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Western Wonder from Los Angeles

The best thing I ever did!

Reviewed September 2019

I don't think I can actually find the right words to describe my trek...but I'll try! Everything about it from start to finish was amazing. It completed exceeded my expectations & I loved every minute of it! The Western Wonder is a great trip, allowing you to see so many amazing places in a week! I couldn't pick just one highlight, but I loved swimming in the Colorado River, seeing the Grand Canyon (plus the helicopter ride!) & the party bus in Vegas! I have returned home with so many photos, stories, memories & a friend for life (& we've booked the Atlantic Dream together next year!). It really was the best thing I've ever done & would recommend anyone to book it!! : )


Incredible experience seeing the most amazing scenery!

Reviewed September 2019

Mountie is an incredible trek offering the chance to fully experience Western Canada. Being in a group with a trek guide means you are able to see so much that you wouldn't be able to alone. Our trek leader would take us to her favourite places and knew when to go to avoid the hoards of other tourists, which gives you the most amazing scenery and experiences. We also saw so much wildlife including moose, bears and so many elk and even got to see the northern lights! The itinerary is perfectly paced so that you see a wide range of variety of places without feeling too rushed. I had such an incredible time and highly recommend going on this tour if you want to see and fully experience the Canadian rockies and wilderness!


The BEST experience of my LIFE

Reviewed September 2019

It took me years to actually do this and I am so glad I finally did - and did the MOUNTIE. Our guide showed us hidden and secret spots that we wouldn't have known about if we travelled alone!!

I can't even begin to explain what I experienced. Standing below mountains that reached the sky, standing infront of clear blue glacial lakes, standing on a GLACIER!!! I seen bears, elks, moose and beavers.

I learned things about the world and myself i would have never learned from watching a YouTube video.

If your deciding how to spend your holiday, do it with Trek America and I really urge you to do MOUNTIE.

There was also nothing awkward or weird about travelling with strangers. You'll find out for yourself when you try Trek America out for yourself.

Westerner 2

This trip was an emotional state of absolute happiness. We engaged in truthful stories, road-blaster music and laughed until we cried.

Reviewed September 2019

When you are reading this you are probably researching whether you should book the Trek America tour you have been dreaming about for a while. Or you are just trying to spark your imagination, figuring out which Trek suits your travel aspirations best. If you are just looking to have the best time of your life like myself, please continue reading my review for the Westerner 2 trip with the most legendary tour leader Brit Mathat.

Also please note this is a review written by someone who fully enjoyed this trip and now remains in the days of massive post-Trek blues. I tried to keep it short and sweet but well. Here are a lot of trip insights and feelings for y’all.

Completing my post-trip review I obviously only ticked the boxes which stated “exceeded expectations”. Because wow.. I tell you I had pictured myself going on this trip for a long time but this was something else. Of course I read into the itinerary before leaving to see if it ticked the highlights I wanted to explore around the CA Westcoast, however I can barely explain with words how amazing this trip actually was. It is more like an emotional state of absolute happiness I look back on. Literary the only hard thing about this tour was leaving California and to say goodbye to the people I shared this wonderful time with on the road. We engaged in truthful stories, road-blaster music and laughed until we cried.

Starting off in LA I arrived one day before the trek departure date and stayed in the recommended hotel nearby LAX international airport. After a long flight from Amsterdam I was thrilled I booked this comfortable hotel. The shuttle bus to the Marriot was super practical, a quick call and they picked me up within 15 minutes. I was so stoked when I arrived, I immediately asked the kindest hotel receptionist for recommendations in the area. However when I got to my room I realized how jet lagged I actually was. I quickly organized my luggage for the next day and dozed off at 8PM. This was honestly the best idea so I could have a long rest before the next day - the 1st day of my American road trip adventure! Tip: try to book your pre-departure accommodation through Trek America, you can possibly share a room with someone to save money. I decided I personally needed a room for myself after this long flight but I would consider the option.

