Picture of stone formations in the Israel desert
SUMMER EXPERIENCES

Trek West USA

Hit the road for a three-week teen travel adventure in California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. See a totally new side of America – from bustling cities to the breathtaking national parks!

Travel through the stunning landscapes of California and the great American Southwest on Trek West USA, the ultimate road trip adventure for Jewish teens.

On this adventure-filled journey, you’ll hike, kayak, raft, and ride horseback through the stunning terrain of the American West. Destinations include Yosemite, Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon National Parks as well as the cities of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Give back during a series of service projects and come home with a new appreciation for America’s beauty.

Elements of the Experience

The Must-Sees and the Hidden Gems

Trek West USA covers all of the must see highlights of the American West – Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood, Malibu Beach and fabulous Las Vegas. We also make time for more off-the-beaten path experiences like walking through a redwood forest, kayaking on Lake Tahoe and staying at a dude ranch in Utah.

Once-in-a-Lifetime Outdoor Adventures

The American West is about wide open spaces and stunning national park land. Live the great outdoors by hiking to the base of Half Dome in Yosemite, exploring Sedona and Slippery Rock Park, descending deep into the Grand Canyon, climbing to Angels Landing in Zion and swimming in the desert waters of Lake Powell. See a side of nature that you have only dreamed about, and challenge yourself along the way.

Living Jewish Values

As a BBYO Passport experience, Trek West USA is also an opportunity to explore your Jewish identity in a new context. Delve into the meaning of being “eco-kosher”, fulfill the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), and celebrate Shabbat in new and different ways with local Jewish communities.

A Taste of University Life

Interested in what living on a college campus is like? Many of the places you’ll stay at on the road are college campus dorms. Trek West USA opens a window on university life by experiencing schools as diverse as the University of California – Berkeley and California State University of Northridge.

IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

While Trek West USA is designed for active teens, the program is appropriate for most. Do not worry about needing to be super outdoorsy to enjoy yourself. The outdoor activities on Trek West USA are only meant to complement the overall touring (most of which is still bus-based). The ultimate aim of Trek West USA is to provide teens with a more active way to experience the country through the beauty of its terrain. See you on the trails!

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

Explore Sedona and enjoy Slippery Rock Park

View the shear majesty of the Grand Canyon

Hike to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park

Experience life on a western dude ranch

Feel the energy of Las Vegas and see a Blue Man Group show

Volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society rehabilitation center or at a LA Food Bank

Explore Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Malibu and Hollywood in Los Angeles

Participate in a native species restoration project in the Marin Headlands

Hike to the base of Half Dome in Yosemite and kayak on Lake Tahoe

Tour Alcatraz, walk the Golden Gate Bridge, and explore Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco

Experience a taste of college life staying on the campus of UC Berkeley

One Happy Camperone happy camper

This BBYO Passport summer experience is eligible for up to a $1,000 grant from One Happy Camper. The grant is available in select communities to teens participating in their first Jewish overnight summer experience. Learn more and see if you qualify for One Happy Camper.

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Arrival in Phoenix

  • Pick-up at Phoenix airport and transfer to accommodations in Scottsdale
  • Program orientation and icebreakers
  • Evening: enjoy pizza dinner and swimming in the pool
  • Overnight: TBA – Phoenix, Arizona

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Backcountry Arizona & Sedona

  • Check-out and begin traveling north through the heart of Arizona to Flagstaff
  • Experience a natural water slide at Slide Rock State Park
  • Break to explore downtown Sedona and view the local mesas
  • Check-in to accommodations and dinner in Flagstaff
  • Overnight: TBA – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #3 |Thursday | Grand Canyon

  • Rim hike along the edge of the Grand Canyon – Bright Angel Trail
  • National Geographic Visitor Center & IMAX Movie
  • View the wonders of the night sky at the Lowell Observatory
  • Overnight: TBA – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #4 | Friday | Travel to Zion/Lake Powell

  • Wake up early and begin to travel north towards Utah
  • Picnic at Wahweap Marina at Lake Powell
  • Explore Glen Canyon Dam during a guided tour (dependent on heat level)
  • Check-in to Ponderosa Ranch and prepare for Shabbat
  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat in the wilderness overlooking Zion National Park
  • Overnight: TBA – Orderville, Utah

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Ranch

  • Shabbat morning programming and lunch
  • Pool time, sports, and relaxed afternoon at the Ranch
  • Havdalah Ceremony – Followed by Rodeo & Barn Dance
  • Overnight: TBA – Orderville, Utah

DAY #6 | Sunday | Bryce Canyon

  • Leave the ranch and head toward Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Visit the Bryce Amphitheater and walk part of the canyon’s rim
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch
  • Swim in Navajo Lake
  • Ice cream sundae making and a movie
  • Overnight: TBA – Orderville, Utah

DAY #7 | Monday | Las Vegas

  • Early morning hike to the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park
  • Nature walk to see the breathtaking scenery of the Emerald Pools in Zion National Park
  • Head to Las Vegas and stop for a picture at the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign and M&M World
  • Overnight: TBA – Henderson, Nevada

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Las Vegas

  • Tour of the Hoover Dam’s power plant at Lake Meade
  • Walk “The Strip” in fabulous Las Vegas – see the Bellagio Fountains, Streetmosphere at the Venetian, Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo, and more
  • Experience a Las Vegas Show – Blue Man Group at the Luxor Hotel
  • Overnight: TBA – Henderson, Nevada

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Crossing the Desert

  • Travel westwards from Nevada, through the Mojave Desert National Preserve, to California
  • Learn about human rights through a tour of the Museum of Tolerance of Los Angeles
  • After dinner, stroll along Hollywood Boulevard
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #10 | Thursday | Los Angeles

  • Stroll the Arts District of LA
  • Attend a Los Angeles Sparks basketball game
  • Take a tour of LA and do some LA sightseeing
  • Enjoy dinner nearby the Staples center
  • Visit the Venice Beach outdoor market
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #11 | Friday | Malibu

  • Take part in a service project at the Los Angeles Food Bank
  • Relax on the beach and in Santa Monica
  •  Return to campus for Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Los Angeles

  • Shabbat programming, lunch, and free time for sports and relaxation
  • Group night out at Santa Monica Pier
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #13 | Sunday | Northwards through the Central Valley

  • Visit the Hollywood Museum
  • Have a picnic lunch during a Hollywood hike
  • Travel North to Yosemite National Park
  • Stop in Fresno for dinner
  • Arrive to Curry Village, Yosemite
  • Overnight: TBA – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #14 | Monday | Yosemite National Park

  • Giant Sequoias Ranger program at Mariposa
  • Day hike up the Mist Trail to the backside of Half Dome
  • Evening program in the Yosemite Lodge
  • Overnight: TBA – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #15 | Tuesday | High Sierra

  • Continue traveling through the Sierra Nevada Mountains north to Tahoe
  • Stopping en route at Grover Hot Springs and Mono Lake
  • Dinner at the famous “Forest Buffet” at Harrah’s overlooking the Lake
  • Overnight: TBA – Carson City, Nevada

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Lake Tahoe

  • Spend the day outdoors around Lake Tahoe
  • Take a tram ride through Squaw Valley
  • Tour of the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics sites
  • Drive to Sacramento
  • Overnight: TBA – Vacaville, California

DAY #17 | Thursday | California’s Central Valley

  • Begin traveling down from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Bay Area
  • Visit the Nimbus salmon hatchery on the American River
  • Pizur lunch in Old Town Sacramento
  • Stop en route for a tour of the Jelly Belly factory
  • Group night out exploring San Francisco
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #18 | Friday | Marin County

  • Stroll Haight District, Divisadero Street, take pictures at Alamo Square, and relax at Buena
    Vista Park
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch
  • See the sunlight shining through the enormous redwood trees of Muir Woods
  • Return to campus to prepare for a final group Shabbat
  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat service at Chabad house in Berkeley
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #19 | Saturday | Shabbat in Berkeley

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch
  • Explore the town of Berkeley, including its festive farmers market
  • Guided tour of the University of California Berkeley campus
  • Group evening out on Berkeley’s Telegraph Street
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #20 | Sunday | San Francisco

  • Take a walk across Golden Gate Bridge
  • Enjoy free time and shopping on Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Tour the historic Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, a maximum-security prison from the 1930s
  • Ride the city’s famous cable cars through the windy, hilly streets of San Francisco
  • Enjoy your final dinner and an ice cream sundae party
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #21 | Monday | Farewell!

  • Return flights depart from San Francisco Airport

You have questions? We’ve got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
Families are responsible for making their own flight arrangements to our arrival and departure cities based on guidance that we provide in the spring. A designated supervised flight may be offered, which means you will be able to purchase your own individual ticket on a flight that is supervised by our staff. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in several different types of accommodations, including 3-star hotels, college dormitories, and ranch-style lodging. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter during a summer in the American West. Daytime temperatures range from the 80s to 100s. The clothing that teens pack should be lightweight and comfortable in hot temperatures. When the group is outside for an extended period of time, participants will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen, and water. These rules are strictly enforced because overexposure to the sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration, and sunburns. The good news is that the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity. So the higher temperatures may feel more comfortable than what you are used to at home.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size on Trek West USA is 30 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline. Historically, 50% of the Trek West USA group is current 8th graders and 50% is current 9th and 10thgraders

  • There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

Supervised Connections 

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

We know you'll love a BBYO Passport experience. But don't just take our word. Check out these real reviews from our past travelers and families.

