issued 4th April 2017 Dangerous winds in the South tonight near Vatnajökull and South East coast tomorrow. High sided vehicles advised not to travel. Normal vehicles should slow down when driving near mountains.
Weather and conditions on the main roads:
Wind gusts over 35 m/s (126 km/h, 80 mph) expected south of Vatnajökull glacier tonight after about 20:00 until tomorrow morning from aprox. Jökulsárlón to Djúpivogur. Wind sensitive vehecles, such as campers, should avoid travel in the area at the time. Others should slow down when driving near mountains! Also take note that roads are icy in many parts of Iceland, especially in north and north-east so show caution! Nothing remarkable in the forecast as of now for the next few days.
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.
Drivers who get stuck in rivers or in snow have to get themselves out at own expense – there‘s no insurance in the world that covers damage linked to crossing a river. GPS devices also tend to lead drivers on to closed roads. For this reason, it’s very important they know where to access information about road conditions/closures. Illegal to drive off-road!!
Conditions in the highlands:
Highland roads are now all closed/impassible for unmodified vehicles! It’s important to be properly equipped for winter – especially those heading for hikes and camping!
Conditions in popular tourist sites:
This time of the year the conditions vary a lot on the weather. Trails are now icy/snowy in most parts of Iceland, even on lowlands so we recommend bringing crampons along ALWAYS, regardless of location! These essentials shouldn’t cost more than 2.000-4.000 ISK and make all the difference when exploring Icelandic sites during winter.
Reykjanes: Conditions on roads and trails by Gunnuhver are not good. Important to drive very slowly!
Þingvellir: Trails outside of “main trails” (Langistígur) are closed due to hazardous conditions.
Geysir og Gullfoss: Lower trail towards Gullfoss will remain closed due to ice and rock fall. The road leading to Gullfoss from Reykholt has some big pot holes which can cause damage to cars if not driven carefully!
Hraunfossar og Deildartunguhver: Nothing remarkable about the conditions.
Snæfellsjökull National Park: Spots of ice on the trails. Roads 570 and 571 over the glacier are closed!
Southern Westfjords: Keep road closures in mind – many roads are not winter serviced and open/close frequently throughout the week depending on weather!
Hvítserkur: The road to Hvítserkur from the road 711 is closed and will remain so until spring. Weather dependent as to view the rock you’ll have to walk for 10 minutes, one way.
Goðafoss: Slippery trails – important not to go too close to the edges.
Dettifoss og Selfoss: Snow and ice on the trail (1 km walk so keep weather in mind) – wearing crampons is recommended. Road to Dettifoss (862) will most likely not be cleared until tomorrow evening (April 5th).
Hengifoss: Snow in the area – trail is muddy, slushy and slippery.
Reynisfjara: The beach can always be dangerous due to the unpredictability of the waves. It‘s not every wave – it‘s every 7th or 10th or 12th wave that goes a lot 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‘s an underwater cliff so the pulling factor of these already powerful waves becomes even 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 Djúpalónssandur in Snæfellsnes Peninsula and Kirkjufjara beach but it‘s CLOSED for this reason.
Skógafoss: Nothing remarkable about the conditions.
Seljalandsfoss: Nothing remarkable about the conditions.
Fjaðrárgljúfur: The trail has been closed in order to protect the nature. Will hopefully open June 1st.
Þórsmörk/Goðaland: Closed/Impassible for those not in a modified vehicle. Staff will remain in Húsadalur throughout the winter.
Vestmannaeyjar: The ferry will depart from Þorlákshöfn until further notice on www.seatours.is (top of website).
Landmannalaugar: Roads are only passible for those with experience in a well modified vehicle!
Conditions on hiking trails:
Hiking during winter/spring time requires proper equipment even on shorter hikes. Please study our equipment list as preparation is key for successful travel in Iceland. “Spring” has arrived in some areas which often leads to muddy and slippery trails – nature is extra vulnerable during this time!
Esjan: Must not be underestimated! Considerably colder up top than by the roots and wind often increases after 250 m. Warm clothing is essential! Watch your step as it can be slippery and muddy at the bottom and icy at the top.
Skaftafell: S1 (Jökulslóð) and S2 (Svartifoss) are open yet the last stretch from the lookout down to the waterfall is very muddy! Other trails closed due to mud!
Reykjadalur: CLOSED due to increased traffic during this sensitive time of year. Situation will be assessed in another week.
Ásbyrgi: Trail to Botnstjörn pond is icy – crampons recommended. Road should be accessible by most cars. Snow over most of the trails without ice.
Glymur: Log over the river Botnsá will not return until next month so hikers must take a longer route over the old bridge along the hiking route “Leggjabrjótur”.
Those heading into the backcountry must keep the following in mind!
Moderate danger (level 2/5) in Northern Westfjords and Eastfjords. Considerable (3/5) in Tröllaskagi peninsula.