Boise State University:
Surrounded by national forests and boasting ski resorts only twenty minutes away from campus, Boise State University is the ideal base camp for adventure. Boise State’s outdoors program leads guided trips, hosts clinics and teaches wilderness medicine. Have a specific trip in mind? The outdoors program will design a custom program tailored to whatever camping, backpacking, whitewater rafting, canoeing, or climbing adventure you had in mind. Students at Boise state have access to miles of waterways for kayaking and other watersports, an extensive system of mountain biking trails, and prime climbing and bouldering routes. It’s no wonder the Outbound Collective rated it the 3rd best college in the US for outdoor adventures.
Insider Tip: The outdoor program offers a $199 season pass which gives students one weekend trip and one day drip (per semester), one free ski night at the local ski resort, and discounts on gear rentals and break trips.
Must do trip: Each summer the program offers a 73-mile whitewater raft adventure down the Salmon and Snake Rivers. Students spend their days winding down Class III rapids through spectacular canyons, and their nights camping on sandy riverside beaches which offer untainted views of the night skies.
Metropolitan State University:
Situated right in the bustle of downtown Denver, Metro State appears at first to be more of an urban university than an adventure school. A closer look, however, reveals a thriving Outdoor Adventure program that offers classes and trips for canyoneering, hiking, rock climbing, ice climbing, avalanche forecasting, and mountaineering. Located on the cusp of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is a gateway to Colorado’s 21 ski resorts, 53 fourteeners, and is the only major city in the US with ice climbing a mere twenty-minute drive away. Metro capitalizes on this proximity by offering outdoor safety and leadership courses that provide students with a thorough understanding of various outdoors activities.
Insider tip: The Outdoor Adventure Program puts out a Ride n Hike compilation of different trails that students can access using Denver’s local bus and light rail system, so that even those without a car can get out and explore.
Must do trip: Outdoor Adventure’s annual trip to Moab offers students the chance to learn canyoneering techniques and explore the “other side of the rail”. The program lets participants delve beneath the earth’s surface and explore parts of the park inaccessible to other visitors.