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Hiking The Long Range Traverse In Gros Morne National Park

Hiking the Long Range Traverse in Gros Morne National Park

I left you some time ago now at a buggy campsite beside a beautiful lake on the Long Range Traverse. Fortunately that day was as bad as the bugs ever got.

The third day of our hiking trip offered a stunning landscape from start to finish. It also produced some navigational challenges though fortunately we never got lost. Two other groups we met in the evening both got off course for a bit. The seven or eight kilometres we hiked took approximately five hours. There was a lot of time spent looking at the map to make sure we didn’t stray off course.

Don’t count on your GPS to lead the way. There are so many hills, valleys and lakes that it’s never a straight line to where you really need to go.

Here’s what our third day on the Long Range Traverse in Gros Morne National Park looked like.

"The view as we leave our second campsite on Hardings Pond"

The view as we leave our second campsite near Hardings Pond

"Early July and there are still plenty of snowfields to cross"

Early July and there are still plenty of snowfields to cross – but the walking is easy

"Long Range Traverse"

The whole day of hiking takes us through a glorious landscape of rocks & small lakes

"Long Range Traverse - Day 3"

A fantastic landscape but lots of up and down

"Long Range Traverse, Gros Morne NP"

Crossing between two lakes

"One of the moose antlers we found"

One of the moose antlers we found

"Two moose cooling off in a pond on the Long Range Traverse"

Two moose cooling off in a pond

"We didn't see a soul all day on this part of the traverse"

We didn’t see a soul all day on this part of the traverse but three moose in total

"We do everything we can to avoid the tuckamore - nearly impenetrable dense vegetation"

Hiking from rock to rock through a carpet of wildflowers

"The approach to our camp north of Green Island Pond"

The approach to our camp north of Green Island Pond

"Heading steeply down to the campsite"

Heading steeply down to the campsite

"Our campsite is beside the river"

Our campsite is beside the river

Camping on the third day of the Long Range Traverse

From high above this campsite we spied two new looking tent platforms off in the distance. But once we got to the campsite pictured below, the river seemed too dangerous to cross. We hadn’t actually figured out at the time, that we would have to cross the river eventually to finish the traverse.

If you make it to this campsite, and you want a much nicer campsite that’s only about 10 minutes away, then cross the river (there’s an easy section almost directly in line with our tent) and continue hiking up for a few hundred metres. As you’re hiking, look for the tent pads on your right. There are only two of them so there’s more privacy as well.

"Our campsite north of Green Island Pond"

Our campsite north of Green Island Pond is a little too heavily used for my liking

After dinner we spent some time exploring the hills in and around the campsite. Not only were the views sublime, but it was a treat to hike without a thing on our back.

"Exploring the area around the campsite after dinner"

Exploring the area around the campsite after dinner

"Fantastic lighting and views at about 9:30 in the evening"

Fantastic lighting and views at about 9:30 in the evening

"Can't get enough of this landscape"

Can’t get enough of this landscape

"Arctic Cotton is pretty in the evening light"

Arctic Cotton is pretty in the evening light

"huge boulders seen on the Long Range Traverse"

Huge boulders are scattered around the hills

"Wearing a bug jacket on the Long Range Traverse"

Decked out in my bug jacket but they really weren’t that bad

"The only caribou we saw on the Long Range Traverse"

The only caribou we saw on the Long Range Traverse

Our third day was a glorious day. In hindsight, we could have made it to the next campsite at Ferry Gulch but it was a treat to explore the nearby hills after dinner.

Other posts related to the Long Range Traverse you might like:

Leigh McAdam


Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 25 Comments
  1. I’m certainly getting the impression from your posts and fabulous photos that Newfoundland must be one of the most beautiful places on earth. What gorgeous scenery! How amazing to come across not only real live moose, but those antlers — they’re huge! You actually look pretty stylish in the bug gear, Leigh.

  2. You are styling with that bug jacket, Leigh 🙂 It looks just like a regular jacket if you didn’t say otherwise. I think much of what I know about Newfoundland is from your posts. It looks absolutely breathtaking. You guys seemed pretty remote to only have moose as company. Those “nighttime” shots are amazing and I can see why you couldn’t get enough of the scenery.

    1. @Mary I spent 4 days on the trail in total and every day had some exceptional scenery. We lucked out with decent weather and the lighting at night was simply divine – every day. Newfoundland is full of great things to do and I highly recommend a trip.

