27 Mar
2015

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Just another day in the Villages? Nope. Musher Dave Monson (holding musher Laura Allaway’s lead dog, Sugar) poses with guests on our Iditarod & Aurora Adventure!

26 Feb
2015

Win An Alaska Cruise!!!

raffle-giveaway

You can also send a check to John Hall’s Alaska Attn: Joe Hall at our address in Lake City.  It is 1127 N Lakeshore Drive, Lake City, MN 55041.  Please make the checks out to “Cash for Kids”.  Once we receive the check, we will confirm we have received it and send out the ticket stub in the mail.

26 Feb
2015

2016 Alumni Adventures Are Here!

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Koala

AUSTRALIA/ NEW ZEALAND – February 22 – March 13, 2016

This down under exploration features national parks, wildlife and amazing cultural expeditions! This once-in-a-lifetime itinerary hits major scenic and historical highlights but builds in some time for star gazing and nature exploration. All hotels are high end offering the highest quality comfort and amenities. This tour is custom built for us and thus only found with John Hall’s Alaska!

VIEW ITINERARY

 

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HAWAII – April 5 – April 17, 2016

Back by popular demand! Join us on an all-inclusive adventure exploring 4 islands in 13 days! Expect beaches, volcanoes, Polynesian culture, WWII history, plantations and more! Dine at farm to table open air restaurants featuring the fresh catch of the day! Enjoy a sunset catamaran cruise with yummy cocktails. All hotels are ocean front deluxe resorts offering the highest quality comfort and amenities. This tour is custom built for us and thus only found with John Hall’s Alaska!

VIEW ITINERARY

Please remember that space is limited to only 40 guests! These tours are locally guided and escorted by John Hall’s Alaska family members. All meals are included, hotel and attractions listed are included.

Call 800-325-2270 to book today!

26 Feb
2015

2016 Tour Dates Are Here!

We are now accepting reservations on 2016 dates with no deposits taken until June!

Changes in 2016: Our 14 Day Denali Explorer tour will be re-vamped with new features and attractions built in. Our Klondike Gold Rush will be a 19 day tour, giving guests more time to enjoy the ports of call in Southeast Alaska.
2016 tour dates

26 Feb
2015

Sponsor a Hero!

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UPDATE: As of April 1st, 2015-

Eighteen veterans, soldiers and their traveling companions received a free 7 day Denali Explorer land exploration for the summer of 2015. We are honored by the service of our American brothers and sisters and proud to give a little joy to those who have already given so much to us. – the Hall family.

2 Feb
2015

Winter in Alaska

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Moose and her calf atop Glen Alps

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Nearly full moon over Anchorage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is something magical about winter in Alaska. Yes, it blizzards, the temperature drops, and can become quite extreme and uncomfortable. In between the long dark days in the middle of winter, Mother Nature provides one surprise after another.

My first winter was complete with pink flip flops to showcase to those back home in Florida that one could bridge the two lifestyles. I would run outside for a brief moment to dance in the snow and snap a few quick pics. Most people were still floored that the myths about Alaska were not entirely true. I would regularly set the record straight that I did not in fact live in an igloo and it was not winter year round. My first year was spent viewing winter cautiously and enjoying mainly from the inside looking out.

In time, clear moonlit nights called me into the woods to snowshoe where it was wild and quiet. I discovered a whole other world among the snow-covered trees, glistening snow crystals, and soft crunch of the snow underneath my feet. I began to live for the night, and yearned to go in search of ice formations and vast, untracked moonlit snow. Dark shapes of moose bedding down for the night would interrupt the stillness. Shooting stars would pull my attention upward to an expansive night sky. I would stretch a blanket out in an opening of snow, and delight in the landscape of the winter night.

Skiing followed with trips into Alaska’s backcountry to explore frozen mountain lakes, thick forests, deep powder caches, and historic gold mining remnants. One cold March day, I skied for the first time across Portage Lake to the towering glacier barely visible from the road system. We closed in on the towering, icy blue glacier to explore the outlying pressure ridge cracks and unique ice formations. With nearly 100,000 glaciers in Alaska I had begun with the accessible gems of Portage Glacier and the Matanuska Glacier off the Glenn Highway. As the sun moved across the sky, the way the light hit the ice of a glacier was a marvel to me. Although the magnitude difficult to grasp, a well-etched memory was forever formed of several of the glaciers visited.

As I became more comfortable with the winter elements, late night pursual for the northern lights became thrilling. Complete with hand warmers and thermoses of hot tea, there was no limit how far I would drive at midnight in search of the best viewing. I have heard people describe their first or most memorable displays vividly and with such recollection. No two displays ever seem to be identical, and the unforeseen color variations seem to dance in endlessness. The cold, dark winter nights seem to be the perfect canvas for the bright aurora to highlight the sky overhead. Ask an Alaskan how many hours they will wait patiently for the aurora to appear, and they will most likely give a smile and a story.

