Coordinates 3058

Uploaded October 30, 2018

Recorded October 2018

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3,440 f
34 f
0
14
28
56.95 mi

Viewed 997 times, downloaded 89 times

near Skogar, Suðurland (Lýðveldið Ísland)

First of all, some notes on why your trip plan is worthless in Iceland's highlands:
I hiked these trails in August 2018. My first plan was to start hiking as soon as I arrived at Landmannalaugar (the first bus from Reykjavik arrives around noon) but there was a huge dust storm in the highlands that day and all the hiking paths were closed, so I was forced to stay there until the next day. Fortunately, the wind and visibility got better in the afternoon, so I was able to go on a short hike around the lava field. Most of the people struggled a lot to set their tents that day due to the wind and some tents were even damaged. Having a good tent in Iceland can save your hike. Many people were also evacuated from the huts and campsites at Hrafntinnusker and Alftavatn. A good piece of advice that worked out very well to me: make a flexible plan, since you might need to change it due to exeptionally bad weather.

Safety on the Highlands:
These trails can be dangerous due to extreme weather changes (even in summertime) so please do not underestimate them. Ask the hut staff for the weather forecast before you start hiking every day. Check out the links to some safety websites at the end of the text.

Take all you need:
During my hike I slept in a tent and brought all the necessary cooking stuff and food for 5-6 days. If you don't sleep in the huts you are not allowed to use the hut's kitchen. Most of the huts sell some overpriced food, such us dry meal bags or noodles.

How long do these trails take?:
I'm a very well trained hiker so do not follow my timing if you aren't. Most of the people would need at least 6 days to hike the same itinerary, dividing the Laugavegur trail in 3-4 days and the Fimmvörðuháls trail in 2 days.

How do I get there?
When the trails are open (end of June to mid September), there are buses connecting Reykjavik, Selfoss, and some other towns with Landmannalaugar, Thorsmork, and Skogafoss. There are several bus companies providing services to those places. I went with Reykjavik Excursions bus, which is pretty convinient if you are staying in Reykjavik's campsite, since it departs right from there. It is recommended to book it in advance (https://www.re.is/iceland-on-your-own/).
You can either walk from Landmannaulagar down to Thorsmork and Skogafoss, or the opposite direction from Thorsmork or Skogafoss up to Landmannalaugar. The second option is harder.

Summary of my hike:
Day 0 - Bus to Landmannalaugar and short hike nearby the campsite.
Day 1 - Laugavegur trail part 1: Landmannalaugar - Álftavatn ( ~21 km, ↑850m, ↓900m)
Day 2 - Laugavegur trail part 2: Álftavatn - Þórsmörk (Langidalur hut) (~32 km, ↑900m, ↓1250m)
Day 3 - Hike in Þórsmörk: Rjúpnafell peak via Tindfjöll circle trail (~14 km, ↑800m, ↓800m)
Day 4 - Fimmvörðuháls trail: Þórsmörk (Langidalur hut) - Skógafoss (~25 km, ↑1000m, ↓1200m)

Campsites & Huts info:

I only stayed in campsites, so I won't say anything about the huts, except that they are insanely expensive. The fare in every campsite was 2000 ISK/person/night in 2018. Some facilities such as toilets and sinks are for free in all campsites, but showers aren't (500 ISK).

-Landmannalaugar campsite (600 m):
Absolutely amazing place. There are a lot of hiking trails around, including easy trails and steep, hard peaks. You can see lava fields, geothermal springs, sulphuric steam, and colourful rocks. There is a natural geothermal pool where you can take a bath. There is also a bus-market where you can buy basic stuff, but it's quite pricey. The campsite is on a hard, rocky soil, not the easiest terrain to place the tent. The toilets and showers are pretty good.

-Hrafntinnusker campsite (1100m):
This is the highest campsite in the Laugavegur trail. Camping here with bad weather can be a very unpleasant experience, so avoid this place if you know the weather won't be good (especially strong wind). The night before I passed by this hut they had to evacuate everybody from the hut and the campsite due to a huge wind storm. They also closed all the paths from Landmannaulagar and Álftavatn.

-Alftavatn campsite (530m):
Such a beautiful place for camping! There are some nice, short hikes around this hut/campsite. I went up to the main peak by the left shore of the lake (looking from the hut), called Brattháls. It is an easy hike, around 5 km, with an impressive view at the top. You can also walk around the lake.

-Emstrur campsite (500m):
I just passed through but looked like a nice place to stay.

-Langidalur campsite (Thorsmork) (200m):
There are three main huts/campsites in Thorsmok: Langidalur, Básar and Volcano huts. I chose to stay 2 nights in Langidalur because this campsite belongs to the Icelandic Mountain Association, which is the main organization taking care of the trails and huts in Iceland, so I wanted to support them (the other two are private bussineses). Besides, there are way less people in this hut/campsite than the others, since it is more difficult to get to it by car compared to the other two. There are buses going to and leaving from Langidalur everyday during the summer.


