Home Travel The “Into The Wild” Bus Was Airlifted With No Notice. Here’s What Happened To It

The “Into The Wild” Bus Was Airlifted With No Notice. Here’s What Happened To It

by joeheg

In June 2020, The Alaska National Guard undertook an unannounced training exercise near the Wilderness Trail. This would typically go unnoticed, but the mission’s scope and the target were of interest to a large number of people.

They airlifted “The Magic Bus” from “Into The Wild” from where it had rested for six decades to an “undisclosed location.”

File Photo by Spc. Craig Lyons/Alaska National Guard

The bus’s remote location, which was a central location for the book and subsequent movie, was becoming a problem because people who weren’t prepared for the trip were getting stranded or even dying while trying to get to this unlikely tourist destination.

So removing the bus was seen as the safest option since Alaska had no intention of building a trail to make it easier for people to visit. But there remained a question of what would happen to the bus. Apparently, there were no plans of what to do with it once it was removed from its prior location.

After receiving proposals from several museums, the bus was awarded to The University of Alaska Museum of the North. The museum is located on the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) campus.

Once they received the bus, the museum began to develop how they would incorporate it into their collection. They decided to use the long history of the bus, from when it was part of the Fairbanks Municipal Transit system, to when it was carted to its location near the Wilderness Trail where it served as temporary housing for workers building a trail between the Alaska Railroad and a nearby mine. Finally, it served as a home to Christopher McCandless for the last weeks of his life.

The bus is currently undergoing a conservation process that will turn it from a dilapidated rusting wreck into the centerpiece for a museum’s exhibition.

The process is expected to last for 2-3 years and all of the efforts are being funded through donations. If you want to contribute, they have a crowdfunding page.

If you’re in the area and can’t wait for the exhibit to open, you can look at the bus as they prepare.

Thanks to a partnership with UAF’s Institute of Northern Engineering (INE) and the Arctic Infrastructure Development Center (AIDC), the public can now view the bus 8:00 am – 8:00 pm Monday – Friday at the ConocoPhillips Alaska High Bay Structural Testing Lab at the Engineering Learning and Innovation Facility (ELIF Building) on the UAF campus.

If you’re not the museum type, you can visit the replica bus used in the movie. It’s located at the 49th State Brewing location in Denali.

Cover Photo: University of Alaska Museum of the North

H/T: Fodors & Backpacker

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1 comment

Recap: AA & TPG Suing Each Other, Into The Wild Bus Airlifted & More - Doctor Of Credit January 21, 2022 - 9:00 am

[…] The “Into The Wild” Bus Was Airlifted With No Notice. Here’s What Happened To It by YMMV. Shame that unprepared tourists caused this to get moved. […]

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