Iconic 'Into the Wild' bus removed from Alaska wilderness after increase in tourist-related incidents

This bus is moving out of the wild.

An abandoned 1940s-era bus that was popularized in the 1996 book "Into the Wild," and later its film adaptation, was removed from its longtime spot in central Alaska after an increasing number of tourists found themselves in harm’s way while trying to visit the landmark.

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The bus, located near a trail outside Denali National Park, was removed Thursday by officials with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and Alaska Army National Guard, Reuters reported.

An Alaska Army National Guard UH 60 Blackhawk helicopter hovers near "Bus 142," made famous by the "Into the Wild" book and movie.

An Alaska Army National Guard UH 60 Blackhawk helicopter hovers near "Bus 142," made famous by the "Into the Wild" book and movie. (Reuters)

The bus was made popular in the "Into the Wild" movie-adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s 1996 non-fiction book of the same name. The story follows 24-year-old Chris McCandless, whose body was found inside the bus after his attempt to hike to Alaska’s coast in 1992. He reportedly died of starvation after more than 100 days of being in the wilderness.

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The U.S. Army removed the bus via helicopter from a trail outside Denali National Park.

The U.S. Army removed the bus via helicopter from a trail outside Denali National Park. (Reuters)

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Hordes of tourists have been making the trek to the bus, which had been brought to the area in the 1960s and left by a road crew deep in central Alaska — 30 miles away from the nearest town, and across the Teklanika River.

Between 2009 and 2017, Alaska authorities have reported 15 search-and-rescues of tourists who got stuck trying to get to, and leave from, the “perilous attraction,” Denali Borough Mayor Clay Walker told Reuters. Two people have drowned.

Though the mayor described the bus’s removal as “bittersweet” as it had become such an icon, there was a relief at its departure.

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Alaska's Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige said officials understood how important the bus was to tourists, Reuters reported.

"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," he said in a statement.

The Department of Natural Resources is reportedly still deciding what to do with the bus.