Top Ten Canada Classic Adventures

Hike Gros Morne NP
By Bill McRae
Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne, stark and monumental

Newfoundland isn't on the way to anywhere, but coming here is worth the trip. After all, it's here you'll discover a ruggedly beautiful park of mountains, tundra plateaus, lakes, seacoast, and fjords. Gros Morne is known as one of Canada's more sublimely raw and wild places.

Roughly translated as "the big gloomy," Gros Morne looks like a bit of the Scottish Highlands that somehow drifted to the west. The park is dominated by two distinctly different landscapes, a coastal lowland bordering the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the alpine plateau of the Long Range Mountains.

Hiking trails wind back from the coastal roadways, climbing far up into deep, cliff-sided fjords and green- and-rust-colored moorlands that flank the island's mountainous spine. Here you'll find caribou, moose, bears, and hundreds of species of birds. Want to go backcountry? Take the three-day Long Range and North Rim Traverse, which climbs up from the edge of an ocean fjord onto Gros Morne Mountain and the Long Traverse Range. The trail then edges along the north rim of Western Brook Pond, a landlocked fjord flanked by waterfalls and thousand-foot cliffs, before again dropping to sea level.


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