 

Travel through the stunning landscapes of California and the great American Southwest on Trek West USA, the ultimate road trip adventure for Jewish teens.

On this adventure-filled journey, you’ll hike, kayak, raft, and ride horseback through the stunning terrain of the American West. Destinations include Yosemite, Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon National Parks as well as the cities of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Give back during a series of service projects and come home with a new appreciation for America’s beauty.

Elements of the Experience

The Must-Sees and the Hidden Gems

Trek West USA covers all of the must see highlights of the American West – Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood, Malibu Beach and fabulous Las Vegas. We also make time for more off-the-beaten path experiences like walking through a redwood forest, kayaking on Lake Tahoe and staying at a dude ranch in Utah.

Once-in-a-Lifetime Outdoor Adventures

The American West is about wide open spaces and stunning national park land. Live the great outdoors by hiking to the base of Half Dome in Yosemite, exploring Sedona and Slippery Rock Park, descending deep into the Grand Canyon, climbing to Angels Landing in Zion and swimming in the desert waters of Lake Powell. See a side of nature that you have only dreamed about, and challenge yourself along the way.

Living Jewish Values

As a BBYO Passport experience, Trek West USA is also an opportunity to explore your Jewish identity in a new context. Delve into the meaning of being “eco-kosher”, fulfill the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), and celebrate Shabbat in new and different ways with local Jewish communities.

A Taste of University Life

Interested in what living on a college campus is like? Many of the places you’ll stay at on the road are college campus dorms. Trek West USA opens a window on university life by experiencing schools as diverse as the University of California – Berkeley and California State University of Northridge.

IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

While Trek West USA is designed for active teens, the program is appropriate for most. Do not worry about needing to be super outdoorsy to enjoy yourself. The outdoor activities on Trek West USA are only meant to complement the overall touring (most of which is still bus-based). The ultimate aim of Trek West USA is to provide teens with a more active way to experience the country through the beauty of its terrain. See you on the trails!

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

Explore Sedona and enjoy Slippery Rock Park

View the shear majesty of the Grand Canyon

Hike to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park

Experience life on a western dude ranch

Feel the energy of Las Vegas and see a Blue Man Group show

Volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society rehabilitation center or at a LA Food Bank

Explore Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Malibu and Hollywood in Los Angeles

Participate in a native species restoration project in the Marin Headlands

Hike to the base of Half Dome in Yosemite and kayak on Lake Tahoe

Tour Alcatraz, walk the Golden Gate Bridge, and explore Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco

Experience a taste of college life staying on the campus of UC Berkeley

One Happy Camperone happy camper

This BBYO Passport summer experience is eligible for up to a $1,000 grant from One Happy Camper. The grant is available in select communities to teens participating in their first Jewish overnight summer experience. Learn more and see if you qualify for One Happy Camper.

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Arrival in Phoenix

  • Pick-up at Phoenix airport and transfer to accommodations in Scottsdale
  • Program orientation and icebreakers
  • Evening: enjoy pizza dinner and swimming in the pool
  • Overnight: TBA – Phoenix, Arizona

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Backcountry Arizona & Sedona

  • Check-out and begin traveling north through the heart of Arizona to Flagstaff
  • Experience a natural water slide at Slide Rock State Park
  • Break to explore downtown Sedona and view the local mesas
  • Check-in to accommodations and dinner in Flagstaff
  • Overnight: TBA – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #3 |Thursday | Grand Canyon

  • Rim hike along the edge of the Grand Canyon – Bright Angel Trail
  • National Geographic Visitor Center & IMAX Movie
  • View the wonders of the night sky at the Lowell Observatory
  • Overnight: TBA – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #4 | Friday | Travel to Zion/Lake Powell

  • Wake up early and begin to travel north towards Utah
  • Picnic at Wahweap Marina at Lake Powell
  • Explore Glen Canyon Dam during a guided tour (dependent on heat level)
  • Check-in to Ponderosa Ranch and prepare for Shabbat
  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat in the wilderness overlooking Zion National Park
  • Overnight: TBA – Orderville, Utah

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Ranch

  • Shabbat morning programming and lunch
  • Pool time, sports, and relaxed afternoon at the Ranch
  • Havdalah Ceremony – Followed by Rodeo & Barn Dance
  • Overnight: TBA – Orderville, Utah

DAY #6 | Sunday | Bryce Canyon

  • Leave the ranch and head toward Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Visit the Bryce Amphitheater and walk part of the canyon’s rim
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch
  • Swim in Navajo Lake
  • Ice cream sundae making and a movie
  • Overnight: TBA – Orderville, Utah

