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Jökulsárgljúfur, Hólmatungur,


Hólmatungur is a place of striking contrasts, innumerable streams and pools that run into the bellowing and muddy great river. The interplay of flora and fauna thrives under the protection of cliffs and scree slopes. From the car park at Ytra-Þórunnarfjall all visitors can find good access and excellent views. There are marked hiking trails around Hólmatungur as well as a connection to the trails from Dettifoss to the south and Ásbyrgi and Hljóðaklettar from the north.

Car park
No overnight stays

Hólmatungur is where Réttarfoss, the northernmost and lowest waterfall in Jökulsá á Fjöllum, is situated. This waterfall may not be as impressive as its counterparts to the south, but the enormous power of the glacial river gets all the more opportunity to assert itself in the swirling wakes at Katlar, where Jökulsá á Fjöllum runs through a narrow path. Réttarfoss used to have a neighbouring waterfall in Vígabjargsfoss, but in the first half of the 20th century the river relocated to the west and now only occasionally runs through Vígabjörg in times of overflow.

Hiking trails in Hólmatungur

Jökulsárgljúfur, Hólmatungur, Hólmárfoss,

Hólmatungur circle

1,5-2 h

From the parking area you take the westerly trail that goes north along the Hólmá River, with its countless islets and angelica-lined banks, all the way to the Hólmárfossar cascades. The return route is the easterly route, south alongside the Jökulsá River and then it turns east, to the parking area. It is possible to add to this route a loop down to Katlar, see route H-2.

Jökulsárgljúfur, Hólmatungur, Katlar


2 km
0,5-1 h

From the parking area you follow the route east towards the Jökulsá River and turn right at the intersection to Katlar (Kettles). In Katlar the Jökulsá river channel narrows greatly and the whirlpools are enormous, as if the river was boiling. It is quite a contrast to the quiet and clear spring water streams coming from underground ravines, opening into Hólmatungur. Follow the same way back.

L1, L2, L3

Ásbyrgi to Dettifoss - Canyon Trail

32 km
2 days

The trail between Ásbyrgi and Dettifoss is 32 kilometers through Jökulsárgljúfur canyoun. Points of interest Jökulsárgljúfrum. Hiking up along the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, from the luxuriant Ásbyrgi to the barren but magnificent environment around Dettifoss, is a unique experience for every hiker. The diversity of the landscape is unique and captures the eye at every footstep: tremendous gorges, quiet ponds, clear springs, rough river, luxuriant forests and bare gravel plains. Two days are recommended for the whole hike. On the route there are no cabins and it is only allowed to camp on the park campsites at Vesturdalur and Dettifoss.