Alaskan winters have perhaps gained more respect from me and inspiration than other seasons. There is a transition, something unique that occurs when the snow flies and the darkness sets in. Mountains and valleys take a different shape, the night sky lights up, movement ceases, a peace overtakes the land, and a new explorer emerges. There is much yet to be discovered.

As John Hall’s Alaska gears up for the first Iditarod & Aurora Adventure tour next month, I can say that we are all proud to share winter in Alaska with our guests. Ice carvings, northern lights, dog sledding, flightseeing, snowmachining, and evening adventures are sure to create memories for all. This is the Alaska that also shapes our culture and experiences, and I look forward to sharing some firsts with many of our guests.

Tara

14 Jan
2015

Alaskan Storyteller Event

What have been some of your favorite Alaskan stories while on tour with us?

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Floatplane on Lake Hood

 

A friend of mine suggested going to an event in downtown Anchorage a couple months called “Arctic Entries”. She described the event as seven people each sharing a seven minute story on a stage. Skeptical of my time, I agreed and attended my first show.

That Tuesday night, the show’s theme was “End of the Road: Stories of Showing Up, Staying Put, and Getting Local.” Now here we are, a sold out show, the lights go down on a plain stage with 10 chairs set up in a semi-circle. 7 Alaskan storytellers, 2 hosts, and a local musician.

Men and women of various ages and backgrounds each took their turn and told their story. Linda was a New Yorker living the life of fashion and shopping, until she left everything for a year in Alaska to live a “civilized life.” She shares her humor as she tells her friends that the plane does actually land in December in Alaska and how she turns her spare bedrooms in closets. She soon discovers her love of art in the Anchorage Museum, and her love for Alaska.

Netra was born in Bhutan in the 80’s and suffered hostility and civil unrest. His family was subjected to a refugee camp, until international aid offered a chance to come to Alaska in 2010. He shared his new experiences with camping, the lack of daylight, and visiting a store like Fred Meyer with everything under one roof!

The stories captured the adventures and the determination of Alaskans as they settled in the state and even visited areas around the globe. I found there was a common bond, a shared drive among people of various backgrounds to seek out the Alaskan way of life. The entire John Hall’s Alaska team has been intrigued by the natural beauty and extensive culture that makes Alaska a memorable place to live or travel to. I think we all have our favorite stories of our first trip, our first impressions, and how we got hooked. There is much to be explored and certainly something for everyone.

Can’t visit the show next week?

You can listen to past and future recordings on the Arctic Entries website as you reminisce or as your Alaskan trip approaches.

http://arcticentries.com/2014/08/01/recordings/

Tara R.

 

9 Dec
2014

Sponsor a Musher!

Laura-Allawaydog

For the March 2015 Iditarod Race John Hall’s Alaska is proud to be sponsoring Laura Allaway from Trail Breaker Kennels located in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Though an experienced musher, Laura will be attempting to run her dogs from Willow, Alaska all the way to Nome, Alaska for the first time! Running the Iditarod is a very expensive endeavor and Laura needs to raise $30,000 to cover the cost. She has raised $10,000 so far but needs our help!

John Hall’s Alaska has pledged to match any donations from our guests and past travelers up to $7,500.  Donations go to cover race expenses such as food drops, clothing supplies and equipment, and airfare to fly her whole team home from Nome.

Says Laura, “It takes every dog on the main-line working as a fluid unit, along with the musher, to make a great dog team.  Help be a part of the Trail Breaker team!”

Donation Levels are as follows:

$500 LEAD DOG:
Donator Receives: Two Trail Breaker hoodies, two signed Granite books, authentic full set of trail-worn booties.

These dogs control the direction and pace of your team.  Only the smartest, fastest, and best trained dogs run the difficult lead position.  They are the ones that the musher gives commands.  But mushers also need to trust in the lead dogs instincts to win the race.

 

$250 SWING DOG:
Donator Receives: Trail breaker hoodie, signed Granite book, authentic pair of trail-worn booties.

These are the ones who aid the lead dogs.  Swing dogs can be leaders in training, or leaders taking a break from running lead.

 

$100 WHEEL DOG:
Donator Receives: Signed Granite book, authentic trail-worn bootie.

These are the dogs that run closest to your sled.  They are typically your biggest, strongest dogs because they need to be able to keep the sled on the trail, even on corners or on difficult terrain.

 

Up to $100 TEAM DOG:
Donator Receives: Authentic trail-worn bootie.

Any dog in the kennel can run ‘team,’ from the top experienced dogs, to the most inexperienced yearlings.  Size doesn’t matter here either.  These are the ones who provide the power to get the team down the trail.

bootie < Authentic Bootie

granite book < Granite Book

hoodie < TBK Hoodie

HOW TO DONATE:

Mail Checks To: John Hall’s Alaska, 1127 N. Lakeshore Drive, Lake City, MN 55041

Make Checks Out To: John Hall’s Alaska – please note on checks: TBK/Laura Allaway

 

Learn more about Laura Allaway here. Laura’s Iditarod race profile.

