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Best time to visit Alaska

Stampede Trail and Bus 142

A challenge for even the toughest and most experienced hikers


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This remote and dangerous hiking trail is nevertheless popular with backpackers wandering in the Alaskan backcountry. This old mining road and trail acquired a lot of attention after the death of an American traveler Christopher McCandless, who was found dead in an abandoned bus that served as a shelter on Stampede Trail in 1992. According to medical expertise, he died of starvation. A book and a film telling his story made the trail even more popular, and many hikers try to conquer it themselves every year.

The famous bus where the movie was shot is located right at the beginning of the trail. However, to see the real McCandless' shelter, hikers had to walk for 30 kilometers. On June 18, 2020, Bus 142 was airlifted out by a National Guard Chinook helicopter and moved to a new location. This abrupt move was caused by many casualties on the trail in recent years.

Hikers, who were trying to complete the trail in summer, suffered from mosquitos' bites and bear attacks. Also, Teklanika river is too high in summer, and it's rather dangerous to cross it. Thus the best time to walk the Stampede trail is August and September when the water gets lower. If you d​on't mind the frost, you can also try your luck in winter when the river is frozen, and bears are hibernating.

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