The forces of nature have shaped and colored the landscape of the American Southwest like no other setting. You will be amazed by the raw, majestic beauty of the Rockies, Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon and everything in between. Experience these wonders with adventure activities that get your heart racing, and lay back and chill under starlit skies. Take in iconic sights and formations at Maroon Bells, Horseshoe Bend, and Arches National Park. If your idea of an incredible summer is about breathtaking views, wide-open spaces, action, adventure, and new like-minded friends, this is the program for you.
This trip begins with your flight to Denver, Colorado. We help you coordinate your flight to arrive within designated times so that we may greet you upon arrival. For participants from the New York area, we offer a chaperoned flight that leaves from the New York area. One of our summer leaders and staff from our office will be at the airline counter to greet you, introduce you to fellow travelers, help you to check-in and the leader will be with you from check-in onward.
For your return home from the Phoenix, Arizona, we head to the airport for morning flights. Our leaders help you to check-in and remain in the airport until flights in designated times have departed. For those from the New York area we offer a chaperoned flight.
Start your summer adventure taking in spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains while hiking the Flatirons. Stand-up paddleboard in Boulder Reservoir. Enjoy dinner in the historic downtown Pearl Street promenade and an evening of ice skating with your new friends.
Take on Rocky Mountain rapids as you whitewater raft the Arkansas River. Continue your adrenaline-filled stay in Buena Vista with a rock climbing and rappelling adventure. Spend an afternoon relaxing in natural hot springs with new friends. Challenge yourself at a high ropes course with beautiful views of the Arkansas River and Browns Canyon.
Check out Vail, one of the finest alpine resorts in the world. Eat lunch and explore the village that is surrounded by 350,000 acres of national forest.
Experience thrill rides at America’s only mountain-top theme park, home to the Glenwood Canyon Flyer, Alpine Coaster and Cliffhanger Rollercoaster. Enjoy the park’s breathtaking, panoramic views before unwinding in the famous Glenwood Hot Springs.
Hike through wildflower fields at Maroon Bells and visit beautiful Crater Lake at over 10,000 feet elevation. Enjoy a game of Frisbee Golf on a mountainside course with new friends in neighboring Snowmass. Take the evening to explore the celebrated mountain town of Aspen for dinner.
The adventure continues as you hike and mountain-bike by red-hued arches during the day and stargaze at night, taking in all the natural wonders Arches National Park has to offer. Thrills continue with a Via Ferrata climbing adventure. View Moab’s deep craters and desert landscape while you dare to free-fall rappel. Enjoy views on the stunning mesa of Dead Horse Point State Park where you can look down 2,000 feet to the Colorado River.
Marvel at the tall, thin, red spires of rock known as “hoodoos”, which are found throughout this iconic canyon. Get a glimpse into the Wild West with a horseback ride past outlaw hideouts and plenty of dramatic desert views in Bryce Canyon National Park. See what being a cowboy is all about during a real western rodeo experience.
Spend a day descending some of the earth’s most beautiful geologic formations while canyoning. You’ll rappel, climb and wade through canyon pools on this unique experience. A visit to this national park wouldn’t be complete without a hike around the sandstone cliffs of Zion and views of the Virgin River that flows through the canyon to the Emerald Pools.
Enjoy the Coral Sand Dunes with soft, pinkish sand formed from the erosion of pink-colored Navajo Sandstone. It’s like a big sandbox! Explore more of the Colorado River with a hike to Horseshoe Bend, a uniquely shaped curve in the river that offers a stunning, expansive view with a breathtaking 1,000-foot drop. Desert beauty continues with a winding hike through Lower Antelope Canyon where views change by the hour as the sun’s position casts an array of shadows, color, and light on the curved canyon walls. Cool off with a swim in Lake Powell.
Visit the jewel of the American Southwest with a hike on the South Rim. Admire the ancient rock walls and rolling forests of Ponderosa pines, while keeping a lookout for elk, mule deer and condors. At 7,000 feet, you won’t want to leave this incredible view.
Experience a rugged off-road adventure on a 4×4 Pink Jeep tour of Sedona’s desert landscape. See the views from Submarine Rock or Chicken Point and hold on tight as you descend down the Road of No Return. Enjoy beautiful Uptown Sedona surrounded by red-rock buttes and pine forests.
