“Into The Wild” Abandoned Bus Has Been Moved! Why It Became A “Death Trap” For Tourists!

The Deadly “Into The Wild” Bus Moved!

Fans of the compelling book “Into The Wild” – or those who saw the equally compelling movie – will be fascinated by the latest news from Alaska – the abandoned bus has been moved!

As you can see, this is the river that kept the bus separated from easy access – and as a result, it was endangering visitors to the site!

Newser had this terrific reporting:

(NEWSER) – An abandoned bus in the Alaska backcountry, popularized by the book Into the Wild and the movie of the same name, was removed Thursday, state officials said. The decision prioritizes public safety, Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige said. The bus has long attracted adventurers to an area without cellphone service and marked by unpredictable weather and at-times swollen rivers, the AP reports. Some have had to be rescued or have died.

They go on to report:

Christopher McCandless, the subject of the book and movie, died there in 1992. The rescue earlier this year of five Italian tourists and death last year of a woman from Belarus intensified calls from local officials for the bus, about 25 miles from the Parks Highway, to be removed. The Alaska Army National Guard moved the bus as part of a training mission “at no cost to the public or additional cost to the state,” Feige said.

The Alaska National Guard, in a release, said the bus was removed using a heavy-lift helicopter. The crew ensured the safety of a suitcase with sentimental value to the McCandless family, the release states. It doesn’t describe that item further. Feige, in a release, said the bus will be kept in a secure location while her department weighs various options for what to do with it.

That’s an interesting bit of news, and it will be interesting to see if the book is updated with additional information about what was left in the bus…

The entire story was a senseless tragedy – as Newser notes:

McCandless, a 24-year-old from Virginia, was prevented from seeking help by the swollen banks of the Teklanika River. He died of starvation in the bus, and wrote in a journal about living in the long-abandoned Fairbanks city bus for 114 days, right up to his death. Jon Krakauer wrote the book on the incident in 1996, and Sean Penn directed the movie in 2007. The Department of Natural Resources said the 1940s-era bus had been used by a construction company to house employees during work on an access road in the area and was abandoned when the work was finished in 1961.

It’s a tragic story, and a compelling piece of non-fiction about his life and tragic death:

The book tells the story of a young man who was eager to escape from society, and the price he paid in doing so – you can see more of the book here:


Newser as always has terrific stories – you can see this one here:


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Categories: Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Great Films, Memoirs, Movies, nature, Pop Culture, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

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20 replies

  1. Not a book I have read but it seems to be one I should judging from the comments. I never understand the mentality of some tourists just as well it has been removed to save people from their own foolishness as always an interesting read, John 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We had just watched this movie again on Prime. I have a son and daughter-in-law in Fairbanks. It’s such a haunting story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I did not read the book or see the movie. So, thank you for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I seem to be the only person who has not heard of this tragic story, how haunting for his family.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. that’s so crazy about people trying to find it and needing to be rescued. I read it and saw it, and watched a more recent interview explaining more about why he really did what he did – very sad.


  6. It is a bit of a shame the bus has been moved, John. I remember reading about the young man who starved to death on your blog.


    • Robbie, it was so strange that people hiked to see it and also got trapped by the river…perhaps a centralized location will allow people to pay homage without putting themselves at risk! It’s a terrific book by the way!


  7. I remember you featuring this story before, John. I think it makes good sense to remove the bus that was becoming a dangerous place of ‘pilgrimage’.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  8. I read this book and saw the movie, then completely forgot about it. What an interesting tale, and one that I can resonate with in so many ways. It’s unfortunate that tourists were putting themselves in danger to snap a photo of this! But… tourists will be tourists…

    Liked by 1 person

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