The 'Into the Wild' Bus Removed from the Alaska Backcountry

State officials say its removal prioritizes public safety
The 'Into the Wild' Bus Removed from the Alaska Backcountry
An abandoned bus in the Alaska backcountry, popularized by the 1996 book Into the Wild and Sean Penn's 2007 film of the same name, has been removed from the wilderness.

Explaining that the decision was made in the interest of prioritizing public safety, Alaska Natural Resources commissioner Corri Feige said the move came "at no cost to the public or additional cost to the state," the Associated Press reports.

The Alaska Army National Guard moved the bus out of the wilderness as part of a training mission using a heavy lift helicopter and carted it away on a flatbed truck. You can watch the process below.

Feige explained the bus will be kept in a secure location while the department weighs various options for what to do with it, according to AP.

Officials had voted for the removal of the bus back in March in hopes of preventing any further rescue operations or deaths involving tourists looking to get Into the Wild themselves. In February, five Italian tourists required a rescue from a backcountry camp they set up after visiting the fabled vehicle, while a woman from Belarus died in 2019 while attempting to make the hike.

"We encourage people to enjoy Alaska's wild areas safely, and we understand the hold this bus has had on the popular imagination," Feige said. "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."

Written by Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild follows Chris McCandless, who hiked Alaska's Stampede Trail hoping to live off the land. He came upon the abandoned bus along the bank of the Sushana River, using the vehicle as a shelter until his death.

Krakauer's book was adapted for Penn's 2007 film, which featured a soundtrack helmed by Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder.