Issued: 27th July 2017
Hazardous winds expected in South East. Earthquakes in Reykjaness. Snow on Laugavegur and Fimmvorduhals hiking paths. Difficult river crossings to Thorsmork.
Weather and conditions on the main roads:
Some hazardous wind is to be expected on an off around the island, especially in southeast Iceland. Otherwise nothing remarkable in the forecast. Earthquake activity in both Reykjanes peninsula and Katla, but at the moment there is no indication of an imminent eruption.
Highland roads are impassible/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.
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.
Conditions in the highlands:
Fjallabak: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions. Rivers can still get big quickly especially in this unusual heatwave.
Lakagígar: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions. Varmá and Hellisá are the most difficult, hardly passable for people withour experience.
Sprengisandur: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions. F26 has been passable for smaller 4×4 (Jimny, Duster, RAV etc.), but rivers can grow quickly in this heat.
Kjölur: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions.
Kaldidalur: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions.
Askja: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions. Smaller 4×4 (Jimny, Duster, RAV etc.) are still recommended to take routes F905/F910 rather than F88.
Conditions in popular tourist sites:
Þórsmörk: Conditions similar. Smaller 4×4 should only head towards Básar so as not to cross Krossá. Drivers need experience in crossing rivers. Numerous people have had trouble in rivers because of bad route choice, important not to cross where the river is calm as that is where it is also the deepest. Hvanná has a sandpit upstream of the ford to be aware of. Krossá is normal, but no car rental cars are to cross over to Langidalur or Húsadalur.
Landmannalaugar: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions.
Geysir og Gullfoss: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions.
Dettifoss og Selfoss: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions. Route 862 is still in bad condition.
Goðafoss: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions.
Látrabjarg: Cliffs are very fragile, do not go too close to the edges
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‘s 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‘s 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: Nothing remarkable about the conditions.
Laugavegur: Still about 3 km of the trek done in snow. Important to remind people of possibility of fog and importance of GPS.
Fimmvörðuháls: Still snow in the pass for about 3 km. Conditions vary depending on weather. If cloudy/foggy it can be difficult to navigate in the snow, therefore GPS is required. This is a long hike, over 23 km and you need to be well equipped in proper footwear! No drinking water is on this path.
Reykjadalur: Important to keep to the paths as new geothermal areas are always forming
Jökulsárgljúfur: Nothing remarkable about the conditions
Víknaslóðir: Nothing remarkable about the conditions
Hornstrandir: This area is classified as Wilderness and therefore there are no services to be found. People travelling to Hornstrandir need to be self-sufficient, camp in designated areas and leave nothing behind. It is strictly prohibited to light fires in the area!
The Western part, from Hesteyri to Hlöðuvík, has decent conditions although Fljótavík is now extremely wet and people fording have water reaching up to their waist. Rangers can be found in the area from Hesteyri until Hornvík.
The Eastern part, the inner area of Jökulfjörður and east of Hlöðuvík, is still in difficult conditions. Snow in mountain passes still. The Eastern part is also dangerous for the thick fog (visibility only 50m) that covers the area in Northerly and North-Easterly winds.
Askja and Kverkfjöll: Nothing remarkable about the conditions. Hazardous weather over the weekend if hiking.
Lónsöræfi: The road is open and passable, even though the river levels are low they change quickly with weather changes and should only be crossed by locals in bigger 4×4. The hike from road 1 to Múlaskáli is about 20 km. Before travelling to this area, the Vatnajökull National Park should always be contacted, Snæfellsstofa if coming from the North and Gamla Búð in Höfn if travelling from the South.
Kerlingarfjöll: Nothing remarkable about the conditions
Glymur: Conditions the same as before, steep uphill climbs and loose rocks – important to wear appropriate footwear.