Discover the Beauty of Gros Morne National Park : A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Newfoundland (2023)
Newfoundland has many reasons to fall in love with, but the Gros Morne National Park remains the primary. This landmark remains to be a remarkable testament to time. Gros Morne is a combination of diverse and awe-inspiring natural wonders in Newfoundland. This extraordinary park covers around 1,805 km², featuring towering mountains, picturesque fjords, and a rugged coastline. Also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the National Park is known for its unique geological features, shaped by tectonic plate collisions. These features offer a captivating glimpse into Earth’s ancient past and are the reason for the never-ending crowd here.
The Gros Morne National Park visitors are served with an array of engaging outdoor experiences. From Hiking, Biking, Kayaking, Canoeing, Wildlife viewing, Camping, and Star gazing, opportunities here are truly endless. Gros Morne’s diverse ecosystems also add habitat for an assortment of wildlife, including birds, moose and caribou, and a lot more. Beyond that, the National Park is also known for its cultural significance. It is home to a rich cultural heritage of the local communities, which are deeply rooted in traditional music and fishing. A visit here allows people to immerse in the vibrance of local culture while adding another layer of enchantment to their experience. Here’s more about Gros Morne National Park, explaining why it is a must-visit place in Canada.
What Makes Gros Morne National Park a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
Gros Morne National Park owns the prestigious designation of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But Why? Well, due to its exceptional natural and cultural significance along with a diverse range of geological formations and landscapes. This outdoor landmark has been an engaging site for scientific research and explorers for a long. One of the major reasons for its being a UNESCO World Heritage Site is its unique geological formations. The Tablelands in Gros Morne are the otherworldly landscape composed of exposed Earth’s mantle. It is undoubtedly rare, a result of the process of plate tectonics. Tablelands offer valuable insights into the Earth’s geological history.
Another remarkable feature that brings the UNESCO designation is the fjords, including Western Brook Pond. These stunning glacially-carved valleys display the beauty and power of nature. It also offers visitors a chance to observe the breathtaking sight of sheer cliffs that drops deep into deep, crystal-clear waters. Besides that, the park’s natural and cultural heritage intertwined closely creates an immersive experience for visitors. It further enhances Gros Morne National Park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Best Time To Visit Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park offers four seasonal experiences, and every time is perhaps the best time to be here. However, what suits your experience best is generally your preferences and activities.
The most popular time to visit Gros Morne is from June to August during the summer. It is when the weather is extremely pleasant, ranging from 15°C to 20°C. Summers here allow for hiking, kayaking, boating, and a range of other outdoor activities. The longer daylight hours offer ample time for exploration, whereas the weather keeps trail conditions ideal.
For Foliage beauty, the best time for the Autumn season is the months of September and October. The weather then is 5°C to 15°C, ideally cooler, but the stunning hues of red, orange, and yellow make it worth it. Autumn is also the time when activities like hiking and photography come into the picture the most. Further, Winter, from December to March, enables a ravishing experience. It is when the park is blanketed in snow and is full of recreational opportunities. Though weather then goes -10°C to -20°C and sometimes even as low as -30°C. Being here during Winter can be challenging for a lot of people.
Gross Morne is also often visiting during Spring, from April to May. This transitional period has unpredictable weather, slightly cool and rainy. However, since Spring means snow melt, the waterfalls are at their peak flow. It is also the quieter time to observe the park’s greenery.
How To Visit Gros Morne National Park in Canada?
To visit Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, there are multiple transportation options available:
Deer Lake Regional Airport (YDF) is the closest airport to Gros Morne National Park. The distance from the park’s southern edge to the airport is no more than 35 km. The Deer Lake airport connects daily direct flights with Montreal (May-October) and also cities, including Toronto and Halifax. The St. John’s International Airport (YYT) also offers intra-provincial flights to Deer Lake. Major car rental agencies and bus services connect the airport to the National Park.
Car and Ferry: For visiting from the Canadian mainland, the Marine Atlantic ferry service between North Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, is available. The ferry services operate year-round. However, they are a slightly longer journey. Also, it is advisable to book a ferry in advance to avoid crowds.
Once they reach Gros Morne National Park, there are multiple options to get around. Car rentals to buses and taxis allow visitors to explore the park and its surroundings. Or, for a personalized and more eco-friendly way, visitors can also rent bicycles. For certain areas like Western Brook Pond, water taxis are available as well.
