Study abroad Africa in Outdoor Education.

Outdoor Recreation Leadership

Camping in the desert.
Outdoor education going river rafting.

"Your instructors will be excellent and passionate about what they do, and you'll be pushed to the extreme in the best way possible." - Chandra Swanson

Learning how to cook out doors.

We stress low-impact techniques for responsible environmental stewardship.

The view of mountain wild flowers.
Outdoor Education going on a hike.
Camping and watching the beautiful sunset.

After climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, a CMC Study Abroad class spent three days on safari in Lake Manyara and Serengeti National Parks. See the video.

Outdoor Education students mountain hiking.

"The most valuable part of the program was its flexibility, which allows students to choose their own areas of expertise." - Steven Rizzo

Walking through the desert to the camp sight.

Students have the chance to intern with the U.S. Forest Service, the Colorado Fourteener Initiative, and adventure companies and outdoor organizations.

Taking a break to check the map.
Kayaking with outdoor education .
Students sitting down to catch their breath.

Colorado Mountain College provides outdoor gear and safety equipment such as ropes, harnesses, hardware, tents and cooking equipment.

The Outdoor education students having fun in the cave they found.
Going down the river in the rafting boat.

Graduates have certificates in Wilderness First Responder, Life Guarding, Avalanche Forecasting Level I, Leave No Trace and an optional Swift Water Rescue certificate.

Getting together on top of a giant rock.

Graduates of this program can transfer to a four-year school or work as a leader in the many outdoor recreation fields.

The outdoor education group.

"The ORL program surrounded me with talented and motivated instructors and role models." - Ben Rhinesmith

Outdoor Recreation Leadership — follow your passion

Earn a hands-on outdoor recreation degree in the Colorado mountains

Students interested in an outdoor recreation degree can get the skills and knowledge to develop and lead people in the outdoors with our two-year outdoor education program. As you earn your Outdoor Recreation Leadership degree you will learn wilderness skills and gain confidence in leadership situations. We stress low-impact techniques for responsible environmental stewardship. This two-year outdoor education school teaches:

  • Wilderness studies
  • Business and management principles
  • Group development
  • Leadership theory
  • Communication & Conflict resolution
  • Safe and efficient travel
  • Leave no trace

Mountain learning, mountain living in Leadville, Colorado

Leadville, Colorado is the place if you love the outdoors. Our school in Leadville specializes in outdoor and environmental programs in a spectacular mountain setting. With over 250 acres, the campus has miles of cross country ski trails that are maintained by students in the Ski Area Operations program.

Our residence halls encompass spectacular views of the two highest mountains in Colorado. Classrooms feature state-of-the art technology, computer labs. There’s also a cybercafe/bookstore. The Timberline Analytical Lab has high-end precision instruments and equipment unique to a community college.

Program at a Glance

Degree: Outdoor Recreation Leadership (AGS)

