Colorado Rocky Mountain School

5.00 5 1 (4 reviews)
500 Holden Way
Carbondale, CO 81623
Colorado Rocky Mountain School Photo #1 - With 165 students, relationships are at the core of the Colorado Rocky Mountain School experience. This close-knit community resides on a 320-acre historic ranch, at the confluence of two rivers and base of Mount Sopris, providing not only an outdoor learning laboratory but a launch point for boundless outdoor adventure.
Colorado Rocky Mountain School Photo #1 - With 165 students, relationships are at the core of the Colorado Rocky Mountain School experience. This close-knit community resides on a 320-acre historic ranch, at the confluence of two rivers and base of Mount Sopris, providing not only an outdoor learning laboratory but a launch point for boundless outdoor adventure.
Colorado Rocky Mountain School Photo #2 - We provide endless opportunities to experience a broad range of mountain sports such as skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, and kayaking this exposure to the outdoors helps our students to develop life-long passions.
Colorado Rocky Mountain School Photo #3 - As a small school, relationships are at the core of the Colorado Rocky Mountain School experience. Our faculty members are not only teaching classes but are mentors in our outdoor and active program in addition to serving as dorm parents.
Colorado Rocky Mountain School Photo #4 - Learning at Colorado Rocky Mountain School also means heading into the great outdoors three times a year. Our outdoor trips focus on the natural areas near the school for hiking, biking, climbing, and river sports.
Colorado Rocky Mountain School Photo #5 - From assisting in the garden to making mugs in ceramics or trail building to repairing bikes or skis, you will positively contribute to the Colorado Rocky Mountain School community through service.
Colorado Rocky Mountain School Photo #6 - Robotics is one of several computer science offerings here at Colorado Rocky Mountain School.
Colorado Rocky Mountain School Photo #7 - At Colorado Rocky Mountain School, we focus on inclusion and access. All students have the opportunity to try a new sport or take their passion to the next level. Whether you are a beginner or ready to join our state championship climbing or mountain biking teams - there is a place for everyone!
Colorado Rocky Mountain School Photo #8 - The culture of music is organic and permeates so much of the Colorado Rocky Mountain School community.
Colorado Rocky Mountain School Photo #9 - Whether discovering your creative side for the first time or wanting to pursue an art career in college and beyond, Colorado Rocky Mountain School enjoys a robust and unique range of offerings including glassblowing, blacksmithing, silversmithing, printmaking and more.
Colorado Rocky Mountain School Photo #10 - 100% of Colorado Rocky Mountain School graduates are admitted to 4-year colleges and universities.
  • Colorado Rocky Mountain School is an independent boarding and day school that challenges students to excel in an academic curriculum balanced within a program of the arts, athletics, physical work, service to the community, and enriching wilderness experience.
  • A college-preparatory curriculum taught by a committed residential faculty prepares students to enter the wide range of selective colleges and universities.
  • The 320-acre campus, located on a historic ranch outside of Carbondale, Colorado, makes this the ideal place for wilderness and experiential learning opportunities as well as a variety of mountain and river sports.

Upcoming Events and News:

  • Blowing their Minds - 11/22/2017 - Stepping into David Powers` glassblowing studio is like stumbling onto a secret portal that leads to the molten core of the Earth.As he opens the door to the main furnace, a radiant orange heat roars into the room. Inside, liquid glass shimmers white at 2,000 ...more
  • How does water shape us? - 11/22/2017 - Perched as they are at the confluence of the Crystal and Roaring Fork Rivers, it is fitting that the ninth grade class at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School have found themselves immersed in the very lifeline of the West: water. Through an inter-curricular wat...more
  • The CRMS Community Bike Sharing Program - 11/22/2017 - If you see a student pedaling a yellow cruiser bike around campus and then see another student pedaling a yellow cruiser bike around campus, don't worry. You're not seeing double. You're actually witnessing the success of a new bike sharing program that has re...more
  • Wild Mustang heads to CRMS - 11/22/2017 - The students involved in the horse program at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS) dreamt for months of adopting a wild mustang. In June, their dreams came true.Amanda Leahy, head of the CRMS horse program, spent the school year guiding her students throu...more
  • Building Community - 11/22/2017 - The first weeks of any high school experience can be a time of nervous transition for new students. This year CRMS has introduced initiatives aimed at easing the passage for incoming freshman by giving them more time outside of academics or sports to get to kn...more
  • Needed: Native Doctors (Alumni spotlight: Yolandra Gomez Toya '84) - 02/27/2018 - Dr. Yolandra Gomez Toya `84 is emphatic "Native American communities need our help because there`s so much work to be done to make those communities healthy." 
  • Forging a new heritage along Rio Grande ArtWay - 02/27/2018 - magine having an entire week to dedicate toward an out-of-the-box intellectual pursuit - something you`ve always been interested in learning more about but for which you could never find the time. Every February, Colorado Rocky Mountain School ensures its stud...more
  • CRMS returns to Climbing League State Championships - 02/27/2018 - The Colorado Rocky Mountain School Oysters are hoping for lucky numbers 7 and 3 this weekend in Colorado Springs, where CityROCK Climbing Center will again host the Colorado High School Climbing League State Championships on Feb. 24. If the Oyster boys come ou...more
  • Happiness - 02/27/2018 - As a nation, we seem more obsessed with being happy than at any time before, and research would suggest that this pursuit of happiness has only made us unhappier. It is a paradox that I am aware of, and yet, as a parent and educator, if I could desire one thin...more
  • Oystermeister builds community among student-athletes - 02/27/2018 - What makes a school special? Beyond academics, it is the nurturing of a community, a place where traditions and ritual take hold and bring students and faculty together. At CRMS, teachers and students not only share in the learning and living experience but lo...more
  • The Teenage Brain - 03/01/2018 - The adolescent years are one of the most dynamic and often messy times in our lives as it is during these years the adolescent brain and body are reorganizing. During this time, the brain is going through a process in which it strengthens its connections from ...more
  • Teaching with a Purpose - 03/15/2018 - A school is measured to a significant degree by the quality of its teachers.  CRMS ensures that the school can recruit and retain passionate and high-quality staff. 
  • Native Culture and CRMS - 03/29/2018 - The history of Native American culture of the Southwest has been incorporated into the CRMS learning experience since its founding days.  These experiences were so powerful for alumni that in the 1990s they stepped forward to support the creation of two schola...more
  • Life in the Dorms - 09/13/2018 - For nine months out of every year, Colorado Rocky Mountain School is alive, filled with students tapping into their exceptional possibilities, working together, planning adventures, and for more than half of the student body living together. 
  • Music and the Art of Its Education - 11/06/2018 - According to the National Association of Music Merchants, (The Namm Foundation), music has a biological effect on the developing nervous systems in children. The more one practices and plays, the more the neurons in the brain fire away paving new neural pathwa...more

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Colorado College
    CRMS provides unique experiences throughout all disciplines offered, however what the average Joe might not suspect is that, aside from college-preparatory-level academics, CRMS also provides life experience and alleys to express your artistic self, inner. . .
  • Lewis & Clark College
    It would be easier to discuss two aspects of my school that are not unique, because everything about CRMS sets it apart from other schools. One of my favorite programs that CRMS offers that you. . .
  • Emerson College
    Work program at CRMS assures you the concept of community. By working on various projects around the campus, you grow the affection and respect towards the community you live in as well as giving something. . .
  • Show more reviews (1 reviews)

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Similar Size Schools

Colorado Rocky Mountain School is listed among the top 10 schools with < 200 students (out of 99 schools) for:

Definition of Terms 
2018 School Data
Colorado RockyBoarding School Avg.
School FocusCollege PrepCollege Preparatory
Grades Offered9-129-12
School TypeCo-edCo-ed
Religious AffiliationNon-denominationalNon-denominational
Year Founded19531910
Campus Size320 acres104 acres

Student Body

Enrollment162 students315 students
% Students of Color
% International Students
% Students Boarding
Average SAT Score1250* National Avg. »View
Average ACT score25*National Avg. » View
Offers Post-Grad YearNoNo

Academics and Faculty

Saturday ClassesNoNo
Classroom Dress CodeCasualCasual
Average Class Size12 students12
*National School Avg. » 20
Teacher : Student Ratio1:51:7
# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered517
ESL Courses OfferedYesYes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
Summer Program OfferedNoYes