DAY #7 | Monday | Las Vegas

  • Early morning hike to the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park
  • Nature walk to see the breathtaking scenery of the Emerald Pools in Zion National Park
  • Head to Las Vegas and stop for a picture at the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign and M&M World
  • Overnight: TBA – Henderson, Nevada

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Las Vegas

  • Tour of the Hoover Dam’s power plant at Lake Meade
  • Walk “The Strip” in fabulous Las Vegas – see the Bellagio Fountains, Streetmosphere at the Venetian, Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo, and more
  • Experience a Las Vegas Show – Blue Man Group at the Luxor Hotel
  • Overnight: TBA – Henderson, Nevada

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Crossing the Desert

  • Travel westwards from Nevada, through the Mojave Desert National Preserve, to California
  • Learn about human rights through a tour of the Museum of Tolerance of Los Angeles
  • After dinner, stroll along Hollywood Boulevard
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #10 | Thursday | Los Angeles

  • Stroll the Arts District of LA
  • Attend a Los Angeles Sparks basketball game
  • Take a tour of LA and do some LA sightseeing
  • Enjoy dinner nearby the Staples center
  • Visit the Venice Beach outdoor market
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #11 | Friday | Malibu

  • Take part in a service project at the Los Angeles Food Bank
  • Relax on the beach and in Santa Monica
  •  Return to campus for Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Los Angeles

  • Shabbat programming, lunch, and free time for sports and relaxation
  • Group night out at Santa Monica Pier
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #13 | Sunday | Northwards through the Central Valley

  • Visit the Hollywood Museum
  • Have a picnic lunch during a Hollywood hike
  • Travel North to Yosemite National Park
  • Stop in Fresno for dinner
  • Arrive to Curry Village, Yosemite
  • Overnight: TBA – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #14 | Monday | Yosemite National Park

  • Giant Sequoias Ranger program at Mariposa
  • Day hike up the Mist Trail to the backside of Half Dome
  • Evening program in the Yosemite Lodge
  • Overnight: TBA – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #15 | Tuesday | High Sierra

  • Continue traveling through the Sierra Nevada Mountains north to Tahoe
  • Stopping en route at Grover Hot Springs and Mono Lake
  • Dinner at the famous “Forest Buffet” at Harrah’s overlooking the Lake
  • Overnight: TBA – Carson City, Nevada

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Lake Tahoe

  • Spend the day outdoors around Lake Tahoe
  • Take a tram ride through Squaw Valley
  • Tour of the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics sites
  • Drive to Sacramento
  • Overnight: TBA – Vacaville, California

DAY #17 | Thursday | California’s Central Valley

  • Begin traveling down from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Bay Area
  • Visit the Nimbus salmon hatchery on the American River
  • Pizur lunch in Old Town Sacramento
  • Stop en route for a tour of the Jelly Belly factory
  • Group night out exploring San Francisco
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #18 | Friday | Marin County

  • Stroll Haight District, Divisadero Street, take pictures at Alamo Square, and relax at Buena
    Vista Park
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch
  • See the sunlight shining through the enormous redwood trees of Muir Woods
  • Return to campus to prepare for a final group Shabbat
  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat service at Chabad house in Berkeley
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #19 | Saturday | Shabbat in Berkeley

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch
  • Explore the town of Berkeley, including its festive farmers market
  • Guided tour of the University of California Berkeley campus
  • Group evening out on Berkeley’s Telegraph Street
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #20 | Sunday | San Francisco

  • Take a walk across Golden Gate Bridge
  • Enjoy free time and shopping on Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Tour the historic Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, a maximum-security prison from the 1930s
  • Ride the city’s famous cable cars through the windy, hilly streets of San Francisco
  • Enjoy your final dinner and an ice cream sundae party
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #21 | Monday | Farewell!

  • Return flights depart from San Francisco Airport

You have questions? We’ve got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
Families are responsible for making their own flight arrangements to our arrival and departure cities based on guidance that we provide in the spring. A designated supervised flight may be offered, which means you will be able to purchase your own individual ticket on a flight that is supervised by our staff. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in several different types of accommodations, including 3-star hotels, college dormitories, and ranch-style lodging. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter during a summer in the American West. Daytime temperatures range from the 80s to 100s. The clothing that teens pack should be lightweight and comfortable in hot temperatures. When the group is outside for an extended period of time, participants will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen, and water. These rules are strictly enforced because overexposure to the sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration, and sunburns. The good news is that the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity. So the higher temperatures may feel more comfortable than what you are used to at home.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size on Trek West USA is 30 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline. Historically, 50% of the Trek West USA group is current 8th graders and 50% is current 9th and 10thgraders

  • There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

Supervised Connections 

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

Trek West USA

Hit the road for a three-week teen travel adventure in California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. See a totally new side of America – from bustling cities to the breathtaking national parks!

