Preparing to Hike in Gros Morne

Getting Ready For Your Hike in Gros Morne

Changeable weather is a given when you go on adventures on the edge of the North Atlantic Ocean. And it’s part of the mood and personality of Gros Morne National Park. Being prepared for the weather is key to having a safe and good time on our trails. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your next hike in Gros Morne.

Know the Trails Before you Go

Parks Canada is the go-to resource for all things hiking in Gros Morne National Park. The trails are rated
according to their difficulty so you can pick the best hike for your physical ability and timeframe.

  • Easy trails are flat to gently rolling with an elevation gain of 0-100 meters. 
  • Moderate trails are gently rolling with short steep sections and an elevation gain of 100-500
  • Difficult trails are rolling with many steep sections that may continue for long sections. Elevation
    gain is 500+ meters.

Knowing the trail conditions before you head out can go a long way to helping you plan what to bring. Parks Canada updates trail reports as circumstances change. See the latest info here.

Need help planning your hike? There are tour companies in Gros Morne with expertise who would be happy to take you on a guided hike.

Check out for more info.

General Tips

  • Park passes are required anytime you’re using a trail in park boundaries.
  • Check the weather before you leave and be prepared for changes.
  • Dressing in layers is key to a comfortable hike.
  • Good footwear that’s meant for hiking will give you more stability and grip.
  • Hiking poles are helpful on steep and rugged terrain.
  • Bring water, food, a headlamp, extra clothes and any other essentials including medications and
    spare prescription eyewear.
  • Have a trip plan and share it with somebody – where you’re going, when you’ll be back, and who
    to call if you don’t return.
  • Cell phone coverage is sporadic throughout the park.

What to Pack for a Day Hike

With nearly 30 trails on the map, Gros Morne National Park will never get boring. Here’s what should be in your basic kit:

  • Day Pack
  • Rain jacket and Pants
  • Wool or fleece sweater
  • Water bottle – 2 litres is ideal, especially on hot days and long trails.
  • Lunch and snacks to enjoy on breaks
  • Sunhat, sunglasses and sunblock
  • In cooler weather, a lightweight insulation hat and gloves

What to Pack for a Multi-Day Hike

A multi-day hike in Gros Morne National Park is on many hiker’s bucket lists. It takes a lot of careful planning and this list is just a starting point! In general, you need things that are quick dry and don’t weigh much.

  • Large backpack
  • Small dry sacks to keep your clothes organized and dry
  • Shelter:
    • Sleeping bag in a dry sack. A temperature rating of minimum 0ºC or 32ºF will ensure you’re warm enough in most summer weather
    • Insulated sleeping pad
    • Lightweight, waterproof tent designed for hiking trips
  • Clothing:
    • Sturdy hiking boots
    • Gaiters
    • Sun hat, ideally with a wide brim
    • Lightweight insulated hat & gloves
    • Lightweight insulated underwear – top & bottom
    • Wool or fleece sweaters of varying weights
    • Quick dry long sleeve shirt (ie. Synthetic, not cotton!)
    • Quick dry t-shirt
    • Quick dry wind pants
    • Rain pants and jacket (Gore-Tex or similar fabric)
    • Socks (synthetic or wool)
  • Personal Care Items:
    • Packable, quick dry towel
    • Minimal toiletries (comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
    • Handkerchief
    • Sunglasses, sun block & lip balm
    • Insect repellent and bug jacket or head net if you’re easily bothered by black flies and mosquitoes
    • Medications
    • First Aid Kit including blister treatment
  • Food & Water
    • Water bottle with a holder or a water bladder – easy access will mean you drink more!
    • Water filter or treatment for making stream water safe to drink
    • Small camp stove and fuel (don’t forget the waterproof matches!)
    • Food that will provide you with enough energy to get your through your hike but is also lightweight and can be prepared over a camp stove
    • Minimal, lightweight utensils

If you’re hiking the Long Range Traverse, this video from Parks Canada will help you know what to expect.

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