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best colleges for skiingOur nation is covered with beautiful ski town colleges from coast to coast. Here at OnlineCollegePlan, we are dedicated to providing you with accurate lists of the best and most beautiful colleges around. We hope this list of the Most Beautiful Ski Town Colleges will help the student-skier find the best schools with the best price, location, amenities, and of course, beauty.

best ski colleges, college ski townThe wonder of winter goes back to childhood. Most of us cherish the memories of the folded piece of kindergarten construction paper cut out of one of nature’s most astounding works of art—the snowflake. There is something about that mirror image when the teacher unfolds it, perhaps the perfect symmetry that inspires awe. Or, maybe it’s the thought of hot cocoa your grandma makes after sledding for the day. 

It’s true that spring flowers can dominate Instagram feeds, and summer can suck up the vacation attention, but winter wonderlands will not be forgotten, for they have a power all their own. The purity and majesty of snow-capped peaks surrounding glistening mountain lakes are breathtaking. A panoramic vision of a mountain valley can be transformed when graced with a delicate blanket of snow. It can also be an occasion of celebration because the ski season can open!

best colleges for skiing

What is a college ski town?

If you’re a ski-bum or boarder looking to shred down gnarly runs covering thousands of vertical feet in seconds, this list is for you. We’ve combed through college towns and universities to find the nearest mountains with the best runs, lodges, amenities, and more. Important data such as the number of lifts, percentage of expert runs, and annual snowfall we dug up and present to you. If you’re a winter athlete looking for a school with a nordic or alpine ski team, you’ll find ample options here. On the other hand, if you’re not a powder-hound, but simply want to recreate with college friends in the winter this list is for you. We’ve noted the school’s student life clubs and activities for winter fun, especially skiing and snowboarding. This includes proximity to ski resorts, discounts available for students, and ski swaps. Since we know college can be a difficult choice, and your search is not simply a one-time winter excursion, we’ve included relevant information about each university. 

What is your methodology?

We started by making a list of the top ski resorts and locations in the United States as ranked by outside sources including,,,, and Next, we looked at colleges and universities within driving distance of these primo locations. Because costs counts, we factored price into the ranking. Annual tuition was listed based on out of state undergraduate costs. Once we had a long list of locations, we gathered statistics on each school, town, and reputation to compile the ranking based on the following percentages:

  • Distance to top-ranked ski resorts – 30%
  • Annual snowfall – 20%
  • Annual tuition – 20%
  • Surrounding areas ski reputation – 20%
  • College amenities for the skier – 10%
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  1. MERIT: 100.0
    View Profile Average Cost: $10,872

    Beautiful Ski Town CollegesStudents looking for the most beautiful ski town college should look no further than Colorado Mountain College. Comprised of eleven campuses in the Rocky Mountains, it doesn’t get more picturesque than Colorado Mountain College. Two campuses are located in skier’s paradise, namely Aspen and Breckenridge, Colorado. In a ranking done by Ski Magazine, Aspen is known by skiers around the world as simply “The Best.” When you combine the diverse Rocky Mountain terrain, spectacular views, extensive hotel options, and thriving nightlife, Aspen is the mecca of ski-bums, bombers, and snow-lovers of every level. Breckenridge is a close second, not to mention the fact that CMC is so centrally located that all of Colorado’s major ski resorts are within an ideal range.

    In addition to its splendid location, Colorado Mountain College has a list of ski degrees that deserve recognition. Students interested in the ski industry will find degrees in everything from Avalanche Science to Ski Area Operations. There is also a Division I Alpine Ski Team. The 5600 students studying at CMC choose from 120 undergraduate degrees. 

    With the picturesque setting, ski team and degrees, and easy access to some of the best ski towns in the world, Colorado Mountain College is an obvious choice for the top spot on the list.

    • Location: Aspen, Colorado and 10 other locations in the Colorado Rocky Mountains
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 176”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 0 miles
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  2. MERIT: 87.6
    View Profile Average Cost: $28,788

    beautiful ski town collegesThe University of Utah is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, one of the most beautiful ski towns our nation has to offer. In a ranking done by, the University of Utah was ranked #1 as “the undisputed king of ski colleges.” It was also ranked #4 by for the top colleges for ski buffs. Salt Lake City is surrounded by many ski resorts so it is impossible to list them all. Perhaps the most notable one is Deer Valley Resort. It is only 30 miles from campus and is listed as the #5 best ski resort by Ski Magazine.

    With such a perfect location it is no surprise that the University of Utah has a nationally recognized ski team. But the ‘ski-perfect’ doesn’t stop there. There is such easy access to some of the nation’s top ski resorts that the university has a list on their website of the nearest ski resorts and the current powder report. Students can rent ski equipment on campus and receive discounted lift tickets to nearly every resort surrounding this quintessential college ski town.

    The University of Utah is a public research university serving nearly 33,000 students.

    • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 62”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 31 miles
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  3. MERIT: 82.4
    View Profile Average Cost: $34,446

    beautiful ski town collegesOn a list of the 50 Best Ski Resorts, five of them are near Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, clear evidence it belongs among the most beautiful college ski towns. Additionally, on a list by of the 10 Best Ski Resorts in the U.S., both Alta and Snowbird, Utah were listed. There is no doubt that Salt Lake City, Utah provides access to some of the greatest ski resorts for powder hounds and snow enthusiasts. Westminster College is only 30-40 miles to ten world-class resorts. 

    Students of all levels at Westminster benefit from the ideal location, there is a Ski and Snowboard Club, ski equipment rentals, and nearly a hundred U.S. Ski, Snowboarding, and Freeskiing team members. In fact, since 2010, the College has had over 50 Olympians compete who has competed in three Winter Olympic Games. What else would you expect when world-class training facilities are only minutes away?

    Located in the Sugar House neighborhood, Westminster is the only accredited liberal arts college in Utah. The most popular majors at WC include Health Professions, Business, and Biology.

    • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 62”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 31 miles
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  4. MERIT: 71.0
    View Profile Average Cost: $25,680

    beautiful ski town collegesNorthern Vermont University is located in one of the most beautiful ski town colleges and close to six amazing ski resorts. Northern Vermont University is perfectly placed among several incredible resorts: Bolton Valley, Burke Mountain, Cochran’s Ski Area, Jay Peak, Smugglers’ Notch Resort, and Stowe. Three of the hills made the Readers’ Top-Ranked Ski Resorts in the East 2020: Smugglers’ Notch #2, Stowe #12, and Jay Peak #18. There are two campuses the NVU-Johnson and NVU-Lyndon campus.

    Burke Mountain is the #1 option for students at NVU-Lyndon because of its super convenient—only 10 minutes from campus! Not only is there beautiful skiing for the ski lover, if you are an athlete, but the School also has a strong connection with Burke Academy. As for NVU-Johnson, Smuggler’s Notch is 21 miles away and Jay Peak is only 40 minutes. Jay Peak is not only a great place to ski, but students also enjoy the indoor water park and laser tag.

    With all the options for ski connoisseurs attending Northern Vermont University makes sense. NVU is a small public university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees to about 1500 students.

    • Location: Johnson, VT
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 113”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 21 miles
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  5. MERIT: 70.1
    View Profile Average Cost: $20,640

    beautiful ski town collegesBurlington, Vermont, home to the University of Vermont, shows off picturesque-peaked mountains with a ton of snow, making it one of the most beautiful ski town colleges. There are not many universities that can boast having three of the Top 10 Best Resorts in the nation within 100 miles. UVM is 95 miles from Mount Snow, 65 miles from Killington, and only 48 miles from Sugarbush, Vermont. Sugarbush is known as one of the prettiest ski destinations in the Green Mountains, and arguably in the entire nation.

    Known for both it’s Alpine and Nordic ski teams, UVM is an excellent choice for students who love to hit the slopes in competition. The University was selected to host the 2019 NCAA Ski Championship, which was held at nearby Stowe Mountain Resort. Skiing opportunities aren’t limited to only the top athletes. The UVM Ski & Snowboard Clubhaus hosts one of the largest clubs at the University, the Ski & Snowboard club, which has over 1800 members. The club is recreational and offers discounts, season passes, and a Learn to Ski day.

    UBM is one of the oldest universities in the U.S. and is known as a “Public Ivy.” Some top majors include Business, Psychology, Environmental Studies, and Nursing.

    • Location: Burlington, VT
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 113”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 14.5 miles
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  6. MERIT: 70.0
    View Profile Average Cost: $55,035

    beautiful ski town collegesHitting the slopes at Dartmouth is for hobbyists and athletes alike vaulting it into our top 10 most beautiful ski town colleges. Dartmouth College is a private Ivy League research school located in Hanover, New Hampshire. Besides being an academic powerhouse it happens to be an outstanding place for skiers and boarders. With an average annual snowfall of 71 inches and several outstanding ski destinations nearby, it is easy to see why Dartmouth is #6 on our list. Storrs Hill Ski Area is 10 minutes away, Dartmouth Skiway is 20 minutes away, Suicide Six Downhill Ski Area is 30 minutes, and there are several others a little over an hour’s drive. The most famous may be Killington Ski Resort with 50 lifts, 144 trails, and amazing powder.

    If you are an athlete, Dartmouth Skiway and the Dartmouth Ski Team is one of the best in the nation. There have been 30 national skiing champions and last year the men won the slalom championship. If that’s not enough, consider the fun and festivities of the 109th Winter Carnival that has been part of the College’s tradition since 1911.

