John Hall’s Alaska tours are designed to provide the most authentic Alaska travel experience possible. And while all of our tours include activities, some also feature Adventure Days offering a more active choice of excursions. Whereas Optional Activities allow guests to customize a tour by purchasing additional excursions in some locations.
Pick Your Adventure Days
Most John Hall’s Alaska tours in The Great Land feature one or two Pick Your Adventure Days that allow you to preselect your preferred included activity from a list of options that showcase only the best of Alaska. Depending on your tour, Adventure Day activities may include:
- Denali National Park – whitewater rafting, zipline adventure, or wilderness ATV
- Cordova – glacier helicopter excursion, photo tour, saltwater fishing, or glacier exploration
- Fairbanks – antique auto museum
- Homer – fishing, kayaking, flightseeing via floatplane, boat tour, or lagoon walk
- Borealis Basecamp (winter tour) – dog sledding or snow machining
- Alyeska (winter tour) – spend the day on the slopes (includes lift ticket and rental gear), a spa day, or wildlife sailing
- Anchorage (winter tour) – brewery tour, winter photo safari, or flightseeing tour
In some places we visit on a tour, free time is incorporated so you can do what most interests you – whether that means relaxing and taking it easy, or staying on the go and packing in as much as you can. It is your tour and we make sure purchasing additional excursions is easy for you. Our teams both in the office and in the field have a lot of experience and can likely answer any questions you have about these optional excursions:
- Glacier Flightseeing by Helicopter
Enjoy views of glaciers and mountain peaks from the air. Enjoy a 30-minute helicopter flightseeing trip experiencing the wildlife along steep cliffs and valleys. Lifting off above Girdwood Airport, you’ll rise above beautiful mountain peaks and enter the 20-Mile river valley. Views of one of North America’s most glacier-filled regions present great photo opportunities from the comfort of the helicopter. Look for wildlife along the steep cliffs as we make our return. Other sights during the flight include views of the Girdwood Valley and Glacier Creek that can only be seen from the air.
- Heli Flightseeing
Nothing compares to seeing Alaska from the air! Enjoy this opportunity to experience the breadth and magnificence of natural beauty at its fullest. Watch as Alaska’s frontier swoops past the crystal-clear wraparound windows of a helicopter while flying over the White Mountains. Should weather and environment allow, guests will also have the opportunity to make a brief landing in the pristine backcountry and visit a remote outpost. Enjoy the panoramic views as you return back to Basecamp.
- Wood Burning Sauna Experience
Spend an hour warming up and relaxing in the onsite wood fired sauna. Due to limited availability and cleaning procedures, booking this experience ahead of time is required.
- Arctic Circle Flightseeing
Board a Navajo Chieftain, a 9-passenger twin-engine plane, and begin your journey north to one of the last great wilderness regions on earth, Alaska’s Arctic. You’ll be amazed by the vast and remote wild land as you fly over the Yukon River, across the Arctic Circle and to the breathtaking and rugged Brooks Mountain Range. Land in the remote community of Coldfoot, located 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Upon arrival, enjoy an orientation and learn the fascinating story of the surrounding Brooks Range wilderness as you travel by van through the community with your guide. Afterwards, board your plane for the return trip to Fairbanks. This adventurous day will leave you with a deeper understanding of the culture, greater appreciation of the natural history, and wonderful memories of time spent in Alaska’s Arctic.
- Chena Hot Springs
Spend the day exploring Chena Hot Springs Resort, home to the world’s largest year-round ice environment, the Aurora Ice Museum, created from over 1,000 tons of ice and snow. A parka will be provided for use before you enter the museum, which stays a cool 25° Fahrenheit inside! Learn about the iconic ice sculptures during a guided tour. You’ll have free time to explore after the tour and to stop by the ice bar to pick up your complimentary Appletini – served in an ice glass. Later, take advantage of your Pool and Hot Springs Pass to relax in the indoor heated pool, hot tubs, or enjoy the peaceful ambiance of the hot springs lake. Dressing rooms, lockers, towels and hair dryers are available for use. Bring your own swimsuit, or purchase one in the resort shop.
