Geography School Trip To West Coast USA
Combine the major conurbations of the West Coast with some of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural landscapes, including the Grand Canyon.
The vast and awesome Grand Canyon
Striking contrasts in Death Valley
Valleys and waterfalls at Yosemite National Park
A city tour of San Francisco
*Please note, entrance fees and tips where applicable are not included in typical price – contact us for more details
Explore the laid-back city of San Francisco on a guided tour. This takes in Union Square, the Golden Gate suspension bridge and China Town. Visit the waterfront tourist area of Fishermen’s Wharf, where boats still pull in fresh seafood to be served at its restaurants.
Take a boat trip to Alcatraz Island on the San Francisco Bay and experience its history and infamy. From 1934 to 1963 it was the setting for a federal prison that held famous inmates like Al ‘Scarface’ Capone, and the ‘Birdman’ Robert Stroud. ‘The Rock’ is now home to Civil War-era buildings, rare flowers and plants, marine wildlife and sea birds.
This vast protected parkland, stretching across the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is home to three of the world’s highest waterfalls. There are valleys carved by glaciers, giant sequoias, lakes, meadows and forests of intense beauty and interest to student groups.
In this below-sea-level basin, steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes and striking contrasts. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbour tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
The north fork of the Virgin River cuts through the Navajo sandstone of Zion National Park and in doing so has created the deep and narrow gorge of Zion Canyon. A variety of plants and wildlife inhabit the park’s four life zones: desert, riparian, woodland and coniferous forest and students will be enthralled examining this geologically stunning area
The entertainment never stops at Las Vegas. Its themed hotels compete to offer the most eye-popping spectacles and experiences from the fountain display at the Bellagio to the permanent big top at Circus Circus, and the 30-story black glass pyramid at the Luxor. Students can enjoy spectacles, shows and the challenge of the all-you-can-eat buffet.
The Colorado River has created one of the most well -known natural formations in the world, the Grand Canyon. The massive rift in the Colorado Plateau exposes uplifted Proterozoic and Paleozoic strata and is of particular significance to student groups because of the thick sequence of ancient rocks that are beautifully preserved and exposed within its walls.
Students can see for themselves the famous places so often seen in films and on TV. Beverly Hills is the stomping ground of the rich and famous and the glitzy Rodeo Drive is where they come to shop. Or take a trip down Hollywood Boulevard and see the famous names on the Walk of Fame, a tribute to artists working in the entertainment industry.
Go behind the scenes on the legendary Universal Studios tour to explore Hollywood’s most famous backlot. Students climb aboard trams for a video-hosted tour that shows them Jaws lurking beneath the waters, explosive special effects of the Fast and the Furious, Wisteria Lane from the hit series Desperate Housewives and the legendary Bates Motel from Psycho.
Why groups like it:
What groups like:
- Gain a deeper understanding of human and physical geography, sustainability and the effects of tourism
- Learn about plate tectonics, faults and earthquakes
- Study the management of tectonic hazards
- Study local indicator species and learn about desert landscapes
- Study canyons, valleys and meandering rivers
- Undertake a case study of Yosemite National Park and various attitudes to tourist management
Students will have had an opportunity to:
- Find out more about tectonic plates and earthquakes
- Learn about the effect of tourism on the communities and natural environment of the west coast
- See the Grand Canyon and other outstanding geological features
- Consider the preservation and sustainability of the natural landscape
- Understand the effects of environments on history and lifestyles and vice versa