Sign In:


Last Step!

Please enter your public display name and a secure password.

Plan to post in the forums? Change your default forum handle here!

Check Out Our Shop

Woman Dies Trying to Reach ‘Into the Wild’ Bus

This is the second fatality linked to the bus pilgrimage. Wikipedia Commons Photo.

A woman died last Thursday after trying to reach the notorious Into the Wild bus in Alaska. The bus, originally a temporary shelter for construction workers, is better known for becoming the home and final resting place of Chris McCandless. McCandless lived 118 days in the dilapidated vehicle until he starved to death in 1992. After his story became famous through Jon Krakauer's book Into the Wild and its subsequent 2007 movie adaptation, the bus has become romanticized by wanderlust hikers who have dubbed it “The Magic Bus”. 

RELATED: Hiker rescued from Grand Teton National Park after 1200-foot fall

Newlywed Veramika Maikamava was attempting to cross the rain-swollen Teklanika River when she lost her footing and was quickly swept underwater. The 24-year-old was traveling with her husband Piotr Markielau in an attempt to reach the famous bus. To cross the fast-moving river, they used a rope that’s strung across the water. While wading through the waist-high water, Maikamava stumbled and lost her grip on the rope. Markielau found the 24-year-old’s body roughly 75-100 feet downriver.

Sadly, Maikamava isn’t the only tragedy linked to iconic bus pilgrimage. In 2010, in the same spot, a 29-year-old Swiss woman drowned. The bus has also become quite a headache for the nearby search and rescue, who’ve responded to 15 incidents—most of which are related to the river—in the span of 2009-2017. 

In an op-ed for the Anchorage Dailey News, Alaskan Sean Doogan highlights the dilemma the bus creates for the local community. Through his analysis, Doogan interviews a local dog sledding operator, who explains that he receives weekly calls from tourists looking for Magic Bus intel. In response, he discourages the curious travelers to go looking for it. More often than not, these travelers are unprepared. In response to the latest death, Alaskan troopers are urging hikers to be prepared and know their limitations. 

In other words, if you're not adequately prepared to travel in the Alaskan backcountry, don't consider trekking to the infamous bus. 

About The Author

stash member Katie Lozancich

TGR Staff Writer and photographer. Fond of bikes, pow, and dogs. Originally from Northern CA, home for me has ranged from the PNW to a teepee in Grand Teton National Park.