Hike Gros Morne Mountain via James Callaghan Trail

Rate this Adventure 9.9 miles 2644.4 ft gain  - Loop Trail

Added by Samantha Culleton

Do not underestimate the Mountain. A challenging hike taking from 6 to 8 hours with stunning views and ever changing terrain.

The hike to the summit of Gros Morne is rewarded with spectacular views, views that are not seen without being earned.

 Despite Newfoundland’s notorious reputation of fast changing weather, make sure to check the forecast before you embark on your journey to the summit. With that said make sure to bring a sweater, waterproof jacket, sturdy shoes, and enough food and water to last for 6 to 8 hours. The amount of water you carry will vary depending on what season you are hiking in. Even in summer it is advisable to bring a sweater or jacket as it can be quite cool once you reach the top. Make sure you have plenty of time as well, there aren't a great amount of trail markers on the descent and you can be easily turned around especially if it is dark or foggy.

The first stretch of the hike is 4 kilometres to the base of the mountain. It is punctuated with wooden walkways and stairs which makes for a nice break in the somewhat uneven terrain. This part of the trail is enclosed by trees and other flora sheltering you from the elements. 

Once you reach the base of Gros Morne you are no longer protected by the trees. The trail opens up in to a wide valley with a bridge taking you to the gulch which is littered with rocks and boulders. There is a warning posted here which advises you to not go forward if the weather does not permit. This is a great place to turn around if you would only like to do a half-day hike. It can be very dangerous even in good weather as the rocks are lose and can be very slippery. You can be easily turned around and confused in the fog as well, if it is present.

If you do have the opportunity to press forward you have a steep climb ahead of you. This part of the hike gains around 500m in elevation so take breaks (and pictures) when you need to, the views are amazing.

Once you are close to the top you are guided by arrows to the summit. Make sure to stop, enjoy the view, and celebrate your hard work. Don't forget to take a picture with the sign at the summit before following the arrows towards the next part of the trail - the descent.

The descent is extremely uneven and is not much easier than the kilometres prior. Make sure to stay on the trail and keep an eye out because there are almost no markers helping you along the loop back to the base of the mountain.

Once you reach the base follow the same 4 kilometre trail you came in on back to the parking lot.

There is primitive camping at Ferry Gulch if you wish to do an overnight hike. There are only 3 spots for tents and it is on a first come first serve basis and you must purchase a permit in advance. Unfortunately you are not able to bring dogs with you so keep that in mind if you have any furry friends. The trail is closed from May 1st until the last Friday in June due to the spring thaw and so the animals can raise their young. Make sure to plan ahead and don't hesitate to turn around at the base if the weather is not cooperating. 

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Stay Nearby

49.556481,-57.874131, Canada

Gros Morne / Norris Point Koa

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