Hot air balloons usually cruise at an altitude of 1,000 feet above ground. Many balloon flights occur between 100 and 2,000 feet above the ground, but balloons can fly at treetop level or go much higher. Once the balloon reaches 12,500 feet, oxygen is required. Since balloons travel with the wind, the balloon will only go as fast as the wind is blowing, generally not much faster than 8 – 10 mph. The distance the balloon will travel also depends on the speed of the wind as well as the duration of the flight.

For example, an hour-long flight with winds averaging 5 mph will travel a distance of about 5 miles.