Top Colleges for Skiing

If Skiing is Important to You, Check Out These Schools

Two men skiing in Maine
Two skiers in Maine. David McLain/Aurora/Getty Images

Whether you’re hoping to ski competitively in college or you just want a place to hit the slopes on winter weekends, make sure to check out these top skiing colleges. These institutions are all located near prime skiing areas, and a few even have their own slopes on campus! Most of these colleges and universities also offer opportunities for varsity competition in Nordic and alpine skiing.

Sturtevant Dormitory, Colby College. Wikimedia Commons

Colby College sponsors highly successful men’s and women’s nordic and alpine skiing teams, which compete in Division I of the NCAA Eastern Intercollegiate Skiing Association (EISA). The college operates several miles of groomed ski trails on campus, and alpine skiers can enjoy nearby Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine’s second-highest peak.

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The College of Idaho
The College of Idaho. Photo Credit: The College of Idaho

The College of Idaho Coyotes have a long history of success in competitive skiing, with 28 team titles and 17 individual national champions since 1979 in the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA). The college is less than an hour from Idaho’s incredible mountains, providing competitive and noncompetitive students easy access to the slopes on weekends.

  • Location: Caldwell, Idaho
  • Type of School: Private liberal arts college
  • Enrollment: 1,144 (1,120 undergraduates)
  • Learn More: College of Idaho profile
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View of Colorado College from the top of Shove Memorial Chapel, showing the CC campus with Pikes Peak in the background
View of Colorado College from the top of Shove Memorial Chapel, showing the CC campus with Pikes Peak in the background. Wikimedia Commons

In addition to a sizable skiing and snowboarding club, Colorado College offers a Ski Bus for students to hit the slopes on winter weekends. The bus provides transportation to several popular local ski resorts including Keystone, Breckenridge and Vail, every weekend from January through March.

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ACB (Academic Classroom Building) at Colorado Mesa University
ACB (Academic Classroom Building) at Colorado Mesa University. Wikimedia Commons

Colorado Mesa University certainly has the advantage of location when it comes to skiing opportunities--the campus is situated at the base of the Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flat top mountain. The college’s Outdoor Program provides opportunities for equipment rental and ski trips as well. CSU also fields successful Nordic and alpine ski teams in the USCSA.

  • Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Type of School: Public university
  • Enrollment: 9,116 (9,003 undergraduates)
  • Learn More: Colorado Mesa profile
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Stratton Hall at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO
Stratton Hall at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO. Wikimedia Commons

Located outside Denver, the ski capital of the world, Colorado School of Mines is close to several popular Colorado ski resorts, including Eldora Mountain Resort and Echo Mountain, and within a few hours of even more, making weekend ski trips a popular winter activity. The college also has a club ski team competing in the USCSA.

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Dartmouth's chairlift
Dartmouth's chairlift. Wikimedia Commons

Students at Dartmouth enjoy the luxury of a college-owned skiing facility, the Dartmouth Skiway, located just 20 minutes from the main campus. The facility is patrolled by a student-staffed community service group, the Dartmouth Ski Patrol. The Dartmouth Skiway is also home to the college’s NCAA alpine ski team.

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Middlebury College
Middlebury College. Wikimedia Commons

Middlebury also boasts its own ski area, the Middlebury College Snow Bowl, a campus facility open to students and community members with 17 ski trails as well as woods access. The college sponsors highly successful Nordic and alpine ski teams competing in the NCAA and the North Eastern Nordic Ski Association (NENSA).

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Roberts Hall, Montana State University
Roberts Hall, Montana State University. Wikimedia Commons

The Montana State Bobcats field alpine and Nordic skiing teams in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Skiing Association and the NCAA Western Region. Situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, students at the university have no shortage of noncompetitive skiing options as well, with several popular ski areas within driving distance of campus.

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Rolle Building, Plymouth State University
Rolle Building, Plymouth State University. Wikimedia Commons

Plymouth State University is located just south of the White Mountain National Forest, home to some of New Hampshire’s best skiing. In addition, the university offers a ski package for students to purchase discounted passes to local ski facilities. The Plymouth State Panthers compete in NCAA men’s and women’s alpine skiing in the EISA conference.

