students skiing

The Best Colleges for Students Who Love the Snow

Winter can be some of the harshest, miserable, months of the year for those of us who dread winter. You bundle up and stay that way all winter long, next to the fire, just waiting for spring to show itself. Winter is definitely not for everyone, but some people live for it! For those of us who love the outdoors and partaking in winter activities, we can’t wait for winter to hit! There is nothing better than the crisp fresh air, warm drinks, and fresh pow pow.

If you are interested in attending a college where you have easy access to mountains and ski lifts, look no further. Here are 10 of the best universities, on both coasts, for students who love the snow!

CU Buffs Mascot

Portland State University

Mountains – A short 90 minute drive to Cooper Spur and Mt. Hood Meadows. If you want to travel a bit farther to a mountain less populated, you can check out Hoodoo, about 2 hours away.

Ski Pass – Mt. Hood Fusion Pass

Campus Organizations – Students can join the Portland State University Action Sports club which is home to adrenaline junkies including snowboarders and skiers. The PSU Ski Club takes trips all over the country to explore different mountains.

Check out PSU

University of Utah

Mountains – Students can get to Snowbird in under 15 minute drive time. There is also a bus that goes directly from campus to the mountain. Park City, one of the best mountains in the country, is only about a 90 minute drive.

Ski Pass- Ski City Super Pass  

Campus Organizations – The One Love ski and snowboard club offers discounted passes to students as well as plans group trips to nearby mountains.

University of Colorado

Mountains – Eldora Ski Resort is the closest mountain to campus, only being about 45 minutes away. Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge, Cooper Mountain, and others are all about a 2 hour drive west.

Ski Pass – Epic Local Pass

Campus Organizations – Boulder Freeride Club loves the snow and has activities for members all year long, not just the winter. The Ski & Snowboard Club at CU not only gets you discounts on ski tickets and rides, it also hooks you up with free gear like T-shirts and Nalgene’s.

Check out CU

University of Montana

Mountains – Only 45 minutes away from campus is Snowbowl. A little farther down the road you can get to Discovery Ski Area and Lost Trail Powder Mountain.

Ski Pass – Montana Snowbowl

Campus Organizations – The Campus Recreation Outdoor Program is great for student interested in all things outdoors, including skiing and boarding. This program offers an equipment rental shop, skills classes, organized trips, and a maintenance shop.

University of Vermont

Mountains – Cochrans Ski Area is the closest mountain to campus, about a 30 minute drive. There are many other close resorts including Sugarbush, Bolton Valley, Whiteface, and Waterville Valley.

Ski Pass – Bolton Valley & Sugarbush

Campus Organizations – The UVM Ski & Snowboard Club’s mission is “to provide skiers and riders at the University of Vermont with the opportunity to foster and develop relationships within the entire snow sports community.”

University of Washington

Mountains – One hour away from campus is the Summit, which is a large mountain with many different peaks. A little farther, just under 2 hours away, is Stevens Pass.

Ski Pass – Big S Gold Pass & Stevens College Season Pass

Campus Organizations – The UW Husky Snow Club focuses on community, not competition, and isn’t just for college students. If you’re a member of the club you get discounted passes, gear, and trips to Canada.

Check out UW

University of Wyoming

Mountains – A straight shot from campus you can be at Snowy Range in under an hour. Just across the border into Colorado, only about a 2 hour drive, is Steamboat Springs.

Ski Pass – Snowy Range College Student Pass with Steamboat 5-Day Add-on

Campus Organizations – The Outdoor Programs offers a variety of activities for snow lovers including ski and snowboard tuning clinics, trips to mountains, avalanche survival courses, and gear swaps.

University of New Mexico

Mountains – Sandia Peak Ski area is only a short 40 minute drive from campus. About an hour and a half away and one town over in Sante Fe, is the Ski Santa Fe mountain. Just a little bit farther past Sante Fe is Sipapu Ski Resort.

Ski Pass – Power Pass

Check out UNM

Sierra Nevada College

Mountains – The closet mountain, which is walking distance to campus, is Diamond Peak Ski Resort. Just a short 20 minute drive out will land you are either Mt. Rose or Sky Tavern. If you want to venture across the border into California, there are a handful of mountains to hit.

Ski Pass – Diamond Peak Season Pass

Campus Organizations –  SNC Freeride’s is for “Skiers and Snowboarders who are committed to earning an education while chasing our dreams and living in paradise.”

University of Virginia

Mountains – Charlottesville’s closest mountain in Massanutten, located about an hour away from campus. Not too much further away you have options like, Silvercreek, Wintergreen, Bryce, and Snowshoe.

Ski Pass – Snowshoe

Campus Organizations – The Virginia Alpine Ski and Snowboard Team is for experienced and new students alike. The team gets to ski or ride twice a week in racing and free-ride environments.

Check out UVA

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