Juneau is a popular stop on almost every Alaskan cruise, with shopping, sight-seeing, and whale watching being just SOME of the amazing options to choose from while in port. This blogger, though, set his sights on something a little more... ADVENTUROUS!
Adventure Flow offers outdoor small group tours that focus on providing the optimal Alaskan experience. The most attractive feature of Adventure Flow is the promise that their passionate guides will take you a step away from the crowds—most guided hikes in the area are highly populated, but Adventure Flow takes your small group on an intimate hike together. With walking, hiking, and smartphone photography tours they have something for everyone to enjoy the Southeast Alaska splendor. Adventure Flow tours place you in the moment and maximize your experience, giving you a unique opportunity not offered by any other tour operator.
Here I am, preparing to embark on a Smart Phone Photography Tour. I was very excited to get started! The description of the tour promised that my guide, Eric, would be there every step of the way to teach me tips and tricks from composition, lighting, filters, editing and more.
Eric Oravsky, who was a photojournalist for eight years, is not only an expert guide on the trail—he entertained us on the 20-minute ride from port to hike with knowledge about Juneau's infrastructure, rainfall amounts (60 inches annually!), and expansive Bald Eagle population. On the drive I counted almost 20 eagles dotting the marsh alongside the road.
Notice the headsets we are wearing? Most non-Adventure Flow hiking tours are like this: walk on trail; group spreads apart; guide waits for everyone to come together; guide gives a few minute spiel; repeat. Adventure Flow does it differently. They want you fully engaged with your guide throughout the whole tour, and hearing your guide is difficult if they are 50 feet ahead and four other people are in-between. Using their specialized headset, you can hear the guide's stories, jokes, and fun facts from wherever you are on the trail! This also lets the guide become more conversational with the group because there is far more time for interpretation of the beautiful scenery. But don’t worry about missing out on the wonderful sounds of nature... The headsets are bone-conducting and sit outside the ear. This leaves your ear canal wide open for hearing the rest of the world. And if you get tired of listening to your guide, you can always turn him off 🙂 Everyone wins!
Here, Eric explains that the rainforest near the Mendenhall Glacier is astonishingly only about 200 years old. As the glacier melted, the moss began to take over!
Eric taught me how to use zoom and focus features on my smart phone to capture beautiful water droplets hanging out on this plant.
As we approached this waterfall I could hear the roar grow louder... What a beautiful natural site, so peaceful and astounding.
Every adventure comes with a fresh batch of professional photos so you can focus on the moment and still take the memories home to remember it by. Here, Eric captures the Turner family's trip to Mendenhall Glacier.
The temperature seemed to drop by at least 10 degrees as I got closer to Nugget Falls.
The wind almost whisked me away!
As we left the "Trail of Time," it seemed almost surreal to exit the woods. This hike is definitely recommended for any skill level, and Adventure Flow can customize to meet your needs.
On Day 2, I decided to go for gold—a five- to six-hour hike along the West Glacier Trail. The trailhead begins along the lake before climbing up over the cliffs overlooking the Mendenhall Glacier. From there the trail makes a sharp turn to the left up the ridge. The trail becomes a little hard to follow, but is well-flagged before becoming a clear trail again. Many sections are often covered in snow above tree line until mid-July.
Here, you see that Eric takes great care in positioning adventurers in prime photography spots. Don't worry about taking your own pictures, Eric does a great job capturing your memories for you!
Hopping across this swiftly moving stream was a challenge, but our guide made sure we were safe at all times!
This is one of the FEW things on the trail that can harm you- Devil's Club. The spiky plant has some sharp thorns, but if you're careful you will have no problems navigating through the forest without injury. Live long and prosper!
Don't let this view fool you, that Glacier goes back over 13 miles!
High-definition photos captured on Eric's professional camera are made available for every adventurer. What a great shot!
After six hours of hiking, and several beautiful photo ops, it was finally time to head back. Worried about missing your cruise ship if you take an excursion this long? No worries! No cruise passenger has ever missed their ship when on an Adventure Flow tour. Adventure Flow guarantees that you will make it back for your cruise. In the event this does happen, they will provide you with a hotel room, food, and flight to meet your ship at the next port. Please feel free to contact them ahead of time to verify scheduling of the tour and cruise ship departure.
See you soon, Juneau! Visit Eric and Patrick @ www.adventureflow.us. Check out our in-depth Juneau guide HERE.