A historical “tour,” for many people, can feel slow: a lot of stop-and-go, and strangely tiring for a small amount of distance. This guided walk by a Juneau-based operator, on the other hand, offers a stimulating mix of history lessons, local anecdotes, and a nicely brisk walk—all within the gorgeous scenery of Alaska.
Adventure Flow was started in 2015 by Patrick and Eric, two friends who grew up next door to each other in Montana. Eric had worked in the guiding industry for many years and Patrick was an entrepreneur who wanted a new venture that would take him outdoors. The idea behind Adventure Flow is not just about seeing nature: it’s about really experiencing it, on a few levels. Eric and Patrick wanted to offer a ‘flow’-induced activity—marrying physical activity (like hiking), with the mental stimulation that results from such exercise. So, their tours focus on storytelling. To keep that conversational dynamic strong, the groups stay small (no more than 10), so that you can develop a relationship with your guide, as well as focus on the environment around you.
Put Down Your Camera
While Adventure Flow does offer one photography tour, the guides recommend that, for the Juneau tour, you not take photos—namely, so that you can be present in the moment and just take in everything. (And no worries: your parting gift is free photos that the guides took along the way, including those of you and your companions, if you like.)
The 1.25 mile, two-hour tour begins near the Mt. Roberts tram. You’ll hear stories about life in Juneau from years ago, leading up to what it’s like to be in the Alaska capital today. (It’s wheelchair-accessible, too: people in motorized wheelchairs have done very well.) And you’ll finish, nicely, with an Alaska beer tasting at the end.
Scenery with a Personal Touch
Adventure Flow’s two other hikes include the Mendenhall Glacier Photo Hike, which empowers you with heightened photography skills (even with a phone camera) as you explore Mendenhall Glacier and the rainforest; and the Mendenhall Glacier Adventure Hike, a more challenging, 4-5 mile hike that takes you on a 500-foot climb to sweeping glacier and mountain views.
All of the hikes, though, share some features: the opportunity to feel entrenched within Alaska’s rich and vibrant scenery. And for each hike, you get a headset so that you can hear the guide well, no matter where you are with the group. Plus, you’ll get a greater appreciation for what you’re seeing: how this city developed, and the memorable history, culture, and personal stories linked to different places. And even though this hike is rated as easy, it still appeals to an adventure-spirited traveler—someone who wants to go a bit off the beaten path, and to see gems of the city that you would likely not discover on your own.