STAMPEDE TRAIL

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The Stampede Trail in Alaska was a mining trail blazed in the 1930s by Alaska miner Earl Pilgrim to access his antimony claims on Stampede Creek, above the Clearwater Fork of the Toklat River. Located in Denali Borough; what is now known as Stampede Road begins near the Nenana River at the Alaska Railroad's Anchorage-Fairbanks route in the village of Lignite.
In 1961, Yutan Construction won a contract from the new state of Alaska to upgrade the trail as part of Alaska's Pioneer Road Program, building a road on which trucks could haul ore from the mines year-round to the railroad. The project was halted in 1963 after some fifty miles of roads were built, but no bridges were ever constructed over the several rivers it crossed, and the route was shortly rendered impassable by thawing permafrost and floods. The trail has since been used by backcountry travelers on foot, bicycle, snow machine, and motorcycle.
The trail gained notoriety in 1992 with the death of Christopher McCandless, who had lived in a bus parked on an overgrown section of the trail near Denali National Park that had been left behind by the Yutan Construction Company during the road building to serve as a backcountry shelter for hunters, trappers and ranger patrols. The bus can be seen clearly on Google Earth (
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63°52′06.23″N 149°46′09.49″W/63.8683972°N 149.7693028°W / 63.8683972; -149.7693028Coordinates:
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63°52′06.23″N 149°46′09.49″W/63.8683972°N 149.7693028°W / 63.8683972; -149.7693028) and Google Maps. In recent years, the trail has seen a pilgrimage of visitors wanting to see the bus where McCandless perished. The September 2007 release of the film version of Jon Krakauer's book about McCandless, Into the Wild, has revived interest in the trail.


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A bus parked on an overgrown section of the trail near Denali National Park that had been left behind by the Yutan Construction Company during the road building to serve as a backcountry shelter for hunters, trappers and ranger patrols. This is also where Chris McCandless shelter while camping out in the woods and was also the last place where Chris was found dead by six other hunters.

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A memorial plaque for Chris McCandless is inside bus 142 near Denali National Park, Alaska,