Gros Morne National Park of Canada

Backcountry Camping

Backcountry camping is a great way to experience Gros Morne. The park offers several trails with primitive campsites. These provide a wilderness experience without the need to consider navigation. For hikers seeking a greater challenge, Gros Morne has several backcountry routes that involve map-and-compass navigation. The Long Range and North Rim traverses provide challenging, multi-day experiences. Most hikers visit the park in July & August; campsite reservations are recommended. (Plan, prepare, & equipment)

Green Gardens

9–15.5 km return, 3–6 hours

A flexible backpacking route, this trail takes hikers to the sea stacks and beach at Green Gardens. There are three primitive campsites where the trail from Long Pond meets the shore. It takes about an hour to walk from the parking lot to these sites. Facilities include tent platforms, picnic tables, and an outhouse.

This is a trip to consider if you are bringing children. Be aware of the steep cliffs near the camping area.

If you continue north, you can camp at Skinners Cove. It takes about one hour to hike from Green Gardens to this site which connects to the Wallace Brook trail.

Wallace Brook

12 km return, 3–4 hours

Hike through a narrow forested valley beside Wallace Brook to Skinners Cove. Steep climbs and river crossings can make this hike difficult. This trail connects to the Green Gardens trail. There are no tent platforms, but there is a grassy area to pitch your tent, and an outdoor toilet.

Snug Harbour

9 km return, 2–3 hours

This fairly flat trail makes for a wonderful, overnight excursion to the stony beach at Snug Harbour. The trailhead is located 3 km from the Western Brook Pond trail parking lot.

The river crossing at Western Brook is usually knee deep, but can be challenging, with waist-high water even during the summer. Expect very cold, high water in June. The shallowest place to cross the brook is at the outflow of the pond. It is wider, but there is much less current. Further down, a cable assists with crossing.

Much of the Snug Harbour trail is muddy. If the water level in Western Brook Pond is low enough, walking along the shore will reward the hiker with beautiful views of the glacially carved valley.

The primitive campsite has several places to pitch a tent, but no tent platforms. There is a bear pole for hanging your food and an outdoor toilet.

The North Rim Traverse starts at the far end of the beach.

Ferry Gulch

16 km return, 6–8 hours

Enjoy a night in the backcountry beside Gros Morne Mountain at this campsite in Ferry Gulch. There are three tent platforms, picnic tables, a “bear box” for food storage, and an outdoor toilet. The camping area is adjacent to the trail from Gros Morne Mountain, and is the place where hikers coming off the Long Range Traverse join the Gros Morne Mountain trail.

This may be a suitable trail to introduce your kids to backpacking, or just a place to get a taste of the Long Range Mountains. This is a good spot to see moose, fox, and black bear.