Having never been to the Balloon Fiesta, booking RV reservations was a little confusing. Which RV Lot should we pick? Are there any sites with hookups? We'll try to clear things up as much as we can.
In part 2, we'll be sharing our experience flying in our friend's balloon and even the chase crew! So, be sure to subscribe so you don't miss that! You can subscribe for FREE using the box on the right side of this page (below on mobile).
With the exception of the President's Compound ($250/night in 2021), none of the RV lots have ANY hookups. It's complete boondocking. The President's Compound does have 30A electric and some 50A, but no sewer.
However, ALL sites have the option of both a honey-wagon (black and grey tank dumps) as well as water fill up. When we stayed, these were $30 each and you can get them on any day of the Fiesta by visiting the local volunteers' tent in person with cash.
When we went (2021), the VIP Lots (North and West) were $100 per night, and the South Lot was $40 per night. These are subject to change, obviously, but the price difference will likely stay the same. The President's Compound was $250 per night! While that lot does have an elevated view of the field and 30A service (some have 50A), that price seems a bit high.
We stayed in the VIP North Lot and, after visiting the other lots, this is our favorite. Particularly since we arrived a few days early and got a spot on the front row.
The South Lot is where some of our friends stayed and it was a much more affordable $40 per night. It has the same (lack of) amenities as the VIP lots but is about a mile and a half walk to the field. There are courtesy golf cart shuttles to take you to and from the field, but we have no idea of the frequency of these since we weren't there. One other added benefit of the VIP West (which is really south) and the South RV Lots is that morning winds are usually north to south, meaning the balloons almost always launch over the lots.
This is the 2021 official RV lot map.
This is our version of the map using satellite imagery (google maps). It gives you a little better feel of the actual scale of the place.
Every morning starts the same, with a pilot briefing at 6 AM, dawn patrol around 7 AM, and balloon launches at sunrise. All of the vendors are there bright and early also, so there is plenty of opportunity for breakfast and coffee on the field.
During lunchtime, much of the field slows down a lot and some of the vendors even close completely. But, things pick back up in the evening with the exception of Monday – Wednesday.
Evenings (the ones with events) are AMAZING! While the balloons don't fly, they have what's called an evening glow. The balloons are inflated on the ground and coordinate their burners to create an incredible glow across the field. This is something you just have to see in person to appreciate.
- New Mexico! | White Sands | Carlsbad Caverns: youtu.be/khplrPrgbBM
- INSANE Angels Landing Hike! (Zion National Park Part 3): youtu.be/qMbg7Gv2lW0
- Balloon Fiesta Main Site: balloonfiesta.com/
- Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum: balloonmuseum.com/
- Balloon Fiesta RV Information: balloonfiesta.com/RV-Information
- Balloon Fiesta Mobile App: balloonfiesta.com/Mobile-App
- Balloon Fiesta Event Schedule: balloonfiesta.com/Event-Schedule