist attractions often makes their way to Custer Valley to do something they have always wanted to do: ride in a hot air balloon.

What to Expect

If we have piqued your interest, you will have to prepare for your experience by making a reservation. Passengers are picked up every morning from the Black Hills Balloons Hanger, a building on the main street of Custer, SD. Visitors can park and are transported to the launch field in a company van. The team will begin to unload and prepare the balloon while you are being briefed and taking pictures. It usually takes approximately 20 minutes to get the aircraft ready for flight. 

Tour Information

kids and man in air balloon basket

The safety of passengers is the top priority of Black Hills Balloons. It is why they have invested in the sturdiest, well-maintained equipment, as they always have your comfort and safety in mind. The balloons have large sides, which offer passengers a sturdy wall that they can lean on while taking photos and enjoying the sweeping views. Passengers ride in a partitioned padded basket with a compartment. There are only 2-3 passengers per compartment for ease of movement.

The Black Hills Balloon pilots are FAA licensed commercial hot air balloon pilots who also serve as flight instructors. They realize that the success of the company depends on well-trained balloon pilots, which is why in-flight training and annual safety seminars are provided for both crew and pilots.

Black Hills Balloons and commercial vehicles are commercially insured. Flights are available May 1 – October 31, every day at sunrise (weather permitting). Passengers enjoy an hour ride, and light snacks, champagne, and a souvenir are included! The adult rate is $295 per person, and children 4-12 have a rate of $245 per child.

Safety Measures

Since it is easy to social distance in Western South Dakota, we have had to make minor adjustments during the current pandemic. However, we are implementing new safety procedures to maintain strict safety protocols.

inside of air balloon

We are now working with Black Hills Chemical and Janitorial Supply to provide cleaning supplies to effectively sanitize every surface that might be touched by guests and staff. All of the vehicles, balloons, and the entire welcome area is sanitized before and after use. One group at a time is allowed in the welcome area when signing waivers, purchasing gifts, and to use the restrooms. More distance is being created inside the balloons, and the staff always wears masks and gloves.

Where to Stay

Retreat back to one of our Black Hills cabin rentals, featuring a variety of cozy cabins ideal for families. Our charming cabins feature wireless Internet, wood-burning fireplaces, hot tubs, and decks, the perfect place for enjoying the beauty of South Dakota!

Plan Your Next Visit

The Black Hills of South Dakota is an amazing vacation destination to bring the whole family to. Whether it’s the summer or winter we have activities for you here. Check out our available cabins and book your dream rental today!