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Bidwell House, Reed College
Bidwell House, Reed College. Wikimedia Commons

The Outing Program at Reed College regularly organizes Nordic, alpine and cross country skiing events and trips to nearby ski areas, including Crater Lake, Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood. The college also manages a ski cabin for student use at Mount Hood, which is about 90 minutes from campus.

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Sierra Nevada College

Incline Village, Nevada
Incline Village, Nevada. dcwriterdawn / Flickr

Skiing is a large part of the culture at Sierra Nevada College, which currently offers the only four-year ski business and resort management degree in the country. The college fields very successful USCSA skiing and freestyle skiing teams, which are based at Diamond Peak just five minutes from campus.

  • Location: Incline Village, Nevada
  • Type of School: Private liberal arts college
  • Enrollment: 1,039 (558 undergraduates)
  • Learn More: Sierra Nevada College profile
DU, University of Denver
DU, University of Denver. CW221 / Wikimedia Commons

University of Denver’s ski team has won a record number of 21 NCAA championships, putting them on the map as one of the best-known ski colleges. The university is surrounded by some of the best skiing in the country, with more than 20 large ski resorts within just a few hours of campus, so noncompetitive students can ski recreationally or with the university’s club team.

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The flatirons behind a classroom building on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder Colorado
The flatirons behind a classroom building on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder Colorado. Getty Images

This popular ski school is within a few hours of several major ski resorts, including Eldora Mountain Resort just 45 minutes from campus. Students can catch a ride on the university’s Ski Bus, which makes trips around Colorado ski country on several weekends during the winter. The CU Buffaloes field an NCAA Division I ski team, and freestyle skiers can join the university’s club team as well.

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University of New Hampshire
University of New Hampshire. bdjsb7 / Flickr

The Ski and Board Club at the University of New Hampshire is the largest registered club on campus, a testament to the popularity of the sport among UNH students. On winter weekends, the club visits nearby mountains such as Loon Mountain and Sunday River Ski Resort. The university also supports successful NCAA Division I alpine and Nordic ski teams.

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Snow covered mountains, Wasatch Mountains, Utah
Snow covered mountains, Wasatch Mountains, Utah. Getty Images

The University of Utah is a favorite for winter sports enthusiasts. Nestled in the foothills of the Wasatch Range, the campus is within 40 minutes of seven ski resorts, and the powder is considered some of the best in the country. The university’s NCAA Division I alpine and Nordic ski teams are highly ranked as well.

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University of Vermont
University of Vermont. rachaelvoorhees / Flickr

Students at the University of Vermont are surrounded by skiing opportunities--world-class resorts such as Killington and Sugarbush are less than two hours away. UVM’s NCAA alpine and Nordic ski teams, based out of the Stowe Mountain Resort (less than an hour away), are very competitive in the EISA conference and have won several national titles.

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Gunnison National Park
Gunnison National Park. Nature's Images / Flickr

Located in a Rocky Mountain valley, Western State Colorado University is surrounded by mountains on all sides, making it a prime location for collegiate skiers. The campus is just 30 minutes from Crested Butte Mountain Resort and less than an hour from Monarch Mountain. The Western Ski Club competes in USCSA men’s and women’s Nordic and alpine skiing.

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Westminster College, Salt Lake City
Westminster College, Salt Lake City. JonMoore / Wikimedia Commons

Adjacent to the Rocky Mountains, Westminster College certainly has the advantage of location when it comes to skiing opportunities, and the college’s Ski and Snowboard Club organizes transportation and discounted passes to several local ski resorts. The Westminster Griffins compete in men’s and women’s USCSA alpine skiing.

  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Type of School: Private liberal arts college
  • Enrollment: 2,991 (2,233 undergraduates)
  • Learn More: Westminster College profile
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Cody, Eileen. "Top Colleges for Skiing." ThoughtCo, Nov. 10, 2017, thoughtco.com/top-colleges-for-skiing-788302. Cody, Eileen. (2017, November 10). Top Colleges for Skiing. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/top-colleges-for-skiing-788302 Cody, Eileen. "Top Colleges for Skiing." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/top-colleges-for-skiing-788302 (accessed November 18, 2017).