Program Code Program Name LocationsLabel Campus
Program Code Program Name LocationsLabel Campus
1COP.A+1 A+ Computer Technician Locations: Dillon, Glenwood Springs
1COP.A1 Accounting: Bookkeeper Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Online, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1AAS.A1 Accounting: Professional Bookkeeper Locations: Aspen, Carbondale, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Online, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1AAS.ACCRT1 Accounting: Registered Tax Return Preparer Locations: Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1COP.VT1 Animal Shelter Management Locations: Spring Valley
1AA.A1 Anthropology Locations: Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1AAS.PTECH1 Applied Engineering Technician Locations: Rifle
1AA.ARTH1 Art History Locations: Steamboat Springs
1AA1 Associate of Arts Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Online, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1AGS1 Associate of General Studies Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Online, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1AS1 Associate of Science Locations: Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1COP.AST1 Automotive Service Technician Locations: Edwards
1COP.ASTB1 Automotive Service Technician: Brakes Locations: Edwards
1COP.ASTE1 Automotive Service Technician: Electrical Systems Locations: Edwards
1COP.ASTP1 Automotive Service Technician: Engine Repair Locations: Edwards
1COP.ASTH1 Automotive Service Technician: Heating & Air Locations: Edwards
1COP.ASTS1 Automotive Service Technician: Suspension & Steering Locations: Edwards
1BAS1 Bachelor of Applied Science Locations: Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1COP.SPV1 Basic Solar Photovoltaic Installer Locations: Rifle
1COP.W1 Basic Welding & Cutting Locations: Leadville, Rifle
1AS.B1 Biology Locations: Breckenridge, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1AA.B1 Business Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1BS.BA1 Business Administration Locations: Breckenridge, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1AS.C1 Chemistry Locations: Breckenridge, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1COP.CNA1 Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Locations: Dillon, Glenwood Springs
1COP.CLETA1 Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy (CLETA) Locations: Spring Valley
1COC.CA1 Creative Arts Locations: Aspen
1AAS.CUAVV1 Culinary Arts - Vail Valley Locations: Edwards
1AAS.CA1 Culinary Arts Apprenticeship Locations: Breckenridge, Dillon
1COP.CUM1 Culinary Management Locations: Steamboat Springs
1AAS.NM1 Digital Media Locations: Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley
1COP.DJ1 Digital Media Journalism Locations: Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley
1COP.DMD1 Digital Media Marketing Locations: Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley
1COP.DMP1 Digital Media Production Locations: Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley
1COP.ENTEB1 E-Business & E-Commerce Locations: Online
1AA.ECE1 Early Childhood Education (AA) Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Dillon, Edwards, Leadville, Rifle, Steamboat Springs
1AAS.ECE1 Early Childhood Education (AAS) Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Dillon, Edwards, Leadville, Online, Rifle, Steamboat Springs
1COP.ECEDI1 Early Childhood Education: Developmental Interventionist Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Dillon, Edwards, Leadville, Online, Rifle, Steamboat Springs
1COP.ECED1 Early Childhood Education: Director Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Dillon, Edwards, Leadville, Online, Rifle, Steamboat Springs
1COP.ECE1 Early Childhood Education: Group Leader Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Dillon, Edwards, Leadville, Online, Rifle, Steamboat Springs
1COP.ECET1 Early Childhood Education: Teacher Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Dillon, Edwards, Leadville, Online, Rifle, Steamboat Springs
1AA.ECO1 Economics Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1COP.IIC1 Electrical Industrial Instrumentation Technician Locations: Rifle
1BA.ISE1 Elementary Education Locations: Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley
1AA.EE1 Elementary Teacher Education Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1COP.EMSB1 EMT Basic Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Carbondale, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Steamboat Springs
1COP.EMSI1 EMT Intermediate Locations: Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Leadville
1COP.EMSP1 EMT Paramedic Locations: Edwards
1AAS.EMSP1 EMT Paramedic Locations: Edwards
1COP.EEF1 Energy Efficient Facilities Locations: Rifle
1AGS.ENG1 Engineering Locations: Steamboat Springs
1AA.ENGL1 English: Literature Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Spring Valley
1AAS.ENT1 Entrepreneurship Locations: Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Online, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1COP.ENT1 Entrepreneurship Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Online, Rifle, Spring Valley
1AS.E1 Environmental Science Locations: Breckenridge, Dillon, Edwards, Leadville, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1AA.ENV1 Environmental Studies Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1COP.FA11 Fire Academy I Locations: Edwards, Leadville, Rifle
1COP.FA21 Fire Academy II Locations: Edwards
1COP.FI1 Fire Investigation Locations: Edwards
1COP.FPCE1 Fire Prevention Code Enforcement Locations: Edwards
1AAS.FST1 Fire Science Technology Locations: Edwards, Leadville
1COP.FSTCO1 Fire Science Technology: Company Officer Locations: Edwards
1COP.GIS21 Geographic Information Systems Locations: Leadville
1COP.GIS1 Geographic Information Systems: Advanced Locations: Leadville
1AS.GEY1 Geology Locations: Breckenridge, Carbondale, Dillon, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1AAS.GD1 Graphic Design Locations: Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley
1COP.GD1 Graphic Design: Graphic Technology I Locations: Breckenridge, Dillon, Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley
1COP.WD1 Graphic Design: Web Technology Locations: Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley
1AA.H1 History Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1AAS.IT1 Information Technology Specialist Locations: Dillon, Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley
1AA.M1 Mathematics Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Dillon, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Spring Valley
1COP.MA1 Medical Assistant Locations: Edwards
1AAS.MA1 Medical Assistant Locations: Edwards
1COP.BC1 Medical Billing & Coding Locations: Edwards, Online
1COP.MOS1 Microsoft Office Specialist Locations: Glenwood Springs, Online
1AAS.NRM1 Natural Resource Management Locations: Leadville
1COP.NRMFT1 Natural Resource Management: Field Technician Locations: Leadville
1COP.N+1 Network + Locations: Dillon, Glenwood Springs
1COP.NAT1 Nurse Aide Locations: Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1AAS.N1 Nursing Locations: Breckenridge, Spring Valley
1BS.N1 Nursing (BSN) Locations: Breckenridge, Spring Valley
1COP.PTECH1 Oil & Gas Technology Locations: Rifle
1COC.OE1 Outdoor Education Locations: Breckenridge, Dillon, Leadville, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1AA.OE1 Outdoor Education Locations: Breckenridge, Carbondale, Dillon, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1AGS.ORL1 Outdoor Recreation Leadership Locations: Leadville
1AAS.PAR1 Paralegal Locations: Online
1COP.PAR1 Paralegal Locations: Online
1COC.PERM1 Permaculture Locations: Steamboat Springs
1AA.PHI1 Philosophy Locations: Breckenridge, Carbondale, Dillon, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1COP.MOTP1 Phlebotomy Locations: Edwards, Online
1AS.P1 Physics Locations: Breckenridge, Dillon, Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1COP.PW1 Pipe Welding Locations: Rifle
1AA.PS1 Political Science Locations: Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1COC.FFG1 Professional Fly-Fishing Guide Locations: Leadville, Steamboat Springs
1AAS.PP1 Professional Photography Locations: Spring Valley
1AA.PSY1 Psychology (AA) Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1AS.PSY1 Psychology (AS) Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1COP.RE1 Real Estate Locations: Rifle
1AAS.RM1 Resort Management Locations: Edwards, Steamboat Springs
1COP.RMB1 Resort Management: Hospitality Operations Locations: Edwards, Online, Steamboat Springs
1AAS.RSTR1 Restaurant & Culinary Management Locations: Steamboat Springs
1COP.RSTR1 Restaurant Management Locations: Steamboat Springs
1COP.IS1 Security + Locations: Dillon, Glenwood Springs
1COP.SERV1 Server + Locations: Dillon, Glenwood Springs
1COP.SSB1 Ski & Snowboard Business Locations: Steamboat Springs
1AAS.SSB1 Ski & Snowboard Business Locations: Steamboat Springs
1COP.MKT1 Ski & Snowboard Marketing Media Manager Locations: Steamboat Springs
1COP.SKBG1 Ski & Snowboard Professional Guide Locations: Steamboat Springs
1COP.SKB11 Ski & Snowboard Retail & Repair Shop Technician I Locations: Steamboat Springs
1COP.SKBSM1 Ski & Snowboard Shop Manager Locations: Steamboat Springs
1AAS.SAO1 Ski Area Operations Locations: Leadville
1COP.SAORTE1 Ski Area Operations: Ropeway Technician-Electrical Locations: Leadville
1COP.SAORT1 Ski Area Operations: Ropeway Technician-Mechanical Locations: Leadville
1COP.SIA1 Ski Industries of America (SIA) Locations: Steamboat Springs
1COP.SP11 Ski Patrol Operations Level I Locations: Leadville
1COP.SP21 Ski Patrol Operations Level II Locations: Leadville
1COP.ST1 Slopes & Trails Maintenance Locations: Leadville
1COP.ENTSB1 Small Business Finance Locations: Aspen, Buena Vista, Leadville, Online, Steamboat Springs
1AA.SW1 Social Work Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1AA.SOC1 Sociology Locations: Aspen, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Dillon, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1COP.SM1 Spa Management Locations: Steamboat Springs
1AA.S1 Spanish Locations: Aspen, Carbondale, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1COC.SP1 Spanish Proficiency: Comprehensive Locations: Edwards
1COC.SP21 Spanish Proficiency: Conversational Locations: Edwards
1AA.SART1 Studio Art Locations: Steamboat Springs
1COC.S1 Sustainability Leadership Locations: Breckenridge, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Steamboat Springs
1BA.SS1 Sustainability Studies Locations: Breckenridge, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs
1COP.CUASC11 Sustainable Cuisine Operations I Locations: Edwards
1COP.CUASC21 Sustainable Cuisine Operations II Locations: Edwards
1AA.T1 Theatre Locations: Spring Valley
1AAS.VT1 Veterinary Technology Locations: Spring Valley
1COP.EMSW1 Wilderness Emergency Medical Services Locations: Breckenridge


