West Coast tours in America
Description of West Coast tours in America
Over 14 action-packed days, this small group tour takes in the best of America’s West Coast, visiting four states and six National Parks, from the ancient sequoias of Yosemite to the magnificent depths of the Grand Canyon. You’ll also spend time in two of the region’s most dynamic cities – Las Vegas and San Francisco.
After a city tour of San Francisco, visiting iconic sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll head to Yosemite National Park, exploring on foot to see the soaring cliffs of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and forests full of towering trees. Then it’s on to see the hot springs at Mammoth, before a whistle-stop visit to Death Valley, an area rich in spectacular desert scenery and rare desert wildlife. Next on the agenda are the dramatic landscapes of Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and the Painted Valley, as well as the deep blue waters of Lake Powell.
The highlight of this trip for many is a visit to the Grand Canyon, where you’ll spend two days enjoying the views and hitting the trails; you could even take an optional helicopter trip for an incredible aerial view. Throughout this tour we have the opportunity to explore on foot with a range of hiking options.
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1 Reviews of West Coast tours in America
Reviewed on 15 Jun 2013 by Paul Rimmer
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
There were so many memorable parts of this holiday. I wanted to see San Francisco, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. This tour provided me with the opportunity and so much more. The other places visited were unknown to me but they all turned out to be fantastic with stunning scenery and landscape. Even Las Vegas was memorable but two nights in the place was quite enough for me. If I had to pick one memory, it would have to be Yosemite which everyone should see.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
The tour is offered in two different directions. I went from San Francisco to Las Vegas with my major highlights at the start. If you take the opposite route you get Yosemite as your final highlight. Consider also when you go. The temperatures in the second half of May ranged from 29°F (in the morning at Bryce) to the high 90s°F but it was comfortable most of the time. It was due to get hotter after I left. The itinerary given in the trip highlights was largely followed. We were a party of nine with our excellent guide Albi and the transport was comfortable. There was a lot of travelling in the minibus but I expected that. If you want to do a lot of walking this might not be the tour for you. One member of our party didn’t think he was getting enough. As a reasonably fit 60 year old, I was happy with the treks provided, and alternatives were offered for those who were less fit. I spent an extra two days in San Francisco and could happily have spent a week there. Go to the Golden Gate Park which was fantastic. I spent an extra day in Las Vegas so that I could visit the Hoover Dam. I took some travellers cheques as insurance but found no problem getting money from ATMs with a UK debit card.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
To a limited extent. We stayed in hotels that provided local employment. I joined a group so that I would not be driving a car. We learnt about the Navajo nation and most if not all of us spent money at Navajo gift shops.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
It did everything I wanted it to do and left me with a taste for more.
PlanetTo help keep the national parks of America beautiful our local guides on our West Coast tours in America are trained in minimal impact principles and also provide a responsible travel code of conduct to travellers who participate. Each group size is maximum 11 people which helps once again to minimise our impact on each visit.
Our philosophy since 1975 has been to leave only footprints and take only photographs. To reiterate this, every customer who travels with us receives a copy of our award-winning Responsible Travel guidebook. This detailed book outlines our environmentally sustainable principles, and outlines how each customer can minimize their impact while travelling.
The root cause of Global Warming is society's dependence on emission creating fossil fuel. Planting trees is not going to reverse this trend or cancel our carbon emissions very quickly or effectively. We believe the way to reduce these dependencies is to create clean energy production. Therefore, we support renewable energy projects like wind and solar power, and we are aligned with Climate Friendly, the gold standard setter in effective, meaningful action addressing climate change. So, while we believe that tree planting can play a small role in greenhouse gas abatement, we have gone the extra mile in promoting a longer term solution. Is this cheap? No. Is it responsible? Absolutely.
PeopleDuring our West Coast tours in America we support rural tourism by buying from local outfitters, Native Americans and small, locally owned family run hotels, restaurants, markets and transport providers. By visiting rural communities you are helping local rural development by as the majority of local people are invested in conservation as most towns we visit are attached to national parks.
By travelling on our West Coast tours in America you are also helping to support the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and Sierra Club as our local operator passed on a donation from every tour to these organisations.
Local cash payments are becoming increasingly popular with many operators in the adventure travel industry. This policy seems to benefit the tour operators more than the local economies or the travellers, as it avoids local taxes and transfers the costs and risks of cash handling onto the travellers. In accordance with our Responsible Travel practices, we have chosen a policy of not asking for such payments.
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