advertisement

Getting There 

From the Trans-Canada Highway in Deer Lake, turn west on Route 430 (the Viking Trail), which runs through the northern section of the park. It's only about 72km (45 miles) from Deer Lake to the visitor center at Rocky Harbour, but it'll take you nearly 2 hours to complete this up-and-down, twisting trip.

To reach the scenic southern section, turn left (south) on Route 431 in Wiltondale partway to Rocky Harbour; from that turnoff, it's about 32km (20 miles) to the harbor village of Woody Point, which again will take you the better part of an hour.

If you want to see both halves in a single day (which I recommend), Woody Point links up with the harbor in Norris Point (in the northern section) via a small water taxi. This 15-minute ride saves you an hour or more of driving, but it only runs three times a day and demand for space is high. The fare is C$7 per adult one-way or C$12 as a roundtrip, C$5/C$8 for students, or C$15/C$26 for families; contact operator BonTours (tel. 888/458-2016 or 709/458-2016; www.bontours.ca) for more details.

Visitor Information 

The park's main visitor information center (tel. 709/458-2417) is just south of Rocky Harbour on Route 430. It's open daily from 9am to 9pm from late June through early September, from 9am to 5pm most days in May, June, September, and October (weekdays only in early May). The center features exhibits on park geology and wildlife; there's also a short film about the park and a good little bookstore stocked with field guides. Interactive media kiosks are well done; you can view video clips previewing the hiking trails by touching a video screen. Ask for your backcountry camping permit here.

Across the bay just outside of Woody Point on Route 431 en route to Trout River is the newer Discovery Centre. This building is an enlightening stop, with interactive exhibits, a fossil room, and a multimedia theater to help make sense of the landscape. It's open daily from mid-May through early October, though more hard information is available at the visitor center.

Among the many privately sponsored sources of information, one of the best I've seen is the website DownhomeOutdoors.com. The website links to a massive, 132-page Newfoundland/Labrador travel guide in PDF format that you can view right online without having to print or carry anything. The guide includes extremely detailed listings (sponsored, of course) for outdoor outfitters, campgrounds, motels, and other services in and around Gros Morne, plus maps of some key park ponds and towns.

Fees 

All visitors must obtain a permit for any activity within the park. From May through October, the daily entrance fee is C$9.80 adults, C$8.30 seniors, C$4.90 children 6 to 18, and C$20 families; in the off season, these fees are reduced by about 25%. Annual passes are also available for C$49 per adult or about C$98 per family, a great deal if you'll be entering the park on at least 5 different calendar days.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.