Gros Morne Sightseeing Tour – 7 Days, 6 Nights
Price: Starting at $1950 per person (based on double occupancy)
Pricing for larger groups and children available upon request
Prices do not include HST.
Airport shuttle to and from Deer Lake Regional Airport.
3 nights’ accommodation at Marble Inn Resort and use of resort amenities.
2 nights in Cow Head area of Gros Morne Nat’l Park
Tour transportation and guide
Entry fees for Gros Morne Nat’l Park.
Day 1: Bay of Islands
A Marble Inn Resort team member will greet you at Deer Lake airport and escort you to the resort. After you settle into your suite your local guide will meet with you to go over your custom-made tour itinerary.
Your first stop will be Captain Cook's Lookout in Corner Brook. Capt. James Cook revolutionized map making methods and accuracy while mapping the Newfoundland coast in the mid-1700s. Numerous bays, coves, streams and headlands bear names he designated while others are his anglicized renderings of original French names.
You will proceed along winding roads and scenic villages along the southern shore of the Bay of Islands, passing under the Blow-me-Down Mtns, as far as Bottle Cove on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Be sure to keep your eye out for whales. Thirteen different whale species pass through the Gulf seasonally. We arrive at Lark Hr., where in 1776 Capt. Cook concluded his mapping expeditions of the island, as commemorated by the famous Trail End Monument located at Bottle Cove.
A few kilometers away, there are an array of hiking trails that offer enchanting views overlooking the Gulf. Each trail varies in difficulty and will be chosen with consideration for your experience and abilities. If hiking, please be sure to bring proper footwear.
Conclude the day by returning to the Marble Inn Resort. Relax in your suite, or take advantage of the many amenities we offer, such as the heated salt-water pool, mineral bath and labradorite steam bath.
Day 2: Stephenville / Port aux Port, Humber Valley or Blow-me-Down Mountain.
This is a day for choosing directions and the activities they offer the group: a trip to the ‘French Shore’ at Stephenville and the Port au Port Peninsula; or hiking to natural attractions of the Humber Valley. Options include
1.Stephenville / Port au Port Peninsula: The area includes rich military and cultural history dating from the 17th and 18th century imperial ambitions of France and England to the anxious years of WWII and the Cold War. In 1941, the U.S. established Harmon Air Force Base, one of three in the province, to reinforce the allies’ North Atlantic defenses. Following the War, it was on standby for any possible conventional or nuclear attack on NATO nations until it was decommissioned in 1966.
Bay St. George is one of two areas in Newfoundland where the M’ikmaq Indians were settled prior to European presence and where they still maintain an integral relationship with the sea and the wilderness. Traditional M’ikmaq design motifs and images are evident in local arts and crafts.
The area boasts spectacular coastal and mountain scenery. The Gravels is the name given to the narrow isthmus that joins the Port au Port Peninsula to the mainland. It is a relaxing place to walk beside the ocean and to browse the rocks for ocean bric-a-brac. The Gravels Trail leads through thickets of stunted spruce and passes bizarre rock formations shaped by waves and wind.
2.Humber Valley: This option is closest to home base but includes the most dramatic sections of the Humber Valley.
Steady Brook Falls and Marble Mountain may be reached by foot from Marble Inn Resort. A groomed trail and stairways make the I km steep climb easier to Steady Brook Falls and its impressive 30 meters (100 ft) gorge. In summer, rainfall determines the volume of water pouring into the gorge. Always a pleasing hike for its views of the valley, it is most spectacular after a period of rain.
Marble Mountain rises 546 meters (1546 ft) from near sea level. Steep trails make a challenging 3 – 4 hr. hike (with picnic and rest stops) rewarded by amazing views in one direction all the way to Deer Lake, and in the opposite direction all the way to Corner Brook and beyond to the Blow-me-down Mountain in the Bay of Islands.
3.Man in the Mountain: Man in the Mountain hiking trail gets its name from the naturally carved image in the face of Indian Head Mountain where it rises vertically from the Humber River gorge. The hike begins at the mouth of the river just 4 kms from Marble Inn Resort and steeply ascends 300 meters (985 ft) over 2.5 kms. Both ways, the hike normally takes 4-5 hours.
4.Copper Mine Brook: Copper Mine Brook near Lark Hr. on the side of Blow-me-Down Mountain (approx. 1 hr. drive). This trail is part of the Newfoundland section of the International Appalachian Trail (the Long-Range Mountains are geologically part of the Appalachian Mountain formation). The 660 meters (2165 ft) climb to the plateau is another bucket-list hiking venture. The sub-arctic tundra-like heath terrain is the habitat of moose and caribou. However, the effect of climate change, even here, has affected the smaller animals’ predator/prey ecology, so that ptarmigan and birds of prey are not as common on the plateau in recent years—never say never! And bald eagles still make their aeries among the highest crags and chimneys along the plateau wall. The views over the Bay of Islands are ones you’d remember for your lifetime. This strenuous hike normally takes 5-6 hours.
Whichever hikes fill your day, it all ends at the Marble Inn Resort. Relax in your suite, or take advantage of the many amenities we offer, such as the heated salt-water pool, mineral bath and labradorite steam bath.
