7 Jan

Greetings to all in the New Year,

As we close the doors to 2013, John Hall’s Alaska would like to thank everyone who participated in our 2013 Alaska season. While the organization experienced its share of firsts, a successful season would not have been made possible without several individuals.

Thank you to our wonderful Alaska partners for unique experiences and creating once in a lifetime trips for our guests. Without outstanding working relationships in Alaska, our tour packages could not operate at such a successful level. Individuals such as Trail Breaker Kennels, Alaska RailRoad, Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, Stan Stephens, 229 Parks and Denali BackCountry Lodge all earned prestigious guest-voted awards from John Hall’s Alaska for awesome experiences and memories created.

Thank you to the wonderful John Hall’s Alaska teams in Alaska and Lake City for all of your hard work leading up to and during the 2013 season. Without your attention to detail and compassion for John Hall’s guests, we would not be able to provide such wonderful experiences to our guests.

Finally, thank you to all those who traveled with us during the 2013 season. We appreciate your continued patronage and belief in our organization’s business principles. You touched our hearts and made forever impacts on our lives, reminding us why we love to host guests in Alaska.

After over 30 years in the travel industry, 2013 will be looked back upon as a year of new experiences and growth that will ultimately lead to a better product for years to come.

From the entire John Hall’s Alaska family and tour operation, thank you for a wonderful 2013! We look forward to watching the new itineraries flourish, creating of lifetime friendships with our guests and watching as the smiles develop ….as they always do when it comes to Alaska.

Cheers to the New Year ahead!

6 Jan

weird weather

Its 11 degrees warmer in Anchorage than it is in Austin, Tx today.


What is the world coming to?

9 Oct

The 2013 John Hall’s Alaska Awards!

The votes are in and the numbers tallied….(drum roll please…)

2013 John Hall’s Alaska Award Recipients Are:

Eli, 1st ak 394
ak railroad- best attraction and highest rated breakfast
THE ALASKA RAILROAD – Highest Rated Breakfast & Best Attraction 
Thanks guys for bringing the scenery of Alaska to our guests while delivering first class service!

Simon & seaforts
HIGHEST RATED LUNCH – Simon and Seafort’s
Seasonal seafood and salad selections kept our special guests salivating! (Say that 5 times fast)


229-parks-restaurant dessert
 DINNER – 229 Parks Restaurant & Tavern
Where organic and homegrown Alaska produce come to die a delicious death.
Thanks for the creative and fresh menu choices!

2007 Alaska 0805 (1)
Overall Partner of the Year – Talkeenta Alaskan Lodge
Overall Partner of the Year – Talkeenta Alaskan Lodge funny
OVERALL PARTNER OF THE YEAR – Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Mountain views of Denali’s south face, a grand roaring fireplace and friendly people – what’s better than that?


best alaskan experience- stan stephens
Always a favorite attraction with our guests in the Prince William Sound Crossing chock full of marine wildlife, ice chunks and amazing scenery. Please read our comments regarding founder Stan Stephen’s recent passing.


backcountry marquis
what is in the air
best remote lodge experience- back country

Forget about your television, cell phone and computer. Forget about it all and just enjoy nature at its best. Thanks to the staff of the BackCountry lodge who lead expeditions, entertain with music and keep the bears at bay!


OWNER’S CHOICE AWARD – Trail Breaker Kennel

(**This is a new award that is given to a vendor who displays uniqueness and deserves recognition for an event throughout the summer**) 
A big thanks to Dave Monson and Trail Breaker Kennels for preparing and achieving such a cool event!  Check out the dogs of Trail Breaker Kennel’s pulling our motorcoach!

9 Oct

Remembering Stan Stephens- Alaska Tourism Pioneer


Tourism pioneer and environmental steward Stan Stephens recently passed away and we would like to recognize Stan Stephens and his family for their awesome contribution to our Alaska tour programs. 

The relationship between John Hall Sr and Stan Stephens began over 20 years ago. Sr likes to talk about meeting Stan and remarking about his passion for Prince William Sound and getting people to know about its existence as a tour destination. Their passion for bringing guests a true Alaskan experience was a passion that united them. Fast forward two decades and you have a family friendship as well as a business partnership that sees 90% of John Hall’s Alaska guests enjoying a marine and glacier adventure aboard a Stan Stephens vessel, touring the pristine waters of Prince William Sound. We would like to put in writing our heartfelt condolences to the Stephens’ family. Stan’s passing will leave a big void, but the memories he created in each and every John Hall’s Alaska guest will live on through stories, photos and smiles. We will miss you!

