Things That Surprised Me About My First Visit to a National Park

If you plan to drive up to high elevations, make sure to pack layers.

The author wearing layers on her visit to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Monica Humphries/Insider



In the morning, I drove up Trail Ridge Road, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful roads in Colorado.

Since I wasn’t hiking until the afternoon, I hopped in the car wearing my Tevas, leggings, and a long-sleeved shirt.

Along the drive, there were dozens of places to pull off and take in the picturesque views of the Rockies. As we climbed higher and higher, I added layer after layer. 

By the time I reached 12,000 feet above sea level, I was freezing and had added a pullover, jacket, beanie, and socks. 

Since I wasn’t hiking to the higher elevations, my body wasn’t creating as much warmth — something I hadn’t considered before heading out for the day.

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