Gros Morne National Park is a world heritage site on the west coast of Newfoundland. It is the second-largest national park in Canada (surpassed by Torngat Mountains National Park) and takes its name from the province’s second-highest mountain peak, which stands some 2,644 feet tall. Gros Morne, meaning “large mountain standing alone,” is a member of the Long Range Mountains, an outlying range of Appalachian Mountains which stretches the length of the island’s west coast. The mountain range itself formed around 1.2 billion years ago, and the park provides an extremely rare example of the process of continental drift, where deep ocean crust and the rocks of the Earth’s mantle lie exposed.
Gros Morne National Park Reserve was established in 1973 and made a national park in 2005. Since its opening, hundreds of thousands of people have visited the pristine piece of Canadian wilderness, taking advantage of its hiking, walking, boating, and camping opportunities. A UNESCO World Heritage Site covering around 1122 square miles, the park is a seemingly never-ending series of stunning vistas. Filled with towering cliffs and thunderous waterfalls, Gros Morne National Park is the perfect backdrop for nearly every type of outdoor activity.
With soaring fjords, moody mountains, diverse beaches, and limitless bogs, forests, and cliffs, Gros Morne also offers the unique opportunity to hike into the alpine highlands a spot Arctic hare and ptarmigan in the tundra. The park’s attractions, however, do not begin and end with natural beauty. Nearby seaside communities are proud of their rich, indigenous cultures, providing visitors an opportunity to learn about the region’s native peoples. From theaters and festivals to restaurants and boutiques, the communities surrounding Gros Morne National Park provide a different type of education.
Despite its relatively remote location, Gros Morne National Park is surprisingly accessible. Major airlines fly into multiple airports around the area, are regional airlines service smaller, more accessible airports. Flights from Halifax are only around an hour, while flights from Montreal are just around three hours long. If you’re planning to drive, you can take the ferry from Nova Scotia to either Port aux Basques or Argentia, and several ferries travel along routes between the island and Labrador.