Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,261.00 ft (384.35 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
14.50 mi (23.34 km)
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The namesake of Gros Morne National Park and the second highest point in Newfoundland, Gros Morne is an imposing and impressive peak and a must-do for many visitors to the park. It offers fantastic vistas and interesting, varied terrain as well as challenging steep climbs. The extension to Bakeapple Pond along a primitive trail adds more incredible views, including a famous vista along Ten Mile Pond.

The Gros Morne hike is typically a single-day, 10-mile hike. However, there is a campsite at Ferry Gulch, on the eastern side of the mountain, which allows you to do a 2-day trip and opens the opportunity to explore Bakeapple Pond via a beautiful out-and-back primitive trail for about an additional 4.5 miles.

The hike begins at the parking lot off of Route 430. The trail leads slightly uphill along often muddy terrain with many roots and rocks. After 1 mile, the first viewpoint offers a great view of the mountain and back toward the other side of the bay. There is also a privy located here. The trail then continues, reaching another viewpoint at 2.3 miles, where yet another privy is located. From here, hikers can see the full height of the mountain, including "the gully"—the steep and challenging slide that the trail climbs toward the summit. This is a popular turnaround spot for those wishing to do a shorter hike and skip the summit climb.

To reach the summit, continue another 0.4 mile to where the trail splits. The loop to or from the summit can be done a few ways. Going left (clockwise) is the normal loop, which climbs steeply up the slide over loose scree for around 0.5 mile. If you wish to avoid this section, you can turn right toward the Ferry Gulch campsite and continue up to the summit. This alternate route is much longer and gentler, about 3.6 miles from here to the summit, versus 1.1 miles via the gully. Whichever way you take to the summit, it's better to return the shallower way via Ferry Gulch, as the rock in the gully is loose, and hiking down that path risks knocking rocks down onto lower hikers.

The views from the summit are phenomenal, but the best viewpoint is north of the summit, where Ten Mile Pond stretches out toward the ocean. The entire trail down the north and eastern sides of the mountain to Ferry Gulch offers great views of the surrounding Long Range and the numerous ponds surrounding the area.

The campsite at Ferry Gulch must be reserved at one of the Gros Morne National Park visitor centers for a small fee (more information here). The campsite has three wooden tent platforms, and a small pond and river provide fresh water (be sure to purify before use). A box for food is provided to keep it safe from bears. If staying here overnight, bug nets and bug spray are highly recommended, as the black flies can be horrible if there is no wind. There are also two privies at the campsite here, but be warned that they are heavily used and not frequently maintained.

The trail to Bakeapple Pond leaves from the Ferry Gulch campsite. This trail is primitive, meaning it is unmarked and can be difficult to follow, but also that the crowds from Gros Morne are long gone. According to the park, the distance from Ferry Gulch to Bakeapple Pond is approximately 1.6 miles (2.5 km), but the actual distance is closer to 2.3 miles each direction. The trail leaves from the northern end of the pond; travel about 20 meters clockwise around the pond, then turn left through the grass. Follow the trail to a hard 90-degree, right-hand turn at about 0.4 mile, at which point the trail switchbacks up the hill until it reaches a small pond.

From here, the trail passes rolling hills and numerous small mountain ponds. In most places, the trail is relatively obvious, but it is useful to have a high-quality map and GPS track of the route. One important feature is where the trail passes between two nearby ponds at mile 1.4 (from Ferry Gulch). The trail meanders through this beautiful terrain for about 2 miles to Bakeapple Pond.

An approximate GPS track of the Long Range Traverse is available from the park; the trail to Bakeapple Pond is part of the Long Range Traverse. However, be sure to bring a paper map and compass, and backcountry navigational skills are critical. It is recommended to ask for more information at a visitor center before attempting this hike, especially if the visibility will be poor. You will also need to stop at the visitor center to purchase a park pass in order to hike within the park.

It will be obvious when the trail reaches Bakeapple Pond, because Bakeapple Pond is significantly larger than the other ponds along the trail. The trail crosses the river draining from Bakeapple Pond and climbs a hill just north of the pond for about a quarter-mile; from here, traverse left from the trail toward the valley, where you are rewarded with an incredible vista of Ten Mile Pond, Gros Morne, and the surrounding mountains. Stop here and enjoy the views for a while, then return to Ferry Gulch via the same trail.

If you love hiking and great vistas, the hike to the summit of Gros Morne is an absolute must-do. Although the extension to Bakeapple Pond is a challenging primitive trail and is not for everyone, it is a great way to get away from the crowds of Gros Morne while still enjoying this incredibly beautiful area. Be sure to consult the park's website for more information about this hike, and check at the visitor center for conditions before embarking. Remember that while the Bakeapple Pond extension is not long, it can take much longer to hike it than an established trail, and proper preparation is critical.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall
Spring

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Open Year-round

No

Open from

June 01 to October 31

Days

2

Pros

Incredible views. Challenging and interesting terrain. Option to extend using primitive trail. Camping option.

Cons

Massive crowds on main trail. Black flies.

Trailhead Elevation

49.21 ft (15.00 m)

Highest point

2,644.36 ft (806.00 m)

Features

Vault toilet
Family friendly
Backcountry camping
Near lake or river
Waterfalls
Big vistas
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day

Yes

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

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