Yosemite National Park, California
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USA Teen Trip

Bold West

21 Days: The BEST of Western USA - Zion to Coastal Redwoods!
California, Utah, Nevada - AWESOME National Parks.



Utah, California, Nevada

2019 Dates

June 29 - July 19


21 days



Trip Highlights

  • Rock Climb: 2-Day Course
  • Surf & Explore: California’s Northern Coast
  • San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Whitewater Raft: 2-Days in California
  • Explore: Zion, Sequoia & Yosemite National Parks
  • Mariposa Grove Redwoods
  • Community Service: 6 Hours




Our American West adventure begins in Zion National Park, home to towering red cliffs and river-carved canyons. We cool off in the Virgin River for an amazing water-hike through a canyon called The Narrows. Zion is an epic place to begin Bold Earth's USA Teen Trip! Then, we visit St. George where professional guides teach us the skills for rock climbing as we push our limits in a challenging yet safe environment!


After taking in the views it's time to get our adventure on. On the American River, our two-day whitewater rafting trip is one of the top-rated activities we offer! We splash down Class III-IV water, camp out on riverside beaches, and eat delicious backcountry food. We are sure to see some incredible wildlife and jump off rocks into the perfect water.


Fresh from the desert, we make our way to California. Sequoia National Park is our next stop as we hike amongst some of the earth's oldest and largest trees. Community service among the Redwoods gives us a chance to give back to this essential ecosystem. In Yosemite National Park, we swim in crystal-clear rivers and hike to iconic vistas like Nevada Falls and Tuolumne Meadows! Yosemite & Sequoia are two must-visit destinations on any California teen adventure.


Moving toward the Pacific, we learn to surf in beautiful Northern California's Stinson Beach! Surrounded by lush Redwood forests, this quintessential California beach great waves, and a laid-back vibe. Each day of surfing ends with bonfires and s'mores under the incredible stars of Northern California. We end in San Francisco, with the Golden Gate Bridge, historic Alcatraz, and Fisherman’s Wharf as final memories of the American West summer of a lifetime!
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Cities, National Parks, Beaches, Canyons, Alcatraz and Cirque du Solei – WOW. Experience the best of California, Utah, and Nevada with Bold Earth.

Some SWEET Facts:

  • San Francisco & California Coast
  • Yosemite, Zion, Sequoia National Parks
  • Las Vegas & Cirque du Solei
  • Rock Climb
  • Whitewater Raft
  • Surf in California

25 full, action-packed days allow campers to see the BEST of the American West. Make new friends, experience new places and have the best summer of your life. This is Bold Earth’s longest standing trip! Year after year campers come home with a new found passion for adventure and travel. Bold West is the kicking off point to all great adventures. You will be amazed.

Can I speak to references?

To receive a list of Bold West references, call us in Colorado at 303-526-0806 or email info@boldearth.com. Please mention the trip you are interested and where you live.

Since 1976 over 16,000 students from all 50 US states and 55 countries have joined Bold Earth! We encourage you to contact our alumni directly to find out about the quality of our leaders, depth of programming and what a summer with Bold Earth is really like.

We want careful and selective families to choose Bold Earth. Our offerings are only as good as the families who choose Bold Earth Adventures. Our target student is responsible, informed and enthusiastic.

Do I need experience?

NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED! Part of Bold Earth is learning new things in a fun, supportive and energetic environment. Whether you are a complete novice or a seasoned veteran, we will match you at your skill level during any activity. Bold Earth hires the best guides in the adventure field to make sure you reach your maximum potential this summer.

Bold West is a combination of world-class adventures, community service, leadership, and FUN. On Bold West we will:

  • Rock Climb: Learn to climb in Zion or Yosemite National Parks. WOW!
  • Whitewater Raft: Big whitewater rapids & big fun on California’s American River
  • Surf in Santa Cruz: California’s iconic surf town

Where do we stay?

WOW! Bold West is the perfect combination of camping and hotels. In order to see San Francisco, Las Vegas and AMAZING National Parks, Bold Earth stays in a well-balanced combination of places. YES, you will always be comfortable!

For over 40 years the Bold Earth team has secured incredible campgrounds in these world-renowned national parks. Bold Earth’s campgrounds are awesome – Whether on the California Coast or in Yosemite Valley – WOW! Tents are provided, but bring your own sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and a pillow! Campers will share a tent with 2 or 3 other campers of their same gender. Highlights of camping:

• Sitting around a beach bonfire with a group of friends for life
• Hearing the waves crash as you fall asleep
• Counting shooting stars
• Lots of s’mores
• Satisfaction of the challenge
• Reward of the hostels & hotels
• Closeness of the group sharing the adventure
• Taking a sunrise run? YES!

While exploring Las Vegas you will spend two supervised nights at a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Finally, as the trip winds down students will spend a total of three nights in the Marin Headlands Hostel – stocked with a complete kitchen and basketball court. Staying in the Hostel and in the Las Vegas Hotel, allows the group to take full advantage of sightseeing!

