Mission & Programs

Our Mission

The High Mountain Institute engages students with the natural world. Our school boldly unites rigorous intellectual inquiry, experiential learning, wilderness expeditions, and shared responsibility in a strong community. Our students realize their potential—as leaders, independent thinkers, and thoughtful citizens.

Our School & Programs

Our school combines academics and the natural world. We seek to connect ourselves, our students, and our community to the environment in which we live. HMI is not simply an environmental, experiential, or traditional school. We borrow liberally from all three traditions, but also leave ourselves open to the world at large. This allows us to present students with new experiences that they can understand and apply to their lives as a whole.

  • The HMI Semester is an academic and wilderness semester school for motivated college-bound juniors.
  • The HMI Summer Term is a five-week interdisciplinary program that combines academic enrichment and wilderness expeditions in the Colorado Rockies.
  • The Apprentice Program is a professional residency for recent college graduates in traditional and outdoor education.
  • The HMI Gap semesters are for 18-22 year olds looking to step outside of the traditional classroom setting. With programs traveling through Patagonia and the American West, students embark on an incredible three-month journey to some of the world’s wildest places. Students pursue outdoor adventures, explore pressing environmental issues, and gain real-world experience making a positive impact in the conservation field. 
  • The High Peaks Adventure is an introduction to the outdoors and outdoor adventure for middle school students.
  • Wilderness medicine and avalanche safety courses
  • Custom leadership training programs, campus rentals, and guided fourteener climbs in the Collegiate Peaks areas, outside of Buena Vista, CO, are also available.

Diversity at the High Mountain Institute

HMI strives for diversity by honoring the differences of each member of the community. We seek to build a community (of trustees, faculty, staff, and students) that represents ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic diversity and that brings a diversity of experience, background, talent, and perspective.

High Mountain Institute Non-Discriminatory Statement

HMI admits students and employs faculty and staff of any gender, race, color, religion, sexual preference, national and ethnic origin, and accords them all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students, faculty and staff of the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual preference, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletics, and other school administered programs.