fairbanks transit system


Fairbanks City Transit System Bus 142 is an abandoned 1946 International Harvester K-5 that is parked in a clearing along the Stampede Trail near Denali National Park.

It was originally one of three buses used by the Yutan Construction Company to transport the construction crew from Fairbanks to the work site in 1961. The bus’s engine was removed and it was instead towed by D8 Cats. Eventually, its axle broke which caused the crew to leave it where it now serves as a backcountry shelter for hunters, trappers and ranger patrols.

The bus gained notoriety in January 1993 when Outside magazine published an article written by Jon Krakauer titled “Death of an Innocent” describing the death of Christopher McCandless, an American hitchhiker who lived in the bus during the summer of 1992 while attempting to survive off the Alaskan wilderness only to die of starvation four months later.[2]

In recent years, the bus, also known as the “Magic Bus” according to McCandless’s writings, has seen a pilgrimage of visitors seeking where McCandless perished. The 2007 film version of Jon Krakauer’s 1996 book about McCandless, Into the Wild, has revived interest in the bus.

In 2013, Dave Gill from England visited the bus as part of a British documentary publishing project. The post on his website shows that as of July 8, 2013, the condition of the bus site, in particular the exterior of the bus, has diminished as visitors have shot at the bus and caused damage.