Welcome to one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation, located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The campus is a Colorado attraction in and of itself with gorgeous green spaces and modern facilities.Visit Website
Rest up after a big day of adventures and enjoy great views of the surrounding mountain ranges from your room. This hotel features an indoor pool, seasonal outdoor spa, fitness center, and more!Visit Website
Equipped with a heated outdoor pool and hot tub, located just a few blocks from the Glenwood Hot Springs pool, this hotel is the perfect place to unwind and hang out with your new friends.Visit Website
This hotel is located in the center of Moab, near some of the best activities and attractions in the area. Workout at the modern fitness center, swim in the heated outdoor pool, or take in the breathtaking sunset views around you from the patio.Visit Website
Ruby’s Inn features an authentic & cozy ‘country’ feel, with all the amenities you need for a relaxing & comfortable stay. In your free time, you can stay active in the pool, fitness center, or on the outdoor basketball court.Visit Website
This hotel features all the great amenities you need for a comfortable stay. What makes it truly special however, is its location. Situated right in the heart of Zion National Park, you’ll be surrounded by red rock cliffs and gorgeous scenery you’ll never forget.Visit Website
This comfortable hotel is located close to all the natural wonders of the area, including Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and Lake Powell. Enjoy your free time in the pool, hot tub, or on the patio.Visit Website
Return from a day of amazing activities and unwind in the hot tub or heated outdoor pool of this comfortable hotel. If you haven’t yet had enough of the amazing views around you, enjoy them some more while hanging out with your friends on the patio!Visit Website
This modern hotel features spacious rooms for a great night’s rest and an outdoor sitting area with fire pit, pool, and spa for you to enjoy with friends in your free time.Visit Website
At Westcoast Connection nothing else comes first. From our extensive trip planning department through our management team and our leaders, it is our single biggest priority! Safety procedures, equipment – we’ve got it covered. All Trip Leaders and Directors are certified in First Aid and CPR. We are extremely proud of our safety record and welcome all questions you may have in this area. Please see more under Safety First.
Once you are on your trip, you will have sensitive leaders that are caring, approachable and always there for you. Your Trip Director and Trip Leaders are people with incredible backgrounds including teachers, guitar players, IRONMAN triathletes, SCUBA divers, volunteers, and so much more.
Every staff member takes part in and must complete our extensive training weekends that review our philosophy and procedures to provide a well-supervised and fun-filled program.
Our Trip Directors, the individuals responsible for overseeing each itinerary, take on the roles of teachers, coaches, camp counselors, mentors, concierges and hosts. They’ve been trained to provide individual attention and create an all-inclusive family atmosphere (our EACH & EVERY philosophy). There’s a definite art to building dynamic groups, and we’ve worked hard to master it! We want you smiling on day one right through to a teary goodbye at your farewell banquet.
Our leaders are non-smokers. To learn more about our staff, please visit our Summer Leaders section.
We can’t say it too many times, this is a really incredible group experience. A great dynamic starts with our secrets for group bonding. Our bag of tricks goes way beyond traditional ice breakers. Imagine people hunts, Rock, Paper, Scissors championships, Ninja tournaments, flash mobs and so much more. We work hard to get everyone moving beyond first impressions and creating an atmosphere of total acceptance. Our staff hiring and training emphasizes social safety and establishing an inclusive culture. Many of our travelers come as individuals and we have a geographically diverse enrollment with students joining us from across the USA, Canada and internationally. This mix helps eliminate cliques at the outset and establish an open environment that benefits you. We take great care in assembling groups to create an unforgettable social experience.
Your summer of a lifetime starts with us carefully crafting the perfect program. Our team is dedicated year round to creating exciting, meaningful experiences! You have a detailed itinerary, but not one that is so rigid that you lose chances for spontaneity! Our Trip Planning Department pays painstaking attention to detail, sweating the small stuff so that your summer experience is stress free. Our trips are designed with a very logical flow: action, adventure and excitement balanced with structured downtime and relaxation. There is a reason our itineraries are known to be “Perfectly Planned. Perfectly Paced.” Our year-round team has 499 summers combined working with teenagers and we understand what you’re looking for. We describe our trips in as much detail as these web pages allow, but to truly appreciate the flow of a particular program, please speak with us to review the trip of your choice.
Planning teen trips is, of course, a science. But it is also an art. We know when to pick up the pace to get the adrenaline flowing. We also know when it’s time to chill or have a sleep-in. As you review our Global Adventure programs, know that we have worked year after year to make every minute of every day just right.
There is so much more to a teen travel experience than just traveling. Summer after summer we love nothing more than the feedback from parents sharing with us that their son or daughter has matured, has become more confident and outgoing, is more poised, more responsible and more worldly having had not just the summer of a lifetime, but a life-changing experience as well. It’s amazing how much growth can occur when you are traveling and sharing the experience with incredible people in a warm and welcoming environment.
As you experience other cultures and customs first hand, your perception will change as your understanding of and empathy for citizens of other countries naturally grows. Whereas prior to your travels media headlines about a foreign government may have led to generalized conclusions, your new interactions with locals and firsthand experience will enable you to see we often share more in common with others than we may have known.
Our experience lends itself to trying new things and stepping just outside of one’s comfort zone. With a taste of age-appropriate independence, and a healthy reprieve from the usual pressures associated with school life, we want you to be empowered and we provide you with an opportunity to grow!
Living, experiencing, and learning together, you will be afforded the chance to interact with other teens who share both similar and different backgrounds and interests. Everybody grows in their social acceptance of others. By the end of the program we hope to have lit a spark – to travel, to learn, to meet new people, to try new things and to explore. With new friendships, new memories and new life skills on which to build, our teen travel experiences are truly unforgettable.
There really is a difference in how different summer programs operate! Motivated teens going away with qualified leaders is a given. But what sets us apart is the depth of our qualified personnel that allow us to perform with the greatest consistency at the highest level.
Your Trip Director and Trips Leaders are with you throughout your program. They have daily contact with one of our two 24-hour Communication Centers and are in regular contact with our Company Directors. Our Company Directors are the most seasoned veterans who each oversee specific programs providing support to trip staff and to assist with any situations that may arise. Our Company Directors alternate between traveling to visit programs and being reached in the office.
Program visits enable us to provide ongoing support and development to our Trip Directors, allows trip staff to have a sounding board for their own progress in reaching trip goals, helps us to identify any challenging areas for improvement while it still has relevance to your summer rather than as a mention on your end-of-summer survey, and helps us to identify the future Directors from the current crop of all-star summer staff. These visits are by Company Directors along with our Regional Supervisors, who are former Trip Directors with further experience out in the field. Collectively our planning, supervisory and management team is an incredible resource with 499 summers of combined teen travel experience. This way, we can lend a hand wherever and whenever a little extra effort is called for. Last year, we had 212 scheduled supervisory trip visits to make sure all was running well, provide ongoing support to our staff in the field and have fun! This investment in depth of personnel is unrivaled in teen travel and is a critical element to achieving consistent, excellent program quality and surpassing client expectations!
Included in the trip tuition are all activities and entertainment described, breakfast and dinner daily, lunches as indicated on your specific program, gratuities, taxes, land transportation, accommodations, and fanatical customer service from our full-time team and summer Communication Centers. This can add up to tremendous value!
We provide reasonable, comfortable accommodations. For your convenience and consistency of the group experience. We stay at simple hotels; there is no camping. Each student has their own bed to ensure a proper night’s rest. For more detailed information, please visit the section marked "Where We Stay".
A big part of a program’s success depends on how well you eat. We are proud of the fact that year after year we are complimented for our quality and quantity of food and variety of options.
We have satisfied the choosiest of eaters and gladly accommodate most special dietary requests including vegetarian, anaphylactic food allergies, lactose intolerance, celiac disease and kosher style. We welcome discussing your individual requirements with you and have extensive personal experience in this area.
On this global adventure program, you’ll ride in passenger vans driven by our staff.
You only need to bring one week’s worth of clothing as outlined in our packing list. Every week we either drop off laundry at a local wash and fold service and then pick it up clean, folded and ready to go.
While you’re out having the summer of your life, your parents should feel like they are in on the action as well. We post updates to our blog and Facebook page and e-mail photos approximately once a week so those at home can be in on the fun. Parents also have access to our dedicated office Trip Monitors 24/7 for any questions and/or concerns. We’re as in touch as any trip operator could possibly be via smartphones with e-mail and text. The goal is uncompromising safety and peace of mind, day after day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Participants may bring their personal cell phones.
In last summer’s surveys, 98% of responding teens and parents said they would recommend us to others. We must be doing something right!