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2021 Alaska winter tours are here! But which one should you take?

With the rise in winter tourism in Alaska, the accessibility of Alaska in the wintertime has also increased. 8 years ago, John Hall's Alaska was able to open up winter tourism to our guests , and since then, our tours have made a name for themselves in the industry. For 2021 we will offer two vacation packages, but which is right for you?

Here's the low-down:

Our 8-day Winter Wonders of Alaska vacation spends time in Anchorage, Talkeetna and Girdwood. An Aurora Borealis viewing dream trip, guests will witness Alaska’s beautiful Northern Lights on up to seven nights. Fun for all ages, we’ve included the opportunity to go dog sledding, skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling. Plus, you will enjoy an amazing flightseeing tour around North America’s tallest mountain, Denali and an actual glacier landing for a snow ball fight or just a walk around. This trip includes so much, and the 2 adventure days allow everyone in the family to customize their vacation to fit their desires. Don't like to ski? Enjoy a day at the Alyeska Resort spa instead. Want to get outside and exercise? Choose to snowshoe or snowmobile in Fairbanks. You get the picture. This trip is a great choice for families of varied ages since the activity choices are there. Sled dog rides at Trail Breaker Kennels will appeal to One things for sure, after an evening viewing the Northern Lights, you'll have a cozy, warm bed to return to.

Our 11-day Iditarod and Aurora Adventure has been recognized by the Travel Channel as a "great way to experience Alaska in the winter". We happen to agree! Be a part of Alaska's exciting Iditarod action with this tour. From meeting the mushers at Musher's Banquet to watching the start of the race in Willow and Anchorage, to a flight out to an Iditarod checkpoint. Interact with and experience first hand this legendary event! Enjoy up to seven nights of Northern Lights viewing plus choose your own adventure at Borealis Basecamp with snowshoeing, snowmobiling or fat tire bike riding included. For 2021, the Iditarod checkpoint is an optional experience, so that guests who do not enjoy small planes can refrain from participating and be credited $1500pp. This enriching excursion allows guests to interact with mushers after their dog teams arrive the checkpoint. Guests can observe as the dog teams are vet checked, fed, watered, and resting up for the next leg of their journey. Often, it is at these checkpoints that our guests get to take pictures with past and present Iditarod Champions!

If you are worried about the temperatures in Alaska as this time, don't be. Winters in southern Alaska tend to be relatively mild, and John Hall's Alaska guests will be fashioned with black, sub-zero jackets.

Here is some helpful information about average winter temperatures at the time of our tour departures:

Anchorage Average Temperatures: High 34°F Low 17°F 
Willow Average Temperatures: High 35°F Low 8°
Fairbanks Average Temperatures: High 25°F Low 2°F 
Arctic Circle Average Temperatures: High 15°F Low -10°F

Need help with packing? We've got your list!
Suggested packing list:• Winter hat and gloves- mittens provide greater warmth but are more difficult to operate camera equipment• Thermal base layers with materials such as synthetics, merino wool, or silk• Sun protection such as sunglasses, cap & sunscreen• Bathing suit• Layers for various weather conditions and indoor use• Face mask and/or balaclava• Chapstick with SPF• Snow pants are best although not required• Hand and/or foot warmers to enjoy the outdoors longer• Ice cleats- suggested brands include Stabilicers, Yaktrax, ICETrekkers, and Kahtoola• Winter boots rated -40°F - 0°F are best - or bring foot warmers to accompany warmer rated boots• Binoculars or spotting scope• Identification and/or passport• Watch/alarm clock• Medications• John Hall’s Alaska supplied documents, luggage tags, and itinerary.

Suggested (not required) packing list for Northern Lights photography:
• Camera with ability to adjust manually to take time exposures of 10-30 seconds or longer• Tripod for photographing the northern lights• Spare camera batteries for photographing in the cold• Lens hood/shield• Head lamp- preferably with red light option for hands-free operation• 1 gallon or 2 gallon XL Ziploc storage bag to store camera for acclimation of outdoors to indoors (potential for condensation)

Please visit our COVID Travel Protocols page for current COVID-19 information.