Great Canadian Trails is excited to offer this bucket list backpacking trip with pack support! The epic Long Range Traverse is one of the only ways to get those iconic Newfoundland 'edge-of-the-world' views of coastal fjords sparkling between 1,000-foot granite cliffs. Famous for fog and unpredictable weather, the unmarked route is remote and wild, requiring independent hikers to first pass a navigational test with Parks Canada. Until now, the only way to hike the Long Range has been with a minimum 45lb pack - A very challenging undertaking. With the assistance of our expert guides to lighten your load, we forge through the rugged backcountry where we can enjoy an abundance of wildlife, rare arctic plants and endless opportunities for photos.
The moderate to challenging grading of this trip is primarily because of the very rugged terrain and conditions/environment in the Long Range Mountains. There is no altitude to consider and it is only a few days of trekking, but there is no trail – it’s a route through wet, muddy, rocky, and“rooty” terrain. There is vegetation called ’Tuckamore’ that makes its appearance quite often during the hike – it is gnarled and tightly wound vegetation atop the plateau and walking through it has been aptly described as ‘like walking under water, against a strong current’. The first day includes a climb virtually straight up and out of a 600m tall gorge with some hand over hand scrambling (non-technical). The rest is relatively flatter, with some river crossings and potentially some residual snow patches to cross.
Arrive Deer Lake and transfer to pretty Rocky Harbour on the north side of Gros Morne National park. The approximately 1hr drive is a beautiful one and a great introduction to the topography and and beauty of the park. A 5pm thorough briefing will take place with the trek guides in order to go through the trek plan and, most importantly, organize our packs. Enjoy dinner and overnight in a rustic yet cozy cabin.
This morning, we load up then walk the flat and popular 3km trail to the shore of Western Brook Pond (lake) - The location of an information centre and where a tourist boat departs for tours of the dramatic fjords. We take an hour-long boat ride (either the tourist boat, or a small private motor boat) to the innermost point of the lake where a small, square dock marks the start of the Long Range Traverse. We wave goodbye to our ride and head into the lush valley toward the wall of the gorge. Then, it's about 600m up along wet, rocky switchbacks with some squeezing through and scrambling around boulders before we find ourselves at the top, out above the trees and looking back across the dramatic glacier-carved landscape for the postcard-perfect views. The incredible, otherworldly terrain ahead of us beckons exploration. We set up camp soon after our ascent and enjoy a night under the stars.
We are now walking through the most northern section of North America's Appalachian Mountains. There isn't a single trail marker along this 35km route which is packed with side trips and navigational puzzles including meandering footpaths of caribou. Our experienced guides expertly lead us through this pristine landscape, around countless peat bogs and brooks that dot the Long Range plateau. Our way is lined with 'tuckamore' and spruce groves tucked between knolls of heather and bare-bone granite. Fog often cloaks the highlands in June and July, but we hope for clear skies and incredible ocean views at the cliffy edges of Ten Mile Pond and Baker Brook Pond. For our final night on the Long Range, we set up camp overlooking iconic Gros Morne Mountain.
We hike from the Long Range Mountains down to the edge of Gros Morne Mountain and finally to its base at sea level. Usually an afternoon exit from the trek allows for ample time to enjoy the evening back in town and chat about the experiences and stories from the incredible past week in the back country, where few visitors have explored. Tonight, we are rewarded with showers, a hearty farewell dinner, and comfortable cabin accommodation.
After breakfast, we are transferred to Deer Lake Airport where services conclude (approx 1hr drive)
Per Person, Twin Share