- Museum of the North
Explore the incredible University of Alaska Museum of the North and see Alaska Native cultures, natural wonders, and diverse wildlife. The museum’s collection of 2.5 million artifacts and specimens represent millions of years of biological diversity and thousands of years of cultural traditions in the North. Highlights include a 2,000-year spectrum of Alaska art, from ancient ivory carvings to contemporary paintings and sculptures, the state’s largest public display of gold, and Blue Babe – an almost 50,000- year-old mummified steppe bison. Be amazed at an everchanging sound and light installation driven by the real-time positions of the sun and moon, seismic activity, and the aurora. View original installations about Alaska’s dinosaurs and experience breathtaking architecture and views of the Alaska Range.
- Farthest North Golf Course
5am tee time? Sure! 10pm tee time? Why not?! It’s possible here in the land of the midnight sun. Test your skills at the “Farthest North Golf Course” as you make your way through 9 holes of golf. The greens are large, undulating and well bunkered, with 2 natural lakes creating water hazards on three holes. All of the narrow fairways are lined with birch, alder and spruce trees, and are bordered by a thick cut of moderately tall rough. Keep an eye out for wandering wildlife and watch out for pesky ball stealing ravens! 9 holes, par 36. Carts, clubs and golf balls are included.
- Glacier Landing Expedition
Soar through the rolling tundra and venture above the rugged Alaska Range on this incredible helicopter flight. On your way to the massive Yanert Glacier, your pilot will guide you through this unique glacially-carved environment. Snowcapped peaks and glaciers abound on this journey before you set down on a river of ice. Enjoy 15-20 minutes of glacial exploration with endless photo opportunities. On your return flight, be sure to keep an eye out for the local residents – caribou, moose, bear and Dall sheep.
- Knik & Colony Glacier Flightseeing Tour
Flightseeing over the Knik Glacier will provide you with a breathtaking view of this gigantic glacier. Stretching 5 miles wide and 25 miles long, this azure blue glacier winds its way through the Chugach Mountain Range. Less than a mile away lays, the end to another great geographic wonder, the Colony Glacier. The steep decent of the Colony and its “ice falls” make for incredible aerial photos. Enjoy a brief landing in Lake George for a great photo op in front of the glacier!
- Full Day Halibut Fishing
Enjoy a full day of fishing as you search for the catch of a lifetime! Travel 30-90 miles away from Whittier as you traverse the waters of Prince William Sound and the Northern Gulf of Alaska in search of halibut. You can also expect to see rockfish, lingcod, cod and salmon along the way. Your experienced guide will be there to provide instruction for those who are new to fishing, as well as compare stories of “the one that got away” with those who are offshore veterans! The weather can change quickly out on the water, so layered clothing is recommended for rain or shine.
- Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
Enjoy the incredible view of the Chugach Mountain Range as you travel south from Anchorage and around Turnagain Arm Inlet on your way to this non-profit sanctuary dedicated to preserving Alaska’s wildlife. Explore over 200 acres of spacious habitats as you learn about the resident orphaned and injured wildlife and observe their natural “wild” behavior. You may have the chance to see brown bears cooling off in the water, a bull moose strutting, wood bison roaming on pastures and more!
- Bear Viewing Experience
Depart from Lake Hood Sea Plane Harbor with your Alaska bush pilot and fly southwest over Cooke Inlet on a 90-minute scenic flight. Enjoy the window seat view of the Chigmit Mountains, where the Alaska and Aleutian Ranges meet, and two active volcanoes – Mt. Redoubt and Mt. Iliamna – before landing on the beach in Chinitna Bay in Lake Clark National Park. Here you will travel with a naturalist guide via a small 4-wheel drive bus and on foot to where the brown bears are most active and busy digging for clams and frolicking on the beach. After an exciting day of bear viewing, join your pilot for the return trip to Anchorage.
- Anchorage Brewery Tour Experience
The booming Anchorage craft beer scene in style as you join your knowledgeable “Hoperator” for an off-the-beaten path tour of Anchorage full of sudsy fun. During your adventure, your guide will escort you around town as you explore 3 of Alaska’s finest breweries. Enjoy your craft beer tasting with a minimum of 14 beer tastings!