Situated on the west coast of Newfoundland Island, Gros Morne National Park is the result of the colliding continents. Meanwhile, grinding glaciers created spectacular fjords, glacial valleys, cliffs, waterfalls, and lakes. Gros Monne’s landscape of soaring fjords and moody mountains is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Program.

Tours in Gros Morne National Park

Where Is Gros Morne National Park?


Gros Morne National Park is located on the west coast of Newfoundland Island, in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

How to Get to Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National Park Road in Canada

Road of Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National Park is located on the west coast of Newfoundland Island. This island can be accessed either by scheduled flights or by car taking the ferry from Nova Scotia.  

By Air 

The closest airport to the park is Deer Lake Regional Airport (YDF). It is located 35 km from the southern park boundary. There are direct daily flights to this airport from major Canadian cities: Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, and St. John’s.  

Deer Lake airport serves Newfoundland’s west coast, while St. John’s International Airport (YYT) serves the eastern part of the island.  

Car & Ferry 

Driving from the Canadian mainland, the most straightforward way to Gros Morne is taking a ferry from Nova Scotia, North Sydney, and Port aux Basques on the southern boundary of the park.  

Marine Atlantic operates ferries between Nova Scotia, North Sydney, and Port aux Basques on Newfoundland’s southern coast all year round.  
 
Ferry service between North Sydney and Argentia, Newfoundland’s east coast, is available from mid-June to late September. 

General information about Gros Morne National Park

  • Size – 1805 sq km (697 sq mi) 

  • Location – Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada 

  • Established - 2005 

  • Best time to visit – May-Oct 

  • Number of visitors – 238,071 (2019/20) 

  • Activities – Cycling, Hiking, Kayaking, Swimming, Skiing, Snowshoeing 
Infographic of Gros Morne National Park

Infographic of Gros Morne National Prak

What is Gros Morne National Park known for?

Gros Morne


Gros Morne is a Canadian national park and a World Heritage Site, situated on Newfoundland Island. With the territory of 1805 square kilometers, it is the second-largest national park in Atlantic Canada.  

The name “Gros Morne” comes from Newfoundland’s second-highest mountain peak, which is also located in the park. It translates from French as “great somber,” but the full meaning is “large mountain standing alone.” 

Gros Morne National Park is special because it provides one of the best examples of tectonic plates movement. This process, together with glaciations, formed the park’s landscape, which is of high scientific and historic value.  

History of Gros Morne National Park

The area was first established in 1973 as a Gros Morne National Park Reserve. It was made a national park only in 2005. Because of its rich glacial and geologic history, Gros Morne National Park was designated a United Nations World Heritage Site in 1987.  

Interesting facts about Gros Morne National Park

  • It took 485 million years for Gros Morne National Park to form. 

  • Gros Morne National Park is one of the few places on Earth where you can see the tectonic plates. 

  • “Gros” literally translated from the French language means “big”. And it sure is – Gros Morne National Park is the second-largest national park in Atlantic Canada.  

What to Do in Gros Morne National Park

Photographer Taking a Photo at Gros Morne Park

Photographer at Gros Morne taking a picture

Cycling

Although there are no designated biking trails within the park, mountain biking is allowed on Stuckless Pond Trail, Western Brook Pond, and Old Mail Road.  

  • Old Mail Road – It is an easy 2-kilometer return ride through forests and sand dunes. It is beginner and family-friendly and appropriate for any skill level. 

  • Western Brook Pond – It is a 6-kilometer return trail to the shores of Western Brook Pond along the spectacular cliffs. Beginner and family friendly.  

  • Stuckless Pond – It is a 9.5-kilometer return trail through old growth forests to the shores of secluded Stuckless Pond. It is a moderately difficult trail, suitable for intermediate cyclists. 

Hiking

Woman Hiking at Gros Morne National Park in Canada

Woman hiking at Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National Park holds some of the most spectacular sceneries in Canada. The park has over 100 km of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging hikes.  

  • Trout River Pond Trail – It is a 14-kilometer return trail to the Tablelands. It begins at the Trout River Pond day-use area and follows through the boreal forest.  

  • Green Gardens – It is a 9-kilometer trail to a spectacular coastline with cliffs, sea stacks, and meadows. 

  • Tablelands Trail – It is a 4-kilometer return trail that follows an old roadbed. You will encounter unusual plants and rocks along the way. 

  • Lookout Hills Trail – It is a 5-kilometer return trail to one of the best panoramic views of the park. 

  • Stanleyville Trail – It is a 4-kilometer historic path to the shores of Pynes Cove and the abandoned community of Stanleyville. 

Kayaking

Kayaking at Gros Morne National Park in Canada

Kayaking at Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National Park offers a variety of kayaking opportunities for all skill levels. The route should be chosen depending on the paddler’s experience and weather conditions. 

  • Trout River Pond – This is the most accessible of the fjord lakes within the park. It can be a good place to paddle, but do watch out for strong winds that can trap paddlers in the inner pond. 

  • Trout River to Bonne Bay – This is a spectacular, volcanic coastline with 350 m cliffs, sea stacks, and caves. The coast is often exposed to westerly winds; when that happens, it is better to move out from the cliffs. 

  • Inner Bonne Bay – The inner bay consists of two arms, the south and east, which are fjords with high cliffs. Both arms are moderately protected from winds and provide sheltered paddling through most of the summer.  

Swimming

There are plenty of swimming opportunities in Gros Morne National Park. For those who prefer indoor swimming, the Recreation Complex in Rocky Harbour has a 25-meter indoor pool, a whirlpool, and several other supervised activities. 

For outdoor swimmers, there are changing houses available at Shallow Bay, Lomond, and Trout River Pond. Shallow Bay and Lomond are saltwater, and Trout River Pond is freshwater. Swimming in the ocean should be done with a lot of caution. Swimming off the beach at the mouth of Western Brook is not recommended and can be dangerous. 

Backcountry Skiing and Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing in the Mountain in  Canada

Person snowshoeing in Canada

Gros Morne National Park has everything you need for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing, such as coastal mountains with heavy snowfalls, treeless alpine highlands, and lowland forests. 

There are no marked routes for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing, so visitors are free to choose their own routes. There are three routes suggested by local backcountry skiers and snowshoers. 

  • Burridges Gulch – This route goes over a gentle terrain and is suitable for both beginners and experienced skiers and snowshoers. The 7 km return route has a small elevation and takes about 2-4 hours to complete. 

  • Badweather Pond to Southeast Pond – This route is more suitable for skiers and snowshoers with some backcountry experience. This route provides a close-up view of the Long Range Mountains. It is an 8.5 km route and takes about 2-5 hours to finish. 
  • Burridges Gulch West Rim – This route provides access to the Long Range Mountains and is suitable for experienced and fit backcountry skiers and snowshoers. The route passes through a beautiful, mature forest valley that leads up to the plateau of the Long Range Mountains. A 9-kilometer route should take around 4-6 hours to finish. 

The Best Time to Visit Gros Morne National Park

The best time to visit Gros Morne National Park is from late May to mid-October. The temperature is pleasant during this time, and it is possible to spot whales in July and August. However, Gros Morne works as a perfect year-round destination.  

Where to Stay in Gros Morne National Park

Colorful houses of Newfoundland in Canada

The province of Newfoundland in Canada

There are several camping sites and rustic cabin rentals throughout the park.  

Campgrounds: 

  • Berry Hill Campground – Berry Hill is a perfect base camp for Gros Morne exploration. It’s the park’s largest and most centrally located campground with everything you need to make a home away from home.  

  • Green Point Campground – Green Point is a wonderful nature escape with an ocean view. Explore the Coastal Trail with direct access to the cobble beach or enjoy some of the best stargazing horizons in the park. 

  • Lomond Campground – The newly renovated Lomont Campground is an excellent place to reconnect with nature. Located on Bonne Bay’s shore, it is surrounded by forest and stunning mountain views. 

  • Shallow Bay Campground – Located next to a white, sandy beach, Shallow Bay offers all kinds of opportunities for water activity, including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, or simply exploring the coast. 

  • Trout River Campground – Located at Gros Morne’s southern end, it is nestled on the edge of Trout River Pond, overlooking the spectacular Tablelands. Rooted deep in the forest and covered by trees, it creates a perfect shelter surrounded by unusual landscape.  

Rustic Cabins 

If you do not wish to camp in a tent, there is another option for you: staying in a rustic cabin! It is a perfect and convenient accommodation option for couples, families, or a group of friends. Cabins in Gros Morne National Park are located near Berry Hill Pond. 

Attractions near the Gros Morne National Park

  • St. John’s 
  • Newfoundland Island