About Us

Western Horizons Hot Air Balloons offers a unique adventure and an opportunity to experience the amazing natural beauty of the Black Hills from an exciting perspective.  Nestled in the Southern Black Hills of South Dakota, historic Hot Springs and the surrounding area offers spectacular views unlike any other.

Our typical flight allows you to experience stunning panoramic views of the Southern Black Hills and the expansive prairie of Western South Dakota.   On our flights, we frequently see deer, wild turkeys, waterfowl, and other wildlife. You will have an opportunity to have your picture taken in-flight to capture this memorable adventure, creating lasting memories.  Upon safely landing, you will celebrate your flight with the traditional champagne toast (or non-alcoholic substitute) while listening to a little bit of ballooning history from your pilot.  You will also receive a personalized flight certificate and a digital copy of your picture taken in-flight to end your memorable adventure.

Our goal is to offer a private, personal, and unique experience that you will remember and cherish for years to come.  Whether it's an unforgettable date with that special someone, a magical wedding proposal, a monumental wedding anniversary, or a magnificent adventure with family or friends, we are happy to work with you to create your perfect memory making experience.

Our typical flight lasts approximately 1 hour.  The entire experience from pre-flight set-up to post flight refreshments can last from 2 to 3 hours.

Our Pilots

Originally from Czechoslovakia, Petra Wilson is a U.S. Navy Veteran who moved to Hot Springs, South Dakota with her family in 2015. She has been flying balloons for over 8 years and is the founder of the Fall River Hot Air Balloon Festival that occurs each August in Hot Springs, SD.  She is also the owner of Western Horizons Hot Air Balloons.








 
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Rich Olstad is a fifth generation Fall River County resident.  His vast knowledge of the area suits him well for flying in the Southern Black Hills.  Rich was introduced to ballooning by Petra, when she moved to the area. 

Dave Christensen has been flying hot air balloons since 1984.   He and his family have been very involved in ballooning and he is proud to have a daughter that is a third-generation balloon pilot.

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Petra, Rich, and Dave are all FAA certified commercial hot air balloon pilots and flight instructors, who have established an excellent safety record and pride themselves on offering a safe and enjoyable experience to all who fly.

Our Balloons

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Spirit in the Sky

This is a 120,000 cubic foot balloon manufactured by Lindstrand Balloons.  It can carry up to 5 passengers, not including the pilot.   It is capable of carrying a total passenger weight of up to 1,000 pounds.

Kaleidoscope

This is a 90,000 cubic foot balloon manufactured by Aerostar.  It can carry up to 3 passengers, not including the pilot. It is capable of carrying a total passenger weight of up to 500 pounds.

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Zippity Dooha

This is a 90,000 cubic foot balloon manufactured by Aerostar.  It can carry up to 4 passengers, not including the pilot. It is capable of carrying a total passenger weight of up to 500 pounds.

 
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