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October 26, 2007



When I saw "Into the Wild" I felt entirely inspired by the actions of Chris Mccandless. Why must we rely on the forces of our unnatural world to get us by? This kid was a high school and college graduate who easily could've made it in the real world with a high paying job with a set retirement plan, but he took an excursion, an excavation. Twas more like a life most people will never live. The one kind type of thing. I will admit, I am a young maybe naive individual, but I solely believe in living a life that does not consist of an everyday routine and/or a life within the grip of society. He lived like an animal, like we were in the pilgrim days. Our nature. Human nature! Who would of thought we actually lived like the trekkie Chris became. Before civilization, cultivation, generalization. We were the outdoors, we were the wind, we were the wild. And so here is just a young man who wanted to experience that, and maybe even with the intention of death upon him. At least he got the chance he wanted. Something some of us will never get in our greedy little lives.


I understand that it's overwhelming for the people of Healy, dear god I wouldn't wanna have people wandering off in places they can't manage. But moving the bus? I don't agree. If you move the bus you move the story. It wouldn't be the same if the bus isn't situated at the same location where the actual event took place. The bus has been there forever, it's not only been shelter for Chris, but to others aswell. Nah, keep the bus, find another way to handle the tourists. :]


Don't move the bus. Have people who want to go to the site pay a fee. This fee would finance a team of say 3 people making sure visitors have the right equipment and have done the right planning before making their trek to the bus. The same team should also have as duty to keep the site unspoiled and safe from tomb raiders. Some portion of the money raised from the fee should compensate the cost of (god forbid) an eventual airlift rescue.
A fundamental thing about this is that the fee is not intended to make profits, just to safeguard the visitors and the site. Without having Alaskan taxpayers paying for it.

The idea of PAYING for visiting the great outdoors doesnt go well with Chris' ideals. But I would rather do that, than seing the site vandalized or to see people die just like Chris did.

And thats my 2 cents. Cheers from Sweden.

Born and raised in AK

I live in Alaska, and have my whole life. I have been hunting out near where the bus is located and can tell you that it is very unforgiving.

I may actually take a trip to the bus in August and document it for my blog. I too enjoyed this story, probably because I can relate to some of his world view, and at very least, his plight at home.

Alaskans are wierd like that, they bitch and moan about him wanting to live out there and be away from society, yet that is exactly the reason why most of us live here.

One of the earlier post said it all; we rely so much on tourism and for people to want to pick and choose is rediculous.

Indeed it could be made a safer trip with a small investment, but clearly there is, and will be interest in this story.

One last note, the bus used in the movie is sitting outside someone's house in Cantwell, AK, and I raed an interview with that man and he is equally baffled by people wanting to see the actual place on the stampede trail.

Yet through all his complaining the bus is on his "private" road which may force people to take the plunge "into the wild."

As a lifelong resident, I will warn all that want to go that it is no joke getting out there. I would highly recommend a GPS device, guns and or bear mace, and plenty of food. If you have the means, a sattelite phone is the way to go.

Many locals say that "Alaska is a great place to test yourself, but a bad place to find yourself."

Truer words have never been spoken.


I just got back from the bus today. It was a long hike, very long. But worth it.

The idea that the people of Healy don't want tourists is a joke. The entrance to Denali National Park is 10 miles from Healy and gets over 500,000 visitors a summer. Most of the 100 people a year that go to the bus work in Denali as My buddy and I do. We even met some locals along the trail going to see the bus.

I would have gone even if they moved the bus. It's not about going to see a bus or where someone died. People die everywhere all the time.

It's about connecting with an idea.

Saw lots of animal tracks but no animals. If you go when the rivers are low, crossing shouldn't be a problem. Bears have never killed anyone in Denali, maybe these "true Alaskans" should stop shooting at them and learn to pick up thier garbage so that bears don't become more of a problem.

It is a very long hike.


hmm... maybe shave the top of Denali(Mt. Mckinley) off so people will stop wanting to climb that. After all people die climbing it all the time.


Mike, I agree, it's the journey, the idea and Chris's internal quest that is the point here. I'm sure it was a beautiful hike to the banks of the Sushana where the bus lies. It sounds as though you have respect for the place as well as the bus. let's hope others who follow do as well.

Born and raised in AK

Wow! Mike is all worked up about "true alaskans" shooting at animals. I hope you are a vegitarian to make such a claim.

