CMC Leadville ResLife: Mountain Amenities, Campus Community

Leah Elkins, Outdoor Studies student at CMC Leadville explores the campus trails in snowshoes.
Leah Elkins, Outdoor Studies student at CMC Leadville explores the campus trails in snowshoes.
Leah Elkins, Outdoor Studies student at CMC Leadville, explores the campus trails in snowshoes.

Leadville ResLife: Mountain Amenities & Campus Community

by Leah Elkins, Outdoor Recreation Leadership student & Residence Assistant

There are plenty of benefits of living on-campus at Colorado Mountain College Leadville: a short commute to class and campus events, a constant sense of community, and a laundry list of amenities unique to our mountain campus. Perks like trail access, a backyard terrain park, and private in-room bathrooms shouldn’t be overlooked – they definitely make my day-to-day college experience worthwhile – but they don’t quite encapsulate the best part of our unique campus living: college engagement.

As a transfer student, this isn’t my first go-round with a college experience or on-campus living. My previous university had no idea who I was. I was shuffled in and out of classes with occasional advisory appointments to pay my tuition and plan my degree trajectory. My experience couldn’t be more different with CMC Leadville.

Our campus community engagement, thanks to the small faculty-to-student ratio, exposes what college experiences should really be like. My professors know me by name, not because I’m on the roster, but because our campus promotes family values in our professional relationships.

Like how one of my professors met my mom at orientation last March, an entire year ago, and still asks how she’s doing. Or how I dog-sit for our Executive Administrative Assistant when she goes out of town. Or how I sang TLC’s Waterfalls at an on-campus Karaoke Night with the Vice President of the campus. Who does that!? We do that. CMC Leadville is proof that you’re able to have fun while building your professional skills and networks.

It’s not too hard to piece together the other highlights our campus has to offer. Here is a quick list of 6 reasons to love our unique mountain campus:

1. The Views!

Have you seen a picture of Leadville? It’s an adorable old western town with monumental, jaw-dropping mountains dominating the horizon. Our hill-top campus overlooks the entire town and points directly towards the mountains… you should see a sunset from my window. We don’t call it the Mountain View Residence Hall for nothing.

Students in the Multi-Purpose Room in the CMC Leadville
Students in the Multi-Purpose Room in the CMC Leadville relax with pizza and a card game.

2. The Multi-Purpose Room

Our Residence Hall Multi-Purpose Room, fondly called the MPR, is equipped with a full kitchen, two pool tables, foosball, ping-pong, and a big ol’ TV and media set-up. To top it all off, rumor has it we’re renovating the kitchen space this summer. We like to treat ourselves.

3. The Trails

Did you know we have almost 300 acres of land? A lot of it is riddled with hiking/biking trails and a disk golf course. The rest is pure, uninterrupted nature. Living on campus, these trails are right in my backyard. Spontaneous walk in the woods? I think yes.

4. The Terrain Park

Our Ski Area Operations students groom our backyard into a gnarly terrain park for skiing and snowboarding – rails and all. And I mean “our backyard” quite literally. I could throw a rock from my window and hit the slopes back there.

5. The Gym

We proudly offer a gymnasium, cardio room, weight room, and, my favorite, a climbing wall. Bouldering, top-rope, or sport climbing – pick your poison!

Students can rent a variety of 4-season gear for free from the Outdoor Gear Room at Colorado Mountain College Leadville.
Students can rent a variety of 4-season gear for free from the Outdoor Gear Room at Colorado Mountain College Leadville.

6. The Gear Room

Want to enjoy the trails but you don’t have a mountain bike? How about a fat tire bike? Snowshoes? Cross-country skis? No worries – we have the campus Gear Room for that. Borrow some of our gear and get outside!


In addition to our unique amenities, students are able and encouraged to engage with the college and community to make real impacts. We volunteer at local horse rescues, help cut down trees for community members, engage with the local high school in Outdoor Education, work with Cloud City Conservation, and more. We’re learning to be leaders, to define our roles in the world, cultivate professional relationships, and develop the intellectual capital for our futures. Living on campus facilitates this unique relationship with the college and community.

The opportunities for college engagement at CMC are seemingly endless. Professors and advisors promote and coordinate events such as blood drives, community outreach events, athletic games and competitions, workshops, job fairs, trips to outdoor conventions and conferences – the list goes on and on.

The truth is, so many of these opportunities are hard to keep track of when living off campus. That’s why we’ve launched a private Facebook group –CMC Leadville Outdoor Student Community – for CMC students, both on and off campus, of all majors and programs. This student-run group just started last semester – another example of how our student body is able to contribute ideas and make real impacts at our campus.

If you’re a student, join us:

The multitude of opportunities I’ve had to engage with campus resources, in academics and beyond, wouldn’t have been feasible had I chosen to live off-campus. The direction over my own schedule in regards to classes, office hours, advisor appointments, campus events, workshops, volunteer opportunities, and even working out at the gym wouldn’t have put me where I am today without on-campus residency.

Don’t take my word for it – arrange a campus tour and see for yourself.

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