Cost: $57/credit-hour (in-district), $373/credit-hour (out-of-state)
See tuition information below

Image and link to ORL interactive map.

Our students learn in and outside the classroom — in Colorado and around the world! Check out the ORL Interactive Map

Download the Outdoor/Environmental Programs Brochure (pdf)

 Check out student blogger BeckyAurora’s: 43 Reasons to Attend CMC-Leadville

What ORL careers are available?

Our hands-on approach to learning Outdoor Recreation Leadership prepares you to enter the job market immediately following graduation, to transfer to a four-year institution, or stay right here and complete a Bachelors degree in Sustainability Studies or Business.

Colorado Mountain College ORL students become:

  • Adventure travel planners
  • Nature and outdoor center guides
  • Wilderness instructors
  • Forestry technicians
  • Outdoor recreation retail business owners or managers
  • Resort recreation or camp leaders

What classes will I take?

How much is tuition?

Don’t go deep into debt. Find your affordable education here! Colorado Mountain College tuition is one of the lowest in Colorado, and is lower than in-state tuition in many other states. See more tuition information and net price calculators.

Tuition Rates for this program

Status 100-200 Courses
per Credit Hour
100-200 Courses
per Semester*
In-District** $57 $855
In-State*** $107 $1,605
Out-of-State $373 $5,596

Special Tuition Rates at CMC

You may qualify for a significant tuition discount at Colorado Mountain College.

Status 100-200 Courses
per Credit Hour
100-200 Courses
per Semester*
Vets & Military Families $103 $1,545
CMC Service Area $103 $1,545
Western States (WUE) $160.50 $2,407.50