Speak with Bold West alumni from your area and they will tell you the camping was AMAZING!

Accommodations Breakdown:
• Camping – 18 nights – always with bathrooms
• Hotel (Las Vegas – 2 Nights & San Francisco – 1 Night)
• Hostel (San Francisco) – 3 nights

What is the food like?

Yes, the food will be healthy, delicious, local, and fun. Bold Earth campers LOVE to eat and we understand that playing hard all day requires the right nutrition. Yes, we will enthusiastically accommodate vegetarians, gluten-free, kosher, allergies, and most special diets.

Cooking on Bold West is a combination of planning, preparing, cooking our own food and eating out. Approximately once-per-week during your trip you and two other campers will have the chance to make a meal for the group. Most campers find this to be incredibly fun and rewarding.

Your leaders help you as much or as little as necessary and of course EVERYTHING is included. We eat out locally twice to celebrate our accomplishments and enjoy a night out.

What is the community service like?

Community Service is a Bold Earth core value. Bold Earth carefully chooses hands-on community service projects that are active, engaging and . . . LIFE CHANGING! All Bold Earth participants will receive a certificate to document their service hours.

Service Credit: 6 Hours

Project #1: Sequoia National Park! We work to maintain trails and clean trash in California’s Sequoia National Park. Our goal is to help provide access to the natural world and provide a beautiful hiking experience in this stunning Sierra setting. We learn how to maintain a sustainable trail system and also assist in removing exotic plant species to promote the health of the native plants. For more information visit: Sequoia National Park.

Project #2: Marin County Open Space! Just north of San Francisco, and with a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge, campers work with the Marin County Parks on an ecological restoration project. Campers will help remove invasive species that has taken over Hidden Lake Vernal pool.  Vernal pools are rare and uplands vernal pools like Hidden Lake are also extremely rare.  Our goal is to aid in restoration efforts of the areas diverse ecosystems. As invasive species grow in the area, native plant populations dwindle. With a tremendous help from volunteers, Marin County Parks are turning the tide and increasing range of native plants. To learn more, visit: Marin County Parks.

Click to View: ALL Bold Earth community service projects

What should I pack?

Over the last 30 years, Bold Earth has carefully crafted the Bold West Packing List to include everything a participant needs to be comfortable on the trip. Click to view: Bold West Packing List for a detailed description of exactly what to bring. Anything not included on the list is provided by Bold Earth.

Checking Bags? On Airport Day, campers will check the large duffle bag. We recommend using the small daypack as a carry-on. Campers should either bring a credit card or enough cash to check their bags home.

Give Bold Earth a call at 303-526-0806 if you have any questions. The Bold Earth Trip Advisor Team is always available to help answer packing questions or provide gear recommendations.

How do we travel?

We will be traveling by 15 passenger vans, with a roof-rack for all of our personal gear. The van will be driven by your experienced and carefully screened leaders.

All travel is carefully planned to minimize time spent in the van and maximize the adventures! This trip is designed as an active adventure – not a big-bus sightseeing tour… YES, we stop frequently to throw a frisbee and for bathroom breaks – DUH!

What is the weather like on Bold West?

Bold West begins in the desert, goes up into the mountain, then ends on the California Coast. This is a diverse trip – the desert is hot, the mountains are cool and the coast is perfect. See the Bold West Packing List for a detailed list of what to bring. We can see temperatures both in the 60’s (15º C) and in the 100’s     (35º C).

Why are groups limited to 13 campers?

Small group size = SUCCESS!

• Maximum of 13 incredible and enthusiastic campers
• 2 adult trip leaders (one male and one female)

Especially on an adventure and community service style trip, group size is VERY important. Bold Earth campers are leaders who seek independence, responsibility and fun. We know teenagers and we understand that a small group size is ESSENTIAL to camper success – especially at Bold West. This is NOT the typical teen tour!

Bonding and friendship are essential to the success of any summer program. Bold Earth leaders are carefully trained in group dynamics and leadership. Also, Bold Earth leaders are the MOST FUN PEOPLE EVER! Your 2 Trip Leaders will take a hands-on approach towards the success of every individual. Bold Earth campers make friendships that last a lifetime.

Each camper will be Leader of the Day (LOD) and will have the opportunity to step into a leadership role and help to run the trip! The challenges and rewards of Bold West bring the unity and bonding of the group together.

Tell me more about California!

California is the coolest. Beaches, mountains, San Francisco, Yosemite, Silicon Valley, surfing, coffees, tans, music and everything else “American.” Bold West is a trip through the culture and natural beauty of California and the Western USA.

California is located on the West Coast of the United States with 840 miles (1350km) of Pacific Ocean beaches. USA’s 3rd largest state includes more than 38 million people, 9 national parks, 118 state parks and the famous In-N-Out Burger.