More about Stan’s Life (from the Alaska Tourism Industry Association):
Born November 16, 1934 in Perham, Minnesota, Stan moved to North Pole, Alaska in 1961 and married the love of his life Mary Helen Stephens in 1964.  They raised 3 daughters in North Pole where Stan worked as a mechanic and spent his weekends exploring the state and Prince William Sound.  He fell in love with PWS and in 1971 founded his first company, North Star Marine Charters, specializing in hunting and fishing tours out of Valdez.  In 1978 he and Mary Helen founded Stan Stephens Charters, a company dedicated to sharing the glaciers and wildlife of PWS with tourists from around the country and the world.  A pioneer of cruising in the region, he loved being on the water showcasing the place he loved the most.

Stan was one of the fathers of the Alaska tourism industry and was dogged in his pursuit of helping the industry thrive and grow. Not only did he diligently work to promote Valdez, he dedicated his time and resources to ensure that funding was present to market Alaska to the nation and the world.  He was instrumental in the Alaska Visitors Industry Association, Alaska Wilderness Recreation Tourism Association, and the Alaska Travel industry Association.

Stan was a meticulous steward of Prince William Sound and after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, publically declared that he would dedicate the rest of his life to making sure the area was protected.  He worked diligently with industry to ensure that PWS was a safe cold weather shipping port and to ensure that the environment and marine residents were protected.

Stan lived his life by the following guidelines:  He implicitly trusted people and allowed them to fulfill their promises and perform to their highest potential. He committed himself 100 percent to any mission he embarked upon. He believed in building alliances and relationships that allowed views from all sides of an issue to reach a positive outcome.  Stan was a mentor to hundreds of employees, coworkers, and industry officials and was an amazing man that changed lives and provided direction to all he encountered.

Surviving are his wife of 49 years, Mary Helen Stephens; daughters Carrie Nash and family of Fairbanks, AK, Jenna Stephens and family of Seattle, WA and Colleen Stephens and family of Valdez.

1 Oct

JHA Motorcoach Pulled By Sled Dogs!

Check this out: Trail Breaker Kennels dogs pull our JHA motorcoach in front of our guests! This clip is from the local news station in Fairbanks.

Bus Pull


26 Aug

A Poem About John Gailey

Please enjoy this poem written about one of our own, Mr. John Gailey, an infamous Alaska tour manager who never fails to impress with his tall tales about the great North Country.  Each guest on this year’s AK157 Grand Slam tour contributed one topic for this poem.


“Alaska with John”

Before we start our Northern tale
Compared to this all others pale

To Kiss Alaska from John Hall
In August is to have a ball

Our manager throughout the land
For him we have put pen in hand

His name is John and he’d prefer
Whatever you do don’t call him ‘sir’

Continuing tales that never end
Which might just send us round the bend

3-2-1 set, 3-2-1 go
Planes and John put on a show

John be nimble, John be slick
John comes up with an answer quick

Checking windows left and right
For wildlife out there day and night

There’s caribou and grizzly bear
So stop the bus and let us stare

Toward Valdez on a day of rain
We still were silly on the train

A boat ride toward a glacier tall
Just dodging ice, amazing all

Discovery was quite a ship
That really added to our trip

But if you want to cause a fuss
Have thirty sled dogs pull a bus

Kantishna hikes and panning gold
John’s flip flops in the water cold

Whether there are clouds or sun
You know that we’ll be having fun

Blue coat brigade at 6 a.m.
With driver whom we think’s a gem

So thank you, John, you are the best
But now please let us get some rest.

Composed by poet and JHA guest: Mr. Marc Rissman 

5 Aug

New Addition to the JHA Extended Family!

For those of you who have been working with Jenny and know that she was expecting her third child, the time has come!

Tiny baby Allison arrived on July 29th. She is doing well and so is Jenny. Here is a picture of baby Allison ~


31 Jul

2014 Alaska Brochure Now Available!


Order your free copy today- ORDER HERE

and while you’re at it….


Trip of a Lifetime - says Select Traveler

Trip of a Lifetime – says Select Traveler

John Hall’s Alaska was just listed as one of 5 elite tour operators who can deliver on a TRIP OF [&hellip



and celebrate 100 years of the national parks service!  FIND YOUR PARK this year! John Hall’s Alaska is a participant [&hellip

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

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