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Alaska has undoubtedly the most variety of climate and terrain than anywhere else north of the 60° latitude. The immense wilderness access and lack of modern development in much of the state makes Alaska very conducive to wilderness practice. That is if one can endure and make use of the long winters, camp in often unpredictable and rugged weather, practice amongst the plentiful bears and other large animals, take the risk camping in places far away from modern conveniences and services, and the list goes on and on. This goes for Yukon and Northwest Territories as well.

When practicing in the wilderness almost everywhere north-of-sixty, one must remain highly vigilant, resourceful, and responsible. Even if you’re not far from civilization, there are many ways to die quickly in such a rugged environment. The experience of practicing in the Alaskan bush, as well as anywhere else north-of-sixty, can be more intense and powerful than practicing in any other wilderness of North-America for so many reasons. The distinct experience isn’t entirely due to the rugged climate or massive grizzly bears, there’s far more to it than that. So what makes it so special? Give it a sincere try for a good while and find out for yourself.

Almost every section of Alaska’s road system provides abundant wilderness access, with the exception being much of the west side of the Kenai Peninsula. In much of the great state, one need not venture far at all from civilization until finding oneself once again surrounded by undeveloped, rugged wilderness with few or no signs of human presence.There aren’t many places like this left in the United States, and of course nowhere else can compare to the scale of Alaska.

Than Andrew firmly believes Alaska has the culture, support, and ease of wilderness access to facilitate the growth of a future monastic presence in the state. Being part of the United States, Alaska is an easier place for American monks to stay for long durations of time than Yukon and Northwest Territories, where Americans are subject to Canadian laws for foreign visitors. The plentiful opportunities available to wilderness monks in Alaska don’t compare to anywhere else in the US at such a vast scale. However, the Alaskan wilderness can present a challenge that a monk, or any meditator, may never face elsewhere.