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Description

Dettifoss-Mývatn

Hiking from Dettifoss to Mývatn

Many hikers go from Dettifoss to Mývatn (Krafla). This route is not marked and not within Vatnajökull National Park. However, for the many hikers that go this route, here are some points to consider.

Distances

  • Dettifoss – Lake Eilífsvötn (west side) 12-14 km
  • Eilífsvötn - Krafla ~12 km
  • Krafla - Reykjahlíð ~13 km

Navigation

The route from Dettifoss to Krafla is not marked and there is no clear path to follow. The hike from Krafla to Reykjahlíð is a marked trail and starts at the car park at Leirhnjúkur. Therefore, during most of the Dettifoss-Mývatn route, hikers need to have good navigation skills. Hikers need to know how to use a GPS instrument and/or a compass and have a good understanding of maps. There are hills and mountains in the landscape that are helpful for navigation, eg. the mountain Eilífur, which can be easily seen from nearby Dettifoss on a clear day. However, on a foggy day the forms of the landscape cannot be seen and it is easy to lose direction. Those who do not have good navigational skills are recommended not to go this route.

Accommodation

Most hikers need two days for this route and camp on grass fields at Lake Eilífsvötn. At the west end of the lake is a hut, owned by local farmers. Permission is needed for overnight staying in the hut.

Drinking water

Hikers need to carry all beverages for each day of the hike, as there are only three places where there is access to drinking water:

  • On the campsite at Dettifoss there is drinking water in containers. Rangers from Vatnajökull National Park fill the containers with fresh water every day. Please use this water as spaerly as possible.
  • At Lake Eilífsvötn, both on the west side and east side, are springs and brooks which under all normal circumstances are safe to drink from.

Route landscape

There are no special dangers on the route. The route from Dettifoss to Lake Eilífsvötn goes over a gravel plain, moor and tussocks and is quite easy to pass. From Lake Eilífsvötn, the conditions of the hiking route depends on which direction is chosen. The more west hikers go the more lava and ravines they pass, where special care has to be taken.