Best College Campuses for Outdoor Adventure

Col­lege is all about edu­ca­tion, and while many lessons are taught with­in the class­room, real-world knowl­edge is always wait­ing out­side of the lec­ture halls. If the out­door and nat­ur­al world is some­thing high on your list of pri­or­i­ties when think­ing about your sec­ondary edu­ca­tion, it would be worth con­sid­er­ing what out­door ameni­ties your pre­ferred col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties might com­prise. Be care­ful though, select­ing to go to any of these col­lege cam­pus­es for out­door adven­ture means you’ll have a real­ly high chance of miss­ing a few classes.

Appalachian State UniversityAppalachi­an State Uni­ver­si­ty, Boone, North Carolina
Sur­round­ed by the Blue Ridge Moun­tains, Appalachi­an State Uni­ver­si­ty has plen­ty of out­door oppor­tu­ni­ties to dis­tract stu­dents from their home­work. White-water kayak­ing, rock climb­ing, and back­pack­ing through­out the Appalachi­an land­scape, these activ­i­ties aren’t only found out­side of the class­room at Appalachi­an State, they’re also part of the cur­ricu­lum. The Out­door Pro­gram at Appalachi­an State Uni­ver­si­ty pro­vides gear rental, access to a 50-ft. climb­ing wall, and guid­ed trips includ­ing the likes of Back­pack­ing the Grayson High­lands, Intro to Rock Climb­ing at the Linville Gorge, and Canoe­ing the New River.


Colorado State UniversityCol­orado State Uni­ver­si­ty, Fort Collins, Colorado
The land­scape and scenery sur­round­ing the cam­pus of Col­orado State Uni­ver­si­ty encom­pass why so many of your friends are mov­ing to Col­orado. Not only does this moun­tain-back­dropped uni­ver­si­ty lend quick access to the Col­orado Front Range, but every sea­son brings new out­door oppor­tu­ni­ties to stu­dents at Col­orado State Uni­ver­si­ty. Whether it’s white-water raft­ing the Cache la Poudre Riv­er in the sum­mer or hit­ting the near­by slopes of El Dora­do Ski Resort in the win­ter, Col­orado State Uni­ver­si­ty can make it tough to stay in school. For some guid­ed advice, Col­orado State University’s Out­door Pro­gram pro­vides stu­dents with trips, tips, and a com­mu­ni­ty to get involved with.


University of WyomingUni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming
All stu­dents at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming are encour­aged to find their “Wyoming”, and with such a dense con­cen­tra­tion of wide-open Wyoming sur­round­ings to explore, most stu­dents accom­plish that with­in their fresh­man year. Right out­side the back­door of the dorms hun­dreds of miles of cross-coun­try ski, moun­tain bike, and back­pack­ing trails await every stu­dent. Plus there are loads of local rock climb­ing routes and rough­ly three mil­lion acres of the near­by Med­i­cine Bow Nation­al For­est to explore. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming’s Out­door Pro­gram helps things along with guid­ed trips, gear rental, and a mas­sive indoor climb­ing wall.


Western Washington UniversityWest­ern Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty, Belling­ham, Washington
Set in the some­times wet, but always beau­ti­ful Belling­ham, Wash­ing­ton, West­ern Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty acts as a gate­way to the epit­o­me of Pacif­ic North­west trav­el. West­ern Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty has 180 acres of for­est includ­ed into their cam­pus, and with just a short dri­ve or com­mu­ni­ty car­pool, vis­i­tors can access Seat­tle and the Puget Sound, the Mt. Bak­er Ski Area, and North Cas­cades Nation­al Park. Put it all togeth­er with the pro­gres­sive­ly friend­ly city of Belling­ham and it’s easy to see why West­ern Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty attracts stu­dents from across the world.


University of VermontUni­ver­si­ty of Ver­mont, Burling­ton, Vermont
Locat­ed on the east­ern shore of Lake Cham­plain, stu­dents at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ver­mont get imme­di­ate access to all the water activ­i­ties grant­ed by this impres­sive lake body, as well as many oth­er land-based activ­i­ties to choose from. Back­dropped by the laid-back and friend­ly town of Burling­ton, Uni­ver­si­ty of Ver­mont encour­ages their stu­dents to explore their sur­round­ings through the University’s Out­door Pro­gram, which includes guid­ed trips, gear rentals, and the Out­ing Club to bind togeth­er the community.


Boise State UniversityBoise State Uni­ver­si­ty, Boise, Idaho
Often not­ed for its abun­dant out­door and fly-fish­ing sur­round­ings, Boise State Uni­ver­si­ty deliv­ers on extracur­ric­u­lar adven­ture oppor­tu­ni­ties through­out the year. Flanked by the Rocky Moun­tains and the Great Basin deserts, with the Boise Riv­er flow­ing right through the mid­dle of cam­pus, whether you want to study the mechan­ics of rock climb­ing, raft­ing, moun­tain bik­ing, or down­hill ski­ing, Boise State Uni­ver­si­ty has the right class­rooms for you. Through the Out­door Pro­gram offered by Boise State Uni­ver­si­ty, stu­dents can opt for a Sea­son Pass which gives them open access to one-week­end adven­ture, one day-trip adven­ture, and a free pass towards the local Bogus Basin Ski Resort.


Cornell UniversityCor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty, Itha­ca, New York
Not only rep­utable for their Ivy-League stan­dards, but Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty also boasts one of the most beau­ti­ful cam­pus­es in the coun­try, sur­round­ed in with acres upon acres of Fin­ger Lakes Region land­scapes. Pop­u­lar activ­i­ties to do on and around the Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty cam­pus include rock climb­ing, hik­ing, bik­ing, and sim­ply enjoy­ing the after­noon out­side. While Cor­nell comes with plen­ty of pre­req­ui­sites to com­plete, no edu­ca­tion would be ful­filled with­out spend­ing ample time at the near­by Cayu­ga Lake where boat­ing, fish­ing, and explor­ing are all manda­to­ry Cor­nell experiences.