Bus 142

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Donate Now to help preserve Bus 142!

Bus 142 Project Phase Graphic

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 Air 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). 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 immersive 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.

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.