Rotary Western Adventure 2018

 Featuring California Cities and the National Parks

For Rotary Foreign Exchange Students

June 14-28, 2018

A Journey Through the American West from California to the

Great Rocky Mountains to the Grand Canyon

The 19th Annual Western Trip for Rotary Exchange Inbound Students in the USA and Canada

All Pictures Student and Chaperone Photos from 2014



A video by Felix Huesgen, a German exchange student on the trip. 

(There is one questionable word in the soundtrack, so please forgive that, thanks?



 Rotary  Western Adventure 2018


June 14 -  Phoenix/Blythe CA, Arrive, Our First Meeting at Hotel in Blythe:  After an early morning flight into Phoenix (included in the price) to meet the bus.  We'll leave Phoenix and drive a few hours through the beautiful desert to the California border and stay that evening in Blythe, CA,   (CB)

June 15 - Los Angeles/Hollywood/Lompoc, The Hollywood Sign, Walk of Fame, Santa Barbera:   Today we'll visit the world center of glamour, Los Angeles and Hollywood.  En route we'll see some of the oldest living things on earth, the Joshua Trees. Protected by law, these trees can be up to 3,000 years old.A short drive will take us into the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles.  We'll drive up Hollywood  Boulevard to the famous Sunset Strip.  Walk the "Hollywood Walk of Fame", see the Graumann's Chinese Theater, have your picture taken with the Hollywood sign in the background.   After a day in Hollywood, we'll drive north towards Lompoc, stopping at Santa Barbara's beautiful beach area and it's beautiful pier for a stop. (CB)

 June 16 - San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco: This morning we'll drive up through  beautiful California until we arrive in San Francisco tonight.  San Francisco is one of America's most beautiful cities. Cosmopolitan, exciting, fun,  and a little exotic. It was in San Francisco that the "Summer of Love" and the Hippie movement were formed.  It was also where Gay liberation became a movement.  It is also a center of art, music and comedy. We'll have free time tonight to explore on you own along famous "Fisherman's Wharf". (CB)

June 17 - San Francisco:  Sightseeing, Exploring San Francisco: Castro District  and Twin Peaks.  A highlight will be a walk to the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge.  This afternoon you'll have more free time to explore the city with at least 4 of your friends.  We'll start that in the famous China Town Region and from there it is a short walk to North Beach (the "Little Italy of San Francisco"), Nob Hill and Embarcadero. Get on the Cable Cars and go shopping in Union Square, or hike from China Town to Fisherman's Wharf, past the Presidio and out to the  Golden Gate Bridge. You have time to explore Chinatown, Northbeach and the surrounding area on your own.  (CB)

June 18 - Reno/Virginia City/Fallon, Amazing Sierra Nevada Drive, Old Cowboy Town of Virginia City:  A drive over the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Donner Pass takes  us past Reno, Nevada, one of America’s oldest casino resort town.  The Donner Pass is where the famous Donner Party were snowed in and ended up eating their dead.    We'll go south through Nevada's capital Carson City to Virginia City.  Virginia City is a throwback from the old West; with wooden sidewalks, a great wild west feel and fun stores and shops to explore.   After a couple of hours there, we'll drive to Fallon on famous US50, the loneliest highway in America, for our overnight. (CB)

June 19 - Twin Falls ID, Driving, Great City of Twin Falls, Snake River Canyon:  A drive through the Nevada Desert where you will enjoy some amazing views. The scenery changes constantly.  This area is famous for mining and free-spirited cowboys.  This is a driving day but we'll have fun on the bus and get a chance to know each other better.  This evening we'll stay in Twin Falls, Idaho.  Twin Falls is famous for base jumping off the Snake River Canyon Bridge (which we saw last year)  and is located on the famous Oregon Trail Pioneer trail. . 

