Reviews

Western Wonder from San Francisco

(33)
Average Rating:
4.5 out of 5
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Past Trekkers Review
Western Wonder from San Francisco

It was Fantastic!!

Reviewed August 2014

7 days spent with a great bunch of people and an excellent tour leader (Johnathan Maloney) it was the best trip of my life.. And I've travelled very well! So many great memories have been made and I'm addicted.. Already planning my next trek.. Can I request the same tour leader?! Did some things I never thought I'd do on this trip.. I'm so sad it's over.. I could do this for the rest of my life!

Past Trekkers Review
Western Wonder from San Francisco

Great value and the best way to explore!

Reviewed July 2014

I had a fantastic time. Our tour guide JC was a great lad and accommodated to our every need. He is very knowledgable and all you have to do it sit back and chill and take in all that the West has to offer. Prepare yourself for a lot of time in the van but it's the only way to see so much in such little time. However, I think the experience counts on the group in general, get stuck in, the more you get involved (I.e setting up camp, packing the van, cooking...) the better the experience will be for everyone and some of the best banter was from this.

Past Trekkers Review
Western Wonder from San Francisco

Scenic beautiful peaceful fun outstanding amazing uplifting breath taken

Reviewed July 2014

This is by far the best thing I have done in the last four years. I have travelled the world in groups and as a solo traveller and I thought that Trek America have done a great job from start to finish.
The actually trek itself was amazing the scenery was breath taken and the activities fun packed. My guide was fun knowledgable and excellent at her job.

Past Trekkers Review
Western Wonder from San Francisco

Great fun and spectacular sights

Reviewed June 2014

This was my first time doing a trek and it was a really enjoyable experience. It reminded me of starting university again – loads of people who don’t know one another but quickly become friends. We all got on really well and had a lot of fun together (the age range was 18-30 on our trek). Our trek guide, Devon, helped everyone feel relaxed and was good fun and knowledgeable. There is a lot of distance to cover but time goes quickly when everyone’s having a laugh. Also, the scenery is spectacular although desert does get samey after a while! This trek is a great way to experience Yosemite and Las Vegas; with a free day in each. However I felt there was too much travelling the last few days and it would have been nice to have had more time at the Grand Canyon. You will see very little of SF or LA on this trek so if you want to see these cities, arrive a few days early for your trek and leave a few days later (this is preferable with a friend). I definitely advise spending time in SF; it’s a very beautiful city. Overall, I would recommend this trek for anyone who wants to experience a short road trip exploring inland from the Californian coastline. I wouldn’t however make this trek your whole holiday to the west coast, especially if you’ve travelled from far away.

Past Trekkers Review
Western Wonder from San Francisco

Incredible!

Reviewed May 2014

This is a fantastic way to see a lot of sights in a short amount of time. The downsides are a lot of time spent in the van (although it was quite comfortable) and not the most comfortable conditions whilst camping! However, it was well worth it. I had a group of eight and we had an amazing time together- all except two of us came alone but our leader Crystal was amazing at facilitating group bonding.

We didn't spend long in San Fran or LA but it's easy to explore those places by yourself. We spent just the right amount of time in each place. Yosemite was awe inspiring. We partied like rock stars in Vegas (great accommodation), and the Grand Canyon and lake Havasu were heaps of fun too.

I had the best time doing this tour and would highly recommend it to anyone. You will see incredible sights, make new friends, and the best part is you'll be able to take it all in without worrying about what you're doing next or how to get there. Just relax and enjoy.

Past Trekkers Review
Western Wonder from San Francisco

Loved it!

