On this travel-blog I need to present you the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum – the Glacial River within the Mountains, which is the second longest river in Iceland (206 km).
Jökulsá á Fjöllum is a roaring, turbulent milky white/greyish glacial river coming straight from Vatnajökull, Iceland’s largest glacier, or its glacier tongue Dyngjujökull to be precise.
Opening photograph: Jökulsá á Fjöllum and Dettifoss
Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river within the highland and Gljúfrasmiður waterfall
On this travel-blog I’m going to indicate you what the glacial river appears to be like like within the highland and all the way in which right down to its estuary in Öxarfjörður fjord. Alongside the way in which, the glacial river creates extraordinary waterfalls.
My second photograph is taken within the highland of Iceland within the neighborhood of Askja caldera and the small, however highly effective waterfall within the glacial river is named Gljúfrasmiður – the Canyon Builder.
I have twice visited this space on the way in which to Askja within the highland. As that is such a rugged space with glacial rivers to cross then I joined guided excursions.
The large bridge over Jökulsá á Fjöllum
Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river is bridged in 3 locations and on our travels within the highlands of Iceland we crossed the glacial river on the bridge by Upptyppingar.
The opposite two bridges are by ring-road 1 and by the tip of the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon by street 85.
Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river runs by way of one of many largest canyons in Iceland, the 25 km lengthy ruggedly lovely Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, with its lovely waterfalls and extraordinary rock formations.
Jökulsárbrú bridge by street 85 near the estuary of Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river
Within the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, the glacial river creates essentially the most highly effective waterfall in Iceland, the Dettifoss waterfall, plus a number of different smaller waterfalls.
Jökulsárgljúfur canyon is my favorite canyon in Iceland and I by no means tire of mountain climbing on this extraordinary canyon and in Ásbyrgi, which is my favorite spot in Iceland. Too dangerous that it’s so removed from Reykjavík the place I reside.
Dettifoss waterfall from the east financial institution
Dettifoss, together with the smaller waterfalls, Selfoss and Hafragilsfoss, that are south and north of Dettifoss, have been declared protected.
Additionally, you will discover a very fairly horseshoe-shaped waterfall additional down the canyon known as Réttarfoss waterfall.
Selfoss as seen from the west financial institution – there may be a lot mist by the waterfall
The primary waterfall within the canyon is named the Selfoss waterfall.
It’s a lovely horseshoe-shaped waterfall, 10 meters excessive and really large. I first visited it from the west financial institution of the glacial river, nevertheless it can’t be seen very effectively from there.
From the east financial institution, there’s a 1.4 km hike from Dettifoss waterfall. I’ve visited Selfoss from that facet of the river as effectively, and elements of it are very rocky, nothing main although, simply put on good mountain climbing footwear.
Basalt columns as seen from the west financial institution by Selfoss waterfall – do not sit or stroll too near the sting
There are some very lovely basalt columns on either side of Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river by Selfoss.
As you may see in my photograph above then lots of the basalt columns have collapsed into the river, so steer clear of the perimeters.
There’s a city in South Iceland known as Selfoss, nevertheless it has nothing to do with this waterfall.
I’ve seen although that some folks get confused after they come to Selfoss city and see no waterfall, as “foss” in Icelandic means a waterfall.
Dettifoss waterfall – essentially the most highly effective of Iceland’s waterfalls
Dettifoss as seen from the west financial institution
Now let’s go to Dettifoss waterfall. Dettifoss is Iceland’s strongest waterfall and it’s got the wow issue massive time. It’s 44 meters excessive and 100 meters large and has a circulation of 193 m3/s.
Dettifoss will be visited from each the east financial institution and the west financial institution of Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river and there’s a completely completely different expertise visiting it from the east financial institution than visiting it from the west financial institution.
Dettifoss from the west financial institution
It’s superior standing near Dettifoss. After I go to it I’m at all times in awe of how highly effective it truly is. I get a sense of unreality standing so near such forces of nature.
There may be quite a lot of mist on the west financial institution so one is certain to get moist when standing so near this highly effective waterfall.
Dettifoss from the east financial institution
The street to the west is paved, however the street on the east facet remains to be a bumpy gravel street.
There’s a 15-minute hike right down to the waterfall from the parking zone on the west financial institution. And from the east financial institution stone steps lead into the canyon.
From the east financial institution you may stand even nearer to the mammoth roaring falls.
Steps main into Jökulsárgljúfur canyon
There are not any guardrails right here, though some ropes have been put up within the final couple of years, so let’s be very cautious right here.
I’ve seen folks taking very foolhardy dangers right here and my coronary heart at all times sinks after I see such behaviour.
That is nature at its strongest, and one can simply really feel dizzy when standing too near the sting.
