Ambitious, motivated students attend the High Mountain Institute to connect with nature, develop as leaders and critical thinkers, and discover learning at its best. They are here to make the most of their educations. Our programs prepare adolescents to take risks, collaborate with peers, communicate with people who hold diverse perspectives, and build trusting relationships. For many of our alumni, the decision to attend an HMI program was the most important educational choice they made during their lifetimes. From our campus high in the Rocky Mountains to the wilds of Patagonia, our students travel into the wilderness and foster communities of shared responsibility, creating the foundation for rigorous intellectual experiences. When nature and minds meet, extraordinary academic and personal achievement often follows.

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HMI at a glance

  • HMI is an accredited, not-for-profit independent school and gap year provider
  • Our semester program awards academic credit for classes that align with course requirements at sending schools across the country.
  • Approximately 150 motivated, high-achieving students and 30 adults participate in HMI programs each year
  • All HMI programs combine exploration of the natural world with intellectual pursuits and intentional community
  • All HMI programs involve backpacking; some also involve rock climbing and backcountry skiing
  • No previous outdoor experience is necessary to participate; many of our students are new to these activities
  • HMI awards over $800,000 annually in need-based financial aid

HMI is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that welcomes students of diverse racial, ethnic, social-economic, and geographic backgrounds.  We are a fully accredited school through The Association of Colorado Independent Schools, The Association of Experiential Education, and The American Gap Association. Further, we are a member of The National Association of Independent Schools, The Semester School Network, The National Business Officers Association, and The Colorado Diversity Network.