Trek West USA

Hit the road for a three-week teen travel adventure in California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. See a totally new side of America – from bustling cities to the breathtaking national parks!

Travel through the stunning landscapes of California and the great American Southwest on Trek West USA, the ultimate road trip adventure for Jewish teens.

On this adventure-filled journey, you’ll hike, kayak, raft, and ride horseback through the stunning terrain of the American West. Destinations include Yosemite, Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon National Parks as well as the cities of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Give back during a series of service projects and come home with a new appreciation for America’s beauty.

Elements of the Experience

The Must-Sees and the Hidden Gems

Trek West USA covers all of the must see highlights of the American West – Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood, Malibu Beach and fabulous Las Vegas. We also make time for more off-the-beaten path experiences like walking through a redwood forest, kayaking on Lake Tahoe and staying at a dude ranch in Utah.

Once-in-a-Lifetime Outdoor Adventures

The American West is about wide open spaces and stunning national park land. Live the great outdoors by hiking to the base of Half Dome in Yosemite, exploring Sedona and Slippery Rock Park, descending deep into the Grand Canyon, climbing to Angels Landing in Zion and swimming in the desert waters of Lake Powell. See a side of nature that you have only dreamed about, and challenge yourself along the way.

Living Jewish Values

As a BBYO Passport experience, Trek West USA is also an opportunity to explore your Jewish identity in a new context. Delve into the meaning of being “eco-kosher”, fulfill the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), and celebrate Shabbat in new and different ways with local Jewish communities.

A Taste of University Life

Interested in what living on a college campus is like? Many of the places you’ll stay at on the road are college campus dorms. Trek West USA opens a window on university life by experiencing schools as diverse as the University of California – Berkeley and California State University of Northridge.

IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

While Trek West USA is designed for active teens, the program is appropriate for most. Do not worry about needing to be super outdoorsy to enjoy yourself. The outdoor activities on Trek West USA are only meant to complement the overall touring (most of which is still bus-based). The ultimate aim of Trek West USA is to provide teens with a more active way to experience the country through the beauty of its terrain. See you on the trails!

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

Explore Sedona and enjoy Slippery Rock Park

View the shear majesty of the Grand Canyon

Hike to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park

Experience life on a western dude ranch

Feel the energy of Las Vegas and see a Blue Man Group show

Volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society rehabilitation center or at a LA Food Bank

Explore Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Malibu and Hollywood in Los Angeles

Participate in a native species restoration project in the Marin Headlands

Hike to the base of Half Dome in Yosemite and kayak on Lake Tahoe

Tour Alcatraz, walk the Golden Gate Bridge, and explore Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco

Experience a taste of college life staying on the campus of UC Berkeley

One Happy Camperone happy camper

This BBYO Passport summer experience is eligible for up to a $1,000 grant from One Happy Camper. The grant is available in select communities to teens participating in their first Jewish overnight summer experience. Learn more and see if you qualify for One Happy Camper.

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Arrival in Phoenix

  • Pick-up at Phoenix airport and transfer to accommodations in Scottsdale
  • Program orientation and icebreakers
  • Evening: enjoy pizza dinner and swimming in the pool
  • Overnight: TBA – Phoenix, Arizona

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Backcountry Arizona & Sedona

  • Check-out and begin traveling north through the heart of Arizona to Flagstaff
  • Experience a natural water slide at Slide Rock State Park
  • Break to explore downtown Sedona and view the local mesas
  • Check-in to accommodations and dinner in Flagstaff
  • Overnight: TBA – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #3 |Thursday | Grand Canyon

  • Rim hike along the edge of the Grand Canyon – Bright Angel Trail
  • National Geographic Visitor Center & IMAX Movie
  • View the wonders of the night sky at the Lowell Observatory
  • Overnight: TBA – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #4 | Friday | Travel to Zion/Lake Powell

  • Wake up early and begin to travel north towards Utah
  • Picnic at Wahweap Marina at Lake Powell
  • Explore Glen Canyon Dam during a guided tour (dependent on heat level)
  • Check-in to Ponderosa Ranch and prepare for Shabbat
  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat in the wilderness overlooking Zion National Park
  • Overnight: TBA – Orderville, Utah

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Ranch

  • Shabbat morning programming and lunch
  • Pool time, sports, and relaxed afternoon at the Ranch
  • Havdalah Ceremony – Followed by Rodeo & Barn Dance
  • Overnight: TBA – Orderville, Utah

DAY #6 | Sunday | Bryce Canyon

  • Leave the ranch and head toward Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Visit the Bryce Amphitheater and walk part of the canyon’s rim
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch
  • Swim in Navajo Lake
  • Ice cream sundae making and a movie
  • Overnight: TBA – Orderville, Utah

