Campus & Directions

Leadville, Colorado is the place we are proud to call “home.”

The High Mountain Institute’s campus is nestled at the base of the state’s highest peaks, Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, providing an inspiring and iconic backdrop for our school. Located five miles from historic downtown Leadville, HMI is within six hours of dozens of mountain ranges, canyon systems, and wilderness areas which comprise the places we visit during our expeditions. Leadville is well-known for its rich and lengthy history of hard rock mining, and boasts the title of highest city in the nation (situated at 10,200 feet above sea level). People visit Leadville to ski, camp, and hike famous 14,000 foot peaks, and the 10th Mountain Division trained for World War II in the surrounding mountains. Each August thousands of competitors and spectators flock to our town to be challenged and exhilarated by the Leadville 100, a 100-mile running race and mountain bike race covering the rugged terrain right in our backyard. We are not alone in saying that Leadville is a special place, and we are proud that is has been our community for over fifteen years.

Click here for driving directions and shuttle information.

Our campus is simple in means, but the experience is rich in ends.

Arne Naess coined the phrase “simple in means, rich in ends” and this aptly describes and informs what we do at the High Mountain Institute. Our campus functions similarly to that of a traditional boarding school: We have a dining hall where the community shares meals, we have classrooms and a library, and we have housing for our students. However, there are aspects of our campus which also distinguish us:

  • Students live in rustic cabins heated by wood and lit by solar power.
  • Classes exist both inside and outside the four walls of a typical school building.
  • Our kitchen is utilized by students, who help to cook for the community using family recipes.
  • Extensive porches and decks are a venue for absorbing the surrounding mountains.
  • Over 1,000 alumni have helped to take care of our campus, as we are entirely self-supported and do not employ anyone to clean up after us.

Overall, our campus provides a space for HMI students to live, learn, and develop a closer relationship with nature.

Come and explore.

Using the interactive map below, we encourage you to both explore our campus and expand your view to include the dramatic topography which surrounds us.

1. The Barnes Building

2. The West Buidling

3. The East Building

4. Stuen Hall

5. The Back Porch

6. Cabin 1

7. Cabin 2

8. Cabin 3

9. Cabin 4

10. Kirk’s Cabin

11. The Fire Ring

12. The Playing Field