The weatherman is your best friend on a trip to beautiful Gros Morne National Park. The park is located on the west coast of Newfoundland and is known as a top travel destination. Now why is the weatherman your best friend? The weather in the park can be unpredictable with big differences in conditions from the low lying areas to the higher elevations of the Long Range Mountains. So follow the motto – Be Prepared!
Spring comes late in Gros Morne with many hiking trails partially snow-covered until mid-May. The summer months of July and August bring warmer temperatures ranging between 16–25 °C (61–77 °F). When planning a ‘canopy tour’ of the highest points in Gros Morne, expect temperatures to be 2–4° cooler and 10° cooler depending on wind conditions. Expect some rain every couple of days when the southwest prevailing winds pick up moisture from the Gulf of St. Lawrence. If planning your ‘canopy tour’ in September or October, the weather can be pleasant but you could experience snow.
So how do you prepare for a ‘canopy tour’ to one of the most awesome and incredible geological wonders on the planet – the ‘canopy’ of Gros Morne National Park as witnessed from Big Lookout and Gros Morne Mountain! On the 5km return Big Lookout Hike, observe stunning panoramic views of Bonne Bay, the Long Range Mountains and the alien-like landscape of the Tablelands. Being an off-trail trek, beware of the weather forecast and dress in layers. Ensure you have good rain gear, sweater or an insulating layer, quick drying shorts or pants, sturdy hiking boots, hiking poles, cap, gloves and take a pair of gaiters as you will cross boggy areas. Definitely carry a map, compass and GPS. To combat those small pesky black flies and mosquitoes bring bug spray and a bug net. Don’t forget a good lunch, lots of water and your CAMERA!
After reaching the Lookout Hills plateau, you are above the treeline. A 45 minute hike across the plateau takes you to the base of the 1967 feet high Centennial Peak; when climbed, a spectacular canopy tour is completed!
If your destination is Gros Morne Mountain, plan for after July 1 as the summit is closed until that time. This no easy hike, the trail to the summit of the Mountain is 16 kms long and may take 7-8 hours to complete. This 806m high flat-topped mountain is often capped in cloud and fog! But when the ‘canopy tour’ of Gros Morne Mountain is achieved, you will have witnessed absolute stunning natural beauty of a glacial-carved landscape featuring the deep fjord arms of Bonne Bay and the U-shaped Ten Mile Pond. Be even more prepared for this hike than the Big Lookout Hike! Fires, marking of trails, making of shelters, dogs, picking of plants and collecting of rocks/fossils are not allowed; no garbage to be left behind!
Remember you must travel back down again and there are no zip lines to help you! So BE PREPARED! With a permit purchased in advance, a primitive campsite for three tents located in Ferry Gulch is available for overnight campers.
When pursuing a ‘canopy tour’ of Gros Morne National Park, be prepared for four seasons in one day.