Day 3: Tablelands UNESCO World Heritage Site
After a continental breakfast you leave Marble Inn at 8:30am for the drive to Gros Morne National Park. There you will meet a Park's Canada tour guide at the base of the tablelands and be guided on a 2km interpretive hike.
Gros Morne is Eastern Canada’s second largest national park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Surrounded by forest mountains, lakes and rivers, the Tablelands are obviously a geological freak: tawny brown-to-orange, depending on the light, and almost completely devoid of vegetation. It is one of only three sites in the world (the other two are in Siberia and South Africa) where you can stand on exposed sub-ocean mantle. Hiking to the top of the Tablelands appears to be daunting, but there are great views to enjoy without such a strenuous undertaking. Also, the Gros Morne Discovery Centre will provide you with all of the natural history and science of the Tablelands.
At the western base of the Tablelands, the fishing community of Trout River has supported a fishing population since 1815--with a single family until 1880. Its history is represented in a lovely fishing museum and house that was one of the first to be built in that long-ago time. You will leave Trout River with a lingering memory of dining at the Seafood Cafe or perhaps a walk along the beach.
On to Woody Point on the shores of Bonne Bay. Some of its older homes reveal a prosperity rare on the Great Northern Peninsula until the later 20th century. Its prosperity was due to the great forests that supplied mainland lumber demands and stout masts for maritime shipbuilding yards. At the same time, there were fishing families that grew their enterprises with substantial vessels and shore-based facilities. Today, Woody Pt. entrepreneurial energy turns as well to the increasing tourism trade that is due to worldwide recognition of Gros Morne National Park. Here offers the option of stopping at a café, restaurant or craft shop.
Day 4: Western Brook Pond
While in Gros Morne Nat’l Park, first to visit Lobster Cove Head for a tour of the lighthouse and to view the twisted and crushed rocks called mélange, one of many features that distinguishes parks geological history.
Then we drive further north to Western Brook Pond, the Park’s largest freshwater lake. You will be dropped off at the trail head where you will hike through the coastal plain (30 – 45 minutes). Insect eating flora such as the pitcher plant, sundew and butterwort are plentiful on the bogs along with flowering heath shrubs. Don't forget your camera--and a warm sweater. There is an optional boat tour you can add at your own discretion (not included in the tour).
After the walk out, your guide will pick you up and you will be driven to a restaurant of your choice for dinner and an evening of your leisure.
Day 5: Cow Head Area
While in the Cow Head area you can enjoy the Gros Morne Theatre Festival, a mixture of drama and music representing local history and life today in Newfoundland.
Just beyond Cow Head and the boundary of Gros Morne Nat’l Park, beautiful Shallow Bay Beach stretches northward for 10 km. Ocean winds push the fine sand dunes far into the coastal tuckamore that fringe the coastal plain. It’s a place to swim, stroll, beachcomb and sunbathe.
There is the Cow Head Lighthouse trail to view the enigmatic shapes of the famous Cow Head breccia. These rocks are highly unusual in composition as well, believed to be redeposited fragments of reef mounds and the concretion of Paleozoic marine organisms of half a billion years ago.
Day 5 of the tour, you arrive at your destination for the night. Before shut-eye, you may wish to make yourself familiar with the town or continue your exploration of nearby coastal features. Maybe even take in a dinner theatre or play of your choosing.
DAY 6: Green Point / Rocky Harbour
The Park’s geological story, evident in the 500 million-year-old fossils of the sedimentary layers of the coastal cliff, augments the lovely ocean view as you make your way from the nearby campsite.
But to inspect the zone, it must be approached along the shore when the tide and sea conditions permit.
Before leaving the Park, you will stop for lunch in Rocky Hr. The town has any number of artisan/craft shops to visit, including a factory that produces handmade glass.
At this point we say farewell to Gros Morne and drive to Deer Lake for dispersal dependent on your travel arrangements.
Multi-day tours of Gros Morne and Western Newfoundland
These group tours are designed to expose you to western Newfoundland’s natural, historical and cultural geography in a way that will make its memory, and your photo albums and journals much more precious.
What would it take: The rarest of geological formations on earth? Sub-arctic environments at 650 meters (2100 ft) above the sea? The cultural legacy of 400 years of French habitation? The magnificence of coastal and landlocked fjords? Rare yet flourishing flora of the coastal peat bogs? Possibly even a chance to see moose!
Depending on the tour, your ‘basecamp’ at Marble Inn Resort, is within walking distance or scenic drives to points of interest or trailheads.
All tours begin on a Sunday. A Marble Inn Resort team member will greet you at Deer Lake airport and escort you to the resort. After you settle into your suite your local guide will meet with everyone to go over the itinerary for your chosen tour.
Some tours include night accommodations at various locations. At end of tour days, Madison’s restaurant and The Cove comes well recommended for fine or casual dining (not included in the tour prices). Our tour guides and reception staff are happy to help you choose alternative restaurants in the area.
What to bring
Bring clothing appropriate for the Newfoundland summer climate, including rain gear and light gloves. Adding and removing layers best meets the variable conditions.
Ocean breezes can be cooler than when winds are off the land. High altitudes are typically cooler than sea level temperatures. Tours that feature periods of walk/hiking require hiking boots with firm soles, good ankle support and high sidewalls to avoid ankle abrasions. Running shoes may not be appropriate. You may wish to bring a walking pole.