Planning a 4-5 backpacking trip somewhere in the continental US this summer with my 22 year-old daughter. We are both in very good physical condition, but we have only limited camping experience and only very light backpacking. I'm convinced that we should do a guided tour and have done a little research on some of the more popular companies, like REI and Wildland Trekking. Any advice out there about how to get the most bang for your buck with a tour guide? Big vs smaller regional companies? Any recommendations? I don't mind the $1000+ price tag but just want to make sure I get a great experience.
If you live in TX there must be some trails nearby that you can experiment with. Do a few 2 day trips. Seek out "meetup" groups in your area that will provide tips and guidance and get your experience that way. There is also a lot of information on Utube. But if you prefer to go with guides I have heard that REI does a good job.