Visiting Dettifoss from the east financial institution
A few hundred meters beneath Dettifoss waterfall one can find Hafragilsfoss waterfall.
Hafragilsfoss can be an exquisite waterfall, much less visited than Dettifoss.
Hafragilsfoss from the west financial institution
Hafragilsfoss waterfall is 27 meters excessive and 91 meters large, a mini Dettifoss.
This a part of the canyon is named Hafragilsundirlendi and it’s so lovely
Right here the canyon is 100 meters deep. The photograph above exhibits you the waterfall from the west facet.
Hafragilsfoss as seen from the east financial institution
There are a number of freshwater springs right here creating beautiful small waterfalls that run into the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum.
And the place the freshwater meets the ice-cold gray glacial water essentially the most lovely blue and aquamarine colors seem.
Hafragilsundirlendi from the west financial institution – right here freshwater rivers meet Jökulsá á Fjöllum
The title Hafragilsfoss means Buck Canyon fall.
In line with folklore, a giantess took 2 bucks in Öxarfjörður fjord, north of Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, the place Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river ends its course and joins the ocean.
She took these bucks to feed a shepherd she had kidnapped.
Wanting into Jökulsá á Fjöllum
The giantess tied the bucks collectively by their horns, threw them up on her shoulder, and jumped over the glacial river on this spot.
She sat right down to relaxation and let the bucks graze – this spot has since that point been known as Hafragil – Buck gorge.
Hafragilsundirlendi as seen from the east financial institution
There may be one other folklore that tells us that Grettir sterki – Grettir the Sturdy did this soar, however considered one of his lairs, Grettisbæli, will be present in Vígabjarg by Forvöð somewhat additional in Jökulsárgljúfur canyon.
Hafragilsfoss waterfall has received an enormous mist/spray and resembles Dettifoss, solely on a smaller scale.
From each the west financial institution and the east financial institution you’ll have an awesome view of the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon and the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum.
Hafragilsfoss as seen from the west financial institution
From the west financial institution, you’ve gotten a incredible view of what I prefer to name an elf church.
Do not you agree with me on this – does not the basalt-column rock in my photograph beneath look similar to an elf church?
We’ve got received many tales of encounters with the elves – hidden folks – of Iceland and many individuals have seen them by way of the ages enter rocks which may have been their church buildings or their habitations.
Picture shot from the west financial institution – superb basalt column formations
I’ve written many travel-blogs concerning the habitations and church buildings of the elves. However I’ve not been capable of finding any folklore concerning the elves for this specific rock, however wish to imagine that one exists 🙂
Forvöð and Réttarfoss waterfall
Réttarfoss from the east financial institution
One other lovely location in Jökulsárgljúfur canyon is Forvöð and Réttarfoss waterfall the place you may attain the waterfall from the east facet.
By Forvöð in Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, there may be an hour’s hike right down to a horseshoe-shaped waterfall known as Réttarfoss waterfall.
It is a very attention-grabbing hike with a number of lovely, basalt column formations and historic sights, f.ex. one of many Grettisbæli – the Lair of Grettir the Sturdy – is to be discovered at Forvöð.
Grettisbæli – one of many lairs of Grettir the Sturdy in Vígabjarg in Jökulsárgljúfur canyon
You may as well go to Hólmatungur from the west facet which is a panoramic space, which has turn into considered one of my favorite areas in Iceland.
From there you may hike up the small mountain Ytra-Þórunnarfjall and see the Réttarfoss waterfall from above.
Réttarfoss waterfall from the west financial institution
The hike begins from the parking zone at Hólmatungur and is comparatively simple, a path will take you up the small mountain and then you definitely stroll on the sting of the canyon. It’s effectively value together with it in your go to to Hólmatungur.
A anonymous waterfall in Hólmatungur merges with Jökulsá á Fjöllum
Jökulsá á Fjöllum then runs by way of the attractive Hólmatungur. That is only a quick preview of Hólmatungur, however I’ll write extra in one other travel-blog. This space is so breathtaking, that I need to dedicate a particular travel-blog to it.
Above is without doubt one of the fairly sights by Jökulsá á Fjöllum, however many small rivers and creeks cascade superbly into Jökulsá á Fjöllum and add to the quantity of this large glacial river on its option to the ocean.
This waterfall will be seen from Katlar in Hólmatungur.
The ruggedly lovely Jökulsárgljúfur canyon – Réttarbjarg within the distance
Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river ran in 2 river beds and in 1920 it began working into the west river mattress solely with nice drive, however that river mattress was once the smaller one of many two branches of the glacial river.
Thus it stopped working into the east river mattress the place the forceful glacial river had created the large Vígabergsfoss/Vígabjargsfoss.