June 20 - Grand Teton National Park/Jackson Hole, WY:  .   Probably the most beautiful mountain range in the continental USA, Grand Teton is natural and unspoiled.  Abundant wildlife will top our day.  The scenery is phenomenol and we'll stop to take many pictures.  We'll take a long walk around incredible Jenny Lake, sitting in stunning beauty with a chance to see some wildlife. Tonight we stay in the Jet-Set city of Jackson Hole.  World famous ski resort with plenty of great shopping, fun things to do and incredible beauty.  (CB)

June 21 - Yellowstone National Park/Jackson Hole, WY: This morning we'll drive to Our drive this afternoon takes us to the famous Old Faithful Geyser,   which spouts 20-30 meters of boiling water into the air every 45-90 minutes. We'll take a long hike around the famous geyser basin there.   Today we'll explore the beautiful Artist Point in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, West Thumb and much more.  This is a great place. Today we'll be taking many pictures. We will be walking around wild animals, boiling hot geysers and hot springs so be careful. Last year we saw the elusive  grizzly bear.  (CB)

 June 22 - Temple Square/Provo UT, Explore Center of Mormon Religion, Great Wyoming Scenery: A morning drive through some spectacular scenery takes us to the heart of Utah into Salt Lake City, home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints…the Mormons.  We’ll stop at Temple Square for a tour of this which could be considered the Vatican of this 14,000,000 member world wide religion.  Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah and the home of the 2002 Winter Olympics.  Tonight we plan on staying in Provo, UT, home of Brigham Young University (BYU) and a lively college town. (CB)

June 23 - Moab/Arches National Park, Hiking in Desert, Petroglyths, Moab: A drive through the desert takes us to  Moab, UT and the home of Arches National parks. We'll take a hike in "Windows" in Arches National Park,  which features several huge natural arches.  One of the most beautiful and striking places in the USA, the national park is a magnet for rock climbers, mountain biking (extreme mountain biking was  invented here) and off-roading.   We'll also explore some 1.500 year old native American petroglyphs this evening along the Colorado River. Moab is a trendy fun town with lots to do in your free time tonight. 

 June 24 - Moab/Cortez, Colorado -  Rafting on Colorado River, Dead Horse Point: This morning we'll be white water rafting on the Little Colorado  River through a spectacular mountain canyon (and popular place to shoot movies and television shows).  After a quick dry-off   This afternoon we'll be driving up to Dead Horse Point State Park.  An panoramic view of the some of the most beautiful places in the USA awaits you. A popular place to shoot movies, "The Lone Ranger" and "Thelma and Louise used this stunning sign with it's frightening drop-offs. 

 June 25 - Monument Valley Tribal Park/Jeep Tour/Flagstaff AZ, Meet Navajos,, Explore Sacred Valley, Navajo Lunch :  We’ll drive to Monument Valley this morning.  This afternoon we’ll enjoy a Navajo Indian Taco for lunch and learn about the lore of the valley from Navajo  Indian guides on a Jeep ride through the valley.  You have seen this valley in countless commercials, TV shows, and movies worldwide.  It is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Tonight before checking into our hotel we’ll stop at the amazing Cameron Trading Post, long time gateway to the Grand Canyon.  (CB)

June 26 - Grand Canyon/Flagstaff AZ, The Amazing Grand Canyon All Day: An early morning drive through incredible scenery takes us to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.      We’ll be stopping at several other places  which will give you countless opportunities to take pictures.  The Grand Canyon is a gorge  of the Colorado River, considered to be one of the major natural wonders of the world. The park covers 1,902 mi˛ (4927 km˛). The canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles (6.4 to 29 km) and attains a depth of over a mile (1.83 km) (6000 feet).  Nearly two billion years of the Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. The canyon began in the west, followed by another that formed in the east.  (CB)

June 27 - Meteor Crater National Monument/Sedona/Phoenix, Perfect Meteor Crater, Exclusive City of Sedona:  This morning we'll drive along Route 66 to the world's largest and most perfect meteor crater.  Huge in size, it is an amazing nature wonder. Our next stop is the delightful desert resort town of Sedona.  Beautiful with lots of places to explore, it is the best place to spend time talking to you new found friends. We'll be  driving into Phoenix in the late afternoon, traveling through the Saguaro Desert, home of the beautiful Saguaro Cactus.  After a quick tour of Phoenix, one of the fastest growing cities in the USA, we'll settle into our hotel. (CB)

June 28 - Home:  Early morning shuttles to early morning flights wing us home after our amazing trip. (CB)


Cities We Are Flying You From




Flights assigned and ticketed here. 

Confirmations will be sent by email. 

Tour Price

$2300.00 per person quad occupancy

Send the $1300 deposit with application.

Final Payment of $1000 due April 14, 2018

After April 1, Please Send Full Payment.

Includes Air Fare From Host City


First Come First Serve

Send The Following (Required): 

  • Deposit of $1300.00 (final payment $1000 due April 14)

  • Your application

  • A headshot photo,

  • A copy of your passport (Black and white is fine)

  • Your medical permission Form

  • Medical Insurance Copy 


Application in Word Format

Application PDF format

Application is not complete until all parts are received.   Only one application is required for all three trips  If you were on the earlier trips just contact Trip Leader


Make Checks payable to  

McMurray Travel Service

Please put student’s name and Rotwest  in Memo of check or money order. 


You can pay using Paypal. 




Mail Check and Applications to:

McMurray Travel Service,

6480 Dobson Square East. 

Columbus OH 43229


(No international checks or credit cards. 


We can accept International wire transfers but All expenses must be paid by applicant.


 all payments must be in U.S. funds made drawn on a u.s. bank.


Payment & Cancellation Instructions


Official Tour




Flying Instructions

(Printable download) 

Tour Contact


Contact Bill McMurray



Travel Service

6480 Dobson Sq. E.

Columbus OH 43229




Frequently Asked Questions

Rooming List


Confirmed on Trip?


How much do you owe? 


Packing List and Instructions

Downloadable Packing List (Printable download)


Trip Rules


Trip Hotels Phones & Addresses


Rotary Exchange Trip Chaperones


Past Trip Videos 



Staying Healthy
on the Trip

Reasonably Priced

Travel Insurance Available


Click Here to Book Insurance


Trip Emails Sent

Payment Instruction


Make Checks payable to

McMurray Travel Service

Please put student’s name and Rotwest  in Memo of check or money order. 


Mail Check and Applications to:

McMurray Travel Service,

6480 Dobson Square East. 

Columbus OH 43229


(No international checks or credit cards.  We prefer not to take wire transfers but can do it.) all payments must be in U.S. funds made drawn on a u.s. bank.


ALL TOURS SUBJECT TO POSSIBLE INCREASE While every effort has been made to guarantee our tour prices for 2016, due to recent oil price increases and fluctuations each tour may be subject to airline and Motor coach fuel surcharges before departure).  We sincerely regret this, and do our best to avoid it if at all possible.  Presently there is little chance of this.


Tour Cancellation and

Reservation Change Policies:

Individual tour members canceling from the tour for any reason will be charged the following percentages of the tour price. 60-15 days prior (April14 - May 31)  25% of tour cost plus applicable supplier penalties, 14 Days prior (May 31  at 5:00pm EDT)  until return 100% of tour cost per participant. No shows are non-refundable. If you don't arrive in our meeting point city on the day the tour starts you are a no show.  Anyone missing their flight will have to proceed to the next stop of the tour, at their own expense by the best available conveyance. It is your responsibility to know which airport you are flying from.  Read Your Ticket Long Before Leaving!!!  Hotel and supplier penalties above this will be passed on to canceling tour member, not roommates.  Due to strict cancellation penalties charged by airlines, hotels, motor coach companies, etc. and the possibility of illness and death of tour participants and family members, we strongly suggest purchase of optional travel insurance (Rates vary, but cost is approximately $90).

Reasonably Priced Travel Insurance Available

Click Here to Book Insurance

By clicking on the link above, Travel Guard is offering a inexpensive travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance option.   The Western Trip Insurance will be about $68-$98,  and you book it all yourself. our country of residence is the USA or Canada, and your destination is either Ohio or Arizona.   You can pay for this with a credit card, unlike the trip. Travel Insurance is not available if you reside in Washington State or New York State. Prices vary depending on state you are living in.  You can book it yourself using that link above.


Trip Rooming

If you want to room with specific students please either list them on your application (Please pick only one person as we mix up students in rooms so you can make new friends) or email Bill McMurray.  There are NO GUARANTEES and rooms may be changed to accommodate other students. Once all rooms are mostly filled late additions will be placed in available rooms no matter what bus students from you district or your friends are on.




If we determine that students have not been reading the emails we reserve the right to cancel you off either or both tours at any time. It is important that you read all the emails we send you.  Students have been sent home from this trip because they don't understand information we have sent in the emails.



Rotary Trip Home Page


Picture Credit to Bill McMurray