As long as you make good use of your kill, there is nothing wrong with it. Obviously, McCandless would not have lived over 100 days without it. Thats why he felt horrible that he wasted a moose.

I should point out that its mostly tourists (like yourself) that leave garbage out in the wild, which obviously you do not do, and I thank you.

I do thank you however, for bringing tourist dollars here. As I said earlier, I dont understand why people try and pick and choose.

Great point about Denali by the way, I never thought about it that way.


I think this is such an awsome iconic spot and the "magic bus" should be left in its own spot its more or less a tomb or a memorial as some would call it and if people really want to see it they well tie there boots up tight and travel the 50 miles to see it i know i want to!


Into the Wild is an inspiring story that most should take as not only inspiration but a warning. Personally, I would love to visit the bus and would never see Chris as some random punk because the trip held meaning for him, not just a rebellion. Its great to have this sense of determination, but unlike Chris, I feel that everyone needs to consider that it is a dangerous trip that requires a certain amount of experience, not the type of place for those with romantic visions of the "wild". I don't think it should be moved. Chris wouldn't want it.

Stefan Rohner

""IT thinks it’s a bit creepy the morbid spot has become a tourist attraction. ""

it is!


I am considering going out to visit the site next summer (2009). If anyone is interested in a hiking partner, email me at julielicious22@hotmail.com

Jon Nierenberg

Interesting comments, but the log books at the bus are better. If you want to see the bus, it is much easier in late season or winter. We dog sled to the bus in about four to five hours, much easier and safer than the summer. If you don't understand the concern locals have about starry-eyed people walking in to the site, you need to get your head out of the clouds and understand that one person who drowns is tragic. As long as people understand realistically the details of the situation, no Alaskan will have a problem with them visiting the bus. But the movie and book are filled with fantasy. See Ron Lamothe's documentary "Call of the Wild". He, unlike Krakauer and Penn, actually did real research, along with hiking to the bus and talking to locals, and his version is much closer to the truth. After that, if you still idealize the Kid, then go for it. We are happy to take your travel/contact information if you are hiking in, so if you are late coming out someone can be notified. Stop by our lodge, EarthSong Lodge, at Mile 4 Stampede Road to do that. While we will take info, we are NOT responsible for initiating a search, and the Bus is not on Denali National Park property. I will also take you in by dog team if you want, in the winter/early spring months. See our website.

Mike McCool

What is with this "southern boy" can't do anything crap. I've been backpackin my whole life and ive done it twice in alaska for three weeks both times. But guess what.... I'm from georgia!! So who cares where your from. Where all humans living on the same earth. Where your born does not decide What you can do and not do. I plan on returning to alaska this summer and the bus was on my list. The trip should without a doubt be taken with extreme cation but just cause i'm from ga doesn't meen i'm not prepared. I've backpacked in alaska before and can't wait to return. By the way i'm 17 and bet i could last longer than many of you alaskans. So stop downing on people if they wish to explore the great alsaska. peace out chris is the man


I want to go, but I do not have a lot of experience. I am in good shape. Does anybody can help me, so I can choose the perfect time of 2009. and give me some advice.



I want to go, but I do not have a lot of experience. I am in good shape. Does anybody can help me, so I can choose the perfect time of 2009. and give me some advice.



I want to go, but I do not have a lot of experience. I am in good shape. Does anybody can help me, so I can choose the perfect time of 2009. and give me some advice.


Born and raised in AK

To Mike McCool, I dont think anyone is trying to offend out-of-staters, its just a common mistake to show up here thinking its like everywhere else....and its not. Just make sure you mix in some smarts with your brawn.

If you are prepared, more power to you. Much of the dangers here are the bears, and the terrain, so just beware of that and you should have fun.

And to Mitchell, being in good shape helps but you will definatly need a great map that you can aquire from the USGS website. Timing is essential for this trek as the water cannot be too high on the "Tek". Generally speaking, the early spring or late fall are the best times.

The late fall less of the two because bears are very active before hibernation. Also, this last summer was the rainiest on record in many places so it was far from ideal at any point.

Overall the best time is in the winter as there are no bears, and the rivers are frozen over. Many people mush out there or x-country ski.

If practical, seek out a local to take you there like perhaps the post toward the top. Its always better to be with someone that knows the lay of the land.


The state of AK has backcountry checklists that are immensly helpful. I would get one of those and make sure you follow it.

Best of luck to all who go....Be Safe!

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