I left you at the top of the gorge after my first day of backpacking the Long Range Traverse in Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park.
Today I’m back on the “trail” and continuing the journey under slightly cloudy skies with a few rain showers – thankfully the only rain we see at all in four days. The scenery on day one definitely packed more of a punch than day two, but cloudy skies always skew my impression.
We started the second day on the Long Range Tracverse with a quick descent to the campsite where most people spend night one. It’s been washed out so there’s only one tent platform and it was terribly buggy so I’m thankful we were allowed to camp at the top of the gorge.
From there we ran into one of the few navigation challenges on the whole trip, heading in the opposite direction than we should have been, but fortunately only for about 15 minutes. We followed game trails instead of looking at the map – but never repeated that mistake again.
Showers showed up a few hours into the days hike, but no hard rain. And we never had fog on the entire trip which can make navigation a nightmare.
You do have to cross a stream to get by Mark’s Pond. We elected to do it on the east side to save some time. From there it was a climb to the top of a hill, some of it on snow. You could generally follow a trail through here though we did refer often to the map to make sure we reached certain landmarks.
It was a soggy and straightforward hike down towards the warden’s cabin overlooking Hardings Lake. The last part of the hike involved a steep descent. Along the way we stopped to enjoy numerous bird sightings including blackpoll warblers, white-throated and chipping sparrows, fox sparrows and a greater yellowlegs once we were on the lake. We didn’t see any large animals on day two.
The campsite, a muddy and boggy one, was my least favourite on the trip. There are a couple of tent platforms up from the lake that might offer a bit of blackfly relief. A head net would come in handy here – as would bug dope.
As evening rolled around the skies cleared and it actually looked very beautiful. We spent an hour or so after our dinner walking the higher ridges and admiring the views.
All told it took us just over five hours to hike from the top of the gorge to Hardings Pond, including a lunch stop. That left plenty of time for an afternoon nap and some time for reading as well.
You can read about our first day on the Long Range Traverse here.
Have you considered backpacking the Long Range Traverse? There’s still time this year and the bugs are dying off.
Other posts you might find useful
- Backpacking the Long Range Traverse in Gros Morne NP: Day 1
- Hiking the Long Range Traverse in Newfoundland: Day 3
- Day 4 Hiking the Long Range Traverse in Gros Morne National Park
- A Hike to the Summit of Gros Morne Mountain in Newfoundland
Thank you to Western Newfoundland Tourism with help on some parts of this trip.