Explore the most popular wildlife trails in Gros Morne National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
23 hours ago

The Lookout Trail is an excellent climb just above the visitor centre that offers spectacular views of the fjord and nearby tablelands. While the majority of the walk is there-and-back (the bulk of the climb to the top), there is a small, mostly flat loop at the top hat offers you a choice of a short and steep ascent up a set of stairs or a longer, gentler hike along a boardwalk to the top. However, this trail has a tendency to be especially muddy (though this may have been at least partially due to the construction that was being carried out at the time), with many smaller dogs ending up looking like they've been dragged through the stuff like a mop: by all means, ensure you've got sensible shoes!

To put it simply, the Western Brook Pond trail is a wide gravel access road across a flat marsh with views no better than what you can see from the road. While the pond itself is beautiful, you can see barely any of it from the trail itself, though there is a typical dirt trail extension along the shore that I sadly didn't have time to walk. There is, however, a small restaurant that services the boat tours at one end of the walk, as well as a tiny beach along the edge that I believe you can paddle in (but don't quote me on that).

Gros Morne mountain is a wonderful trail with spectacular views and a fairly difficult climb that should be attempted only under the right weather conditions. When we set off, cut example, clouds obscured only the top of the mountain, though it had trained the night before. However, roughly three km into the four km walk in, it began to rain heavily and fog descended, turning parts of the trail into a literal river. We continued onwards to where the scramble through 'the Gully' begins, but due to the thick fog, we opted to wait half an hour for the fog to clear before attempting.
After sitting for what seemed like an infinite period of time at the base of the rock field, watching a handful of other groups make the ascent, we finally decided to give it a try. The scramble was steep, but not too bad, though the fog remained heavy throughout our climb. The more vertical parts made finding the path a tad difficult, but it's generally well-signposted and has enough of a well-worn path that you're able to make it out; we only had one real struggle when it came to which side of a streambed to walk on. At the top, however, there are large cairns with neon signs stuck in every ten to twenty feet: a distance that may seem ridiculous to those who hike in sunny weather, but a lifesaver in the fog.
Whether or not the views from the summit are worth it want clear, since we weren't able to see anything more than a solid bank of grey and the wind shelters that were a helpful shield against the incoming drizzle. Nevertheless, we continued on, along a trail that, while mostly rocky, does gradually begin to cross more and more patches of marshy tundra (helpfully covered by boardwalks) until stunted trees finally make an appearance. Not long after that you'll find a set of steep stairs; the rest of the trail is a gradual downhill of several kilometres back to where the trail branched off (this is the way Parks Canada instructs you to hike, though a few do it the other way round).
This is a hard section, made worse by the pouring rain that had descended, simply because the trail is rocky to point of sections feeling more like a rock scramble than a hiking path, especially in the weather conditions we found ourselves walking in: the drizzle from the top had long since turned into a downpour. There are, however, open-air toilets belonging to the campsite roughly a quarter of the way along this stretch, though they didn't offer any worthwhile shelter from the skies that had opened up above us.
Finally, after roughly two hours of hiking from the summit onwards (with a snack break in the middle), we ended up back at the 'stem' of this lollipop-shaped trail and took about an hour to return down the moderate (and very wet) trail, taking about an hour to do so. This meant we ended up with a five and a half hour hike, with two hours dedicated to the four km hike in and out, one to the scramble up the Gully, two to return to the trail junction, and half an hour of waiting for fog to clear (though it instantly returned).
So, wind, rain, and fog, as well as a hard scramble up the rocks and a few slips down: I certainly didn't have the typical Gros Morne experience (or at least the one recommended by Parks Canada). And though this wasn't an easy trail by any means, it certainly says something that it still gets five stars; in sunny weather, this would have to be a six. Exquisite.

hiking
1 day ago

We had a lot of trouble finding the correct path. There are many flags and ribbons leading you to a variety of incorrect location, although the views from these were still good. Unfortunately we wasted so much time finding the trail that we didn’t have enough time to finish it. Would definitely try it again if we had time. It would be good to clear out the false markers and install more prominent ones on the path.
We also hiked it the day after a big rainfall and the trail was very wet - make sure your boots are waterproof.