    • Location: Hanover, NH
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 71”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 6 miles
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  7. MERIT: 65.8
    View Profile Average Cost: $25,850

    beautiful ski town collegesWhen you’re only 85 miles from Yellowstone National Park, you know you’re in one of the most beautiful ski town colleges around. Montana State University is located in the Rocky Mountains of Montana. The Rockies have the grandeur and majesty notable to the towering mountain range, which, of course, means perfect powder all winter long. Ski resorts in Montana are known for their “Big Sky,” as the remote location means pristine beauty as far as the eye can see. MSU is only 48 miles from Big Sky Resort, a ski resort with 5,850 skiable areas. Not only is this area one of the most expansive, but it is also family-friendly and home to the continents’ first eight-person chair lift, equipped with heated seats and bubble protection.

    Montana State has both men and women’s ski team, and the University was chosen to host the 2020 NCAA Skiing Championships. Students who enjoy cross-country skiing can take advantage of the one-kilometer ski loop located on campus – there aren’t many colleges where you can ski between classes!

    • Location: Bozeman, MT
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 86”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 18 miles
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  8. MERIT: 64.3
    View Profile Average Cost: $10,728

    beautiful ski town collegesNestled up against the Rockies, and only 21 miles to the nearest ski resort, the University of Colorado – Boulder is undeniably one of the most beautiful ski town colleges. The Rocky Mountains paint a gorgeous background to this gorgeous ski town, which explains why both and ranked this University as #3 and #2 Best Colleges for Skiers, respectively. Nearby ski resorts are too numerous to list, but it is worth noting that Ski Magazine’s #4 choice for the top ski resorts in the nation, Steamboat, is only 169 miles away.

    Ski Resorts near CU-Boulder are so plentiful that the campus Ski & Snowboard Club is the largest club on campus, with over 1,000 members. Members of the club can ride the University of Colorado Ski Bus to get to the mountains without having to drive. And the best news? The ski season lasts for the majority of the academic year. Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail? They are all an easy ski bus ride from the University.

    There is also a men and women’s’ ski team for competitive athletes. The University of Colorado – Boulder is a public research university and home to over 17,000 students.

    • Location: Boulder, CO
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 26”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 21 miles
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  9. MERIT: 64.1
    View Profile Average Cost: $34,319

    beautiful ski town collegesLake Tahoe on one side and ski-worthy mountains on the other make Incline Village, Nevada one of the most beautiful ski towns in America. Incline Village is home to Sierra Nevada College. The College is only two miles from Diamond Peak Resort and 23 miles from Squaw Valley, one of the top ski resorts in the country. There are 15 resorts within driving distance of Sierra Nevada College, and at this College, skiing is just a part of the college experience. The top-ranked Alpine, Freeski, and Snowboard teams are among the best in the country. In fact, the Eagles have brought home USCSA national championships every year since 1990 when they first joined the association. 

    The local Diamond Peak Resort offers student excellent skiing with spectacular Lake Tahoe in as a backdrop. Nearly every resort within driving distance offers discounted college passes to SNC students. Additionally, students who are interested in making the ski-life their work-life can earn a degree in Ski Business and Resort Management that focuses on operations, general management, marketing and sales, real estate development and resort master planning. Students will benefit from internships and independent study programs in partnership with local resorts.

    • Location: Incline Village, NV
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 138”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 2 miles
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  10. MERIT: 62.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $23,330

    beautiful ski town collegesPlymouth, New Hampshire is one of the most beautiful college ski towns complete with picturesque hills, fresh power, and a ski-friendly student life. Plymouth State University is a public university of 5000 students. The most popular majors are Business, Education, Homeland Security, and  Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies. If you love skiing as a hobby or want to learn with friends, you can score $5 lift tickets and $15 rentals (and cheap lessons) as a student price to nearby destinations. 

    There are six destinations within 22 miles with the closest being Tenney Mountain Resort, which is only six miles away. Other nearby resorts include Waterville Valley Resort, Cannon Mountain, Loon Mountain, Ragged Mountain, and Gunstock Mountain Resort. Cannon boasts the most vertical drop in New Hampshire at over 2300 feet, while Tenney offers 45 trails and over 100 acres to ski to your heart’s content. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced skier Plymouth won’t fail to satisfy.

    • Location: Plymouth, NH
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 73”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 16 miles
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  11. MERIT: 62.0
    View Profile Average Cost: $52,515

    beautiful ski town collegesPicture Denver, Colorado and you’ll invariably see a sprawling city situated against gorgeous snow-capped mountains—the perfect combination to make the University of Denver one of the most beautiful ski town colleges in the nation. The University of Denver is a mere 38 miles from the nearest ski resort of Echo Mountain, and only 107 miles from Vail. In fact, there are many of the top resorts in the world within driving distance. The University has a championship ski team that boasts 24 NCAA National Championships. 

