Though officially fall only began about a week ago, it’s been creeping in around here since the beginning of September. Temperatures hovering around 6 or 7 degrees Celsius seem to be the norm lately.
In an effort to fit in at least one more good day hike at a busy time of year before the weather really turns (and to celebrate Tim’s 30th birthday), we took a drive into Gros Morne National Park last weekend to climb Gros Morne Mountain — the second highest peak on the island of Newfoundland (admittedly, still not that tall).
Location: From Deer Lake, take the Viking Trail (Route 430) and head north into the park. Follow the signs for Rocky Harbour/St. Anthony. You’ll see signs for the trailhead on the right, just a few km before Rocky Harbour. The drive takes about 40-50 minutes from Deer Lake.
Elevation: 806 metres
Round-trip time: 4-8 hours (big variation because guides tend to state 6-8 hours, though we did it in 4.5 and I’m sure there are fast hikers that can do it in even less, but everyone should allow plenty of time)
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate (mostly easy, with some shorter-but-harder sections)
Round-trip distance: 16 km
A Few Notes:
Moose sightings are common. We did come across a female moose on our walk. We just stood back and waited for her to cross the trail and move away. Bear sightings also occur. Be aware and mindful.
There are plenty of warnings about the conditions and how quickly they can change. When we hiked up, the parking lot was calm and mild. The summit, however, was fairly windy and cold.
There is a primitive campsite along the upper trail loop. Permits for these must be purchased in advance.