Reviewed September 2013

I had a brilliant time on the Western wonder trek. I had been at camp all summer and wanted to travel after so booked myself onto this trek. I became pretty close to some of the people in the and still keep in contact with them now. The tour guide was outgoing and helpful, and gave us plenty of time to go off exploring. The only downside is you spend a lot of time in the van, but this is to be expected; there's a lot to fit into one week!!! I was a little disappointed we never got to see any of San Francisco on the trek, but Yosemite really was beautiful! I'd definitely recommend the hikes, and finding a lake to swim in! Las Vegas was a lot of fun! Like in Yosemite you get a full day to do what you want, so I took full advantage of this and did a lot!! The Grand Canyon was amazing! We saw sun set AND sunrise and i booked myself onto a helicopter ride over it - Soooo worth it! You get to see some great things on this trek, but I'd recommend staying in San Francisco a few days before if you want to see the sights there, and the same goes for LA.
The camping was a lot of fun too, but it was nice having a hotel :)
Overall, I had an amazing time :)

Past Trekkers Review
Western Wonder from San Francisco

Trip of a lifetime!

Reviewed August 2013

This was my first time traveling by myself, and my first trip with trek america. What an amazing trip it was! It was a full group with 13 people, including myself. The van was a little cramped, but it wasn't unbearable. It was fun getting to meet so many people from all different parts of the world, and everyone got along great. Our leader was amazing! He was fun, enthusiastic and had lots of great tips for each of our stops. The only drawback is the sleeping pads they give you when camping. They are pretty thin and not very comfortable, so if you have your own small sleeping pad, I would definitely bring it. Also, the gateway hotels are very disappointing. For the price you pay, they are not very nice. A few people in my group stayed at a hotel across the street from the starting point of our tour, and I will definitely do that next time. Overall, it was a fantastic experience and I would recommend trek america to anyone. It has only been 2 weeks since my trip ended, and I'm already planning my next trek.

Past Trekkers Review
Western Wonder from San Francisco

Too expensice and too much driving compared to what you see and do

Reviewed December 2012

I(together with a friend) booked this Trek because we didn't have much time in America, but this trip would take us to a good part of the places we wanted to see - an even through it was bloody expensive (550 punds or 880 US Dollars) we booked it because it looked good in the flyer and on their website - an our travel agentcy had done trips like this with no problems.
So we got os a not-so-pleasent- surprise doing the "Trek".

To make it a little easier I will sum up all the bad things in points:
1) We drove around in a 15 persons minivan and there was not a seat to spare - This is bad even when you stop every 2-3 hours because you don't really want to get inside the bus again (And you should not feel that was on holiday!).

2) We drove rounghly 7-10 hours a day (which we did not expect. Some might say that that was my own fault, but people from the most parts of Europe (myself included) do not understand how big America really is. So even through I knew that there were going to be some driving I had not i my wildest dream (nightmares) thought it would be that much! And when you are sitting so long time in a full bus a day every hour feels like 3 hours.
It would ha been nice to know that we were going to be driving for that many hours a day so that we were prepared for it - or could have choosen a different firm so that we somehow had gotten around that.

3) On my trek some people did not understand that they had to be by the van on time. And the driver did absolut NOTHING to get them to be on time. And because they were late we had to wait for them (because we could not just drive without them) - sometimes it was 5 minutes other times 40 minutes - and those minutes can really matter when you are driving for a long time and when you have to set up a tent (and all the other equipment) BEFORE it gets dark. We had approximately ½-1 hour to do this because the sun started setting at 6 PM and we often got there at 5-5.30 PM.

4) When you get to the places really late in the afternoon and have to drive to the next place the day after it does not leave much time for trekking which is a real shame because it was book with TREK America. We only had from about 7AM to 10.45 Am to Trek the Grand Canyon which means we only got to see a very little part of it and could not go were far down into it because we had to be by the bus at 11 AM.

5) Some of us slept in the Grand Canyon in minus 12 degrees centigrade which was cold. We of course choose this ourselves because we could have slept in the hostel with the rest of the group, but to be honest I was really tired of paying extra to stay in a hostel and not sleep outside in the open. I actually brought a sleeping bag just for this porpose.
To avoid this it would have been good if there in our advertising stood some of the things you could experience eg. really heavy rain fall (there was a girl on my trip who did not have a propper jacket with her and while this probably is her own fault it would be really good to know the average weather in the places we wwould be seeing.) I knew that it couldbe could in the Grand Canyon, but I had no idea that it would that cold! A little heads up would have been nice.
Maybe this camping trip should have stopped in September so that you can still camp without freezing while wearing clothes and 2 sleepingbags.

