From hundreds of feet up in a hot air balloon, the Sonoran desert spreads out as a bowl rimmed by the city’s sprawl. The view is terrific, if costly. You might spot jackrabbits, deer or even a coyote. Balloons take off early in the morning, when air currents are the most calm. The optimum months to float over the city range from November through April. That’s when the outdoor temperatures are moderate. Summer’s hot weather combined with the heat of the balloon’s burners can detract from the experience. Take only those children who are unafraid of heights and who can see over the basket’s rim. Among the area’s outfitters are Hot Air Expeditions and Over the Rainbow.