    If you love skiing the Alpine Club is available to any student regardless of their ski level. UD students have the option to purchase either an Epic Pass or Ikon Pass, both at a discounted rate. These passes allow students to ski at the iconic resorts surrounding Denver, including Eldora, Steamboat, A-Basin, and 20 other unique resorts – all with no blackout dates. The best news? The Alpine Club offers a charter bus to take you to the surrounding ski resorts so that winter travel can be safe and efficient.

    The University of Denver is a private research university and home to approximately 11,500 students. It is also located in one of the most beautiful college ski towns in the nation, making it an excellent choice for skiers of all levels.

    • Location: Denver, CO
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 60”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 38 miles
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  12. MERIT: 61.3
    View Profile Average Cost: $39,234

    beautiful ski town collegesGlistening snow, packed or powdered, awaits Norwich University students in Northfield, Vermont, which is simply one of the most beautiful ski town colleges you can find. Norwich University and skiing have a deep history. The University is over 200 years old and the oldest military college in the nation; ROTC was born at Norwich. Students enjoy a high-standard liberal arts curriculum and a student life that includes skiing, snowboarding, and winter fun.

    NU is conveniently located near several top resorts, including Sugarbush (#10), Mad Glen (#12), and Stowe Mountain (#32). The most popular may be Sugarbush, which is the closest at only 17 miles away from campus. Sugarbush has two mountain areas, a health and fitness club, multiple lodging options, a golf club, and an impressive selection of dining options. It has more than 100 total trails and it is perfect for any level from first-time skiers or snowboarders to those who have been shredding since they were four.  

    One example of student life fun in the snow is the annual Norwich University Ski and Snowboard Club Rail Jam. It’s a competition open to all students and includes free food and a bonfire!

    • Location: Northfield, VT
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 90”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 17 miles
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  13. MERIT: 61.2
    View Profile Average Cost: $22,041

    beautiful ski town collegesAny college near Tahoe instantly vaults onto our radar as one of the most beautiful ski town colleges. Lake Tahoe is home to eight ski resorts, incredible amenities, dining, and other enjoyable activities. It has picturesque mountains, rivers, lakes, quaint towns, shopping, and more. Reno, home to the University of Nevada, is a hop, skip, and a jump from Lake Tahoe as well. Whether you are a hobby skier or an athlete looking for a college ski team or student ski club, UNR is worth considering. Academically, the school offers over 500 academic programs and has 60 research centers and institutes. The University is an R1 Research University and the sole land-grant school in the State. The top three majors are Business, Health Professions, and Engineering. 

    The closest skiing or snowboarding options are about 40 minutes away at Lake Tahoe. Squaw Valley, famous for hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics, is about an hour from campus. Ranked by as one of the best 10 resorts in the nation, it has something for any winter recreator or enthusiast.

    • Location: Reno, NV
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 24”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 26 miles
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  14. MERIT: 58.4
    View Profile Average Cost: $56,477

    beautiful ski town collegesOne of the most historic ski areas in the nation, Middlebury, Vermont is an iconically beautiful college ski town. Established in 1934, the Snow Bowl is one of Vermont’s earliest ski areas and home to Middlebury College and its renowned ski teams. The mountain has three chairlifts, 17 trails, and a historic lodge. But the ski-tastic options don’t end there. The impressive Sugarbush Resort is only 33 miles away, as well as numerous other ski resorts in the stunning Green Mountains.

    Skiing is central to Middlebury culture. Students at Middlebury College can take ski lessons for PE credits, there is a ski club for people of all ages and levels, and of course, Middlebury College boasts numerous Olympians. There is both an Alpine and Nordic ski team, whose origins date back to the 1880s. ranked Middlebury College as #8 on their list of the Top Ten Colleges for Ski Buffs.

    Founded in 1800, Middlebury College is a highly acclaimed liberal arts college situated between the Green and the Adirondack Mountains, which is why skiing and Middlebury go hand-in-hand.

    • Location: Middlebury, VT
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 84”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 13 miles
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  15. MERIT: 58.0
    View Profile Average Cost: $10,488

    beautiful ski town collegesThe Upper Peninsula of Michigan is one of the snowiest regions in the continental US, making Northern Michigan University one of the most beautiful ski town colleges. While Marquette (home to Northern Michigan University) is not known for its towering mountains, the average annual snowfall of 149” makes skiing inevitable. Nearby Pine Mountain Resort was founded in 1939 and is visited by people from all over the world. It is the only ski-in/ski-out resort in the UP and is known as one of the best-groomed hills in Michigan. There is also Mount Bohemia which is located in the northernmost tip of Michigan on a peninsula jutting out into Lake Superior.

    Northern Michigan University has both a Nordic and Alpine Ski Team, and teams train with nearby Lake Superior providing unprecedented beauty. There is a Board & Ski Club for skiers of all levels. The University also offers a Ski Area Business Management major.

