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Western BLT from San Francisco

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4.7 out of 5
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Samantha.N
Western BLT from San Francisco

Amazing!

Reviewed September 2017

Loved this trek so much. Second trip with Trek America and must say this one was so much better than the first. Had such a great time at every place we visited. Our 'squad' all got along so well and our tour leader Brian was fantastic. Favourite place was Vegas as there is so much to do there 24/7. Only things I didn't like we're the long journeys which I expected and cannot be helped however just use this time to sleep, sing, chat and play games. Also the party bus was very crowded but we got to meet other trek groups that night which added to the night out. Wish I could do the trek all over again with the best squad ever!

MARTIN S.
Western BLT from San Francisco

Amazing experience - totally worth it

Reviewed July 2017

Western BLT was an amazing trip. It took us to absolutely fascinating places in the USA incl. Yosemite Park and Grand Canyon that we otherwise would not be able to visit. Although we traveled a lot in the mini bus, we also had enough free time to explore the places we visited. There were also plenty of extra options offered for our free time, e.g. bike rental in Yosemite, a helicopter flight above the Grand Canyon (though $284 per person) or visit of various clubs in Las Vegas.
The trip also gives you the opportunity to meet local people and to taste typical local food. The hotels on the way are great and all are equipped with free Wi-Fi, except the one in Las Vegas.
In Yosemite you are going to spend two nights in a dormitory with the other girls/boys from the group (the dorms are gender separated so bear this in mind in case you are travelling with your partner :)). However it wasn't an unpleasant experience. The food in the camp restaurant was great - home made with organic, local products, plus there was a natural "swimming pool" nearby the river, which could be a great end of a hot day.
The only thing that let us down during the trip was our tour leader. He was a bit distracted and it seemed as he didn't care much about the trip. Most of the time we had to ask for information regarding the places we would be visiting, the daily plan, free time, dinner places etc. The driving was slow (we were the slowest vehicle on the highway). We expected to receive at least a minimum information / summary / interesting facts regarding the places we visited or the places we passed through. The tour leader should be proactive. It's important because for most of us this was the first visit to the U.S.
All in all I would recommend this trip. It was totally worth it!

CHIOMA N.
Western BLT from San Francisco

Worth the Money :D

Reviewed June 2017

Pretty great trip. Exceeded my expectation in most areas. My main concern before going on the trip was the Tour Guide since i had read a lot of reviews where the tour guide seemed to be the one main let down. Our tour guide was Rick who had just joined the company (been there less than 5 months) and he was pretty great. When i heard the term 'Tour Guide' i was kind of expecting someone with a mic who led the group around, spewing facts about each destination - it wasn't like that at all! I think this was better in the sense that, he still knew a lot of information about the places we visit and we still had the option of asking him questions from things like How the grand canyon was formed, all the way to things like tipping in the USA and how to get around after the trek finishes.

The trip itself was pretty amazing, we got to see a lot of places and spend some decent time exploring ( Absolutely loved the Mist Trail at Yosemite). The only real let down was the last day. Hollywood Blvd was like Oxford Street on steroids and if you don't like Oxford Street like me, then it's pretty much the wrong place to be. Don't get me wrong, it was nice to see all the stars and the hand/shoe prints on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but it's such a hectic and packed street that it was extremely easy to lose everyone within the first 5 mins of walking down the road. I'm glad i went, only because now i know i don't want to return to that road. Despite that revelation, Rick was a trooper! Despite all information saying the trek will finish at 5/5:30pm at the hotel, he wanted us to enjoy our last day and take in the sights. We ended up spending some time at Venice Beach to catch the sunset before he dropped us off at our final destinations (Hotels, Airport, Hostel e.t.c) when it wasn't a requirement of the trip. That was pretty nice thing to do :)

All in all it was a great trip. However, I must say that I wouldn't be too quick to book another solo trek. Not because it was bad - because I realized that it would be a lot more enjoyable to go with friends who I know would love to see the same sights and i can enjoy it with. During a couple of the trips/hikes i kept thinking to myself 'Omg, ..... would enjoy this!' Another thing was that, my trek group were too quick to form 'cliques' in the sense that it was hard to believe they came alone since everyone grouped up by the end of the first day. If you happened to be in that group - great. If not, it could be a bit lonely or isolating at times. However while it didn't bother me at all, I wanted to add it to the review as something to bear in mind/be wary of. It actually worked out since i learnt more about myself and can actually say i traveled by myself. I even did a lot more activities compared to everyone else on the same trek and it was easier to do what i want rather than travel in a pack, compromising what i wanted to do for others. Vegas and LA are excellent places to explore by yourself. San Francisco was a bit iffy in my opinion - there were a lot of aggressive homeless people. To the point where the girl on the same trek and i, were hauling ass back to the train station so we could avoid being caught in the city center at night. Never sped walked so fast from Pier 39 to Embarcadero (The metro line that runs to San Francisco International Airport where we got a shuttle back to our hotel where the trek started). All in all, i'm glad I went on the trek that started in San Francisco and ended in LA. I made sure to spend a full day after the trek (Trek ended on Saturday and my flight back was on Monday).

