2015 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally


This year’s International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally was held July 3, 4, and 5th at the old La Mesa Airfield.

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day3
  • Note to Balloonists and Sponsors

Day 1

The morning’s mass ascension was limited to tethering due to low clouds.

The evening’s scheduled Balloon Glow was cancelled on account of “dangerous conditions,” referring to changing wind conditions and possible rainstorms.

Pilots fill their propane tanks while awaiting word on the Balloon Glow.

Day 2

There was a slight delay in the launch on Day 2 as pilots and organizers waited for the weather to clear.  When the cloud ceiling lifted and clearance was given, there was a period of bright sky combined with interesting clouds against the background of local scenery.  As the morning grew later, the humidity made for a hazy sky.

Some balloons remained tethered at the airfield while most took off and followed the currents.  None of the balloons went very far; most landed either right back at the airfield or near Gardner Road.  Three unfortunate pilots landed in a large field of weeds with no vehicle access.  One balloon received a ‘tow’ from a landowner’s ATV.


Day 3

The balloons lifted off promptly to a clear bright sky; by 8am the air became hazy with humidity.

Many balloons sailed south, turned north, and landed right back at the airfield.  Other balloons landed in fields to the west and north.  One balloon landed as far away as the ARF building.  And on Highway 555, west of the airfield, a Colfax County sheriff officer blocked the road for a balloon landing.

Note to Balloonists and Sponsors

I’d be happy to send a high-resolution image file of your balloon (or sponsored balloon) for personal or promotional use.  Just use the contact form to describe which balloon is yours.