Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »
Today Only: 50% off Atlas Obscura books and calendars at Barnes & Noble »

Division No. 9, Subd. A, Newfoundland and Labrador

The Tablelands

This rocky spread has been squeezed up directly from the bowels of the earth. 

If you’d like to head to Mars but don’t want to deal with the 3-year trip, your next best bet is to head to Gros Morne National Park on Newfoundland’s west coast (a mere 3-day drive from New York City).

In an area of the park known as “The Tablelands,” rock from the earth’s mantle, called peridotite, has been thrust up to the surface of the earth due to area’s unique plate tectonics in a process known as subduction.

While the rock is not quite red, the ochre-and-rust yellows of the thousands of rocks seemingly strewn at random around this otherwise lush, green park will definitely give you an otherworldly experience. The hike to the Tablelands is less than half a mile from the parking lot yet once the cars disappear from view, it’s out-of-this-world time.

There is one main trail but no supervision whatsoever when you get there. You are free to climb up to the top of the surrounding hills, take a break near the small stream that runs through the middle of the area, or simply climb around whatever rocks strike your fancy. Just keep your eyes open for Martians, possibly from below the earth.

Contributed by
Rob Tallia
Edited by