14 Jan

Alaskan Storyteller Event

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


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.


Tara R.


9 Dec

Sponsor a Musher!


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.


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.


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


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.


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





29 Oct

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

Thanks guys for bringing the scenery of Alaska to our guests while delivering first class service!


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

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!


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

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

2014-09-28 10.52.26

2014-09-28 10.57.03

2014-09-28 14.36.26

2014-09-29 10.42.41

2014-09-30 09.00.16 HDR

2014-09-30 10.36.35


2014-10-01 10.12.47

2014-10-04 12.17.06

2014-10-04 16.01.07


22 Oct

Neil discusses a new TV show featuring McCarthy!

Hey, Look! its our buddy Neil from McCarthy, Alaska!

‘Edge of Alaska’ star discusses life in McCarthy


You can meet Neil on our 19 Day National Parks of Alaska tour in 2015!

10 Oct

John Hall Sr Awarded ATIA’s Lifetime Achievement Award

John Sr 1 John Sr 2

John Sr. was awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award” at last night’s Alaska Tourism Industry Association’s (ATIA) award banquet!

While not a standing annual award, this recognition is conferred upon an individual who has demonstrated lifelong support of and leadership in Alaska tourism, promoted industry standards of excellence, and contributed to the industry’s growth as a whole.

This was an emotional night for the Hall family, who are reminded daily of John Sr’s  passion for the state of Alaska.

John Sr 3


17 Sep

New TV Show for McCarthy& the McCarthy Lodge!


Check out this update from Neil Darish at the MCarthy Lodge – our partners in McCarthy, Alaska.

Coming in 2015 – Our own Television Show! You may notice more of your guests asking about McCarthy in 2015. Discovery Channel has completed filming of their new Television series: “Edge Of Alaska”. This 8 part series follows the lives of McCarthy residents in the winter, and features the McCarthy Lodge, Golden Saloon, and Ma Johnson’s Hotel. It will begin airing in October or November.

We look forward to tuning in and watching as the drama unfolds! 

16 Sep

On a Cruise Ship!

We spotted some Villagers in Southeast Alaska this week…..


16 Sep

2015 Brochure Alaska Now Online!

Hard copies are available today but now you can view our brochure online


16 Sep

Please note: Our internet and phone system is being upgraded today and tomorrow (9/16-9/17).  We have been told that there may be periodic service outages throughout both days. If you are experiencing issues, please use this alternative phone number to speak to a guest services specialist: 651-212-0969

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

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

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