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Stampede Trail

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Other Names

The Magic Bus Trail, 142 Bus, Fairbanks Bus, Into the Wild, Stampede Road, Teklanika River, Savage River, Eight Mile Lake

Last Known StatusOpen

Originally an old mining road built in the 1930's, this rugged trail begins outside Healy, Alaska and heads west. The trail at one time eventually connected to Bus 142, the infamous shelter that was used by ill-fated hiker Christopher McCandless portrayed in the Jon Krakauer book and the 2007 film "Into The Wild" directed by Sean Penn.

The bus was removed in June 2020 due to public safety issues which ranged from harsh weather conditions and crossing the Teklanika River, which is fast moving with deep and very cold water. This river is extremely dangerous and drownings have occurred when riders and machines being swept away by the deceptively powerful current.

It is advised that you do not attempt to cross the river, especially during the summer months as glacier melt and rainy weather increase the river current and depth significantly.

Although crossing is sometimes feasible when the water is lowest (late winter / early spring), there is no specific time frame when crossing is advised.

Due to the bus being removed, another alternative is to check out the movie prop bus that was featured in the film and while downing a cold one at the nearby 49th State Brewery.

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Permit RequiredNo
Dates OpenYear-Round
Other ATV Stickers AcceptedUnknown
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting exhaust silencer or end cap is required for all vehicles.
Noise Limit
Whip FlagsNot Required
Maximum Vehicle WidthNo Restriction
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles Motorcycles & Dirt BikesPermitted
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers Four WheelersPermitted
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTV & SXSPermitted
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates 4x4 & Jeeps (registered)Permitted
Dune Buggy & Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
2 Stroke EnginesNo Restriction
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingNo Restriction(camp anywhere)
Campfire Restrictions Campfires
Night RidingUnknown
Trail BlazingProhibitedvehicles must stay on trail
Rule Enforcement


AreaMotorized Trails
LandState Forest




Our RatingRatingVery Good
Recommended Stay1-2 Days
Comments(Scroll Down For Rider Reviews & Comments)


Nearest CityHealy, AK
Go Back To Alaska List
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: Anchorage, AK
1) Take SR-1 East about 35 miles
2) Turn left (north) onto SR-3, continue about 64 miles
3) Turn left (west) onto Stampede Road, continue about 4 miles
4) Park at any of the side pullouts.

Note: Stampede Road is paved for the first 4 miles, and is reachable by most vehicles to mile 5, after that high clearance 4WD is required.


Contact InfoDenali National Park And Preserve
P.O. Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755-0009
(907) 683-9532
(907) 683-2294
Contact InfoDenali ATV Adventures
P.O. Box 593
Healy, AK 99743
(907) 683-4288
Contact InfoDenali Jeep Backcountry Safari
(907) 683-4404


Stampede Trail Photo

Stampede Trail

The Magic Bus was removed in June 2020.

Stampede Trail Photo

Stampede Trail

Teklanika River


Submit a Photo!


Miles Of Trail25
Climate TypeForest
Elevation1700 to 2100 ft.
Trail MaintenanceMarked, Not Rated, Lightly Maintained
Loose DirtThis trail has little loose dirt.Little
Hard PackThe trail has some hard pack terrain.Some
SandThis trail has no sandy areas.None
MudThe trail has some mud after it rains.Some
DustThe trail has little dust on typical days.Little
RocksThis trail has little rocks.Little
TreesThe trail has almost all trees.All
Steep HillsThis trail has few steep hills.Few
Small JumpsThis trail has no small jumps.None
Large JumpsThis trail has no large jumps.None
BermsThe trail has no berms.None
Sand/Gravel PitsThis state forest has no sand or gravel pits.None
Single TrackThis state forest has no single track trails.None
HazardsThis trail has few hazards.Few(hazards assumed marked but use caution)
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has mostly beginner terrain.Mostly
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has some intermediate level terrain.Some
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has little expert terrain.Little


Gasoline Gasoline1-5 Miles (SE)McKinley RV Park and Campground (907) 683-2379
Diesel Diesel1-5 Miles (SE)McKinley RV Park and Campground (907) 683-2379
Potable Water Water1-5 Miles (SE)McKinley RV Park and Campground (907) 683-2379
RV Hookups RV Hookup1-5 Miles (SE)McKinley RV Park and Campground (907) 683-2379
RV Dump Station RV Disposal1-5 Miles (SE)McKinley RV Park and Campground (907) 683-2379
Primitive Camping Campground1-5 Miles (SE)McKinley RV Park and Campground (907) 683-2379
Convenience Store Conv Store1-5 Miles (SE)McKinley RV Park and Campground (907) 683-2379
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