The one water that’s left in that spot is the clear floor water from a creek coming from beneath Réttarbjarg cliff. (Ref. Jökulsárgljúfur by Sigrún Helgadóttir).
The attractive oasis Hólmatungur in Jökulsárgljúfur canyon
A beautiful hike, which has now turn into considered one of my favorite hikes in Iceland, takes you from Hólmatungur to Hólmárfossar waterfalls, which cascade superbly into Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river.
You’ll be able to both hike by the sting of the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon or by an exquisite river additional up. I really like that hike and can add a particular travel-blog about this hike.
Hólmárfossar waterfalls take my breath away each time I go to them 🙂
The photograph above is taken from the south facet of Hólmárfossar waterfalls and if you happen to stroll additional on by the river Stallar, which can be an exquisite hike, you attain a ford within the river the place the hike continues up on high of the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon and additional on to Hljóðaklettar – the Echo cliffs.
I handed the ford as I needed to see the place the river Stallar merged with Jökulsá á Fjöllum.
Hólmárfossar merge with Jökulsá á Fjöllum and add to the quantity of the glacial river
Right here Jökulsá á Fjöllum is getting more and more extra forceful with all of the smaller rivers merging with it.
There are a lot of different smaller waterfalls that run into Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river earlier than the river reaches the fairytale-like a part of the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon known as Hljóðaklettar or Echo Rocks.
Jökulsá á Fjöllum and Hljóðaklettar
Hljóðaklettar is a cluster of columnar rock formations creating every kind of figures.
It’s like getting into one other world and it is without doubt one of the most superb locations in Iceland, for my part.
These unusual rock formations lots of which stand by the Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river, are what’s left of erupting volcanos some 9,000 years in the past.
Hljóðaklettar volcanic plugs as seen from above
These volcanic plugs have been eroded by way of the centuries by the forceful currents of the Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river.
Catastrophic floods in Jökulsá á Fjöllum washed the volcanic materials away, creating this fairytale world for us to go to.
There are a number of breathtaking hikes in Hljóðaklettar, considered one of which takes you on a hike amongst superb basalt column formations and to the large cave known as the Church.
The two trolls have been too late to achieve their cave and have been become stone by Jökulsá á Fjöllum
I’ll solely present you a couple of images from this ruggedly lovely place, as my travel-blog is concerning the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum which runs within the canyon and passes Hljóðaklettar.
One of many hikes takes you right down to the glacial river the place you may pay a go to to Karl and Kerling, the 2 trolls who have been out partying at evening and did not attain their collapse time.
You’ll be able to see how large these trolls are by Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river
However as we Icelanders know then the evening trolls (nátttröll) can’t tolerate daylight and are become stone in the event that they see the primary rays of the solar 😉
Normally if you see a troll couple in Iceland, then the Kerling (the Giantess) is greater than the Karl (the Big or Troll). However right here in Hljóðaklettar, I’ve learn that the male Troll is greater than the feminine Troll.
It’s effectively value visiting the trolls if solely to face subsequent to the large glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum.
By Rauðhólar – the Crimson Hills by Jökulsá á Fjöllum
You may as well hike to Rauðhólar in case you have sufficient time to spare right here at Hljóðaklettar. That hike will take you a bit additional than Hljóðaklettar and it’s a should for my part.
At Rauðhólar you’ll f.ex. see these two pink pillars, which I discover superb. They appear to be they’re from one other planet.
Crimson lava pillars at Rauðhólar
From right here you’ve gotten essentially the most superb view of Hljóðaklettar and Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river from above.
Additional north is my favorite place in Iceland, the attractive horseshoe-shaped Ásbyrgi. It’s believed that Jökulsá á Fjöllum ran by way of Ásbyrgi, however modified its course and now runs east of it.
Hljóðaklettar as seen from above
A bit of bit additional north is one other bridge over the river on street 85 and from there, you may see how the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum runs its course in Öxarfjörður fjord after travelling for 206 km.
I suppose that you just perceive now why the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon is my favorite canyon in Iceland and that I by no means tire of visiting it 🙂
Jökulsá á Fjöllum near the estuary of the glacial river
Street 862 on the west financial institution is now paved all the way in which.
It was once paved to Dettifoss solely, however in the summertime and autumn of 2020, the dangerous gravel was lastly paved, all the way in which right down to street 85.
Street 864 on the east financial institution is a nasty gravel street all the way in which to street 85.
Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river
It is a summer time go to solely except you be a part of a guided tour.
I often go to Jökulsárgljúfur by myself, however I’ve joined a few guided excursions of Jökulsárgljúfur canyon and written about them in my travel-blog the Spectacular Diamond Circle in North Iceland.
Have a beautiful time within the magnificent Jökulsárgljúfur canyon 🙂