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Description

Ásbyrgi

Hiking trails at Ásbyrgi

The numbers of the hiking paths are in accordance to the number of the paths on the hiking map. Note that at crossroads out in the field these numbers are not at sign posts.

Á-1 Botnstjörn pond

Distance: 1 km (circle) with other possibilities.
Asbyrgi_Utsynishaed_Helga_2010Walking time: ½ -1 hr
Starting point: At the innermost car park in Ásbyrgi canyon.
Path difficulty:   
From the car park to the upper platform, under the west wall of the canyoun - Green route.
Other routes in the area are mostly easy - Blue route.

There are several easy and interesting routes in the bottom of Ásbyrgi, starting at the car park. A walk down stone steps leads to a platform at the small pond, Botnstjörn. There is also a nice view over the pond from a platform located underneath the west wall of the canyon. The route to this platform, from the parking lot, is suitable for people with restricted mobility. A few steps from the platform are stone steps that lead up to a small hill with a nice view over the Ásbyrgi canyon.

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Á-2 Eyjan hill in Ásbyrgi

Distance: 4,5 km (back and forth)
Walking time: 1,5-2 hrs
Starting point: Car park in front of the service house at the campsite
Path difficulty:   Easy route (blue)

The trail upon Eyjan (“the island”) in Ásbyrgi starts at the parking lot at the campsite. The trail heads first north and then it goes up the cliff where it is suitable for ascent. Wood steps have been put up for easier access. When up at the Eyjan the path goes soon past an old pile of stone. If you turn around there, the route is 2 km long, but if the path is followed further south, it goes all the way to the edge of the cliff. From there is a beautiful view over Ásbyrgi. This route is an enjoyable evening stroll.

Á-3 Through the woods

Distance: 4 km (one way)
Walking time: 1,5 hr
Starting point: Visitor Centre
Path difficulty:   Easy route (blue). Biking is allowed on this route.

This route starts at the Visitor Centre in Ásbyrgi and goes follows a path that lies below the eastern wall of Ásbyrgi all the way south to the pond Botnstjörn in the bottom of the canyon. The route goes through various forestry plots as during the years 1947-1977 foreign conifers were planted in Ásbyrgi. Various bird species nest in the diverse forest groves.  Prior to more modern lifestyles the birch wood was used for building houses, as firewood and for the grazing of livestock. It is possible to combine this route with route Á-4 and make a ring route.

UndirEyjunniÁ-4 Below Eyjan hill

Distance: 3,5 km (one way)
Walking time: 1 hr
Starting point: Ásbyrgi Campsite
Path difficulty:   Challenging route (red)

This route starts in the southwest corner of the campsite. First the route goes beneath the cliff wall where you can see the different forms of honey comb weathering. It is also possible to see the nest of the black raven (Corvus corax) which the gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) is fond of using for its own chicks. When at the south cliff of Eyjan the path goes west,you will notice big tussocks which are characteristical of the shrub heats of north east Iceland. The path ends at the old playing field in Ásbyrgi. It is possible to combine this route with route Á-3 and make a circular route.

Á-5 Áshöfði circle (around Áshöfði hill)

Distance: 7,5 km (circle)
Walking time: 2-3 hrs
Starting point: Visitor Centre
Path difficulty:   Challenging route (red)

Fuglaskodun_vid_AstjornThe route starts at the Visitor Centre. The path takes you first along the golf course to the east, towards lake Ástjörn where there is abundant birdlife. The path goes past the summer camp and east around the hill, were it starts to head south, past small ravines, a moorland and small ponds. Where the path turns west there is a beautiful view of the Jökuslá river. The path then goes north, along Gilsbakki. To go back to the Visitor Centre there are two routes to choose from: The easterly route goes along Ásgil and Ás. The westerly route goes to the rim of Ásbyrgi, Tófugjá and then you follow the route north, along the rim, towards the intersections at the east side of the golf course where there are a few hundred meters back to the Visitor Centre.

 

Á-6 Áshöfði circle (across Áshöfði hill)

Distance: 7 km (circle)
Walking time: 2-3 hrs
Starting point: Visitor Centre
Path difficulty:   Challenging route (red)

This route is mostly equivalent to route Á-5. The route starts at the same site, at the Visitor Centre, and goes along the south end of lake Ástjörn, past the summer camp and east around the hill. But shortly before the view point over the Jökulsá River the route turns west at crossroads and follows a path over the Áshöfði hill. From the west side of the hill is a beautiful view over the old farm Ás, Ásbyrgi canyon and north over the sand which the Jökulsá River has formed, unimpeded for centuries but harnessed with levees today. When across the hill the route follows the same way back; across the summer camp and the south end of the lake Ástjörn.

Asbyrgi_KlappirÁ-7 Klappir

Distance: 9 km (back and forth)
Walking time: 2,5-3 hrs
Starting point: Visitor Centre
Path difficulty:   Challenging route (red)

This route starts at the same place as route Á-8. Please look at that route description. This route turns around at Klappir and goes the same way back. The route offers an excellent view over Ásbyrgi and you can see unique pot holes at Klappir, formed by catastrophic floods in the Jökulsá River.

 

Á-8 Kúahvammur circle

Distance: 12 km (circle)
Walking time: 4-5 hrs
Starting point: Visitor Centre
Path difficulty:   Challenging route (red)

This route offers an excellent view over Ásbyrgi and the Jökulsá river canyon. The route starts at the Visitor Centre where there are two ways to choose from to get up the cliff. It is easier to go east along the golf course and turn south at the intersections. From there the route follows the rim of the canyon. The more difficult route is to go ~ 0,7 km south from the Visitor Centre, turn left at the intersection and climb up the cliff from there. There is a rope for support. From there the trail takes you along the eastern rim of Ásbyrgi as far south as Klappir where catastrophic floods in Jökulsá River have carved some amazing shapes into the rock. The view over Ásbyrgi is simply breathtaking. From Klappir your head east over the moor to Jökulsá and then along the gorge, passing Gilsbakki and Ás until you return to the starting point. It is also possible to go the same way back from Klappir (Á-7). Then the route is ~ 9 km long.

Á-9 Kvíar circle

Distance: 17 km (circle)
Walking time: 6-7 hrs
Starting point: Visitor Centre
Path difficulty:   Challenging route (red)

This route gives an opportunity for a whole day walk throughthe diverse landscape of Ásbyrgi and its surroundings. The view on the route is spectacular and one can see unique remains of catastrophic floods in the Jökulsá River. The starting point of the route is the same as in Á-8. When at Klappir, instead of going east as in Á-8, the path is followed south to Kvíar. In Kvíar the various cataracts or enclosed hollows (named „byrgi“ in Icelandic) are clear remains of catastrophic floods. From the crossroads at Kvíar the route turns north and the easterly path along the Jökulsá River is followed. At crossroads in Kúahvammur the route is followed further north, along the same path is in Á-8.