Responsible tourism: John Muir trail walking vacation, USA
We have created a 'Travelers' Code of Conduct' to help prepare and inform our groups of the various positive or negative effects they could have on a destination. The code includes tips on everything from handling wildlife encounters to how you can help to conserve precious natural resources. Our tour leaders will explain this code of conduct during the first night’s orientation talk and encourage you to follow it throughout the tour.
This code includes following the ‘Leave No Trace’ ethic, this is an international campaign that is designed to help us minimise the impact on the National Parks and other wilderness areas that we visit. Some key guidelines we follow include keeping to existing trails, staying in official campgrounds and disposing of all waste responsibly and recycling whatever we can.
We are proud supporters of Bay Area Wilderness Training (www.bawt.org) a charity based in Oakland California which works to connect disadvantaged children in the local urban area with the great outdoors. Their work helps to provide these young people with life changing experiences which they can apply to everyday life. Everyone booking with Grand American Adventures has the option to donate £1/$1/€1 to support this well-deserved charity and we will match this donation.
This tour is conducted primarily using human energy with very little use of a vehicle. This tour is conducted on foot primarily without the use of a vehicle – 95% of this tour is conducted by hiking the incredible trails and camping.
Travelers are encouraged to stick to the paths in order to preserve the vegetation, not feed the wildlife encountered along trails and keep interaction to a minimum so as not to scare or cause alarm.
We are committed to offering low impact tours that benefit both the places and communities we visit as well as our travelers. It is important for us all to be aware of the delicate balance that exists in the variety of natural wonders you will visit. National Parks and monuments, archaeological sites and other sensitive areas should and must be treated with respect.
Whenever possible, we use local accommodation and activity providers. We also shop locally for groceries, eat in small family-run restaurants and visit local shops whenever possible. This all brings economic benefit to the local communities that we visit.
With many refuelling points along the way, all rubbish is disposed of correctly and local shops and providers provide food for meals as opposed to always being from the larger chain supermarkets. We encourage travelers to bring eco- friendly body wash and mosquito repellent to avoid this running into streams and rivers.