I've reached a point where I know i've written a lot since i cba to go back and check what i've mentioned/not mentioned but i gave the trip 4 1/2 stars because Hollywood Blvd ruined the end -.-

All that being said, I would definitely recommend it to a friend.

Tips: If you go on your trek and discover you don't like/get on with anyone, it's not the end of the world! Pluck up the courage and do things yourself. You went on the trip for a reason, don't leave it with regrets and a sour face!
- If you want to do/try something, go for it.
- Do the Mist trail at Yosemite and at least try and make it to the top of Vernal Fall (The first waterfall on the Mist trail) I didn't make it to the top but only because i thought you'd have to come down the same way and by that point it was slippery and i was crawling to make it up the steps. AT LEAST make sure you get to the point where you go through a mini tunnel and can see all the rainbows on the other side (If you're going during the summer) that's where I stopped. Also, you're going to get wet. Protect your bag if you can but there's no point wearing a raincoat. You will get wet.
- Death Valley is... interesting. The car said we hit 118 Degrees Farenheit (52 Degrees). Snapchat said we hit 47 degrees. Either way that road to Vegas and Vegas itself, is hot as shit. It's not humid heat, more like dry heat. Sunglasses or a hat is recommended. I wear glasses and have a big head but i survived without either.
- Do the Zipwire on Fremont Street. It's called Slotszilla. And if the hotel is still the same (Golden Nugget) you'll be staying on that street and can see people doing it. I didn't book beforehand, just turned up the day we arrived and booked a ticket for the next day. I don't know what everyone was complaining about based on the reviews - The wait wasn't long at all! I did the highest one (Where you lie down) and the only 'iffy' thing about it was the stop. It felt like running into a brick wall, especially if you pushed yourself off (like the recommend for speed) and you come to a dead stop on the other side. If you have the money or are thinking about it - do it! You'll regret it if you don't. I saw an old lady do it and she looked so worried, bless her heart, but she was ecstatic on the other end after it all!
- Watch a show in Vegas. Even if you go by yourself (Like i did) it's still an experience in itself. Don't let that stop you.
- Gamble, but not everything! I Didn't gamble while in Vegas and i sorta regretted it. I did take some free classes since the hotel offered and i realized Blackjack and roulette are actually complicated... But the Hotel we stayed in after Route 66 was in Nevada and had a casino. I ended up playing roulette and accidentally gambling some of the tip i planned to give our tour guide... but i had enough in the end, it was all good... Still an addictive experience though!
- The Grand Canyon is literally a hole in the ground. Some people did the helicopter experience but not all. If you have your heart set out on it, do it. If not, it's not the end of the world, don't feel like you have to because everyone else is.
- The Snow Cap restaurant on Route 66 in Seligman has the best customer service I've ever come across. If they make you laugh like they did all of us - tip them!
- If you have extra time in LA after the trip, be sure to visit Venice Beach. Muscle beach and Santa Monica Pier are walkable from here. it's also 25 mins away from the hotel where the trek ended. Download Uber or Lyft, you WILL need it to get anywhere in LA. Also, do a ride share. It works out cheaper and i used it 3 times and only actually shared it once. Be careful if you're going to a shopping area. I had to order 4 taxis because each driver kept going to a wrong location and i wasn't able to call/text them. I was charged a $5 no show fee but got it back in form of a voucher off my next ride. If you use Lyft, make sure to use it before you leave since it doesn't operate in England.
- Buy a crap ton of water whenever you can. Or invest in a water bottle. Just always have water.
- I know America is hot, but pack some light weight trousers/leggings. There will come a day when you're tired of sunburns/ feeling things brush at your legs but seeing nothing.
- Always Pack a swimsuit. The itinerary doesn't mention swimming but my manager told me to always pack one when you go on holiday. My group Ended up going to a lake and being near pools a lot. I didn't swim/participate but it was handy bringing one anyway if i were to change my mind.
- American food is iffy. Buy snacks in case you don't like the food the hotel has for dinner.
- Tip your tour guide if you can! They may get paid anyway but depending on how they were/what they did on the trek, it's nice to feel appreciated :) Also American salaries are a joke. They basically survive on tips (if their jobs allow tips)
- If you have free days, always make sure to ask the hotel reception/your tour guide how to get around places. Download the app Citymapper if you haven't! It works in San Francisco and LA but not in Vegas.

Most importantly, you paid for this trip! Don't finish it with regrets and make sure you have fun!

Past Trekkers Review
Western BLT from San Francisco

THE MOST AMAZING LIFE EXPERIENCE EVER :D

Reviewed July 2016

My first time going to the USA, I travelled by myself so I was slightly nervous, but as soon as the tour started I was in HEAVEN. The people were very friendly and our tour leader was such fun, I never wanted to leave, I wish I'd done a longer trip. We got to see so much stuff, and things which I'll never forget. It truly warmed my heart and I can't wait to go on my next TrekAmerica tour!

