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Distance

4.76 mi

Elevation gain

1,417 ft

Technical difficulty

Moderate

Elevation loss

1,417 ft

Max elevation

974 ft

Trailrank

68 5

Min elevation

80 ft

Trail type

Loop

Moving time

one hour 59 minutes

Time

3 hours 40 minutes

Coordinates

1397

Uploaded

July 14, 2021

Recorded

July 2021
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974 ft
80 ft
4.76 mi

Viewed 1888 times, downloaded 129 times

near Grindavík, Suðurnes (Ísland)

Paying a visit to the Fagradalsfjall volcano (Geldingadalir) is a must-do during your presence in Iceland. At least as long as the volcano is in activity. Having said that, the question is: which way to go?

Since the route A is closed, 2 possibilities exist: route B and route C (created last June 2021).

Actually, route B (3-4 hours both ways) is longer and more difficult (steep mountain path) than route C, but just offers a SIDE VIEW of the crater. You don’t really see much flowing lava. Route C is the shortest and easy hike to the lava field in the Nátthagi valley (1 hour both ways) . From Nátthagi, the trail C continues and heads steeply up the Eastern ridge of Langihryggur (alt. 300m, 2km to the summit) where hikers get a breathtaking FRONT VIEW over the crater (1 or 2 hours more).

Therefore, we opted for the route C. It's a challenging hike with steep climbs and crazy wind conditions sometimes. Hiking shoes, walking poles, warm and waterproof clothing are necessary. Weather conditions in Iceland can change very suddenly.

So, at this very stage (mid-july 2021, but it may change in the future), track C is definitely the best trail to observe and admire this fantastic phenomenon of nature.

To prepare your visit, check first these useful public websites :
https://safetravel.is/eruption-in-reykjanes
https://volcanoweather.is/

Thank you to rate this trail and/or let a comment.
Parking

Stationnement

Important tip: there are at least 4 parking areas along the road 427 from Grindavik. The hike C starts from the very last smaller parking on the left side. It is forbidden to park along the road
Waypoint

Waypoint

Interesting map showing both routes B and C and the extended lava fields (in purple). However, the trail C isn't mentioned from its new start, from a parking located close the to Skala Maeliffel hill, down the map.
Intersection

Carrefour

Intersection

Carrefour

Photo

Photo

Photo

View of the lava field in the Nátthagi valley

Photo

Lava field in the Nátthagi valley

After the lava field, time to climb the ridge.
Panorama

View from the Eastern ridge of Langihryggur

The lava field in the Nátthagi valley (at the middle of the climb).
Panorama

View of the Fagradalsfjall volcano

Upper lava field and crater.
Intersection

Alternative trail for the return

Instead of turning back on the same way on the ridge of the mount range, facing wuthering winds, there is a fast, easy and quieter trail to the parking on the eastern side of the mount Langihryggur. NB: From this point, there are possibilities to go a few hundred meters closer to the active lava field and the crater by going North-East on the mount Stóri Hrútur. Stay on the hill and ridge and keep away from low lying areas because of volcanic gases hazards. BEWARE of this.
Intersection

Carrefour

Panorama

Panorama

Waypoint

Waypoint

Photo

Photo

Last look at the mountain

2 comments

  • Photo of tahwos

    tahwos Aug 6, 2021

    Thank you very much for the route and the information, it is very valuable!
    My partner has knee problems and I think she will not be able to do the complete route C, she is a Geologist and would like to see the crater even from afar, do you know if there is any way. Thank you!

  • Photo of xabierx

    xabierx Sep 4, 2021

    I have followed this trail  View more

    In early September, this is still the best option.
    Thanks for the alternative way back to the car park - it was great to return in only 30 minutes, ahead of the coming rain!!!
    Thanks!

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