Home > Gripped Outdoors

The ‘Into the Wild’ Bus Removed from Wilderness

The abandoned vehicle was made famous in the 2007 film, but many visitors required rescues over the years

The abandoned bus in the Alaskan wilderness featured in the 2007 film Into the Wild has been airlifted from a remote trail outside Denali National Park. Officials said too many people were putting themselves at risk trekking to the site where Christopher McCandless died of starvation in 1992.

The film Into the Wild is a 1996 non-fiction book written by legendary author and climber Jon Krakauer. It’s an expansion of a 9,000-word article by Krakauer on Chris McCandless titled “Death of an Innocent,” which appeared in the January 1993 issue of Outside.

“We encourage people to enjoy Alaska’s wild areas safely, and we understand the hold this bus has had on the popular imagination,” Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige said in a statement.

“However, this is an abandoned and deteriorating vehicle that was requiring dangerous and costly rescue efforts. More importantly, it was costing some visitors their lives.” The Alaska Department of Natural Resources and Alaska Army National Guard worked jointly to remove the 1940s-era bus.

Over the years, many people were injured or stranded making their way to the bus. Two drowned in river crossings. In April a stranded Brazilian tourist was evacuated, and in February five Italian tourists were rescued.

Advertisement

The local mayor called the bus removal, “A big relief. For public safety, we know it’s the right thing,” Denali Borough Mayor Clay Walker told Reuters. “At the same time, it is part of our history and it does feel a little bittersweet to see a piece of our history go down the road.”

The bus was hauled to the trail about 60 years ago by a road crew. “It turned into a perilous attraction that needed to be addressed,” Walker said. The ultimate fate of the dilapidated bus is unknown. The Department of Natural Resources statement said it is being kept in a “secure location” pending a decision about its disposal.

Author of Into the Wild Jon Krakauer talked about the removal of the bus on social media, read below.