    A public university, Northern Michigan University was founded in 1899. Today, there are approximately 8000 students, making it the largest university in the Upper Peninsula.

    • Location: Marquette, MI
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 149”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 78 miles
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  16. MERIT: 57.4
    View Profile Average Cost: $41,728

    beautiful ski town collegesIncredible options, panoramic views, and amazing student opportunities make Champlain College in Burlington one of the most beautiful ski town colleges. Burlington is truly a college town with over a quarter of the population being students of three institutions. It is picturesque in the mountains and overlooks lovely Lake Champlain. Opportunities for students to get away for a day on the slopes abound. There are over eight resorts near Champlain including several of the best in the nation.

    Knowing that skiing can be expensive shouldn’t deter you though. Students ski and ride at Sugarbush for just $30 a year! Sugarbush is a nationally recognized resort (Ranked #10 on Ski Magazine Resorts of the Year) with unbelievable terrain, amenities, and memorable views. If you want advanced trails and power or beginner trails or lessons you’ll find them at Sugarbush. You’ll also get to ski Mt. Ellen, which exceeds 4000 feet. Other amazing resorts include Stowe Mountain Resort, Bolton Valley Resort, Loon, and Smuggler’s Notch.

    Champlain College is a small, private school founded in 1878. The school has been recognized for being innovative, having strong community engagement, and operates two international campuses in Dublin and Montreal. 

    • Location: Burlington, VT
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 72”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort:47 miles
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  17. MERIT: 53.4
    View Profile Average Cost: $24,576

    beautiful ski town collegesAnchorage’s rugged landscape and glacial Chugach Mountains make the University of Alaska – Anchorage one of the most beautiful ski town colleges in America. Home to the University of Alaska, students can enjoy leisure skiing and snowboarding, along with other winter activities. There is also a place for competitive racing on UAA’s ski team. As for your options to ski, tube, snowboard, and more, there are several good options. Hilltop Ski Area is only seven miles away. The hill includes 30 acres of groomed trails from easy to difficult and is especially a nice hill for beginners and intermediate skiers.

    If you do happen to be an adrenaline junkie and you’re looking to put your edges to the test there is also the Karl Eid Ski Jump Complex, with 15 meter, 40 meter, and 60 meter jump. There is also Alyeska Ski Resort, a challenging hill with more advanced and expert runs than most other North American mountains; it is 50 minutes from campus.  

    The University of Alaska – Anchorage is the largest institution of higher learning in the State. UAA is known for its career and technical education, especially associated with the State’s natural resources of oil and gas.

    • Location: Anchorage, AK
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 75.5”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 7 miles 
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  18. MERIT: 48.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $11,580

    beautiful ski town collegesThe beautiful college ski town of Provo, Utah looks like a picture from a postcard. Home to Brigham Young University, students reap all the geographical benefits of the larger sister-city of Salt Lake City with more a small-town feel. There is nothing small about the nearby ski resorts though. Alta Ski Resort, whose annual 547” of snow, 11 lifts, and over 115 trails rank #1 by, is only 47 miles away. Add to that Brighton, Deer Valley, and Park City, and you have a skiers’ paradise. In fact, of Utah’s 15 ski resorts, seven are within a two-hour drive from Provo.

    Brigham Young students can join Freeriding Academy, BYU’s ski and snowboard club. There will find deals to annual passes to the local ski resorts, ride-sharing, and like-minded ski-friends. BYU Outdoors Unlimited is another club with excellent connections. The University also offers both skiing and snowboarding classes for credit.

    Brigham Young University is a private research university owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Ninety-nine percent of BYU students are LDS members.

    • Location: Provo, UT
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 43”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 13 miles
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  19. MERIT: 45.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $16,980

    beautiful ski town collegesRugged mountains crowned with pure-white snow make SUNY at Plattsburgh one of the most beautiful ski town colleges in the USA. Plattsburgh is in the northern part of upstate New York near Lake Champlain and only 20 miles from Burlington, Vermont, another beautiful ski town. Students at SUNY Plattsburgh enjoy several of the Adirondack Mountain peaks, most famously Whiteface Mountain, home of the 1980 Olympics. Whiteface is ranked #8 by in Ski Magazine for Resorts of the Year. A glance is enough to demonstrate it’s the real deal: Olympic-quality facilities, a charming village with a museum, trails for all levels, Nordic skiing, and ski jumps. It is also one of the biggest mountains of the East at 3,430 feet. Notably, students get discounted tickets to Whiteface! There are also regular student ski-trips to Canada in the North and Vermont to the east.

