If you are an adventure enthusiast, staying on campus all day can be challenging. Nothing clears the mind and relieves stress better than a sturdy tent, nice backpack, and good pair of hiking shoes. Luckily, there are a number of colleges that are located ideally for camping and getting your perfect dose nature, so you don’t have to be cooped up in the classroom all day.
Here is our list of the 10 best colleges for campers.
This private university is truly a diamond in the rough. Surrounded by canyons, cliffs, and the breath-taking Yellowstone Valley, students have views of six different mountain ranges in total. Rocky Mountain College’s tuition is affordable, and employs an extensive outdoor recreation program, with regular weekend trips to Yellowstone, the Beartooth Mountains and more. Campers get more than they bargained for with canyoneering programs, ice climbing, and other recreational activities. They have a 65% acceptance rate and have over 70% of classes that have 20 students or fewer, making it a great choice for an outdoorsman.
- Location: Billings, Montana
- Tuition: $24,530
Warren Wilson is all about adventures, as evidenced by one of their most popular majors on campus: Outdoor Leadership. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the school accommodates avid campers so that they can camp all year round! On top of that, they offer a wide range of sports activities through their clubs and recreation programs including orienteering, snowboarding, caving, and rafting. With activities available during every season of the year, students at Warren Wilson can go all four years of college without getting bored. Plus, it’s been open since 1894 and offers a great faculty and staff to help students complete their studies.
- Location: Asheville, North Carolina
- Tuition: $32,560
What more could a camper want in a school than 27,000 acres of land? Berry College, founded back in 1902, is home to the largest campus in the world. It is also within driving distance of two national forests. Sitting atop Mount Berry, students are free to rent campsites and other outdoor gear to make sure every day’s an adventure. The college also has biking and rock climbing classes available for beginners who are new to the outdoors. Those who attend this college should know that alcohol is not allowed, promoting students to find alternatives to the stereotypical college partying.
- Location: Mount Berry, Georgia
- Tuition: $31,996
With so much to see and do along the coast of Virginia, Regent University in Virginia Beach offers students endless opportunities to get outdoors and clear their heads after a long day at school. Found in the midst of lowland swamps and rivers, RU is perfect for nature lovers. Along with camping, the coast offers hiking, fishing, and water activities. This university also has one of the lowest tuition rates and is extremely affordable. They also boast an 18:1 student-faculty ratio, allowing students to get help and instruction they need from faculty and staff.
- Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Tuition: $16,638
Due to its proximity to both the Pisgah National and DuPont State Forest, Brevard’s campus attracts outdoor-loving students year after year. With so much forest land nearby, there’s a lot of camping and hiking that goes on during the weekends. Brevard also makes it easy for students to get involved with the Outdoor Adventures program that frequently taking students on backpacking and fishing trips. Finally, for those students looking for a new hobby, the school is a big advocate for cycling and climbing sports and boasts professional teams that compete on a national scale.
- Location: Brevard, North Carolina
- Tuition: $26,170
Everyone knows about Southern California’s lovely weather. With seemingly sunny skies every day, SDSU is a natural gathering spot for outdoor lovers. Aside from top-notch programs centered on recreation and environment, San Diego State is also known for its Aztec Adventure Center where students can enroll in organized outings to nearby parks to go camping, rafting, climbers, and hiking. And for those who can’t get enough on campus, there are dozens of local outdoor activities happening year-round.
- Location: San Diego, California
- Tuition: $6,976 in-state; $18,136 out-of-state
Appalachian State University takes full advantage of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. The school provides a significant number of outdoor programs, and students can rent gear for camping, climbing, and even snow sporting trips. From an educational standpoint, App State is also a great option for those wanting a career in the outdoors because they offer an Instructor Development Program to help students in the field of outdoor recreation and education. Lastly, App State’s financial aid programs are awesome; eligible students can receive help to pay for not only their classes, but their outdoor adventures as well.
- Location: Boone, North Carolina
- Tuition: $6,553 in-state; $19,720 out-of-state
Stationed alongside the Hillsborough River, the University of Tampa offers much more than Florida sun. Because of its unique beach location, the Office of Campus Recreation helps students find plenty of opportunity to camp, fish, paddleboard, and even whitewater raft. In addition, the university hosts an annual spring “regatta” for boat and yacht races. Oh, and did we mention the school is just an hour from Disney World and Universal Studios?
- Location: Tampa, Florida
- Tuition: $27,044
For students looking for a watery college experience, look no farther than Western Washington. Situated on Bellingham Bay, students not only have easy access to the San Juan Islands, but can enjoy the bounteous beach camping spots in the area. At Western Washington, perennial favorites include sailing, water skiing, and of course exploring the islands, where students often spot killer whales, porpoises, and the like. They also have a 19:1 student-faculty ratio, offering personalized assistance to students to help them graduate.
- Location: Bellingham, Washington
- Tuition: $8,964 in-state; $20,406 out-of-state
Like most schools on this list, Evergreen State has an amazing outdoor adventures program. Unlike most schools, however, almost all classes on the campus have less than 50 students, allowing for a truly “homey” experience where fellow outdoorsmen can develop lasting friendships. Evergreen College is close to the Olympic National Park, too, so students can camp in the summer months and ski or snowboard in the winter. Evergreen also offers a Reservation-Based Community Program that allows for student experience on an Indian reservation.
- Location: Olympia, WA
- Tuition: $8,682 in-state; $22,752 out-of-state