After I woke up I enjoyed the breakfast buffet, grabbed my coffee to go and made my way to the hotel lobby. Here I saw a group of young enthusiasts sitting with their sleeping bags, backpacks and a couple of suitcases here and there. The group age ranged from 18-25. I myself just turned 28 a few months ago and got along with everyone, I even became good friends with someone who was just as lighthearted at the age of 18 years and was one of the funniest people I had ever met. The group was a great mix of personalities and cultural backgrounds. Everyone was really shy at first of course but we quickly started to have some conversation and great laughs. When Brit arrived and introduced herself as our tour guide it really felt like our trip was about to begin. She handed out our travel itinerary and I noticed she had a great sense of humor serving us with the departure information with witty comments complimented by her enthusiastic spirit. I immediately had a good impression of Trek America by her booksmart presentation and positive outlook on the upcoming tour. After a short but sweet intro on the health and safety rules for the trip, we went through some small administrative tasks and completed our dietary wishes etc. (I am a vegetarian and so were two other people on this tour. The entire group was so lovely and open to share vegetarian meals for most evenings, when there would be a meat based meal the cooking crew always made sure that night there was a vegetarian alternative just as delicious.) Within an hour we were en route to San Diego, upbeat music playing through the speakers and everyone getting to know each other rotating seats on the go. We all knew this was where the authentic road trip experience began and we only had the road ahead of us with amazing adventures to look forward to.

Before leaving on this trip I contemplated whether I should bring a suitcase or a backpack. I have camped around Europe and several festivals however it had been a while. I decided to take a suitcase as it felt more organized for me personally. Honestly it doesn’t really matter, but I can only advice you.. don’t bring too many clothes and “just in case” items. After a few nights of camping you start to realize how little you need to get by and feel refreshed everyday. Also there is time and plenty of opportunity on the road to do your laundry. Every campsite and hostel has a launderette and you will have enough personal time to wash your clothes for only a few dollars. When I will go camp again I learned from this experience to only bring a few outfits. As I joined this trip in August the weather in California was really warm in most places and I would most likely wear a pair of comfortable shorts and a t-shirt everyday. I would say I probably only needed 2 pairs of shorts, swimwear, 3 T-shirts, an outfit for cold weather, maybe a jacket or a vest, something to wear on a night out and a raincoat just in case. Bring your hiking boots or sandals/sneakers with good grip, slippers and maybe another pair of shoes for an evening out. Make sure you pack a sleeping bag according to season. The mattresses provided by Trek America were perfectly fine to sleep on however I brought an extra one just in case. I wouldn’t take this mattress the next time as it is just a lot of extra space in your luggage, another cost and not a necessity, I donated it after the tour. So the next time having learned from this trek I would probably bring a duffle bag with the absolute necessary and my sleeping bag. Oh yeah I also found it super handy to bring a waist pack for my valuables and some sunscreen for during the day. I also brought a dopp kit for my shower essentials, a headlamp and a travel towel. This was really easy so I could just wake up and take out my dopp kit with my towel etc. to head for the showers in the morning without having to plow through my overpacked-giant-rookie-suitcase. LOL sorry Sasha (my new friend and funniest tent mate ever).

~ I am not going to get into too much detail about the travel itinerary because I think it is good to leave most of this trek to your own imagination. Therefore I’m just going to highlight a few details that made the trip really special for myself by not giving away too much. ~

Being on the road with a group of solo travelers which quickly became my newfound friends is just a magical experience itself. If you are like me you probably imagine this scene you saw in a coming of age movie with a group of people on the road listening to their favorite tunes, driving through the mountains living wildly and carefree. Yes that’s exactly it! Especially if you are lucky enough to have such a brilliant tour guide like Brit showing you the true beauty of California. She made each day, hour, minute count and planned everything so perfectly. I mean when I think about it she was driving for long hours everyday and had to organize a million things for us carrying a huge amount of responsibility, but she was so easy going, approachable and crazy funny to be around! She really was loved and respected by everyone and 100% part of our group.

Everyday was a different experience filled with adventures. It kind-of felt like we were this group of lucky ones who made it to Neverland and everyday was another surprise filled with inspiration and beautiful endeavors. Brit would creatively draw up the itinerary for each day and during breakfast we would go through the planning. She inspired us to push ourselves to get the most out of each destination. To rise early to see the sunrise, sign up for the most amazing hikes and explore the best sites of each city. This talk really struck me and I made sure I wouldn’t waste one minute of this trip filled with opportunities. Brit is honestly one of the coolest and kindhearted people I have ever met. We were so lucky to have her guiding us on this tour with her knowledge about forestry, outdoors expertise and caring/joyful spirit.