    SUNY Plattsburgh was founded as a teacher’s college in 1889. Today it is part of the SUNY System and educates nearly 6000 total students. SUNY Plattsburgh is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

    • Location: Plattsburgh, NY
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 54”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 10 miles
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  20. MERIT: 47.2
    View Profile Average Cost: $6,840

    beautiful ski town collegesThe College of Southern Idaho makes our list for most beautiful ski town colleges for the simple fact it’s smack dab in the middle of three incredible resorts. Magic Mountain is the nearest ski resort with incredible views, amenities, and activities. The 7,200-foot summit of the Mountain receives 230 inches annually. There are three lifts, 11 trails, and great food—all only 38 miles from campus. Pomerelle Mountain Resort is a little over an hour away from campus and is another skiers utopia. Pomerelle is perfect for beginners, so you could grab a friend and head to the hill. There are 24 groomed slopes, two terrain parks, a triple chair, a double chair, and the Magic Carpet beginners lift. Arguably the best place for powder heads is Sun Valley Idaho—ranked #2 in Ski Magazines Resorts of the Year. Something unique to CSI is its annual ski swap, a tradition going back 50 years!

    The College of Southern Idaho is a public comprehensive community college. CSI offers associates degrees in 40 academic majors and more than 40 career technical programs.  

    • Location: Twin Falls, ID
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 18”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 38 miles to Magic Mountain 82 miles to #2
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  21. MERIT: 46.8
    View Profile Average Cost: $49,858

    beautiful ski town collegesLocated only 30 miles from the Canadian border you’ll find Clarkson University nestled in the beautiful college ski town of Potsdam, New York. With all the charm of a New England town, Potsdam is charming all year-round. When the 70 inches of glistening snow cover Potsdam, it becomes a winter wonderland. Ski resorts surround Clarkson University, including the world-famous Whiteface Mountain, which is only 79 miles away. Whiteface Mountain has even hosted the Olympic Games—twice! Not only is the skiing superior, but the world-class Olympic facilities also make this the perfect training ground for competitive skiers.

    The University has both an Alpine and Nordic ski team as well as an active ski club. There are ample opportunities for skiers or boarders of every level. The beauty of the Adirondack Mountains pervades campus life, and with the northern New York weather, students can even cross-country ski around campus. The list of outdoor wonders is extensive, with Lake Placid, the St. Lawrence River, numerous ski resorts, and six million acres of wilderness surrounding this beautiful college ski town.

    Clarkson University is a private research university and home to approximately 4,300 students. Top majors include Engineering, Computer Science, and Biology.

    • Location: Potsdam, NY
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 70”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 44 miles
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  22. MERIT: 46.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $50,960

    beautiful ski town collegesThe White Mountains provide a dazzling background for one of the most beautiful college ski towns in America, Waterville, Maine. Home to Colby College, Waterville is only 18 miles from the nearest ski resort and 60 miles from world-renowned Sugarloaf. Ranked #7 by’s list of the Ski Resorts of the Year, Sugarloaf is known as the “best big mountain in the East.” One of the downfalls of Sugarloaf is its remote location, thankfully something Colby College students don’t have to worry about. Students have easy access to this world-class resort.

    The College has an Alpine and Nordic Ski Team, and for the outdoor enthusiast, the Colby Outing Club is a sure-win. The Club leads over 100 trips per year, many of them to the local ski resorts. The nearby Quarry Road Recreational Area is the perfect place for cross-country skiing. Located about a mile from campus, Quarry Road Recreational is a 200-acre area about a mile from campus. There are seven miles of trails designed by John Morton, a two-time Olympic biathlete. The area is used by Colby Nordic skiers as well as local residents.

    A private liberal arts college, Colby College offers 54 majors and 30 minors to approximately 1800 students.

    • Location: Waterville, ME
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 71”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 18 miles
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  23. MERIT: 45.3
    View Profile Average Cost: $48,364

    beautiful ski town collegesIconic snow-capped mountains and easy access to ski to your heart’s content make SMU-Taos, New Mexico one of the most beautiful ski town colleges in the United States. With nature enveloping your surroundings, SMU-Taos nurtures your body and spirit. The town is home to Taos Pueblo, a World Heritage Site, the church of St. Francisco de Asis, majestic mountain views, dining, live music, and more. If you have an itch for adventure on the slopes skiing or snowboarding or any winter activity, Tao Ski Valley surely offers what you desire. The resort offers over 300 inches of perfect “…powder stashes and some of the most untamed chutes, bowls, and glades in North America.” There is also Sipapu Ski Resort only 14 miles away with over 40 trails, five lifts, and something for every level of skier. The most notable feature of SMU-Taos is that students who enroll in Mountain Sports get free lift tickets and the school covers equipment too!

    Southern Methodist University-Taos is a satellite campus of Southern Methodist University located in Taos, New Mexico. SMU-Taos approaches education uniquely with their “classroom without walls” philosophy. Some popular majors are Business, Social Science, and Engineering.

