Picking a college shouldn’t come down to the sports teams or the scenery, but in this day and age, we know it happens. So, why not highlight a few universities and colleges with ridiculous scenery and outdoor potential in their backyard?
Colorado State University, Fort Collins
Situated in the picturesque Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado State University provides students with unparalleled opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, mountain biking, and winter sports in the nearby mountains and forests.
Best Place to Go Adventure: Rocky Mountain National Park
University of Utah, Salt Lake City
The University of Utah’s prime location at the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains ensures that students have easy access to world-class skiing, snowboarding, and numerous hiking and mountain biking trails, making it a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts.
Best Place to Go Adventure: Little or Big Cottonwood Canyon
University of California, Santa Barbara
With its stunning coastal setting and pleasant Mediterranean climate, UC Santa Barbara offers a haven for water sports and beach lovers and access to nearby national parks and hiking trails for those seeking land-based outdoor activities.
Best Place to Go Adventure: Channel Islands National Park (or the endless coastline)
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Located in the heart of Alaska, the University of Alaska, Fairbanks is a hub for outdoor adventure, providing unique experiences such as dog sledding, cross-country skiing, and the chance to witness the awe-inspiring aurora borealis.
Best Place to Go Adventure: Denali National Park and the Alaskan Range
University of Washington, Seattle
Combining urban living with natural beauty, the University of Washington offers students access to the Pacific Northwest’s stunning landscapes, including sailing on Lake Washington, hiking in national parks, and skiing in the nearby Cascade Mountains.
Best Place to Go Adventure: North Cascades or Mount Rainier National Park
Appalachian State University, Boone
Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, Appalachian State University is a haven for hiking, camping, and rock climbing enthusiasts. The Blue Ridge Parkway and other scenic areas provide ample opportunities for outdoor exploration.
Best Place to Go Adventure: Great Smokey Mountains National Park
University of Montana, Missoula
Located in the Rocky Mountains, the University of Montana is known for its outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking, fishing, rafting, and skiing. The city’s proximity to the Clark Fork River adds to its appeal for nature enthusiasts.
Best Place to Go Adventure: Glacier National Park or Bob Marshall Wilderness
University of Arizona, Tucson
While the University of Arizona may not be situated in a mountainous region, it offers excellent desert outdoor experiences, including hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking in the stunning Sonoran Desert, which surrounds the city of Tucson.
Best Place to Go Adventure: Mount Lemmon
Fort Lewis College, Durango
Located in the scenic town of Durango, Fort Lewis College provides students with easy access to the San Juan Mountains, making it an ideal location for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and winter sports.
Best Place to Go Adventure: San Juan Mountain Range
Washington State University, Pullman
Surrounded by the beautiful Palouse region, Washington State University is an excellent choice for those who enjoy the outdoors, offering opportunities for hiking, fishing, and camping and access to nearby national forests and rivers.
Best Place to Go Adventure: Coeur d’Alene National Forest