dettifoss trail run


This tour starts by the magnificent Lake Mývatn and passes by some of it´s best known geological wonders. On the second day we enter the National Park of Vatnajökull and will run by phenomena like the waterfall of Dettifoss and the horse-shoe shaped canyon of Ásbyrgi. We will explore these phenomena on our way through the Dettifoss trail.   




Day 1: Mývatn - Eilífsvötn

We meet at 8:00 at the information centre at the heart of Reykjahlíð which is the village by Lake Mývatn. Mývatn is known for its geological wonders and some of them we get to know during our first kilometers running as we stumble across hot springs, mud pools, sulfuric areas and not to mention the volcano of Krafla. The last period of eruptions in Krafla lasted 9 years, from 1975 - 1984. The area we will run through during the next days was highly affected by these eruptions and earthquakes that followed. The youngest lava from the Krafla eruptions is very black and quite the opposite to the geothermal areas. Our campsite of today is by the impressive lake Eilífsvötn which stands by the mountain of Eilífur.

Distance: 23km (14 miles).


Day 2 Eilífsvötn - Dettifoss - Hljóðaklettar

Today’s run offers a journey through a typical northern heath landscape until we reach Europe´s most powerful waterfall: Dettifoss. Despite its height, 45meters, it´s volume of flow is close to 193m3/sec. Now we have entered the National Park of Vatnajökull and during our run we will have the huge canyon of Jökulsárgljúfur visible to our right. On today’s route we pass by the pure and fresh water springs of Hólmatungur which lead into the glacial river of the canyon. Todays campsite is in Vesturdalur close to Hljóðaklettar (Echo rocks), which are very well eroded ancient volcanoes by the Jökulsá river.

Distance: 35km (22 miles).


Day 3 Hljóðaklettar - Svínadalur - Ásbyrgi

At Hljóðaklettar we can find some interesting rock formations, such as basalt columns, caves and honeycomb weathering. We visit the Svínadalur valley which has been deserted since 1946 and on our way we pass by two rock pillars, believed to be Trolls. We head north, still following the canyon of Jökulsárgljúfur, and reach the southern end of the horse shoe shaped Ásbyrgi canyon. According to northern mythology the horse of Odinn, Sleipnir, is believed to have touched the ground with one of its hooves at Ásbyrgi and shaped the canyon. We enter the canyon and follow it till we reach it´s lake, surrounded by up to 100m high cliffs.

Distance: 20km (12 miles)