Primitive camping

Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne’s primitive campsites are located along several hiking trails throughout the park. Each campsite is reached by crossing diverse landscapes complete with scenic vistas. With everything you need packed on your back, primitive camping offers the opportunity to go off-grid, be immersed in nature and enjoy the solitude of a night in Gros Morne’s wilderness. Select a trip which best suits your group’s abilities, experience, interests, equipment and the time you have available.


Located on the rocky shore of Bonne Bay at Paynes Cove which was once the location of a logging town in the early 1900’s. To reach the primitive camping site, hike the 2 km moderate rated Stanleyville trail from Lomond day use area or launch your kayak or canoe at Lomond for a 2 km paddle along the shore to Stanleyville. 3 primitive campsites available (no tent pads), a pit toilet and picnic table.

Green Gardens

Hike 4.5 km across the Tablelands and down towards Old Man’s Cove on this moderate rated trail. Watch the sunset over the ocean and sleep beneath a blanket of stars along the rugged coast. 4 primitive campsites with tent pads, pit toilet and picnic table.

Ferry Gulch (Gros Morne Mountain)

Hike the 4.5 km Gros Morne Mountain Approach Trail (moderate) to the base of the mountain. Turn right on the Summit Trail (difficult) and continue for another 2.5 km to reach the campsite at Ferry Gulch. Click here for details about the route that continues towards Bakeapple Pond and the view over Ten Mile Pond where wilderness navigation with map/compass or GPS is required. 3 primitive campsites available with tent pads, pit toilet, picnic table and bear box.

Snug Harbour

Hike the rugged, unmarked route to Snug Harbour and be rewarded with a secluded primitive campsite on the shore of Western Brook Pond with its impressive cliffs. NOTE: The 4.5 km unmaintained route to Snug Harbour requires fording the cold waters of Western Brook (no bridge). Access to the route also requires hiking 3 km on Western Brook Pond Trail. Hikers looking for an extra challenge have an option to follow the North Rim access route and ascend 600 m to a viewpoint on the plateau overlooking Western Brook Pond. Wilderness navigation with map/compass or GPS is required. 3 primitive campsites available (no tent pads), pit toilet, picnic table and bear pole. 

Permits and Passes

A camping permit is required for all primitive campsites in Gros Morne National Park for safety purposes and to ensure sites are not overbooked. There is a nightly fee for each camper. In addition to obtaining a primitive camping permit, all campers will require a valid park pass.

To obtain a primitive camping permit, visit one of the following Gros Morne Park facilities in person during regular hours of operation:

  • Visitor Centre, Route 430, Rocky Harbour
  • Discovery Centre, Route 431 Woody Point
  • Park Entrance Kiosk, Route 430, Wiltondale

Please have the following information when registering with Park staff and allow approximately 15 minutes to complete the process:

  • Campsite location
  • Number of nights
  • Group leader contact information
  • Emergency contact information
  • Number of campers
  • Medical conditions (in case of emergency) of any group member
  • Make, model and licence plate of vehicle
  • Tent style/color
  • Payment

After completing their trip, campers must indicate to Park staff that they have returned safely by reporting back to a Gros Morne National Park facility or leave a detailed message at 1-709-458-2417.

Park Regulations:

  • Campfires are not permitted at any primitive campsite. Use portable camp stove only.
  • Pack in, pack out. Do not litter or deposit garbage in pit toilets or food lockers.
  • It is an offence to harm, collect, remove, destroy or deface any natural object in the park.


Booking primitive campsites in advance is not required but can be done by phoning 709-458-2417 Monday to Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm (closed on holidays). It is recommended that campers hold off booking a site until a couple days prior to their trip to confirm the local weather forecast. Reservations will only be held until 2:00 pm the date of departure.

Backcountry Etiquette/Low Impact Camping

Plan to leave Gros Morne National Park in as good or better condition than you found it. The National Parks Act protects all the natural and cultural resources within Gros Morne National Park. It is an offence to harm, collect, remove, destroy or deface any natural or cultural heritage resources within the park. This includes cutting trees for firewood or makeshift shelters as well as collecting or removing antlers, fossils, artifacts, rocks, and plants.

  • Use a stove. Fires are not permitted - Do not rely on fires for cooking, staying warm or drying out.
  • Support safe water – Use pit toilets that are available at all designated campsites. Elsewhere, dig a hole 20 cm (7 inch) deep, at least 30 m (100 feet or three bus lengths) away from water sources and well off commonly travelled routes. Bury the human waste. Pack out toilet paper and dispose of in pit toilets. Pack out all feminine hygiene products.
  • Waste Water – Dispose of any dirty water at least 30 m from water sources and campsites. Use only biodegradable soap.
  • Your actions can kill wildlife and endanger hikers – Keep a clean campsite. Cook and prepare food away from your tent and tent platforms. Store your food, garbage and toiletries out of reach of animals and away from tents. Use the metal food lockers if available at each campsite.
  • Pack it in, pack it out – Everything you pack in you must pack out, including orange peels, feminine hygiene products, tarps, ropes, and wet clothes. Before arriving at the trail, minimize packaging to reduce garbage and weight. Pit toilets and food lockers are not for garbage.

Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.


For general information on how to stay safe when enjoying the outdoors visit

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