23rd Annual Bluff International Balloon Festival

Glow-in at the Bluff International Balloon Festival- Bluff, UT

The Bluff International Balloon Festival is back! After being cancelled in 2021 due to COVID precautions, the festival is returning January 14th-16th, 2022 for it’s 23rd year! The festival will follow the usual schedule with balloons flying over Bluff Friday & Saturday mornings, then head south to fly over Valley of the Gods on Sunday morning.

Glow-in at the Bluff International Balloon Festival- Bluff, UT

One of my favorite parts of the balloon festival is the Glow-in, which is always held Saturday evening at dusk. The balloons inflate, but stay on the ground, lighting up against the night sky, which is such an amazing thing to get to see up close! It’s always cool to get to see hot air balloons in the sky, but to get to stand right next to an inflated balloon lighting up in the dark is nothing short of magical! Even though I go to the Glow-in almost every year, I am always a little awestruck each year at the size of the balloons- you really have no idea how huge they are until you’re standing right beside them!

Glow-in at the Bluff International Balloon Festival- Bluff, UT

Living in Monticello, which is about 45 minutes north of Bluff, I’ve found that we go to the morning events when the balloons fly over Bluff and Valley of the Gods much less frequently now that we have a child, (since it’s so early in the morning, and would require leaving our house at about 6:00am) but we go to the Glow-in almost every year now, and since it starts at about 5:30pm, it’s at a much better time for families with young children if you have to drive to get there. However, if you’re planning to visit the area to attend the Bluff Balloon Festival, there are quite a few lodging options right in Bluff. Here’s a LINK to the Bluff lodging listings on our website.

There are a couple different places that you can experience the Glow-in from. If you want to get up close to the balloons, I’d recommend starting at the Bluff Community Center where you can watch the balloons inflate from just feet away. One really fun thing for the kids about viewing the balloons up close is that many of the pilots have trading cards with photos of their balloons that they will hand out to kids, or anyone else who wants one. They make great souvenirs!

Or, if you’re looking for more of a bird’s eye view, you can drive up on Cemetery Hill and watch them from above. Either way, it’s a great photo opportunity and I promise you will be glad you came!

Glow-in at the Bluff International Balloon Festival- Bluff, UT

With COVID still on-going, events that have traditionally been held indoors, such as the daily pilot briefings and the Chili & Ice Cream Social will be held outdoors. Some festival events are still being finalized, so be sure to follow Bluff International Balloon Festival on Facebook for updates on event details.

For more information on what you can see and do during the daytime events at the Balloon Festival, check out our previous blog posts:

For more information or to request travel brochures, please call Utah’s Canyon Country at:


Or e-mail us at: info@utahscanyoncountry.com

This entry was posted in Bluff, Events, Off the Beaten Path, Social Distancing-friendly, Things to do for FREE!, Things to do with kids, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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