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Alaska News

5 rescued on their way back from ‘Into the Wild’ bus

  • Author: Tess Williams
  • Updated: February 24
  • Published February 23

Five Italian tourists were rescued Saturday from Stampede Trail as they made their way back from visiting the bus made famous by the book and film “Into the Wild."

Alaska State Troopers and volunteers from the Tri-Valley Fire Department were called to an area about 2 miles from the bus Saturday around 8 a.m., said Tri-Valley Fire Chief Brad Randall. First responders reached the group by snowmachine.

One of the hikers was treated for non-life-threatening cold exposure, Randall said. It’s unclear how long the hikers had been outside, but Randall said he believed the group had been in the area at least overnight.

Temperatures in the area were about 5 to 10 degrees Saturday morning, Randall said.

Troopers could not be immediately reached Sunday afternoon.

Several people have been rescued along the Stampede Trail in recent years and two have died. The 20-mile trail leads to an abandoned bus where Christopher McCandless died in 1992. McCandless’s story was made famous by the 1996 Jon Krakauer book “Into the Wild,” which became the basis of a movie of the same name in 2007.

In July of 2019, a newlywed couple from Belarus was attempting to cross the Teklanika River when the woman was swept away and died. A Swiss woman died trying to cross the river in 2010.

Randall said the department has been called to assist lost, stranded or injured hikers several times. The high river waters can make the trail dangerous or impassable during summer months.

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