The Outdoor Heritage at Idaho State University






A Variety of Climbing Courses Are Offered



Skiing in Yellowstone N.P.


Hidden Waterful On a River Trip


Canoeing in the Fall


Backpacking on the Idaho Side of the Tetons



Wilderness First Aid Course


The Idaho Wilderness



Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

- Erica Frandsen


Idaho State University Outdoor RecreationIdaho State University offers a Major in Outdoor Recreation (with either a natural history or business option), as well as a Minor in Outdoor Recreation.


And what a place to get an outdoor recreation degree! 

Idaho State University is in the midst of some of the finest outdoor resources in the country.  Within twenty minutes of campus are rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, ski/snowboarding, hiking, and a system of five backcountry yurts.  


ClimbingQuality education is standard at Idaho State University.  The Rock Climbing and Mountaineering courses are taught by American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) certified instructors.


Located just five minutes from campus are basalt cliffs with over 115 routes that offer climbs for every ability level. The cliffs are so close that you can climb before, in between, or after class. Idaho State sponsors the Pocatello Pump (below), the longest running climbing competition in America.


Pocatello Pump


Idaho State Climbing Wall



And if it's cold outside, you can keep climbing on the extensive indoor wall that's located on campus in the Recreation Center . . .






Kayaking, Kayak Touring and Swiftwater Rescue courses are taught by American Canoe Association certified teachers. Some previous kayaking students have gone on to excell competitively including World Freestyle Champion Eric Southwick. Below instructor Dana Olson runs a whitewater rapid on Idaho's River of No Return, one of the many famous whitewater rivers found in the state. Here's some more information on the variety of river opportunities at Idaho State: Paddling.


Dana Kayaking


Wilderness First AidObtain nationally recognized First Responder or Wilderness First Aid certification.


Wilderness First Aid Course

Wheelchair Rapelling



Idaho State University is the home of the Cooperative Wilderness Handicapped Outdoor Group (C. W. HOG), one of the first wilderness programs for people with disablities. C. W. HOG participants have run the Colorado through the Grand Canyon. Every summer they take a week trip down Idaho's Salmon River. They have trekked to Everest Base camp. In the winter, they ski at nearby Pebble Creek Ski Area. It's an amazing program.

Wheelchair Overlooking Valley


For our team building classes, we utilize an Alpine Tower which has dozens of different challenge activities. One of the favorites is the Giant Swing!

Challenge CourseChallenge Course - Giant Swing


Enjoy winter camping in style in one of five backcountry yurts located thirty minutes away from campus.


Idaho State Univ. Yurts



Idaho State University is home base for the National Outdoor Book Awards. The founder of the program teaches outdoor literature courses at the university.


National Outdoor Book Awards



Ski or snow board at Pebble Creek Ski Area, a 40-minute drive from campus. In addition to the groomed runs on the front side, the backside of the ski area is an outstanding area for backcountry skiing or boarding. You can even stay overnight in a cozy yurt!


Ski - Falling



Highlights . . .


Paddler & US Today

Paddler Magazine names Idaho State University as one of the nation's best paddling colleges.


Sports Afield: Sports Afield includes Idaho State University among America's top 10 colleges for serious sportsmen. 


USA Today features Idaho State's Yurt System.



Higher Purpose - Tom Whittaker





Tom Whittaker, founder of Idaho State's C.W. HOG program is the first disabled person to summit Everest. Later he writes about his experience in the book Higher Purpose.






Excellence in Outdoor Programming Award



Idaho State University is awarded the nationally coveted David J. Webb Award for excellence in outdoor programming.




Bill March's Snow & Ice Climbing




Bill March, former ISU Outdoor Program Graduate Assistant, leads the first and sucessful Canadian Everest Expedition. March was the author of an early text on snow and ice climbing.









Books published by the ISU Outdoor Education staff include works on Ski Camping, Canoeing, Cross-country & Backcountry Skiing, Outdoor Programming, Outdoor History and Outdoor Adventure literature.ISU Outdoor Books


Jeff Rhoads, former ISU Outdoor Program staff member is the first to climb Everest twice in on week.





Outdoor Education Links


Outdoor Minor Information

Questions & Answers

Brief Descriptions of Outdoor Classes

Course Syllabi & Course Information

Great Video on Outdoor Recreation at Idaho State

Evening on the River

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We have subsidiary sites for Idaho State Outdoor Education at the following:


Google Sites


Word Press



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