Best 9 Hiking Scholarships for You

Who doesn’t love taking a peaceful adventure through the mountains, backcountry, or outdoors? Well, not everyone. But, we won’t deny how transformative it can be for those that partake in it.

Especially when hiking on the Appalachian Trail which provides several picturesque viewpoints, and natural peaceful feelings of waterfalls, with the creepy sounds from the deep forest. Or you even left the United States and decided to hike in the Great Ocean Walk in Australia, which provides you with exclusive views found only in Australia, such as having a live view of koalas peacefully resting in eucalyptus treetops or even viewing several tall forests.

However, regardless of how entertaining this will be or sound, it doesn’t remove the cost of it by a bit. The good news for students is that there are hiking scholarships that will help to cover part or all of the cost of these adventurous trips.

And, unlike some other financial aid like scholarships to study in Canada or some other online scholarships, this one doesn’t necessarily focus on your academic performance. Sometimes you can even join in the hiking experience as a volunteer, which also allows you to build your leadership skill.

hiking scholarships

Hiking Scholarships

1. Outward Bound Scholarships

Outward Bound believes that every person should be allowed to experience adventure and challenge, develop character and compassion, and learn leadership skills and service ethics, regardless of financial ability. This belief has made them provide hiking financial aid and hiking scholarships to more than 6,000 students each year.

One thing you should know is that their Scholarships and financial aid are awarded on the first-come, first-served, so the earlier you apply the better.

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2. Adventure Treks Scholarships

For you to apply for this scholarship, you need to complete both a financial aid application and an Adventure Treks application. Winners will be chosen based on several aspects, including economic need and motivation. 

The amount of the scholarship ranges from 20% to 50% of tuition cost; the amount awarded varies per year and by student. Also, not all trips will have space available for scholarship funding.  

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3. National Campers and Hikers Scholarship

The National Campers and Hikers Scholarship is worth $2,000 and is awarded to undergraduates. The number of scholarships available annually varies, but you should always expect the deadline to be within May 1.

For you to apply, you need to be among the top 40% of your class, plus have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

4. Base Camp Hike Scholarship

This is among the hiking scholarships that are awarded annually. The scholarship is worth $1,000 and you need to be a high school student graduating this calendar year and have been accepted into a college, Campus, or university.

The best part is that there is no minimum GPA required.

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5. American Alpine Club Adventure & Conservation Grants

Just like scholarships, grants don’t also need to be repaid, but they are mostly awarded based on financial need. As for the AAC grants, they have been responsible for encouraging thousands of climbers to dream big and push their limits.

This organization provides more than $150,000 in annual grant awards which helps to support individuals and their projects which seek the betterment of the climbing community and climbing landscapes.

Some of their current hiking grants include;

  • Climbing Grief Fund Grant
  • Zack Martin Breaking Barriers Grant

You should always go through their website for updates on their recent grants.

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6. AWE Summit Scholarship Foundation

If you’re a woman that loves hiking through the mountains, involving in different adventures then you should definitely apply for this Scholarship. The best part is it doesn’t matter whether you’re a U.S. citizen, live in the U.S., or elsewhere in the world, you can be eligible regardless of where you’re from.

However some of their hiking scholarships still have some specific citizenship requirements, but that’s a fraction of the number.

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7. American Hiking Society – Alternative Break Society

This scholarship opportunity is offered to school groups to participate in a profound week-long service trip. This trip won’t just be beneficial to several parks in need, but it will also help you and your group with leadership training, team-building opportunities, and outdoor skills instruction from leaders in the field.

The location for their trip varies, which even makes it more fun and adventurous, and the best part is that you don’t need any experience to partake. Some of the things you’ll gain from the scholarship include; 1-week indoor lodging; a $660 Group food stipend; a $500 Group travel stipend; 1-Year Membership with the American Hiking Society, and many more.

8. BC Nature Scholarships

BC Nature provides two kinds of hiking scholarships which include;

  • Bert Brink Scholarship; which is worth $2500 and was provided in honor of the memory of Dr. Bert Brink, a past president of BC Nature and strong advocate of nature stewardship and conservation
  • Rene Savenye Scholarship; worth $2,000 and was also provided in honor of Rene Savenye, an enthusiastic contributor, mentor, and organizer at numerous naturalist and hiking clubs.

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9. Hiking Ambition Wellness Scholarship

If you’re a student that maintains a healthy lifestyle or has a passion for hiking, then taking advantage of this $1,000 Hiking Ambition Wellness Scholarship will be a good fit. Whether you’re a high school, undergraduate, or postgraduate student you can apply for the scholarship, and the scholarship is always available twice a year.

10. Live Your Dream Award by The North Face

Live Your Dream grant awards vary depending upon the prospective project and budget, but typically fall within the $200 to $1,000 range. This grant is mostly for every-day adventurers who love personal exploration and can take their abilities to the next level, and want to share the power of exploration with their communities.

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11. Bodie McDowell Scholarship

This is another hiking scholarship that is named in honor of former OWAA President Bodie McDowell. The scholarship will be awarded yearly to at least three students depending on the amount of donation received, but individual awards range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Preference is not necessarily given to academic performance but rather to candidates that have clear, significant goals in outdoor communications, and provides examples of work and letters of recommendation.

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One of the things you should know about these hiking scholarships is that their availability may change, so try and go through the provided links.

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