Old West Balloon Fest
With Western Nebraska’s Pioneer History
4 Days | August 10-13, 2023
Starting At $Flexible Pricing
The Old West Balloon Fest is a premier Hot Air Ballooning Event with over 80 colorful hot air balloons filling the sky with a morning mass ascension and evening glow. Come enjoy the festival, learn about the Oregon Trail, Native American’s and the American Buffalo.
U S Tours Flexible Pricing:
- Customizable Comps
- Commissionable or Net Rates
- Luxury or First Class Hotels & Meals
- Motorcoach Transportation & Professional Tours Managers are available
Whatever you want, U S Tours will be happy to structure tour prices to match your needs. Just let us know!
Day 1 – Scottsbluff, NE
Arrive today in Scottsbluff, NE, the home of the Old West Balloon Fest. Check into your local hotel for a two-night stay. Dinner is on your own this evening.
Day 2 – Mass Ascension – Scotts Bluff National Monument – Legacy of the Plains Museum w/lunch – Monkey Buffalo Ranch Tour
It’s an early morning today. You will begin before dawn at the Old West Balloon Fest, Nebraska’s premier Hot Air Balloon Event for the Mass Ascension. This event takes place at the Mitchell Airfield just south of nearby Mitchell, Nebraska. Enjoy the breathtaking wonder of 30 hot air balloons taking off all at once followed by another 50 competition balloons flying by! You can also enjoy food trucks and other vendors this morning.
Then meet your local guide for a day of touring. Start with a visit to Scotts Bluff National Monument, located on the historic Oregon Trail that pioneers once traveled by covered wagon more than a 100 years ago. The sandstone landmark stands over 4,600 ft. above sea level; see original wagon ruts, hear pioneer tales from costumed interpreters, taste “hard tac” (a staple on the trail), and breathtaking views.
Next, visit the Legacy of the Plains Museum. America’s roots run deep at Legacy of the Plains. On the Oregon Trail, the Museum and campus features impressive collections of pioneer and early community artifacts, blacksmith shop, sod house, antique tractors and implements on an 80-acre working farm. Come live the timeless stories of the Nebraska prairie. While here, enjoy a “Farm to Table” lunch served indoor/outdoor on the working farm.
The afternoon features a tour the Monkey Buffalo Ranch. Tour this working ranch that raises grass fed American bison (buffalo) and learn about the American Bison place on the short grass prairie and in modern agriculture.
End the day with dinner at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)
Day 3 – Robidoux Trading Post – Lunch at Barn Anew Bed & Breakfast & Stories of the Oregon Trail – Chimney Rock Historic Site – Night Glow
After breakfast at the hotel, meet your local guide for another day of touring. Start at the Robidoux Trading Post, welcoming visitors since 1849. The reconstructed Robidoux 1851 Trading Post was used by emigrants traveling to Oregon, fur trappers, traders and gold rushers. Walk on the Post’s dirt floor, see period-specific furs, traps, beads and cookware sold at the post. Costumed guides lead the drive to nearby Dunn pioneer graves, one of only seven marked burial sites along the Oregon Trail.
Next, enjoy lunch and Stories of the Oregon Trail at Barn Anew Bed & Breakfast. History comes alive at the Inn on the Trail. This 100-year-old renovated barn rises out of the ruts of the Oregon Trail and a perfect setting for a casual lunch on the patio and grounds. Innkeepers Allan & Cher Maybee, retired teachers and historians share pioneer tales and Native American legends and lore amidst the beautifully landscaped grounds and restored sheep herder wagons.
The afternoon includes a visit to the Chimney Rock Historic Site. Visible to wagon trails from several days away, Chimney Rock’s 120-foot spire was unlike anything Oregon Trail Pioneers had ever seen. This landmark’s story is told at the Abbott Visitors Center at the Chimney Rock National Historic Site with extensive displays, historians and films. Wagon ruts and remains of original sod houses are visible at the Chimney Rock Pony Express Station.
End the day with Nightglow at The Grasslands at Five Rocks Amphitheater. This is the big finale! Enjoy your final look at the 2023 festival balloons on the grasslands south of Five Rocks Amphitheater. Dinner is on your own, but you can also enjoy food trucks and other vendors this evening. (B,L)
Day 4 – Depart for Home
After breakfast, depart for home. (B)