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3,588 f
737 f
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8.4
17
33.66 mi

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near Skeiðflötur, Vestur-Skaftafellssysla (Ísland)

When I was asked to upload the Laugavegur trail I found that although I've hiked this route often in recent years I have never actually followed the "official" trail over its entire length. Rather than stitch together a composite from various trips I decided to use a file from an "express" (2 day) transit in in 2006 - the weather was so bad that we mostly stuck to the trail. The only exception was when descending the Jökultungur slope - due to the heavy rain it seemed to us that the Grashagakvísl river would be difficult to cross at the usual ford so we looked for - and found - a place upstream where we could use a stepping stone to cross it. Since we had no business at the Álftavatn hut we then headed straight for Hvanngil - this is the only deviation from the blazed Laugavegur trail.

Note that for Icelanders the trail only runs between Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk (or Básar), the leg between Þórsmörk and Skógar (Fimmvörðuháls) is only included by foreigners, who often do the trail south to north - Icelanders almost always start in Landmannalaugar.
Refuge

Básar

10-SEP-06 11:39:41 Our destination
Tree

Bjórgil

A nice place for lunch. If it rains note that the lava on the southern side actually forms an overhanging shelter
Waypoint

Bláfjallakvísl

One of many rivers to ford. WikiLoc could use a pictograph for river crossings ...
Refuge

Botnar

09-SEP-06 12:59:14 The third overnight stop on a "normal" (four day) hike. We just walked past.
Waypoint

Bratthálskvísl

The second river to cross, this one is normally very shallow. The ford shown is that on the route via Álftavatn, on this occasion we forded the river far upstream.
Summit

Brennisteinsalda

One of Iceland's most beautiful mountains (in terms of colouration).
Waypoint

Grashagakvísl 1

This is where one normally wades across Grashagakvísl on the way to Álftavatn. If heading for Hvanngil you may want to check out the upstreaam location ("Grashagakvísl 2") where we managed to jump across though the river was in flood.
Waypoint

Grashagakvísl 2

This is where we made our "stepping stone" way across Grashagakvísl despite it being in flood. Risky but rewarding .....
Refuge

Hvanngil

A very comfortable hut where we spent the night.
Refuge

Höskuldsskáli

This hut is where most people spend their first night (if hiking north to south), usually taking an evening stroll to the ice caves on the other side of Hrafntinnusker. We made a brief stop on our way past in the pouring rain ...
Waypoint

Krossárbrú

Although my track ends on the northern shore of Krossá I felt I should indicate the location of the bridge - it isn't obvious.
Waypoint

Ljósárbrú

This river runs in a deep gully underneath the bridge, well worth stopping to look down!
Waypoint

N Emstruá

There are only two ways to cross this river - across the bridge or on the glacier where it originates. Any variations on the Laugavegur theme are constrained by this fact.
Waypoint

S Emstruá

Like its sibling, the Northern Emstruá, this river can only be crossed via the bridge - in this case a pedestrian-only affair with interesting approaches on both sides.
Refuge

Skagfjörðsskáli

This is really too grand an affair to be called a hut, I guess "lodge" would be a better fit.
Tree

Stórihver

The name means "big (hot) spring" - this place is about right for a lunchbreak if you started your hike at Landmannalaugar and intend to spend the night at Hrafntinnusker.
Waypoint

Þröngá

This river can be a bit difficult if it's been raining - so be careful.

2 comments

  • Photo of Problema

    Problema Mar 14, 2014

    I have followed this trail  View more

    yay!

  • partyzan Oct 15, 2014

    I have followed this trail  View more

    One of the most beautiful trails I've done. Everchanging, unique scenery, great trail planning.
    Weather conditions affect the experience strongly (as everywhere else in Iceland) so plan accordingly.

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