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)

COST PER CREDIT: $65 In-district
$147 In-state
$440 Out-of-state

Image and link to ORL interactive map.

Check out the ORL Interactive Map. Our students learn in and outside the classroom — in Colorado and around the world!
Questions? 800-621-8559
Download the Outdoor/Environmental Programs Brochure (pdf)

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

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** $65 $975
In-State*** $147 $2,205
Out-of-State $440 $6,600

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 25% Off 25% Off
CMC Service Area $143 $2,145
Western States (WUE) $220.50 $3,307.50