The Mile High Mama

The Mile High Mama is a Canadian-born, Denver-dwelling, outdoor-loving mom of two. Family favorites include skiing, biking, hiking, skating and adventure travel in all its forms. She freelances as a family travel writer, and heads up the social...

Amber is a winner of Top 25 Outdoorsy Moms - 2013

What's your favorite affordable outdoor activity to do with your kids?

Hands down, our favorite activity as a family is hiking. And not the kind of hiking I used to do where I would try to bag as many peaks as possible. With kiddos who are 7 and 9, I'm trying to nurture a love of the outdoors and that means learning to not focus on the summit but on the journey and letting them explore on their terms. Climbing the umpteenth boulder along the trail. Taking a side trip to throw rocks in the river.

I used to think I had so much to teach my kids about the outdoors but they are the ones who have taught me how to truly appreciate it in a pure and simple way.

What tips do you have for spending time outdoors when its cold?

Just do it! Calgary, Alberta Canada is my hometown and if we did not learn to embrace winter, we would have spent the majority of the year indoors. We skated mountain lakes and rivers, cross-country skied our neighborhood golf course and if a hill had any kind of pitch, we sledded down it.

Since moving to Colorado, I've been amazed how many families with young children hunker down for winter. With the right clothing and gear, winter sports are among the most rewarding.

I have been a part of Park City Mountain Resort's popular since its inception several years ago and we are passionate about giving families the tools to get outside and play all winter long.

What's a great vacation destination for families that want to spend time outside?

I grew up in the Canadian Rockies, lived in Utah for a number of years and have called Denver home for the last 10 years. I have lived in three outdoor Meccas.

World-famous Banff and Jasper were my backyard playground but my favorite place on earth is their lesser-known Canadian counterpart Waterton Lakes National Park, which borders Glacier National Park. I took my children for the first time a couple of years ago and was thrilled to see it remains untouched by the development that has ruined so many beautiful places. It is Canada Incarnate with pristine lakes, epic mountain routes and the iconic Prince of Wales Hotel stands sentry over it all.

I worked as a travel writer for a number of years in Salt Lake City and there is simply nothing like Southern Utah. From Bryce Canyon National Park to Moab to Capitol Reef National Park to Goblin Valley, to Zion National Park, family adventures abound.

And my beloved Colorado. No other state has a compendium of world-class resorts like we do. For backcountry adventures, Colorado boasts 54 "Fourteeners" (14,000-foot peaks); for the less adventurous, you can drive to the top of two of them. The 233-mile San Juan Skyway in southwest Colorado is a literal highway to heaven with some of the most ruggedly beautiful peaks and resort towns you'll ever see.

My family's dream is to have a cabin in Frisco, Colo., which is the literal heart of Summit County with Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain and Vail as its neighbors.

Then, there is my personal bucket list. I dream of taking my family to Alaska, spending a couple of weeks at Cape Cod, meeting the giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands and doing REI Adventures' Royal Trek in Nepal.

A girl's gotta dream, right?