Abandoned Bus From ‘Into The Wild’ Taken Out Of The Alaskan Wilderness

(Photo credit: Alaska Department of Natural Resources/Handout via REUTERS)

Alec Schemmel Contributor
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An abandoned bus made famous by the book and movie “Into the Wild,” located along the Stampede Trail west of the Teklanika River, has been removed from the Alaskan wilderness, National Guard officials say.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reportedly aiming to reduce the number of costly search-and-rescue missions resulting from people attempting to reach the bus without being fully prepared.

“Certainly, Alaska’s landscape can be treacherous in many areas of the state, but the bus’s proximity to these rivers is what makes it particularly dangerous,” said Maj. Zachary Miller, an executive officer with the 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment and primary pilot for the extraction.

The site has no cellphone service and is often troubled by unpredictable weather, according to CBS News, killing some and forcing rescue missions for others. (RELATED: Hikers Visiting ‘Into The Wild’ Bus Rescued In Alaska, One Treated For Frostbite)

DNR reports indicate there were 15 search-and-rescue operations related to the bus between 2009 and 2017, according to a National Guard news release. Travelers from Switzerland and Belarus drowned in 2010 and 2019.

The 1940s-era bus, also known as Fairbanks Bus 142 and the “Magic Bus,” drew fans from around the world to embark on dangerous journeys in an attempt to retrace the steps of 24-year-old adventurer Chris McCandless, upon whom the film and book narrative is based. In 1992, McCandless spent the summer on the bus and died of starvation after 114 days.

“After studying the issue closely, weighing many factors and considering a variety of alternatives, we decided it was best to remove the bus from its location on the Stampede Trail,” said Corri A. Feige, commissioner for the DNR.

She added that the bus will be stored at a “secure site” and the DNR is discussing whether to permanently display the bus at a safe location.