As you may have read Trek Amerika operates a food kitty system. This is super efficient and fun. Our first stop before San Diego was Walmart. The group was divided into 3 crews: dinner, dishes and van cleaning. This means you rotate chores every time you stay at a campsite. Together we made a grocery list for each food kitty shopping trip and divided this into 3. Also you will have some extra time to purchase personal items. I would get some extra snacks for on the road for example (read- a giant bag of cheese puffs Cheetos I didn’t open until 3 days later, you really get enough lunch from the food kitty), some beers for around the camp fire and maybe a disposable camera or another gallon of water for an upcoming hike.

One of my absolute favorite parts of the trek was camping. There is something so refreshing about just having this ground space to call your home for one or two days. It really makes you appreciate the surroundings and time you get to spend there. You just feel so awake and aware of the present moment. I never thought about the past or future worries during this trip. I was fully immersed into the present and the camping was something that really contributed to that. It’s because you really are exploring continuously to seize the day or sitting around a camp fire with your group at night laughing and talking. Also it was so easy to set up the tent. Brit gave us a 5 minute tutorial and I think everyone had their tents set up within 15 minutes after. It became such an easy process and you really learn to love and appreciate it. When we got to stay in a hostel or a luxury hotel in Las Vegas I appreciated the facilities but I really missed camping already here. Even now I am back at home I am planning on how I can get back into the wilderness as soon as possible haha. This is coming from a woman who has worked in fashion marketing for over 5 years lol. I absolutely loved the outdoor lifestyle, there is no way I can go back to living in the city full-time anytime soon. I learned so much from this trip and what effect your surroundings have on your physical and emotional state. I am ready for the next adventure and redesign my lifestyle.

Ah San Diego it still feels like yesterday.. I absolutely loved it. What a laid back atmosphere and breezy summer weather.. the perfect start of this tour. I decided with a few of my group peers to rent bikes and cycle towards the pier. I felt so alive and relaxed on my bike, we stopped for lunch on the way and had so much fun together. It’s amazing how a group of strangers immediately grow so close when you are on the same journey. Brit mentioned in her first talk we would become a unit who would look after each other and she was so right about that. Later in the afternoon some people decided to rent a surf board, we really had a nice long day to enjoy the beach and wander around some shops. In the evening we would meet all together again with our take-out taco meals and got to enjoy this amazing view of San Diego Brit showed us. When we got back to the campsite we gathered around the campfire and had the best time grilling marshmallows, sharing laughs and stories.

*If you like some quiet time for yourself this is always an option. It is totally up to you when you want to join the group activities on each site. It is only human for everyone to have different feelings at times and we all have our own unique personalities. Some people liked to go to bed early and others enjoy staying up late. Some people would venture off to read in a quiet place and some people would get together to enjoy a drink or two playing a card game. As long as you make sure you are on time and have a good attitude, you do you and everything flows. It is important to take time for yourself to reflect sometimes and recharge. So definitely listen to your own voice and needs to make the most of this tour. In general everyone wants to get the most out of this experience so we would be asleep before 11pm most of the time to get a good night rest before waking up early. Most campsites require you to keep the noise down before 10PM as well so if a part of the group would decide to stay up late it wouldn’t bother anyone trying to sleep.*

The national parks were absolutely beautiful. I think they were my favorite destinations. Swimming in freshwater lakes with the most mesmerizing views, hiking the Nevada falls or the Grand Canyon trails. The parks have so much to offer. I personally really enjoyed hiking Yosemite and would love to get more into hiking in the future. However it is completely up to you if you want to commit to the hikes. I would recommend you to definitely try if this is possible for you as there are different levels of hiking. Brit would always draw us a clear picture of the optional trails the night before we would start our hike and then she would ask us personally which hike was of our interest. She would then answer any questions raised and advice us on the different routes and what to pack. I always felt safe, prepared and informed. I felt really lucky to witness some of the most stunning viewpoints I had ever seen during the Yosemite Mist Trail hike. When we made it to the to Nevada falls I just felt so ecstatic. And then to finish the day with a jump into the most beautiful lake.. it’s just insane how perfect this day was. It is so special to share this feeling with your group as well. We would still talk about it for days after.

As I said before I don’t want to get into too much detail and provide spoilers but I will state a few things to look forward to which are already in the itinerary.

