Jökulsárgljúfur canyonJökulsárgljúfur is the northernmost part of Vatnajökull National Park, with separate boundaries, but geographically connected to the rest of the park by the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. The river's source is in Vatnajökull glacier, near the subglacial volcano Bárdarbunga.

Jökulsárgljúfur literally transcribes as Glacial-River-Canyon. This canyon is 25 km long, 500 m wide and in many places 100-120 m deep, making it one of the deepest and most breath-taking canyons in Iceland. Jökulsárgljúfur is also known for its series of waterfalls: Selfoss, Dettifoss, Hafragilsfoss and Réttarfoss.

The park's visitor centre is located in Ásbyrgi. A fairly large and developed campground can also be found in Ásbyrgi. A more primitive campground is located in Vesturdalur, which is midway between Dettifoss and Ásbyrgi.

Ásbyrgi can be visited any time of the year, although services may be limited during winter. Dettifoss and Vesturdalur are located at higher altitudes and therefore subject to snow cover and road conditions.


camping hiking Maps


Getting there

Road 85 connects Húsavík and Ásbyrgi Visitor Centre. The route is about 60 km and is usually driven in approximately 45 minutes. Road 85 is open throughout the year.

Road 862 (Dettifoss Road) crosses the national park between Route 1 and Road 85. Road 862 is about 50 km and passes access roads to popular destinations such as Dettifoss, Hólmatungur and Vesturdalur/Hljóðaklettar. The entire Road 862 is now paved and gives much easier access to Dettifoss waterfall than the alternative gravel road (Road 864) on the east side of the Jökulsá River.

Travel distances:

  • Ásbyrgi – Vesturdalur/Hljóðaklettar: 16 km
  • Ásbyrgi – Dettifoss: 35 km
  • Dettifoss – Mývatn: 50 km
  • Hólmatungur - Dettifoss: 7 km
  • Vesturdalur - Hólmatungur: 16 km

For further information about roads and road conditions, please visit: www.road.is

For additional information about conditions and your own safety, please visit: www.safetravel.is


Please note that there will be no scheduled bus services or public transport connecting Ásbyrgi with either Húsavík/Akureyri or Dettifoss/Mývatn in 2019. Nordic Natura however offers shuttle services for visitors in Jökulsárgljúfur and shuttle tours which connect Ásbyrgi with Húsavík and Húsavík airport. Another option is Fjallasýn which offers private one way shuttle between Ásbyrgi and Dettifoss or from Dettifoss to Ásbyrgi.