For more detailed information, such as river crossings and campsites, please check the waypoints on the map. Google maps has really poor quality satellite images and maps in Iceland, so in order to increase the quality of the map, I recommend to click on "Other maps" (upper-right corner) and choose "OpenCycleMap".

Useful information for planning your hike:
Laugavegur trail info: https://www.fi.is/en/hiking-trails/laugavegur
Fimmvörðuháls trail info: https://www.fi.is/en/hiking-trails/fimmvorduhals
Important stuff about safety while hiking in Iceland: https://www.fi.is/en/safety
Weather & safety alerts on Laugavegur Trail: https://safetravel.is/t/the-laugavegur-trail
Bridge

Bridge

River

River crossing 3 (deep)

This river is one the hardest to pass. It is knee-deep, very cold, and wide. The better place to cross it is about 200m upstream (to the left from the place where cars cross it), where there is an island in the middle of the river.
Bridge

Bridge

Refuge

Hvanngil hut/campsite

River

River crossing 2 (shallow)

This river was quite easy to cross wihout shoes.
Refuge

Alftavatn hut/campsite (530m)

There are some nice, short hikes around this hut/campsite. I went up to the main peak by the left shore of the lake (looking from the hut), called Brattháls. It is an easy hike, around 5 km, with an impressive view at the top. You can also walk around the lake.
River

River crossing 1 (very shallow)

When I crossed this river the water level was low enough to jump from rock to rock without taking off the shoes.
Refuge

Hrafntinnusker hut/campsite (1100m)

This is the highest hut/campsite in the Laugavegur trail. Camping here with bad weather can be a very unpleasant experience, so avoid this place if you know the weather won't be good (specially regarding the wind). The night before I passed by this hut they had to evacuate everybody due to a huge storm. They also closed all the paths from Landmannaulagar and Álftavatn. Many people, including me, were stuck in Landmannalaugar until the next morning.
River

River crossing 4 (very shallow)

I didn't need to take my shoes off, I just jumped on some small rocks.
Refuge

Emstrur hut/campsite (500m)

Bridge

Bridge

Bridge

Bridge

River

River crossing 5 (deep)

This is the hardest river crossing, at least when I did the hike. This river is thigh-deep, very cold, very wide and the stream is pretty strong. The river is actually divided in many streams of different sizes with islands in between, so try to find the way that crosses the more amount of small streams, rather than crossing few bigger streams. You might end up walking upstream and downstream between the islands but this will be much safer than crossing in a straight line to the other side.
Refuge

Langidalur hut/campsite (Thorsmork) (200m)

There are three main huts/campsites in Thorsmok: Langidalur, Básar and Volcano huts. I chose to stay 2 nights in Langidalur because this campsite belongs to the Icelandic Mountain Association, which is the main organization taking care of the trails and huts in Iceland, so I wanted to support them (the other two are private bussineses). Besides, there are way less people in this hut/campsite than the others, since it is more difficult to get to it by car compared to the other two. There are buses going to and leaving from Langidalur everyday during the summer.
Bridge

Bridge

Bridge

Bridge

panorama

View over Þórsmörk Valley

Totally recommended if you are hiking the Tindfjöll circle. The main path is actually not passing through this spot.
Summit

Rjúpnafell summit (823 m)

This is a beautiful mountain with very impressive views, especially when the weather is good. The path leading to the base of the mountain is very easy, but it gets a bit tricky as soon as it starts ascending the slopes of the peak. There are some spots where the path is quite steep and it's made of lose gravel, what makes it quite challenging if you don't wear proper shoes and hiking poles. There are hiking maps of Thorsmork area around Langidalur campsite. All hiking trails in Thorsmork are marked.
Refuge

Básar hut/campsite

Mountain pass

Fimmvörðuháls Pass (1100 m)

This place gets extremely windy often, so check the weather forecast before you attempt to pass it.
Information

Newly formed craters

These craters were formed during the Fimmvörðuháls eruption in 2010. They are called Móði and Magni (so named after the sons of Thor).
Refuge

Baldvinsskáli hut (900 m)

Refuge

Fimmvörðuskáli hut (1000 m)

Waterfall

Skógafoss waterfall

Camping

Skógafoss campsite

Bridge

Bridge

Refuge

Landmannalaugar hut/campsite (600 m)

Absolutely amazing place. There are a lot of hiking trails around the hut/campsite, including easy trails and steep, hard peaks. You can see lava fields, geothermal springs, sulphuric steam, and colourful rocks. There is a natural geothermal pool where you can take a bath. There is also a bus-market where you can buy basic stuff, but it's quite pricey.
Spa

Natural hot pool

2 comments

  • andrea2384 Mar 21, 2019

    there is full coverage for smartphone during the trail? calls or sms?

  • jgg5158 Jul 31, 2019

    I have followed this trail  verified  View more

    Great trail, nice overview and point of interest descriptions

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