    • Location: Taos, New Mexico
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 37”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 14
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  24. MERIT: 43.7
    View Profile Average Cost: $33,879

    beautiful ski town collegesDurham, New Hampshire, home to the University of New Hampshire, deserves to be listed among the most beautiful ski town colleges. First of all, Durham is located near many amazing resorts. To name some: Wildcat Mountain, Loon Mountain, Bretton Woods, Cannon, Cranmore, Black Mountain, Gunstock and Attitash. The best way to ski and board as a student is to become part of the UNH Ski and Board Club. The Club takes a trip every Saturday during the winter season and you get great deals. Enjoy three mountains that have incredible trails, powder, and amenities: Loon, Sunday River, and Sugarloaf. According to Ski Magazine, all three of these resorts made the list of Resorts of the Year. The club costs $100 to become a member and you also get UNH student discounts on tickets and rentals. Ski-team is entering its 38th year; this year there are seven Nordic racers and five alpine skiers. 

    The University of New Hampshire in Durham was founded in 1866. UNH is the public flagship research institution in the State. The large university serves over 15,000 total students.

    • Location: Durham, NH
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 48”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 6 miles
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  25. MERIT: 43.1
    View Profile Average Cost: $14,268

    beautiful ski town collegesLaramie, Wyoming is known as the Gateway to the Snowy Range, making it one of the most beautiful college ski towns we found. In fact, Laramie is located between two mountain ranges—and there is just something about being sandwiched between snowy mountain peaks that makes a person want to ski. Located only 124 miles from one of the top ski resorts in the nation, Steamboat, Colorado, Laramie residents have easy access to excellent slopes.

    The University of Wyoming, which is what makes Laramie a college town, has several opportunities for snow bums. The UW Ski Club is a group of students who work together to secure cheap tickets, easy rides, affordable lodging, and ski buddies all through the long Wyoming winter. The group organizes trips to a variety of top ski destinations within easy distance. The University also has a Nordic Ski Club, which is a competitive club for advanced skiers. Club members compete in United States Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA) sanctioned races. Each year, the club sends athletes to the national championships.

    The University of Wyoming is comprised of seven colleges and offers over 120 undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs.

    • Location: Laramie, WY
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 58”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 124 miles
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  26. MERIT: 40.1
    View Profile Average Cost: $56,970

    beautiful ski town collegesWilliams College makes it on our list for most beautiful ski town colleges because of access to stellar mountains, awe-inspiring views, active student life, and ski team. To begin with, there is access to quite a few excellent ski resorts for every level. There are four resorts in Massachusetts, six in Vermont, and one in New Hampshire. The most popular for shredders, bombers, and local ski-bums is Jiminy Peak. It’s also only 14 miles from campus. The mountain has 45 trails and nine lifts, including a six-person, high-speed chairlift as well as a ski village with shopping and dining to die for. Jiminy Peak Resort can’t be mentioned without the greenest fact on our top 30—it is the only mountain resort that generates 100-percent of its own energy with a wind turbine. The 2,380-foot summit offers advanced runs to carve and nicely groomed runs for beginners or intermediates. Two other nearby notable resorts are both ranked by Ski Magazine, Mountain Snow Vermont (#4) and Mad River Glen (#12); they are 60 and 120 miles away, respectively. Williams College also has a ski team, both nordic and alpine, for men and women.

    Williams College is a historic private liberal arts college founded all the back in 1793. Williams is renowned for academics and is highly selective. The prestigious university enrolls over 2000 students.

    • Location: Williamstown, MA
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 63”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 14
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  27. MERIT: 40.0
    View Profile Average Cost: $26,222

    beautiful ski town collegesWhether you’re a shredder or a beginner, Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho lands on our list for most beautiful ski town colleges. Students enjoy a location that puts you near 12 great ski destinations. Granted, most are several hours away, but there are several that are inexpensive and good for all levels. The nearest and most popular hill is Pebble Creek Ski Area. The Ski Area sits atop 9,271-foot Mt. Bonneville in the Portneuf Range and receives 225 inches of snow a year. The hill works whether you’re a planker or ripper with your heart set on bombing down 2200 vertical feet, or if you would rather meander down the hill enjoying incredible views. Either way, once you get to the lodge you can dine on some good eats!

    For serious skiers, if you’re willing to travel over a hundred miles you could make it to Sun Valley Idaho, ranked #2 by Ski Magazine for Resorts of the Year. Other benefits to consider ISU is the annual two-day ski swap and discounts for ski-bum students for Pebble Creek and Bogus Basin.

    Idaho State University is a public research university with views of the Portneuf and Bannock Mountain Ranges. ISU serves 13,000 students with over 250 academic programs. The most popular majors are Nursing, Liberal Arts, and Business.

    • Location: Pocatello, ID
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 86”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 14
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  28. MERIT: 38.4
    View Profile Average Cost: $18,096

    beautiful ski town collegesCheck out a map of Gunnison, Colorado and you’ll see it’s surrounded by white-topped mountains, the reason it earned a place on our list of the most beautiful college ski towns. There are two top-notch ski areas near Gunnison, Crested Butte Mountain Resort and Monarch Ski Area. Additionally, the Gunnison Valley is world-renowned for its extensive backcountry skiing. 