Endowment Size$17 million$20 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
(Financial aid is available on the basis of need.)
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
(Financial aid is available on the basis of need. )
Yearly Tuition
(5 Day Boarding)
% Students on Financial Aid
Avg. Financial Aid Grant$29,600
(Financial aid is awarded on the basis of need. )
Merit Scholarships OfferedNoNo


Application DeadlineFeb. 1 / Mar. 21 / rollingJan. 15
Accepts Standardized ApplicationYesNo
SSAT RequiredYesYes
Average Percentile SSAT63%-
Acceptance Rate
Director of AdmissionsMolly Dorais
Associate Director of AdmissionsSusan Graves

Course Listings

List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses

AP / Advanced Courses

# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered517
CoursesAP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP English Literature, AP Environmental Science, AP US History


# Interscholastic Sports Offered1715
SportsAlpine Skiing, Climbing, Cross Country, Cross Country Running, Cycling, Equestrian, Freestyle Skiing, Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Mountaineering, Nordic Skiing, Riding, Rock Climbing, Snowboarding, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis


Total Extracurricular Organizations1124
ExtracurricularsWinter Travel

Club or Organization:
Community Service Club, Diversity Club, International Club, Peer Tutoring, Recycling, Student Government

Arts and Music Programs:
Blacksmithing, Drama Production, Yearbook

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Frisbee Golf

College Matriculation

Year: 2009 - 201310 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
Univerity of Colorado at Boulder23
Colorado College6
Lewis and Clark College6
University of Puget Sound6
Whitman College5
Bowdoin College3
Santa Clara University3
University of Denver3
University of Oregon3
University of Vermont3
Link to Matriculation Data

School Notes

  • Our Mission: Colorado Rocky Mountain School cultivates a learning environment in which students discover their potential to excel as individuals, contribute to their communities, and participate thoughtfully in the world we share.
  • Academic Curriculum: Our academic curriculum features rigorous college-prep academic and visual and performing arts classes, with an emphasis on classroom discussions, hands-on work, and research and study. Our unique active curriculum embraces our afternoon work crews and sports, as well as backcountry trips.
  • Arts Curriculum: Visual and performing arts are an integral part of life at Colorado Rocky Mountain School. Together classes and experience in the arts enhance our students' abilities to enjoy and excel in all parts of our program. Students can try their hands at hand at blacksmithing, silversmithing, painting, drawing, photography, ceramics, music, drama, and much more.
  • Residential Curriculum: Boarding students live in age-specific, single-sex residences where they are cared for by dedicated residential faculty. Our six dorms are small for an independent school, with some housing as few as 11 students. Students here quickly feel part of a caring and supportive environment. We encourage our students to develop lasting friendships with each other and to get to know their teachers as mentors and role models.
  • Outdoor Program: We believe that the classroom must open out onto the world, that a scholar's life should encompass action as well as quiet study. In a tradition as old as the school, our students and faculty spend 21 days in the backcountry each year.
  • College Counseling: We offer a comprehensive college-counseling program to guide you and your parents through the complex process of applying for college. Through our college planning handbook and regular meetings with our college counseling staff, we'll work with you on a year-by-year plan. Some of our recent graduates have been accepted to Amherst, Dartmouth, Smith, Bates, Bowdoin, Swarthmore, Middlebury, Wellesley, Reed, Rhode Island School of Design, NYU Tisch School of Film, Notre Dame, the University of Chicago, and Colorado College.
  • Colorado Rocky Mountain School accreditations: ACIS, AEE, TABS, NAIS, WBSA, SBSA
  • Sample of notable school alumni/alumnae:
    • Oliver Platt '78 - attended CRMS for three years. After graduating, he majored in drama at Tufts University where he made his professional debut on stage. His credits include: “Flatliners” (1990) as Randal Steckle; “Indecent Proposal” (1993) with Robert Redford/
    • Conrad Anker ’82 - is a leading figure in climbing. He is a professional mountaineer who has made breakthrough first ascents throughout the world, from the Himalayans to Antarctica, and Patagonia. He co-authored the book “Lost Explorer.”
    • Susan Meiselas ’66 - is an internationally acclaimed photojournalist. She has been published in Time, the New York Times, Life, and Paris Match. She earned a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. in visual education from Harvard University.

Profile last updated:

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