Rescues & Accidents

Rescues & Accidents


The removal of the bus has saddened many, but we can assure you the Alaskan officials did not make their decision in haste. Yes, most travelers did make the trip without incident, but there were many that did not. In the shadow of Chris McCandless’s legacy, sometimes people seemed to forget that Chris himself did not live to share his own story. He was the first person stranded by the Teklanika River, and that ultimately led to his death. As visitors to his final resting place increased, the growing number of rescues, and recoveries of those that lost their lives, weighed heavily on the local community, government & first responders.

The following list is just a portion of the numerous rescues that have occurred over the years on the Stampede Trail. In an article by Eva Holland, Tri-Valley Volunteer Fire Department Chief, Rusty Lasell is said to have rescued 12 hikers in a single summer.

April 202026 Year Old Brazilian Hiker Rescued After Running Out of Food

February 2020Five Italian Hikers Rescued After Frostbite Incident

July 201924 Year Old Belarusian Woman Veranika Nikanava Drowns at the Teklanika Crossing

June 2017Belgian Hiker Rescued After Being Trapped by the Teklanika River

September 201645 Year Old Mexican Man Rescued After Being Reported Missing

August 201622 Year Old Canadian Rescued After Sustaining Minor Injuries

June 2016Two American Hikers Rescued Attempting to Reach Bus 142

August 2014Three Hikers Rescued After One Sustains Injury From Axe

June 2013Three Hikers Rescued by Military Helicopter After Injury and Impassable River

May 2013Three German Hikers, Stranded by Impassable River, Rescued by Alaska State Troopers

February 201123 Year Old Singapore Man Rescued by Alaska State Troopers After Being Reported Overdue

August 201029 Year Old Swiss Woman Claire Ackermann Drowns at the Teklanika River

June 2010Four Alaskan Teens Rescued When Their Vehicle Gets Stuck On Trail

August 2009Park Hotel Employee is Rescued for the 2nd Time Trying to Reach Bus 142

The bus no longer rests on the Stampede Trail, but the hike is no less dangerous. If you’re looking for an immersive experience within the natural beauty of Alaska, please check out our suggestions here from FOB142 team member, Erik Halfacre.

For those of you who insist on taking the risk of visiting the former site of Bus 142, please be sure that you limit that risk to you alone. In addition to the expense of rescues, born by local taxpayers, they also put rescuers into harm’s way. You can mitigate the risk to yourself and others by thoroughly doing your research before your trip. Experienced hiker Jamie Compos, of details what you will need to know on his site.

Also, we encourage you to visit Bus 142 at the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North after the exhibit opens. Sign up for updates about the project’s completion here.