Dettifoss To Asbyrgi Hike

The most popular hike In Jokulsargljufur National Park - and justifiably so - Is the two-day trip (34km) on the western side of Dettlfoss to Asbyrgi, which takes In all of the canyon's major sights. To get to the start of the hike by public transport, take the scheduled bus (Monday to Friday) from Akureyrl or Husavik to Dettlfoss, then walk north and pick up another bus In Asbyrgl.

From Dettlfoss, head north along Sandadalur until you begin seeing yellow trail markers. If you go left up the hill, It will lead you fairly easily around the rim of Hafragll. Go right and you'll descend steeply Into the canyon, to re-emerge on the rim beyond Hafragllsfoss. With a heavy pack, this will be difficult as It Involves some serious scrambling and climbing.

From Hafragllsfoss, the route leads north along the canyon rim to beautiful Holmatungur. You'll cross the Holma on two bridges, then descend past Holmafoss. The trail then joins a lateral moraine beneath towering basalt cliffs and crumbled basalt columns, and follows the yazoo (parallel) Stalla river, which eventually must be forded. After the ford, the trail climbs back to the canyon rim for a beautiful walk over the moors.

At unassuming Kallbjorg It's a 100m detour to an overlook perched on a rock column with sheer drops on three sides. You don't realise the drama until you're right on top of It. Another short detour will take you to Gloppa, a basalt amphitheatre that ominously resembles the maw of a hellishly large shark.

The requisite first-night camp site Is at the Vesturdalur camp site (sites per person Ikr600). The next day, the trail winds through beautiful Hljo6aklettar and Raudholar to the Kviar trail junction, where you must decide whether to shoot across the moorland to the incredible view from Klappir into the Asbyrgi canyon or continue following the main canyon rim. Both are equally worthwhile, although the former gets a bit soggy in places. There's also the Kuahvammur-Klappir trail, which takes an hour longer. The Klappir options rejoin the main canyon route at the head of Tofugja, a challenging descent into Asbyrgi with the aid of a fixed rope - or you can continue easily northwards to Asbyrgi petrol station.

The turn-off to the headland is not well signposted; look out for the lighthouse from the main road. Camping is possible anywhere on the headland.

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