10 Colleges with Clubs for Outdoor Enthusiasts

If you love to ski, hike, bike, paddle, and climb—or if you want to find out whether or not you love to ski, hike, bike, paddle, and climb—college and university clubs provide supportive spaces to explore your interests. Along with making new friends and adventure partners, outdoor clubs come with loads of other perks including access to gear rentals and recreation center club hours, outdoor outings to outdoor areas and invaluable education and knowledge about the sport, gear and yourself.

Being away from home for school can be overwhelming enough that trying a new sport might seem out of the question. But when you join a club, you’re in good company surrounded by students who are in the same situation as you. Embrace the new experiences—that’s what college is for. Wherever you end up pursuing your degree, you can probably find a club that aligns with your outdoor curiosities and introduces you to the area’s outdoor opportunities. Here are 10 outdoor-focused clubs with reputable and robust programs rooted in outdoor adventure.

  1. The University of Kansas's Rock Climbing Club

Lawrence, Kansas

Without many cliffs to scale in the vicinity, Kansas isn’t the first place most people think of for rock climbing. But that’s what makes KURC(S'ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre) an underrated club on this list. Despite the state’s less-than- dramatic topography, the heart and soul of the steadfast, strong, and confident climbers(S'ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre) make this club a standout. Though they are “several hundred miles from the nearest passable climbing destination,” members have access to the campus recreation center’s indoor rock climbing wall called the Chalk Rock (named as an homage to the Rock Chalk, Jayhawk chant). The plastic pulls are enough to help them train their skills, confidence, and strength ahead of several outings to climbing areas every year, from Red Rock National Conservation Area in Nevada to Horseshoe Ranch in Arkansas.