6) In the flyer it says that you will be "checking out the iconic Golden Gate Bridge" but all we did was drive over it and take a few photos afterwards. Luckily I had been in San Francisco a coulpe of days so I had seen it, but not everyone on the bus had that, so some was rather disappointed.

7) Lastly: Lake Havasu. We stayed there the last night and there were nothing to see but a campingground and a main road. I do not understand why you would want to stop there instead of just driving the rest of the way to Los Angeles.

It is kinda sad that you have a trip where you only see a glimse of what to travelled to see. I would have taken a longer trip if I had had the time (but I did not) but in hindsight I should have made the time or waited until I had it.

The only reason I have given them a star is because of the sights.

Past Trekkers Review
Western Wonder from San Francisco

To much time in a van and not enough time to see the country

Reviewed December 2012

On our trip we were a few girls who thought the same things regarding the review, so I have chosen to use some words from one of these girls. I could not have said it any better my self:

1) Timings- The "trek" was meant to start at 07.30, however because people on the tour were late we didn't get on the bus until about 09.30am. Then the San francisco part of the tour was just a drive over the golden gate bridge. Luckily I had seen the city with my cousin on the saturday otherwise I would have missed it. This is not experiencing the city.

2) Camping- Of the tour 4 days were meant to be camping. I had packed everything which were on the list you provided and more (I also packed skiing thermals and socks. The temperatures were -8oC in the grand canyon and had we camped (most asked to stay in hostels), we would have been freezing. Your company should know how cold these places can get and therefore at the latter end of the season should not be attepting to camp in these conditions. It was a disorganised mess when we got to places and they were too cold.

3) People being late- There was a person/people in our group who kept being late on many occasions, sometimes 10 minues, sometimes 25 minutes. At not one point did the tour leader Joe stop this from happening he just let it continue and said nothing. After 4 days it got to the point where people (myself included) were having to shout about it on a bus. This is not good and certainly not what I expected on a holiday.

4)Time on the bus during the day- On everage I worked out we spend an average of 7 hours on the cramped bus during the day. You call this a trek and yet there were only 2 opporunities to have a decent walk, one at Yosamite park and another on the free day in Vegas. We had 3 hours at the grand canyon and we were back on the bus again.

5) Arrival on evenings- Because we were on the bus in most of the daylight hours when we arrived at the desination on evenings this was not good. For example we drove for 6.5 hours from grand canyon to lake hasaru 11am-5.30pm then had i hour before it got dark where there was nothing but a main road to walk along. This was a pointless stop to camp just to get up and back on the dreaded bus in the morning at 7am.

6) Distance/time on bus- At not any point when I booked this tour was it mentioned to me that I would be spending an everage of 7 hours per day during the day on a bus and that we would drive 1500 miles. Had I know this I wouldn't have booked as bar the one day in Yosamite Park and 1 day free in Vegas it was a glorified bus ride where you could move your legs at all.

In summary I spent the best part of £700 with your company for which the majority of the time in daylight hours was spent on a cramped bus. The places you mention your customers bearly get to experince properly within the time (more just drive through them), whilst also the tour guide having no control over people consistenly making the bus late.
I see you do this same tour over a 2 week period which makes more sense, but to run a 6 day tour most of which is spent on a bus is unacceptable and I don't believe you should be selling it as a "trek" type holiday.

Past Trekkers Review
Western Wonder from San Francisco

Great trip: Beautiful nature combined with great cities

Reviewed December 2012

This trip is amazing. This trip offers you great nature like Yosemite Park and the Grand Canyon, but also great cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. We had a great tourleader and a very nice and diverse group. The only downside was that the trip was too short!

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