Amazing hike. I pushed it (for me) and managed to get through with two full days of hiking and one night camping. The bugs were definitely a nuisance and I used a lot of bug spray. Generally where there's no wind you're going to find bugs. I emerged from my tent on the second day around 6am to see a large male moose feeding near the water's edge at Harding's Pond. Later on the second day I spotted a Caribou running down a distant valley. Still amazed how they can do that given all the sink-holes and boulders. The sight-lines were clear and views spectacular. Made for much easier navigation, although I did manage to get lost at one point for an hour or two. I found from getting off the boat at Western Brook Pond to my camp at Harding's Pond that the trails were pretty easy to follow. The second day I found the trails harder to follow, interspersed with game trails, faded or non-existent and needed the compass several times to navigate. From Green Island Pond onward, the trail was pretty distinct and easy to follow all the way to the parking lot. Ferry Gultch is where the trail meets that of the day-hikers who go to Gros Morne, so the trail is very well-traveled from that point to the parking lot. I learned what "Tuckamore" is on this hike. Picture walking into a thick hedge will full gear and wondering as you plow through whether its twenty feet to the other side or half a mile. Sometimes not possible to avoid. Other challenge is the mud. It's rich, black, and seems like it could swallow you whole with a wrong step. I was once literally up to my knee and had to grab onto a branch to pull my leg out against the suction. I highly recommend hiking poles. They were invaluable when walking through the tall grass to poke in front and locate the countless rocks and sink-holes you'll encounter, as well as helping push away branches in the tuckamore. A high point was discovering "bakeapple berries". They are plentiful along the hike and yes they do taste like baked apples. They seemed to all be ripe while I was hiking (mid-August) so I lucked out and was continuously picking-eating along the trail. All in all, an amazing experience that I hope to do again.

Great at the top. Incredible views.
Trail was very muddy in sections. Seemed we were looking down most of the time to avoid slipping/tripping. Rained a fair amount yesterday.

backpacking
7 days ago

We spent two wonderful nights camped at the Green Gardens campsite. The hike in was beautiful and the terrain changed so much in such a short time. The trail was pretty wet and muddy and hiking poles definitely helped. The 4 campsites are in a gorgeous location each with their own raised wood platform and picnic table. There is easy access to fresh water at a small stream as well as a pit toilet (no roof). There were chipmunks but they didn’t seem interested in our food and there was no food storage system so we hung our food in a tree. The lovely resident herd of sheep kept us company day and night! The stairs down to the beach are fine even though the sign says they are closed. Absolutely glorious sunset on second night and epic thunder, lightning and buckets of rain on the first. This hike was the highlight for my daughter and I during our visit to Gros Morne. Highly recommend!!

What a great hike! Going up the steep hill can be tough on the legs but well worth it for the views on the other side!!
The walk down the other side of the mountain is nice and steady not to hard
The walk is probably more like 18/19km.
You know you’ve done a hike after this one as your legs will tell you!
Fantastic hike well worth the hard work!!!

The unmarked route to the top and back down is fantastic and gruelling. If you're an inexperienced adventurer there are guided hikes to the top offered that you can pay for. Such a unique landscape, and almost disturbingly quiet in a park otherwise teeming with life.

They revamped the trail by turning it into a broad gravel road, which while I understand it I don't have to like it. The pond, however, is still amazing. I recommend taking the scenic loop extension, literally nobody else did while I was out there.

The view at the end is worth the trek with the tablelands on one side of the valley and the more familiar hills stretching out opposite. As you travel along the small pond you cross a ton of streams, dipping the trail down and up, otherwise it would be flat until the narrows where you climb up to the base of the tablelands. Depending on the flow you may be able to fill up bottles with cool crisp water flowing down off the edge of the tablelands (I drank it unpurified, I'm fine)

The main trail is quite easy, mostly flat, most of the way is narrow boardwalk over soft boggy ground. There's optional extensions through a fascinating moose "exclosure" and a more moderate difficulty scenic branch. The falls are very impressive.

(July 2018) the trail is heavily eroded and many of the built in steps are just hanging timbers with all the dirt fill swept away, but work is underway to improve the trail. The view from the top at the red chairs, however, is fantastic and well worth it. Early in the morning I saw moose walking about on a nearby hill.

Steadily rises from the parking lot to the base of Gros Morne, basically if you found that part difficult turn back now. Signs greet you warning to not continue if the summit is obscured or the weather is bad because you will risk death. Fun! Scrabbling up the scree filled gully brings you to the summit soon enough, but your day is nowhere near finished yet. The descent around the backside of the mountain is long and rough but provides some great vistas along the way. Remember to bring plenty of water, unless there's still some snowpack in the gully that you plan to melt the only water on the trail is the stream crossing at the base.

Excellent hike with varied landscapes.

Beautiful trail. Freshly maintained. Nice views.

Not a real easy hike for a beginner like me.. but if you take your time and enjoy the journey up.. it's worth it!!!

This used to be a beautiful trail but Parks Canada built a forest access road over top of it. Shame you on, Parks Canada. So sad. RIP Western Brook Trail

Not a boardwalk trail as some older photos suggest. This is a wide gravel road leading to the pond. There's plenty of other woods roads in NL that offer scenic views of Western NL, don't waste your time and money unless you really need to take the boat tour.

Incredible views, it was 30 degrees and I ran out of water 3 hours before the end. I had brought 3 litres. Definitely a very challenging hike, if I would do it again , I would pick a slightly less hot day.

This trail starts off flat and in the open. You srtart with a walk across the earth's mantel and then over a mountain ridge leading down to a wonderful vista. The path takes you to the cliffs over looking the ocean. Continue to walk along the cost where you will see heards of sheep. Things to know: mostly unshaded, rocky, steep inclines and declines, windy. Allow 4 to 5 hrs.

great hike, worth every step

The tablelands portion was beautiful with great views of the surrounding area. Not a lot of traffic on this trail either compared to some of the others so the solitude was nice. The second mile to mile and a half is fairly narrow and muddy with a lot of vegetation overhanging the trail. Some of it was either hogweed or cow parsnip so keep an eye out for it and steer clear. I wouldn’t go out of my way to do this trail again but it definitely was a nice time and had its moments. If I could skip ahead to the tablelands portion somehow I’d probably rate it higher

1 month ago

This isn’t a review so much of this trail (which is still quite worth it) as it is of the unmarked trail that goes up to the bowl and then the rim. You can pick up a map for this route at the visitor center. It’s a great hike with really unique terrain and terrific views. Easily our favorite hike of our visit. Lots of scree and and it’s easy to get lost higher up near rim. People have made some cairns near the rim but there are so many of them I wouldn’t trust them too much to help guide your way back. Also if it got foggy you could get lost pretty easily as everything looks the same once you get up high enough.

Great hike. You pass through a lot of different terrain down to the coast. It was more shaded than I thought it would be though you’re still exposed for a good part of it. The hike out is the hardest part though it’s not terrible. The stairs down to the beach itself are marked closed and it looks like the trail used to be part of of a loop but they closed half of it because of erosion. You can tell where it ends pretty easily as there is a sign and the trail itself breaks away partly down some steps. There are some sheep roaming around by the cliffs and plenty of scat.

We went down this trail for the boat tour. The view is nice at the end of the trail and the trail is pretty accessible and well groomed (more of an unpaved road). I wouldn’t go out of my way to walk this though unless you’re going on the tour.

We did this hike earlier today, it is a great hike, wilth an awesome waterfall at the end. The hike itself is easy with only slight elevation changes along the route. The surface is a mix of boardwalk (lots thru swampy areas) and dirt or crushed rock. The hike takes you thru many different vegetation areas and a detour thru the moose (free) enclosure easily demonstrates the impact that moose have on the local vegetation. The other detour to little pond is worthwhile, but is a little more challenging with more elevation changes... a great hike, the falls are truly spectacular.

Took this hike earlier today to connect with the boat tour on the lake. The hike is underwhelming- wide open on a wide (vehicle) gravel path. Some of the scenery is cool as you get a good viez of the different types of vegetation. The boat ride is well worth the hike as the views on the lake are awesome.

Hiked the first week of July, it was early spring time conditions which meant the bugs were not bad, we still had to traverse snowy sections and the grass was just starting to grow. Amazing part of the world! It’s difficulty made it that much more rewarding and the views are incredible!

hiking
1 month ago

We did this trail yesterday for the first time. An easy trail of packed and loose crushed rock, hiking shoes would be a good idea (always). The views and landscape are unique, as others have mentioned itstkind of like walking on Mars, with all the red rocks and barren landscape. The view at the end is worrh the hike and as a bonus there is a nice waterfall by the end as well. A good hike for all ages, just keep in mind you are in full sun the whole hike.

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