  3. A bug jacket, never heard of it, but agree with Cathy, it looks quite chic. The caribou looks very similar to the reindeer up here – that is, similar, but a bit different, too. Interesting.

    1. @Sophie You’re lucky enough perhaps that you don’t have to worry too much about bugs? I know that at some points in the summer, this backpacking trip can be pure hell but it wasn’t bad at all for us. One couple reportedly walked into the woods on day one and walked right back out to catch the next shuttle boat as the bugs were so bad.

  4. I am with Cathy – these photos and your hike. . .stunning scenery! I have to admit as well, that that bug jacket is cute! Do I dare say, “Cute as a bug’s ear!”? (sorry, couldn’t resist. . .)

  5. More beautiful Newfoundland scenery, Leigh! I had no idea that there would still be snow fields in this part of Newfoundland in early summer. The photo of moose is incredible – I have only ever seen them from the safety of my car and I’m not sure that I wouldn’t be scared out of my mind to come across them while hiking!

  6. Newfoundland has special place in my mind and heart. When I’m returning to Newfoundland I’m returning million years back when the Globe was formed. It is Nature which has special affect over soul and mind of the visitors. In Newfoundland my soul and brain are recharging.

  7. Despite the ‘busy’ campsite (lol!) the scenery looks untouched. Wow, to come across moose horns. The pics of those pristine views, the rivers and the snow and sunshine … a little too much for me sitting at the computer right now 😉

  8. I was just telling my hubby the other day about the bug jacket I first heard about in your blog a few months ago. I must say that the one you have looks much better than the ones I’ve seen in catalogs. Newfoundland is so pretty. Some of my friends moved there from Malaysia, and looking at this, I’m thinking I definitely need to pay them a visit. I really like the photos of the Arctic Cotton and that boulder that looks like it’s balancing on a smaller rock.

  9. So what did you do with the moose antler? Did you keep it as a souvenir or leave it in the park? Is it legal in Canada to posses wildlife paraphernalia such as animal hide or moose antlers?

    Otherwise, stunning scenery!

  10. Hey! This looks amazing! What kind of food did you pack? Any recommendations. Also how did you find navigation…should I bring any tools to assist or was it rather manageable? How was the weather at the end of August?

    AMAZING blog you have here with lots of good info!

    1. @Kathy Thanks for your lovely comment. WE took really great food like soba noodles with peanut sauce, dried pasta with tomatoes, falafels, homemade granola and cheese-crackers + dried fruit at lunch. WE did the trip at the end of June and really it’s Newfoundland so go prepared for anything but at least the bugs should be gone.

      WE brought a GPS but never used it. Be prepared to be challenged by the navigation in places – especially in fog. Don’t ever rely on a GPS but use it as part of your tools. Study the 3D map in the visitor centre before heading out.

  11. My wife and I did the LRT some 20 years ago. Your posts and pics bring back fond memories. We, too, did it in July so had the same black fly experience. I understand the best low-bug time is late Aug or Sep, but it’s also likely to be more ‘crowded’. We didn’t see a sole for four days, from the time we left the boat until we got down to the main trail near (I think) Gros Morne peak. We were so tired by then and relieved to have finished, only to realize we still had many more kilometers of descent on the what seemed like a paved highway compared to what we had been on for the past few days. (We spent an hour or two one day foolishly trying to cut through a patch of tuckamore; we should have walked the extra kilometer around it.) We saw lots of moose; we even awoke one morning to two giant moose walking right past our tent. We saw one black bear, who quickly ran away. But the wildlife highlight was both exhilarating and terrifying. On day three, the fog was so dense we could barely see 50 feet. As we were ascending a gently sloped chute, we heard and then felt a growing rumble. We stopped in our tracks and peered into the fog in the general direction of the sound. Seconds later, emerging from the dense fog was a herd of caribou stampeding up the chute towards us. I’m sure we were as much a surprise to them as they ran past us on each side. I don’t know how many there were, probably 20 or more. I thought we were going to be trampled, but of course caribou are far too agile for that. They just kept stampeding, and in less than a minute the herd had vanished into the fog as suddenly as it had come. The LR mountains are so other-worldly. It is the most serenely beautiful landscape I have ever experienced. I want to go back with my kids so I’m trying to get them interested. Your blog will definitely help! Thanks.

    1. @Doug What a story with the caribou. I was thrilled that we even saw one! It’s still got a remote feel to it; the navigation challenge hasn’t disappeared and I think it would be a magnificent family trip. Thanks for your awesome comment.

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