For Iditarod race updates and to follow Laura’s progress like us on FACEBOOK !

 

UPDATE 2/25/15 : Do to your generous donations, Laura was able to raise over $15,000 towards her racing costs. THANK YOU!

UPDATE 4/1/15: Laura and her wonderful dog team placed 46th in this years event (out of 76 teams). We were thrilled with her success at completing this challenging race!

 

29 Oct
2014

The 2014 John Hall’s Alaska Awards – Guest Rated!

We just LOVE giving out these awards to our well-deserving Alaska partners!
A huge THANK YOU for all that you do!

alaska rail

HIGHEST RATED BREAKFAST: The Alaska Railroad
Thanks guys for bringing the scenery of Alaska to our guests while delivering first class service!

denalibackcountry

BEST REMOTE LODGE EXPERIENCE – Denali BackCountry Lodge
It hard to imagine a more lovely setting than this wilderness lodge, located deep within Denali National Park. We love that anyone can choose to relax or play in nature here. We love the camp fire sing-a-longs and the smores. We love the babbling river and the cozy cabins. And our guests love it too!

stan stephens

BEST ALASKAN EXPERIENCE: Stan Stephens Cruises
Icebergs, glaciers, humpback whales, orca whales, eagles, puffins, seals and a privately chartered vessel all contributed to our guests picking the Prince William Sound crossing as their absolute favorite Alaskan activity!

talkeetna alaskan lodge

BEST OVERALL PARTNER: Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
A roaring fireplace greets our guests upon entering this wilderness lodge. Step out onto the expansive back porch and Mt. McKinley greets you. In a setting such as this, it is the friendly, professional staff who complete this fantastic experience. Thanks guys!

trailbreaker

HIGHEST RATED ATTRACTION: Trail Breaker Kennels
All of that puppy love really made an impression on our guests this year! Dave and his team consistently work hard to deliver a personalized experience for our guests and we appreciate all that they do!

alaskan dream

OWNER’S CHOICE AWARD: Alaskan Dream Cruises – Baranof Dream
Our newest cruise partner, these guys bring the beauty of Southeast Alaska within hands reach of our guests. If you are interested in marine wildlife, tasty Alaskan cuisine, and small port adventures, this is the cruise for you! Read more about this exceptional cruise option here.

 

Other beloved award winners include:

HIGHEST RATED DINNER – 229 Parks Restaurant and Tavern

HIGHEST RATED LUNCH – Simon & Seafort’s Saloon and Grill

28 Oct
2014

Alumni Adventure: European Sea Dream II Returns!

A fun-loving group of 22 John Hall’s Alaska Alumni recently returned from their 12 day European Alumni Adventure through France and Italy!

As one of the group leaders, I think I can safely say that we came away from the experience with some very fond memories!

Our journey through the streets of Paris gave us plenty of keepsake photos. (Who knew the toilets outside of Notre Dame could be one of the best memories?) We dipped our toes in the Mediterranean Ocean for the first time in Nice before experiencing “lifestyles of the rich and famous” in Monte Carlo.

Once aboard our luxurious Sea Dream II yacht, we cruised and dined and relaxed our way through paradise for 7 days!

We enjoyed sinful French pastries, tender Italian pastas, and button-popping 2-hour dinners aboard our Sea Dream vessel. The gemstone colored waters of the Mediterranean provided ample fresh seafood to sample. A few of us became lifelong fans of French Rose’ wine. Some of us ate our way through the ship’s entire supply of escargot! We celebrated a birthday and participated in a few sing-a-longs.

We did our best to burn off the calories with walking tours and short hikes through medieval port towns along the French and Italian coastline. Navigating the language barrier made for several laughable moments. Can I share that half of the group attended a funeral by mistake? They even signed the guest book!

In summation, it was a fantastic trip and I feel extremely lucky to have had the time to get to know every one of our Alumni guests!

I look forward to many years of Alumni Adventure fun! Alumni Adventures Itinerary Page

Please enjoy a few photos from our journey ( in no particular order). – Lauren Hall

Alaska Alumni Adventure Rome

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Sponsor a Hero!

Sponsor a Hero!

UPDATE: As of April 1st, 2015- Eighteen veterans, soldiers and their traveling companions received a free 7 day Denali Explorer [&hellip

The 2014 John Hall's Alaska Awards - Guest Rated!

The 2014 John Hall’s Alaska Awards – Guest Rated!

We just LOVE giving out these awards to our well-deserving Alaska partners! A huge THANK YOU for all that you do! [&hellip

You've got to check out this movie!

You’ve got to check out this movie!

  Want to see Katmai National Park for yourself? We include an awesome day of watching bears on our 19 [&hellip

Group Travel : Next Top Ten

Group Travel : Next Top Ten

How exciting to have Elizabeth, Joseph and John Hall recognized by Group Today as their “top ten people of the [&hellip

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