Western Washington University is located on a hillside overlooking beautiful Bellingham, Washington, named by Outside magazine as one of the best American towns for outdoor adventure. Sunset magazine agrees, naming Bellingham one of the best places to live in the west. And National Geographic's Adventure magazine rates Bellingham as a top adventure town.
An outdoor-lover's mecca, Bellingham offers access to world-class skiing and snowboarding at Mt. Baker Ski Resort, biking and kayaking in the San Juan Islands, and hiking in the North Cascade Mountains. The city, named a Trail Town USA by the American Hiking Society and the National Park Service, also boasts more than 80 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails through parks and greenways, with plentiful views of mountains and water.
From an environmental perspective, Washington State is rich in ecosystems diversity, with freshwater, marine, forest, shrubland, and grassland ecosystems. Bellingham is only 85 miles from the glaciers and mountain waterfalls of rugged North Cascades National Park; 120 miles (& a ferry ride) from Olympic National Park's old growth, temperate rain forest, Pacific coast, and high elevation ecosystems; and 150 miles from the snowfields and subalpine meadows of Mt. Rainier National Park. A few hours away, Eastern Washington features Ponderosa pine forests, high desert plains, and the Columbia River Gorge. No matter what type of landscape grabs you, Bellingham provides easy reach.
With 80,000 people, Bellingham also offers the convenience of small city life, from a highly rated farmer’s market to an active music scene. Bellingham has received national recognition on multiple fronts:
- Named one of the best places to live and launch by CNN and Money.com
- Ranked highly among the least polluted urban areas in the country by the American Lung Association
- Rated as one of the most successful communities in the EPA’s Green Power Partnership program.
If you crave big city adventures like professional sports, museums, or restaurants, Bellingham is located 90 miles north of Seattle and only 50 miles south of Vancouver, B.C.
There's More to Life...
Outside of class, Huxley students tend the vegetable patch behind Arntzen Hall; ski and snowboard deep powder at legendary Mt. Baker Ski Area; sea kayak by moonlight on Bellingham Bay; volunteer with local community organizations to clean up area beaches and greenways; dine out and listen to live music in friendly downtown venues; hike the miles of trails available in city parks and in nearby Mt. Baker National Forest; and mountain bike local Lookout and Blanchard Mountain trails.
To find out if Western Washington’s diverse ecosystems—animal, plant, mineral, and human—are right for you, come visit us.