Balloon Fiesta Guided Stand Up Paddleboard Tours

Balloon Fiesta Guided Stand Up Paddleboard Tour:

Our Unique Balloon Fiesta SUP Tours begin on October 6 and continue through October 14, 2018.

Your trip begins bright and early, meeting your group and guides at the Alameda Bridge West Parking Area (MAP) at 6:00am. Here you'll board our shuttle and head to the put-in location in Corrales. Our guides will then outfit you with a life jacket, dry bag and Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) and paddle. After a short river safety talk and brief paddling tutorial, you'll launch down the Rio Grande, through the beautiful cottonwood bosque (forest) and head down river just before the Mass Ascension of balloons at 7:00am.

As we paddle down the river, enjoy the sights and sounds of the wilderness before meeting the balloons as they Splash and Dash on the river, dragging their baskets along the water before ascending back into the sky (go ahead, get a high five from the pilot!). While waiting for the balloons, enjoy a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and a light snack. After the balloons pass by, you'll finish your tour down the braided waters of the Rio Grande back to your cars waiting by the Alameda bridge. Tours typically disembark by 11:00am. 


$85.00/person + tax

Includes: SUP, paddle, PFD, Dry Bag, shuttle transportation, and guide

River Distance: Approximately 7 miles

Physical Fitness Required: 3/10

Fitness is ranked on a 1-10 scale, 1 is no fitness other than regular daily life, 10 is working out 5-7 days a week with cardio and weights

Make your reservation TODAY, as space is limited to 8 participants /day. These tours will sell out!

For more information, give us a call: (505) 717-2526


*Unfortunately we cannot control the weather. The mass launch of the hot air balloons and the balloons' flight paths are always subject to weather and flying restrictions/conditions, in some cases we may not be able to see the hot air balloons.

Participant Resources:

Directions to Meeting Location

Participant Waiver

Packing List

Cancellation Policy


Common questions:

Why use a SUP? - One of the biggest benefits of a SUP over kayaks or canoes is it's low draft depth (how deep in the water the board sits). You can paddle a SUP in just 3 inches of water! During the Balloon Fiesta, the Rio Grande is in a very low-stage. The water is usually very shallow and sandbars and islands abound. Instead of spending half your time getting in and out of a kayak to to get un-stuck, why not enjoy the trip on a SUP? If you do still happen to get stuck, simply step off the board, move it over and step back on!

Do I have to stand the whole time? - Not at all! Paddleboarding is one of the most comfortable ways to enjoy the water. You can stand, sit, kneel, even lay down!

What if I don't have the best balance? - No worries! Our SUPs are as wide as many of the sidewalks in Albuquerque! It takes most people between 5-15 minutes to become comfortable enough standing on their board. If you're feeling a bit wobbly, take a knee! Our paddles are adjustable, so paddling from positions other than standing is just as comfortable.

How long do the tours take? - Tours meet at 6am, are on the water by 6:45am, and (after a brief break to watch the balloons) are off the water between 11am-12pm (about 4 hours on the boards)

Do you guarantee that we will get balloons to splash and dash? - Unfortunately we cannot. Hot air balloons are subject to the local weather for flight patterns and exact flights cannot be 100% predicted. However, we time our tours to put us in the best position possible to maximize our chances of being at the right place at the right time. 

Isn't it, like, super cold? - When we first launch, the temperature will be chilly. However soon after launching the sun will rise from behind the mountains and immediately begin warming the air. We recommend dressing in non-cotton layers. Participants are provided with dry bags to store an extra layer, towel, camera, etc. The extra effort of paddling and wearing a life jacket both contribute to keeping you warm and comfortable.


Participant Requirements:

Participant must sign a release of liability waiver, if under the age of 18 the waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian; No one under the age of 16 without a parent or guardian.

We follow strict American Canoe Association (ACA) Essential Eligibility Criteria which is the following:

1. Breathe independently (i.e., not require medical devices to sustain breathing)

 2. Independently maintain sealed airway passages while under water

3. Independently hold head upright without neck / head support

 4. Manage personal care independently or with assistance of a companion

5. Manage personal mobility independently or with a reasonable amount of assistance

6. Follow instructions and effectively communicate independently or with assistance of a companion

7. Independently turn from face-down to face-up and remain floating face up while wearing a properly fitted life jacket

 8. Get on / off or in / out of a paddlecraft independently or with a reasonable amount of assistance

9. Independently get out and from under a capsized paddlecraft

 10. Remount or reenter the paddlecraft following deep water capsize independently or with a reasonable amount of assistance

 11. Maintain a safe body position while attempting skills, activities and rescues listed in the appropriate Course Outline, and have the ability to recognize and identify to others when such efforts would be unsafe given your personal situation

MST Adventures reserves the right to refuse service to any individual that does not meet the above criteria, for the protection and safety of all participants involved.