Top 9 Things To Do In Gros Morne National Park
Here are some popular things to do in Gros Morne National Park:
- Hike the Tablelands: Hiking the Tablelands is a must-do experience in Gros Morne National Park. Tablelands are the unique geological feature that displays exposed Earth’s mantle. A visit here offers a rare glimpse into Earth’s ancient history. These barren landscapes featuring rocky terrain and distinct reddish hues attract hikers the most. As you traverse the trails, the area will immerse you in the geological wonders of the park.
- The Western Brook Pond Cruise: The Western Brook Pond Cruise is basically a boat tour that navigates through the stunning Western Brook Pond fjord. As you will navigate through the pond’s calm water, the breathtaking scenery and the sheer grandeur of the landscape will captivate you. The cruise tour is accompanied by knowledgeable guides who ensure insightful commentary to enrich your experience.
- Summit Gros Morne Mountain: Summiting Gros Morne Mountain is undoubtedly a rewarding challenge. As you will climb the second-highest peak in Newfoundland, the most panoramic views of all time will greet you. The hike is demanding and steep the breathtaking vistas of fjords, forests, and rugged terrain makes it worthwhile. Upon the summit of the triumph, this accomplishment will leave a lasting impression.
- Tour Lobster Cove Head: This tour in Gros Morne National Park takes participants into the region’s maritime heritage. This guided tour takes participants close to the iconic Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse. This landmark has played an important role in maritime navigation and is a crucial part of history. It also boasts stunning coastal views while leaving the captivating stories of the rugged seafaring life for visitors.
- Explore Green Gardens: Explore Green Gardens is a coastal paradise in Gros Morne where hikers can soak in vistas of ocean and sea stacks. The tranquility of this scenic spot also boasts a diverse array of plant and animal life. A visit here offers a memorable experience for nature lovers and hikers and offers a chance to appreciate the coastal beauty of Gros Morne.
- Visit Norris Point and Woody Point: Both these charming communities within Gros Morne National Park are picturesque beyond expectation. They offer a range of experiences, from cultural events to local cuisine and cozy accommodations. Visitors can visit craft shops, check out art galleries, and explore the scenic waterfronts. The warm hospitality of these vibrant coastal communities is worth experiencing. The delightful blend of natural beauty and cultural charm here is for visitors of all ages and interests.
- Enjoy Kayaking or Canoeing: Kayaking and canoeing in the National Park is an excellent way of exploring its pristine waters. As you will paddle along the tranquil lakes, winding rivers, and rugged coastline, you will find yourself surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Some potential wildlife encounters as well will be around. Kayaking here allows visitors to delve into the serenity of nature, witness stunning rock formations, and appreciate the unique coastal ecosystem of the park.
- Enjoy Autumn Canopy: In autumn, Gros Morne National Park transforms into a captivating display of Fall Foliage. The vibrant colors paint the parkland with shades of red, orange, and gold. This breathtaking beauty of the autumn canopy can be explored via hiking, biking, or a leisurely nature walk. Visitors get to capture stunning photographs while immersing in nature’s seasonal spectacle. The Fall foliage in Gros Morne is a sight to behold and a perfect to rewind, relax and rejuvenate.
- Do not miss Stargaze and Aurora Viewing: When in Gros Morne National Park, you cannot miss the exceptional opportunities for stargazing and Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) viewing. The park host numerous designated dark sky areas with optimal conditions for observing the night sky. Away from light pollution, the dazzling stat-studded sky here is a true delight to watch. The National Park is situated at a latitude where the Aurora Borealis. Some recommended locations for the same include Western Brook Pond, Green Point, and near the Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse. It is better to plan a visit during periods of high solar activity and clear skies.
Things To Know Before Visiting Gros Morne National Park
- While a ferry ride to Gros Morne National Park can be fascinating, it isn’t the most convenient to choose. It is better to register a cabin on the ferry in order to ensure comfort since the ride can be hours long.
- If you are keen on seeing Icebergs, visit past September off the eastern and northern shores of Newfoundland. Icebergs are less likely to be seen in Gros Morne.
- Newfoundland’s weather is unpredictable. It is better to pack clothing layers, rain gear, sturdy footwear, and some extra clothing. It is better to keep track of the weather forecast and learn about changing conditions.
- Carry essential safety items, including a map, first aid kit, compass, and some energy food.
- Never approach the wildlife, no matter how friendly they seem. Maintain a safe distance and prevent attracting wildlife to your campsite or vehicle.
- All visitors aged 18 and above should carry a valid Parks Canada Discovery Pass or a Daily pass/ Annual Pass in order to enter the National Park. Other important permits include Trout
- Fishing Permit, Snowmobile Permit, Salmon Fishing Permit, and Domestic Timber Harvesting Permit, depending upon the activities you involve in.