    Any place situated in the Colorado Rockies is going to provide marvelous opportunities for the ski-fanatic, but Western State Colorado University goes above and beyond. Not only does the University have both Alpine and Nordic ski teams, but there is also a Freestyle skiing and snowboarding team, a Freeride Ski & Snowboard Team (yes, they are different!), and a Ski Mountaineering Team. All of these teams are competitive teams and participate in respective competitions all over North America.

    The University also offers a degree in Resort Management for those who want to make ski resorts their career. Western State Colorado University is a four-year public university in Gunnison, Colorado. There are approximately 2,600 undergraduate and 400 graduate students at WSCU.

    • Location: Gunnison, CO
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 47”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 30 miles
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  29. MERIT: 34.0
    View Profile Average Cost: $52,586

    beautiful ski town collegesBabson College is one of the most beautiful ski town colleges for many reasons. The College is a small business school known for innovation and entrepreneurship. However, it should not be overlooked that it is a fantastic place to enjoy winter beauty through a day at the slopes. The College is 30 minutes from Boston as well, making all that the historic city offers super convenient and accessible. If you’re looking to ski or board, Blue Hill is perfect for beginners and college friends and a great price; You could hit Boston before or after your excursion. Wachusett is further than Blue Hill (50 miles from campus) but is worth it for beauty, nature, and more challenging runs and areas. The ski area is surrounded by an old-growth forest perched over the beautiful Wachusett Lake.

    Pats Peak is 80 miles from campus and another solid choice for beginners. At the same time, 30 percent of trails are for advanced and expert skiers. For students willing to drive a bit more, there is the gorgeous Mount Sunapee. The mountain receives 100 inches of snow a year and is set amidst lovely Lake Sunapee. In addition to students taking excursions to the ski or board, Babson also fields a Men’s and Women’s Alpine Ski Team. The Men won the USCSA Slalom Championship last year and the Women’s team is regularly in contention with 13 USCSA Regional appearances. 

    • Location: Wellesley, MA
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 43”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 15
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  30. MERIT: 31.1
    View Profile Average Cost: $21,530

    beautiful ski town collegesBoise, Idaho is literally sitting in the foothills of the gorgeous and rugged Rocky Mountains which make Boise State University one of the most beautiful ski town colleges in the country. The local Ski Education Foundation trains athletes of all ages at the nearby Pioneer Lodge, both of which are located in Boise. But the big draw for students at Boise State University is Sun Valley, Idaho, which is only 154 miles away.

    Sun Valley is consistently ranked in the Top 5 of the best ski resorts in the nation and its easy to see why. Readers recognized the resort as excellent in Lodging, Lifts, Service, Family, Charm, Down Day Activities, and Overall Satisfaction. In other words, you can’t get much better than Sun Valley. The beauty and expansiveness of the West combined with the charm of the surrounding small town is a skier’s fantasy.

    Students at Boise State benefit from the University’s close proximity to prime powder. The University offers several Alpine ski classes as well as a Ski and Snowboard Club. The local Bogus Basin provides local access to students, making skiing a pastime that can be done with little travel. Bogus Basin offers students a season pass at the discounted rate of $199.

    Boise State University is located on 285-acres at 2,700 feet above sea level, which explains why the local ski resort is only three miles away from the heart of campus. There are approximately 24,000 students who attend Boise State.

    • Location: Boise, ID
    • Average Annual Snowfall: 20”
    • Distance to Nearest Ski Resort: 3 miles
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beautiful ski town collegesJust a perusal through the most beautiful ski town colleges gives one a sense of pride in our country. The boundless beauty and incredible diversity of cities, colleges, and ski resorts are a testament to the American spirit. From the snow-capped peaks of the Northeast where you find the scenic Green Mountains to the Pacific Northwest and the year-round white-beauty of Mt. Hood, we have views that last a lifetime. These havens of pristine natural beauty inspire us, and fuzing them with recreation and sport makes us come alive. The beautiful ski town colleges give us access to ski-resorts to die for with ski-towns to nourish the body and soul; it’s amazing that there really is something in just about every region of the USA. 

beautiful ski town collegesAs any skier or boarder will tell you, the challenge, joy, entertainment, focus, and memories made on the slopes are what make life worth living. It was a fun-filled list to create and left us here at OnlineCollegePlan wishing to be on a lift to the top of a mountain with the immense beauty and silence of the crisp air on the face. If you’re a student looking for the right college, we hope our list aided you in your quest. We hope that by exploring each school and the ski-life of students and nearby ski destinations, you found your next steps in the journey we call life. If not, don’t lose hope, but be grateful for the opportunities this great country provides. 

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