California has everything. The Sierra Nevada Mountains, the fertile farmlands of the Central Valley, and the arid Mojave Desert. It is home to some of the world’s most extraordinary trees: the tallest (Redwoods), most massive (Giant Sequoia), and oldest (Bristlecone Pine). It is also home to both the highest (Mt. Whitney) and lowest (Death Valley) points in the 48 contiguous states. WOW!

California is booming with innovation, culture, industry, and creativity. Facebook, Google, Twitter, Hollywood and more! California is also very ethnically diverse, with large Asian-American, Hispanic, African American communities. With its modern history dating back to the California Gold Rush of 1849, California is a place for dreamers, people who love the warm weather and adventure-seekers!

What is Yosemite like?

Yosemite National Park is located smack in the middle of the Sierra Nevada mountains. One of the icons of America, Yosemite is MASSIVE. The park has an elevation range from 2,127 to 13,114 feet (648m to 3,997m) and contains five major vegetation zones. It supports a diversity of plants and animals, composing about 20% of California’s species.

Yosemite is open year round, supporting adventure-seekers and travelers. Hiking, climbing, biking, and photo-taking are among the top-rated activities in the area. Yosemite attracts over 3 million visitors each year and it is ranked as one of the best National Parks in the world. Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea, paving the course of history for the US National Park Service.

What does Bold Earth do in Yosemite?
Bold Earth exploring this natural wonder for four incredible days. We will hike to Nevada Falls (and others!), explore Tuolumne Meadows, enjoy the visitor’s center and stare up at the granite walls of this towering National Park. Bold Earth stays at Tuolumne Meadows campground, the most sought-after spot in the park!

And Zion?

Located 160 miles (257km) northwest of Las Vegas, Zion National Park is located in the Canyon Country of Southern Utah. Zion National Park is rated alongside Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite as the US’s best national park.

The prominent feature of the park is Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles (24 km) long and up to half a mile (800 m) deep. Monolithic red rock outcroppings dot the landscape of this incredible park. The lowest elevation is 3,666 ft (1,117 m) and the highest elevation is 8,726 ft (2,660 m) and encompasses 4 life zones: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest. Zion National Park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons, waterfalls and natural arches.

What does Bold Earth do in Zion?
We will spend three action-packed days finding the hidden gems of Zion. It is hot in Zion in the summer, so we spend the days wet! Bold Earth will take you through the Narrows of Zion Canyon, to the top of Angel’s Landing and tubing on the Virgin River!

What about Sequoia?

Not as crowded as Yosemite or Zion, the HUGE trees of Sequoia National Park cannot be overlooked. This is a playground for giants… Giant trees that is! The park is famous for its giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, one of the largest trees on Earth. The General Sherman tree grows in the Giant Forest, which contains five out of the ten largest trees in the world. The trees are so big you could drive through them! WOW!

Also located within the parks’ boundaries is Mount Whitney. Standing at 14,505 ft (4,421 m) above sea level, Mount Whitney is the highest point in the continental 48 United States.

What does Bold Earth do in Sequoia?
Prepare to be amazed. We will stand in the glory of some of the most ancient and largest living things on this planet. In addition, campers do a service project with the National Forest Service (see service below) to help build hiking trails. Working with uniformed Park Rangers, campers gain an appreciation for the hard work required to keep the Park in great shape.

How about San Francisco?

We end our trip in the City by the Bay – and what a way to cap off an incredible trip. For 2 days Bold Earth will guide you through the streets, parks, trolleys, and sites of San Francisco.

We will walk the Golden Gate Bridge, tour the historic Alcatraz Prison, eat sourdough bread along Fisherman’s Wharf and maybe even catch the parrots of Telegraph Hill as we hike up to Coit Tower. Carefully planned and strictly monitored, Bold Earth will show campers the beauty of this famous and amazing city. WOW!

Shopping? Our international students want shopping time in America. Our leaders will absolutely make that possible so you can bring home some of what the US has to offer.

Can I combine Bold West with another trip?

Yes! Bold West and all Bold Earth trips are designed to be combined to make a 4 or 8 week Bold Earth summer. If you are interested in combining Bold West with a particular trip, please contact our Colorado office at 303-526-0806 for more information! A Bold Earth Director will handle all the arrangements to create an incredible summer for you!

Bold West

Travel Made Easy!

  1. Fly Together: Our goal is to fly together as a group. All students are met upon arrival and families are called immediately from the airport.
  2. We recommend participants book flights three months before departure. Booking around April 1st allows the Bold Earth team to guarantee low fares and maximum coordinated group flights.
  3. Combine 2 Trips: Many Bold Earth participants combine Bold Earth trips. Call or e-mail our office for more information.

Every trip has a story.

We have 40+ years of amazing travel tales to share, but our favorites are always best told by our adventurers themselves.
View Trip Blog
Yosemite National Park, California
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Zachary had a wonderful experience on his Bold West trip. His trip leaders were fantastic and the combination of kids on his trip was terrific. The communication was excellent.

-Parents: Susie & Andrew

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