14th June 2017
Weather and conditions on the main roads:
There will be some sharp winds along mountainsides on and off throughout the week, this should especially be of consideration to camper vans. Otherwise nothing out of the ordinary in the forecast as of now.
Highland roads are opening, but there are still some that are impassable/closed in all Iceland. Tourists often mistake 4×4 for a vehicle that can take on all terrain, which is of course not the case and this must be explained as damages can cost thousands of dollars. Not all the closed/impassable roads will be closed with a bar over the road so it‘s important to inform our guests that driving there is strictly prohibited! The highland-road map can be found here.
ATTENTION: It‘s important not to follow GPS-devices blindly as not all take closures into consideration and will lead tourists on to mountain roads that they are not equipped for. This often happens because these roads are often shorter in distance while being very rough and much slower.
Landscapes on Canvas
Conditions in the highlands:
Fjallabak: Road 208 to Landmannalaugar has opened, it is being fixed today and by evening should be passable for all types of cars although slow and rough. Small cars have to park before the river at Landmannalaugar and walk from there. Otherwise all other roads in the region are still Impassable/ Closed.
Lakagígar: Still open up to Fagrifoss only. Opening in the next few days is being considered.
Sprengisandur: Closed – will most likely open in the next few days. Only bigger 4×4 cars.
Kjölur: Open, and road F347 to Kerlingafjöll is open and the brindge is in place. Road 35 was fixed not too long ago, but is still slow and rough.
Kaldidalur: Open – was fixed not too long ago, but is still slow and rough.
Askja: Road F88 and F905 to Askja have opened, along with road F902 to Kverkfjöll. Better for smaller mountain vehicles to take F905 as the river crossing on F88 by Herðubreiðalindir can be deep and tricky.
Conditions in popular tourist sites:
Þórsmörk: Drivers need experience in crossing rivers. Numerous people have had trouble in Steinholtsá river because of bad route choice. It‘s important not to cross where the river is calm as that‘s where it‘s also the deepest. Most midsize and bigger 4×4 can get into Básar. No rental cars are allowed into Langidalur since the river Krossá is rather tricky.
Landmannalaugar: Road 208 has opened and buses are running. The campsite is very wet still. Snow on and off all around Landmannalaugar, thus the hikes of Skalli and Háalda are closed, while shorter hikes such as Laugahraun, Bláhnjúkur and Brennisteinsalda are open.
Geysir and Gullfoss: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions.
Dettifoss and Selfoss: Both roads 862 and 864 are open. Not recommended for small cars to go on road 862 between Hljóðaklettar and Dettifoss, it is a one lane gravel road where it is difficult to meet cars, has a lot of blind hills and in heavy rain it becomes a washboard with big puddles.
Goðafoss: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions.
Látrabjarg: Cliffs are very fragile so it‘s important not to go too close to the edge. No permanent warden in the area. Roads are passable for all vehicles until 4×4 signs. Narrow roads that tourists can find challenging.
Rauðisandur: Narrow roads that thread the side of the mountain. Tourist have found this challenging – especially when passing oncoming traffic.
Reynisfjara: is always dangerous due to the unpredictability of the waves. It is not every wave – it‘s every 7th or 10th or 12th wave that goes alot further up the beach than the rest making it difficult to assess danger upon arrival. There are no rocks in the ocean that break the waves and only a few meters of shore there is an underwater cliff so the pulling factor of these already powerful waves becomes evern greater. On top of this the sand is very fine ash which makes it extra difficult to get away from these waves.
Same applies to Kirkjufjara beach, it‘s CLOSED due to this fact and also Djúpalónssandur in Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
Esjan: Nothing remarkable about the conditions.
Skaftafell: All paths are open. Hike S3 is still wet on and off, important to keep on the path. S4 to Kristínartindar is still partially covered in snow.
Laugavegur: Wardens will be in the huts tomorrow, so the route will technically be opened. The trail is covered in considerable snow still between Landmannalaugar and Álftavatn, very important to let people know that a GPS with a track is a vital safety measurement especially if they get snow and fog together. The trail is then mostly free of snow from Álftavatn until Þórsmörk. The river Bláfjallakvísl is very deep, people have been having to wade up to their waist.
Fimmvörðuháls: Warden has arrived in Fimmvörðuhálsskála. Still considerable snow on and off from Baldvinsskáli until Brattafönn. If visibility is low on top of the snow, for example fog, it can be extremely difficult to navigate and therefore a GPS with the track is a vital safety measurement. This is a long and strenuous hike with no running fresh water, over 20 km, and therefore the right equipment, good hiking boots and plenty of water is necessary.
Reykjadalur: Nothing remarkable about the conditions.
Jökulsárgljúfur: Nothing remarkable about the conditions.
Víknaslóðir: Wardens show up on Friday, 15th of June, and the trek will officially open then. Little snow on the route and the trail is easily passable.
Hornstrandir: Wet conditions in northern fjords (Hornvík, Hælavík and Fljótavík) where finding a dry camping spot could be challenging. Conditions from Aðalvík to Hesteyri a lot dryer. The warden will be arriving any day now.
Lónsöræfi: Huts will soon open, but there is little snow cover in the area. Hikers can still expect the trail between Geldingafell and Egilsfell to be wet.
Kerlingarfjöll: The bridge is on the road and it is therefore open to all vehicles that can take the road 35. Other mountain paths in the region are still closed for driving due to wet mud. There is still snow in the area and therefore the higher parking lots are still closed, expect a little longer hike than usual.
Glymur: Steep uphill climbs and loose rocks – important to wear appropriate footwear.