San Diego - definitely rent a bike or rollerblades to feel like a local for one day and cruise around the boulevard.

Colorado river - be prepared to witness one of the most beautiful campsites you will ever see and sleep under the stars.

The Grand Canyon - I can not recommend you enough to rise early for the most beautiful sunrise of your life, hike and explore. It really is a world wonder. If you can afford to definitely go on the helicopter ride as well.

Las Vegas - Be prepared to dance yourself high on life on the party bus in Las Vegas. This really is one of the most epic activities you can experience. I had so much fun on this ride.

Sierra Nevada - truly take in all the views. I would try to stay awake during this scenic route it is absolutely breathtaking. Other than that there are some beautiful surprises planned on the way to this campsite.

Yosemite - as I described before, the most captivating views I have ever seen. This day really has a special place in my heart. The mist trail hike atmosphere is just ethereal.

San Francisco - What can I say, I left my heart in San Francisco. No honestly I absolutely loved this city and it’s nostalgic vibes. I really enjoyed the walking tour by the local guide. And wow the sunset sail is such a romantic and beautiful experience. I can really imagine myself living in San Francisco in some future scenario, the city is mysteriously foggy and has such a free spirited atmosphere. There are many different districts with their own charms. Also we were really lucky to be here for the Moon festival so China town was the place to be.

Pacific Coast - This was an amazing campsite at Pismo state beach. We had a lovely time by the sea and organized a beautiful last campfire where we shared our favorite experiences.

Santa Barbara - before driving back to Los Angeles we got to spend some time in Santa Barbara. This was such a lovely place and a nice last lunch stop having a picnic by the beach.

Los Angeles - all good things come to an end and unfortunately this is where we had to say goodbye to most of the group at a stop by Venice beach continued by the last drop off, the LAX el Segundo Marriott hotel where we met. I booked to stay a few more nights in a hostel in downtown LA. I wanted to explore Los Angeles for the week before heading home back to Europe.

I really can not recommend this tour enough. It was more than I could have hoped for and I will cherish these priceless memories forever. I will definitely travel with Trek America again next year. This trip and especially our amazing guide Brit have inspired me so much to continue traveling. Trek America gave me the opportunity to fall in love with California and all the amazing places the state has to offer and I can not wait to go back!

Best wishes,


Gwen Hoogendijk
Mountain Trail

From nature to the big city

Reviewed September 2019

It was Awesome. From the beautiful Rocky Mountains to bright lights of Las Vegas.
It was 2 great weeks in West coast of the us. I have seen bears , bizons, and the beautiful nature.
One awesome road trip it was!

Southern Sun from Los Angeles

The best way to visit America

Reviewed September 2019

Southern Sun was absolutely incredible! It was definitely the best experience of my life. The different cultures and cities we visited allowed me to learn so much about America. My trek leader Andrew knew the best places to visit and eat! He made the long drive on some of the days go quickly, entertaining us (by playing his kazoo) and overall made the trek a trip to remember!

Max Beadnell
Atlantic Dream

Amazing and also fun

Reviewed September 2019

It was so great, even though it rained the whole time and the hurricane diverted our whole Trek. All of that literally made no difference at all. It the best 2 weeks ever, packed with fun and adventure

Southern Sun from New York

Memories I'll never forget

Reviewed September 2019

The southern sun tour was absolutely amazing and I would recommend it to everyone who wants to see the big variety of the US. You'll see National Parks and big cities. Our tour guide was okay, not the best but probably not the worst either. But even if we didn't get along with him that well I enjoyed the 3 weeks traveling from East to West


Incredible and inspiring experience

Reviewed September 2019

I had the most amazing time on the Mountie tour. Our whole group was soo great, and our tour leader Mark Page was awesome. There were so many incredible moments from glacier walking to riding in a helicopter over the Rockies. We did an amazing hike on the last day at Moraine Lake, I have never seen anything so beautiful. I honestly had the best time, this was my third trek and I'll be back to do a 4th!!

Western Wonder from San Francisco

Exciting, easy, fun and enjoyable

Reviewed September 2019

From start to finish it was so much fun and I had absolutely no stress in comparison to travelling alone, with all the travel and accommodation to not worry about. I would definitely do this experience again. At first I was slightly worried about sleeping in a tent but with great comfort and a good set of trekkers it was amazing! The tour guide really made the trip enjoyable for us all also.

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