DAY #7 | Monday | Las Vegas

  • Early morning hike to the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park
  • Nature walk to see the breathtaking scenery of the Emerald Pools in Zion National Park
  • Head to Las Vegas and stop for a picture at the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign and M&M World
  • Overnight: TBA – Henderson, Nevada

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Las Vegas

  • Tour of the Hoover Dam’s power plant at Lake Meade
  • Walk “The Strip” in fabulous Las Vegas – see the Bellagio Fountains, Streetmosphere at the Venetian, Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo, and more
  • Experience a Las Vegas Show – Blue Man Group at the Luxor Hotel
  • Overnight: TBA – Henderson, Nevada

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Crossing the Desert

  • Travel westwards from Nevada, through the Mojave Desert National Preserve, to California
  • Learn about human rights through a tour of the Museum of Tolerance of Los Angeles
  • After dinner, stroll along Hollywood Boulevard
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #10 | Thursday | Los Angeles

  • Stroll the Arts District of LA
  • Attend a Los Angeles Sparks basketball game
  • Take a tour of LA and do some LA sightseeing
  • Enjoy dinner nearby the Staples center
  • Visit the Venice Beach outdoor market
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #11 | Friday | Malibu

  • Take part in a service project at the Los Angeles Food Bank
  • Relax on the beach and in Santa Monica
  •  Return to campus for Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Los Angeles

  • Shabbat programming, lunch, and free time for sports and relaxation
  • Group night out at Santa Monica Pier
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #13 | Sunday | Northwards through the Central Valley

  • Visit the Hollywood Museum
  • Have a picnic lunch during a Hollywood hike
  • Travel North to Yosemite National Park
  • Stop in Fresno for dinner
  • Arrive to Curry Village, Yosemite
  • Overnight: TBA – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #14 | Monday | Yosemite National Park

  • Giant Sequoias Ranger program at Mariposa
  • Day hike up the Mist Trail to the backside of Half Dome
  • Evening program in the Yosemite Lodge
  • Overnight: TBA – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #15 | Tuesday | High Sierra

  • Continue traveling through the Sierra Nevada Mountains north to Tahoe
  • Stopping en route at Grover Hot Springs and Mono Lake
  • Dinner at the famous “Forest Buffet” at Harrah’s overlooking the Lake
  • Overnight: TBA – Carson City, Nevada

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Lake Tahoe

  • Spend the day outdoors around Lake Tahoe
  • Take a tram ride through Squaw Valley
  • Tour of the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics sites
  • Drive to Sacramento
  • Overnight: TBA – Vacaville, California

DAY #17 | Thursday | California’s Central Valley

  • Begin traveling down from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Bay Area
  • Visit the Nimbus salmon hatchery on the American River
  • Pizur lunch in Old Town Sacramento
  • Stop en route for a tour of the Jelly Belly factory
  • Group night out exploring San Francisco
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #18 | Friday | Marin County

  • Stroll Haight District, Divisadero Street, take pictures at Alamo Square, and relax at Buena
    Vista Park
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch
  • See the sunlight shining through the enormous redwood trees of Muir Woods
  • Return to campus to prepare for a final group Shabbat
  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat service at Chabad house in Berkeley
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #19 | Saturday | Shabbat in Berkeley

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch
  • Explore the town of Berkeley, including its festive farmers market
  • Guided tour of the University of California Berkeley campus
  • Group evening out on Berkeley’s Telegraph Street
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #20 | Sunday | San Francisco

  • Take a walk across Golden Gate Bridge
  • Enjoy free time and shopping on Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Tour the historic Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, a maximum-security prison from the 1930s
  • Ride the city’s famous cable cars through the windy, hilly streets of San Francisco
  • Enjoy your final dinner and an ice cream sundae party
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #21 | Monday | Farewell!

  • Return flights depart from San Francisco Airport

You have questions? We’ve got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
Families are responsible for making their own flight arrangements to our arrival and departure cities based on guidance that we provide in the spring. A designated supervised flight may be offered, which means you will be able to purchase your own individual ticket on a flight that is supervised by our staff. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in several different types of accommodations, including 3-star hotels, college dormitories, and ranch-style lodging. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter during a summer in the American West. Daytime temperatures range from the 80s to 100s. The clothing that teens pack should be lightweight and comfortable in hot temperatures. When the group is outside for an extended period of time, participants will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen, and water. These rules are strictly enforced because overexposure to the sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration, and sunburns. The good news is that the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity. So the higher temperatures may feel more comfortable than what you are used to at home.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size on Trek West USA is 30 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline. Historically, 50% of the Trek West USA group is current 8th graders and 50% is current 9th and 10thgraders

  • There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

Supervised Connections 

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

We know you'll love a BBYO Passport experience. But don't just take our word. Check out these real reviews from our past travelers and families.

 

Travel through the stunning landscapes of California and the great American Southwest on Trek West USA, the ultimate road trip adventure for Jewish teens.

On this adventure-filled journey, you’ll hike, kayak, raft, and ride horseback through the stunning terrain of the American West. Destinations include Yosemite, Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon National Parks as well as the cities of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Give back during a series of service projects and come home with a new appreciation for America’s beauty.

Elements of the Experience

The Must-Sees and the Hidden Gems

Trek West USA covers all of the must see highlights of the American West – Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood, Malibu Beach and fabulous Las Vegas. We also make time for more off-the-beaten path experiences like walking through a redwood forest, kayaking on Lake Tahoe and staying at a dude ranch in Utah.

Once-in-a-Lifetime Outdoor Adventures

The American West is about wide open spaces and stunning national park land. Live the great outdoors by hiking to the base of Half Dome in Yosemite, exploring Sedona and Slippery Rock Park, descending deep into the Grand Canyon, climbing to Angels Landing in Zion and swimming in the desert waters of Lake Powell. See a side of nature that you have only dreamed about, and challenge yourself along the way.

Living Jewish Values

As a BBYO Passport experience, Trek West USA is also an opportunity to explore your Jewish identity in a new context. Delve into the meaning of being “eco-kosher”, fulfill the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), and celebrate Shabbat in new and different ways with local Jewish communities.

A Taste of University Life

Interested in what living on a college campus is like? Many of the places you’ll stay at on the road are college campus dorms. Trek West USA opens a window on university life by experiencing schools as diverse as the University of California – Berkeley and California State University of Northridge.

IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

While Trek West USA is designed for active teens, the program is appropriate for most. Do not worry about needing to be super outdoorsy to enjoy yourself. The outdoor activities on Trek West USA are only meant to complement the overall touring (most of which is still bus-based). The ultimate aim of Trek West USA is to provide teens with a more active way to experience the country through the beauty of its terrain. See you on the trails!

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

Explore Sedona and enjoy Slippery Rock Park

View the shear majesty of the Grand Canyon

Hike to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park

Experience life on a western dude ranch

Feel the energy of Las Vegas and see a Blue Man Group show

Volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society rehabilitation center or at a LA Food Bank

Explore Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Malibu and Hollywood in Los Angeles

Participate in a native species restoration project in the Marin Headlands

Hike to the base of Half Dome in Yosemite and kayak on Lake Tahoe

Tour Alcatraz, walk the Golden Gate Bridge, and explore Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco

Experience a taste of college life staying on the campus of UC Berkeley

One Happy Camperone happy camper

This BBYO Passport summer experience is eligible for up to a $1,000 grant from One Happy Camper. The grant is available in select communities to teens participating in their first Jewish overnight summer experience. Learn more and see if you qualify for One Happy Camper.

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Arrival in Phoenix

  • Pick-up at Phoenix airport and transfer to accommodations in Scottsdale
  • Program orientation and icebreakers
  • Evening: enjoy pizza dinner and swimming in the pool
  • Overnight: TBA – Phoenix, Arizona

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Backcountry Arizona & Sedona

  • Check-out and begin traveling north through the heart of Arizona to Flagstaff
  • Experience a natural water slide at Slide Rock State Park
  • Break to explore downtown Sedona and view the local mesas
  • Check-in to accommodations and dinner in Flagstaff
  • Overnight: TBA – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #3 |Thursday | Grand Canyon

  • Rim hike along the edge of the Grand Canyon – Bright Angel Trail
  • National Geographic Visitor Center & IMAX Movie
  • View the wonders of the night sky at the Lowell Observatory
  • Overnight: TBA – Flagstaff, Arizona

DAY #4 | Friday | Travel to Zion/Lake Powell

  • Wake up early and begin to travel north towards Utah
  • Picnic at Wahweap Marina at Lake Powell
  • Explore Glen Canyon Dam during a guided tour (dependent on heat level)
  • Check-in to Ponderosa Ranch and prepare for Shabbat
  • Experience Kabbalat Shabbat in the wilderness overlooking Zion National Park
  • Overnight: TBA – Orderville, Utah

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat on the Ranch

  • Shabbat morning programming and lunch
  • Pool time, sports, and relaxed afternoon at the Ranch
  • Havdalah Ceremony – Followed by Rodeo & Barn Dance
  • Overnight: TBA – Orderville, Utah

DAY #6 | Sunday | Bryce Canyon

  • Leave the ranch and head toward Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Visit the Bryce Amphitheater and walk part of the canyon’s rim
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch
  • Swim in Navajo Lake
  • Ice cream sundae making and a movie
  • Overnight: TBA – Orderville, Utah

