Backpacker Magazine has ranked the University of Wyoming as the third best college in the country for hikers. The high ranking was earned in part because of the school’s Outdoor Leadership Development Series, which is a competitive yearlong program that teaches students to be leaders through outdoor activities and wilderness training.
Dan McCoy, the assistant director for campus recreation at the University of Wyoming, said the many opportunities to get outside at UW make for a great recruiting tool.
“Especially for out of state students who are considering the University of Wyoming. That’s one of the factors that they consider when they’re coming to school here is they get this wonderful opportunity to explore the outdoors, and do it with a group or program that is kind of committed to helping them succeed,” said McCoy.
McCoy also said the proximity to the outdoors can also be a plus for students’ academic lives.
“Many of them report participating in outdoor programs, it actually helps relieve a lot of stress. It helps them to kind of develop a different skill, and it also develops resiliency,” said McCoy.
In addition to its Outdoor Leadership Development Series, the Outdoor Program also offers a variety of rental equipment like cross country skis, snow shoes, and bikes to give student, faculty, and staff more access to the outdoors.