Iceland Trek 2023


This website is the story of our hike along the Laugavegur and Fimmvörđuhál trails, a 50 mile, 6 day hut-to-hut hike from Iceland's interior to Skógarfoss. When Anthony proposed this trip, my initial thought was to skip it, after all, Melanie and I had driven the Ring Road of Iceland back in 2010, so I thought we had already seen most of Iceland's wonders. But once I looked into the trip, and saw the amazing photos from the Laugavegur, I realized that this would be an excellent adventure. And of course it would be great fun to do another trek with Anthony, Anneka, Paul and Leslie. So we joined the team, and I am glad we did. Our second visit to Iceland was a memorable, enjoyable experience, with the unexpected thrilling bonus at the end of seeing an erupting volcano!

Here is the route map of the 55 Km Laugavegur (in red) and the 30 Km Fimmvörđuhál (in orange) trails:

The challenge of this hike is not the elevation, which is moderate, but dealing with the potential elements (and four river crossings).

Here are some more detailed profiles of the two trails:

South to north elevation profile of just the Fimmvörđuhál trail (we traveled in the reverse direction).

If you are planning to do this trip yourself, adding a couple days in Landmannalauger to do day hikes is a good idea. In hindsight, we should have added one day in Ţórsmörk to do some of the day hikes there.

We opted to hike in mid-July because the weather charts indicated that was the driest time of the year in Iceland. We certainly lucked out on this trip, no rain at all.


Itinerary

Day 0: Monday July 10

Day 1: Tuesday July 11

Art /Melanie / Anneka / Anthony redeye flight nonstop from Seattle to Keflavik. Take off on Icelandair FI682 at 6:55 PM

Paul & Leslie takeoff at 11:40 PM on redeye flight from Boston to Keflavik

Day 2: Wednesday July 12

Paul & Leslie land at Keflavik at 8:55 AM (5 hr 15 min duration)

Art /Melanie / Anneka / Anthony land at Keflavik at 9:20 AM (7 hr 25 min duration)

Prebook tickets on Flybus for transfer from Keflavik to Reykjavik

Stay at Sunna Guesthouse in Reykjavik

Day 3: Thursday July 13

Catch 7:00 AM bus at BSI Bus Station to Landmannalauger, arrive at 11:15 AM. Round trip ticket from Volcano Tours

Hike clockwise loop to "Blue Peak" Mt. Blahnúkúr and the "Sulphur Wave" Mt. Brennisteinsalda - 6.4 miles, 2076' elevation gain, 4 to 6 hrs.

Brennisteinsalda hot springs

Stay at Landmannalauger Mountain Hut

Room: dorm.

Food: yes.

Showers: yes

Day 4: Friday July 14

Note: if flight delays make us one day late arriving in Iceland, this day can be dropped without upsetting reservations for the rest of the trek.

First hike up "Southern Quarry" Mountain Sudurnámur mountain 1663' elevation

Continue hike to Frostastađavatn lake, 4.7 miles, 1154' elevation

Visit hot springs

Stay at Landmannalauger Mountain Hut

Room: dorm.

Food: yes.

Showers: yes

Day 5: Saturday July 15

Hike 6.1 miles (10 Km) to Hrafntinnusker

Stay at Höskuldsskáli hut in Hrafntinnusker

Side trip from Hrafntinnusker hut: Mt. Stöđull

Side trip from Hrafntinnusker hut: Ice Cave

Room: dorm.

Food: no

Showers: no

Day 6: Sunday July 16

Hike 6.8 miles (11 Km) to Hvanngil

Crossing the River Grashagakvisl

Lunch at Volcano Huts Álftavatn Restaurant

Stay at Hvanngil Mountain Hut

Room: dorm.

Food: yes.

Showers: yes

Side trip from Hvanngil hut: climb up to Hvanngilskausar, the Hvanngil ridge.

Day 7: Monday July 17

Side trip in the morning from Hvanngil hut: Hvanngil gorge (Hvanngilskrókur)

Hike 10.7 miles (17.5 Km) to Emstrur

Second crossing at River Bláfjallakvísl (10 metres wide, deep, fast flowing, ice-cold).

Stay at Botar Hut in Emstrur

Room: dorm.

Food: yes.

Showers: yes

Side trip from Emstrur hut: overlook of Markarfljót river canyon

Day 8: Tuesday July 18

Hike 10.1 miles (16.4 Km) to Ţórsmörk

Side jaunt during hike to see river confluence

Ţröngá River crossing -

Stay at Volcano huts in Ţórsmörk

Room: Sheepherder's hut

Food: yes.

Showers: yes

Day 9: Wednesday July 19

Hike 3 miles (5 Km) from Volcano Huts to Básar hut

Hike 7.4 miles (12.1 Km) to Fimmvörđuháls

Art & Melanie hike 9.2 miles (15 Km) along the Waterfall Way to Skógar

Stay at Hotel Skógar

Day 10: Thursday July 20

Paul / Leslie / Anthony / Anneka hike 9.2 miles (15 Km) to Skógar

Art & Melanie explore Kvernufoss

Catch the #51 Straeto bus from Skogar, arrive at Mjódd at 6:45 PM

Take the #3 bus to BSI bus station

Pickup stored luggage at hotel

Stay at Sunna Guesthouse in Reykjavik

Day 11: Friday July 21

Walk 5 Km to the Avis rent car in Reykjavik

Hike to Glymur Falls

Art/Melanie stay at Hotel Vellir

Anneka/Anthony stay at Blue Lagoon

Paul/Leslie to West Fjords

Day 12: Saturday July 22

9:00 AM tour Raufarholshellir Cave

Hike to Fagradalsfjall active volcano

Art/Melanie stay at Hotel Vellir

Anneka/Anthony stay at Blue Lagoon

Day 13: Sunday July 23

Leidarendi Cave

Gigvatnsvatn (Green Lake)

Krysuvik geothermal area

Return rental car

Art / Melanie / Anthony / Anneka fly Icelandair FI683 from Keflavik at 7:45 PM. Land in Seattle at 8:35 PM (7hr 50 min duration)

Click for Iceland Weather

Nat.is description of hike from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork