Donate Now to help preserve Bus 142!
The UA Museum of the North is proud to be an official state repository for the State of Alaska. It is through this relationship that we are able to be the caretaker of Bus 142. Learn more about what it takes to care for an historical item like the bus and how we develop a collaborative exhibition for visitors to Fairbanks and beyond.
View our Bus 142 Virtual Exhibit!
See the bus until the end of July 2023 via our livestream!
Share your story about the bus here!
You may be wondering, "When and where can I see the bus?"
Learn more about where we are in the multi-year process here.
Thanks to a partnership with UAF's Institute of Northern Engineering (INE) and the Arctic Infrastructure Development Center (AIDC), the public can view the bus 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Monday - Friday at the ConocoPhillips Alaska High Bay Structural Testing Lab at the Joseph E. Usibelli Engineering Learning and Innovation Building (JUB) on the UAF campus, until the middle of June 2023.
Through a collaborative process using a number of community advisory groups, the museum will undergo a multi-year project to conserve the aging bus that has been subject to years of vandalism.
Teams will also develop an interpretive approach that will focus on the various life-stages of the bus. From its service in the 1950s as a part of the Fairbanks City Transit System, as a home for the family of a Yutan Construction Company mining road crew member in the early 1960s, as a shelter for hunters and back-country hikers in the 1970s and '80s, and most famously as the final place of refuge in 1992 for Christopher McCandless, the young man whose story was made famous by the 1996 Jon Krakauer book, Into the Wild.
The bus will be exhibited in an outdoor space near the Museum, on the UAF campus. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the history safely, for the first time in thirty years.
Check out the complicated process of balancing the preservation of existing elements while repairing and restoring lost components. In addition to the safety of our visitors, the long-term care of the bus and associated collections is our number one priority.
In September 2020, the UA Museum of the North became the official repository for Bus 142 (aka "Stampede Trail Bus", "Magic Bus", or "Into the Wild Bus"). The bus and associated historical materials will be cataloged into the Ethnology & History permanent collection and eventually placed on public exhibit.
Removed by the Alaska Army National Guard from its nearly 60-year home along the Stampede Trail, the 1946 International Harvester K5 bus will soon find its new home on the grounds of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).
In order to do all of this, the UA Museum of the North needs your help!
Hit the Donate Now button to be part of the efforts to preserve this important piece of Alaska's history.