Past Trekkers Review
Western BLT from San Francisco

An amazing, short view Western America

Reviewed April 2016

My original review - posted 6/12/2012

San Francisco, pretty cool place, personally I wish I had more time there, but crossing the iconic Golden Gate Bridge was definitely a highlight!

Yosemite NP was surprising in a good way! I'd never hear of it before and wasn't particularly keen, but when we arrived it was absolutely stunning! There is so much to do there, like long walks or just hanging out with nature! Yosemite bug was a pretty cool place to stay!

Las Vegas is just crazy but in a good way! I LOVED it, the atmosphere is buzzing and it's like a completely different from day and night! Also theres soooo many things to do, I'd recommend cruising down the strip in a party bus/limo.

Grand Canyon was surreal! It does look EXACTLY like it does in pictures but it's nothing like actually BEING there. We got a picnic and watched the sunset.. amazing!

Lake Havasu, where the cool kids go for spring break! We had a mini spring break, we rented out a boat and chilled on the beach! Lake Havasu city is quiet, however it was HOT HOT HOT so chilling on the beach was a must!

Los Angeles, don't really understand the hype of LA, personally I didn't dig it. The best thing we did there was go and see the Hollywood sign and the view of the city was beautiful. Didn't really like the walk of fame, it was busy and all the people were rude. Venice beach was ok, there are plenty of crazy people to keep you entertained!

Personally, this was the most amazing 7 days of my life! America was amazing as it is and the places we visited were awesome! However, the people I trekked with and our tour lead Devon Blunden were just as amazing. I'd recommend this trek, especially if you're not a big fan of camping, if you want to see a small part of an awesome country - with such a variety of places to go, and you LOVE being with people and having a good time!

Past Trekkers Review
Western BLT from San Francisco

ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! Would give anything relive this experience again!

Reviewed April 2016

I went on this trek nearly 4 years ago and I still think about it now! It was hands down the most amazing trek of my life!
The 7 days on the trek may sound like a short period of time but we fit so much in!

I wrote a review on the Western BLT page a few years ago but I am yet to find it! When I do I will post it again here!

Past Trekkers Review
Western BLT from San Francisco

Seriously Amazing ! You need to book a trek !

Reviewed August 2015

I travelled alone and was a bit nervous at first, but pretty much immediately I felt so, comfortable with the group ! Our tour leader Brooke was awesome she made the trip so, much fun and I have to say we had the most amazing group too ! Every day was so cool and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to adventure ! Loved it all ! Thanks Brooke and Trek America ! And all of Curtis's Crew !

Past Trekkers Review
Western BLT from San Francisco

Experience filled week!

Reviewed May 2015

If you're looking to do something crazy and travel solo this is it! I was scared at first but I searched online for other trekkers in the same group and my nerves were calmed! Lovely group of people all looking to meet new people and enjoy themselves and the sights that the US has to offer! From hiking in Yosemite to watching Britney in Vegas, from going in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon to chilling on Venice beach (if you spend an extra few days in LA). Honestly the best week ever! Already saving for another tour :D.

Past Trekkers Review
Western BLT from San Francisco

Awesome experience!

Reviewed May 2015

The time with my trek group was great. Even if it was only such a short time we saw a lot of things! At the beginning it thought that it might be a problem to travel without a friend but this concerns were blown away as soon as I met my group. I met so nice people and I am sure we'll stay in contact for a long time. The only thing i didn't like so much, was that the guide didn't spend so much time with us. I understand that he also needs his off time but a little more information or a day together for example in Vegas would have been nice. Be prepared to spend a lot of time in the bus. But it isn't as bad as it sounds it's pretty comfortable in there even when we were 13 Trekkers. And except from the lodge in Yosemite all the hotels were awesome!

Past Trekkers Review
Western BLT from San Francisco

an incredible experience, would love to do it all again.

Reviewed April 2015

Did this trek as part of an around the world trip with my fiance, and i can easily say this was the best week of it all. The whole trip went way beyond my expectations and was full of surprises. The group we were in was amazing and we all had a good laugh. Everyone was so nice including our tour leader, Jeremy, who was also really helpful (and had a great taste in music).

Having spent a few days already in San Francisco (which i would recommend doing, as there are so many things to see and do), I was happy to spend about an hour there and then head off to Yosemite National Park. Yosemite was beautiful and we had a good amount of time there. You're given a variety of choice on which hike you'd like to do, and they go from easy to difficult, so there's one to suit everyone.

I didn't really know what to expect from Vegas but i really enjoyed it, especially the limo ride with the rest of the group.

I was really impressed with the accommodation, especially Vegas, you'll see why

You get to see quite a bit of the grand canyon, again a variety of hikes to do, but with less time.

We spent the last night in a hotel in Laughlin, NV. which was a different experience altogether, I'll let you all make up your minds about that one.

Ended the tour in LA, and depending on traffic you don't really know how much you're going to see so again i'd recommend having a few extra nights of your own if you want to see more, as it's just such a big place.

You do spend a lot of time in the van, but there's always enough going on to keep you occupied (or you can just sleep..)

Overall this was the most unforgettable and fun week I've ever had, I've come home with so many amazing memories and I would definitely consider doing another trek in the future.