We are committed to offering low impact tours that benefit both the places and communities we visit as well as our travellers. It is important for us all to be aware of the delicate balance that exists in the variety of natural wonders you will visit. National Parks and monuments, archaeological sites and other sensitive areas should and must be treated with respect.
We have created a 'Travellers' Code of Conduct' to help prepare and inform our groups of the various positive or negative effects they could have on a destination. The code includes tips on everything from handling wildlife encounters to how you can help to conserve precious natural resources. Our tour leaders will explain this code of conduct during the first night’s orientation talk and encourage you to follow it throughout the tour.
This code includes following the ‘Leave No Trace’ ethic, this is an international campaign that is designed to help us minimise the impact on the National Parks and other wilderness areas that we visit. Some key guidelines we follow include keeping to existing trails, staying in official campgrounds and disposing of all waste responsibly and recycling whatever we can.
We are proud supporters of Bay Area Wilderness Training (www.bawt.org) a charity based in Oakland California which works to connect disadvantaged children in the local urban area with the great outdoors. Their work helps to provide these young people with life changing experiences which they can
apply to everyday life. Everyone booking with Grand American Adventures has the option to donate £1/$1/€1 to support this well-deserved charity and we will match this donation.
Whenever possible, we use local accommodation and activity providers. We also shop locally for groceries, eat in small family-run restaurants and visit local shops whenever possible. This all brings economic benefit to the local communities that we visit.
In the Grand Canyon we help protect the fragile desert environment. The desert’s natural way to avoid sand erosion is by creating cryptobiotic soil which creates a living crust on the desert floor. This special soil helps the desert to protect itself from wind and rain erosion and promotes plant growth. All our tour leaders encourage our travellers to stick to the path to avoid damaging this special soil which can be hard to see.
In San Francisco we financially support the Bay Area Wilderness Training organisation which takes underprivileged youngsters into the national parks. They are trained on camping, cooking, walking trails, group participation and about wildlife, flora and fauna to show them a side of America outside of the city environment. They learn life skills and provides greater career options in the future maybe not considered previously.
In Yosemite National Park our leaders liaise with the ranger guides to ascertain wildlife sightings, and encourage travellers how to beast react with wildlife as to provide minimal impact and safety. Travellers are also encouraged not to feed animals as they become reliant on travellers as a result.