DAY #7 | Monday | Las Vegas

  • Early morning hike to the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park
  • Nature walk to see the breathtaking scenery of the Emerald Pools in Zion National Park
  • Head to Las Vegas and stop for a picture at the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign and M&M World
  • Overnight: TBA – Henderson, Nevada

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Las Vegas

  • Tour of the Hoover Dam’s power plant at Lake Meade
  • Walk “The Strip” in fabulous Las Vegas – see the Bellagio Fountains, Streetmosphere at the Venetian, Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo, and more
  • Experience a Las Vegas Show – Blue Man Group at the Luxor Hotel
  • Overnight: TBA – Henderson, Nevada

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Crossing the Desert

  • Travel westwards from Nevada, through the Mojave Desert National Preserve, to California
  • Learn about human rights through a tour of the Museum of Tolerance of Los Angeles
  • After dinner, stroll along Hollywood Boulevard
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #10 | Thursday | Los Angeles

  • Stroll the Arts District of LA
  • Attend a Los Angeles Sparks basketball game
  • Take a tour of LA and do some LA sightseeing
  • Enjoy dinner nearby the Staples center
  • Visit the Venice Beach outdoor market
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #11 | Friday | Malibu

  • Take part in a service project at the Los Angeles Food Bank
  • Relax on the beach and in Santa Monica
  •  Return to campus for Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Los Angeles

  • Shabbat programming, lunch, and free time for sports and relaxation
  • Group night out at Santa Monica Pier
  • Overnight: TBA – Northridge, California

DAY #13 | Sunday | Northwards through the Central Valley

  • Visit the Hollywood Museum
  • Have a picnic lunch during a Hollywood hike
  • Travel North to Yosemite National Park
  • Stop in Fresno for dinner
  • Arrive to Curry Village, Yosemite
  • Overnight: TBA – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #14 | Monday | Yosemite National Park

  • Giant Sequoias Ranger program at Mariposa
  • Day hike up the Mist Trail to the backside of Half Dome
  • Evening program in the Yosemite Lodge
  • Overnight: TBA – Yosemite National Park, California

DAY #15 | Tuesday | High Sierra

  • Continue traveling through the Sierra Nevada Mountains north to Tahoe
  • Stopping en route at Grover Hot Springs and Mono Lake
  • Dinner at the famous “Forest Buffet” at Harrah’s overlooking the Lake
  • Overnight: TBA – Carson City, Nevada

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Lake Tahoe

  • Spend the day outdoors around Lake Tahoe
  • Take a tram ride through Squaw Valley
  • Tour of the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics sites
  • Drive to Sacramento
  • Overnight: TBA – Vacaville, California

DAY #17 | Thursday | California’s Central Valley

  • Begin traveling down from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Bay Area
  • Visit the Nimbus salmon hatchery on the American River
  • Pizur lunch in Old Town Sacramento
  • Stop en route for a tour of the Jelly Belly factory
  • Group night out exploring San Francisco
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #18 | Friday | Marin County

  • Stroll Haight District, Divisadero Street, take pictures at Alamo Square, and relax at Buena
    Vista Park
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch
  • See the sunlight shining through the enormous redwood trees of Muir Woods
  • Return to campus to prepare for a final group Shabbat
  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat service at Chabad house in Berkeley
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #19 | Saturday | Shabbat in Berkeley

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch
  • Explore the town of Berkeley, including its festive farmers market
  • Guided tour of the University of California Berkeley campus
  • Group evening out on Berkeley’s Telegraph Street
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #20 | Sunday | San Francisco

  • Take a walk across Golden Gate Bridge
  • Enjoy free time and shopping on Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Tour the historic Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, a maximum-security prison from the 1930s
  • Ride the city’s famous cable cars through the windy, hilly streets of San Francisco
  • Enjoy your final dinner and an ice cream sundae party
  • Overnight: TBA – Berkeley, California

DAY #21 | Monday | Farewell!

  • Return flights depart from San Francisco Airport

You have questions? We’ve got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
Families are responsible for making their own flight arrangements to our arrival and departure cities based on guidance that we provide in the spring. A designated supervised flight may be offered, which means you will be able to purchase your own individual ticket on a flight that is supervised by our staff. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in several different types of accommodations, including 3-star hotels, college dormitories, and ranch-style lodging. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter during a summer in the American West. Daytime temperatures range from the 80s to 100s. The clothing that teens pack should be lightweight and comfortable in hot temperatures. When the group is outside for an extended period of time, participants will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen, and water. These rules are strictly enforced because overexposure to the sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration, and sunburns. The good news is that the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity. So the higher temperatures may feel more comfortable than what you are used to at home.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size on Trek West USA is 30 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline. Historically, 50% of the Trek West USA group is current 8th graders and 50% is current 9th and 10thgraders

  • There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?
As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

Supervised Connections 

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

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