Laugavegurinn Trail (Hot Spring Trek)
Our Laugavegurinn Trail (Hot Spring Trek) to Iceland, the land of “Fire and Ice” is the highlight of any Iceland backpacking trip. The trail “Laugavegurinn” is one of the most popular backpacking trails in the Icelandic wilderness and the world. This trail is equally popular with domestic and foreign hikers and this popularity is not without a reason, as the trail offers a great variety of landscapes, ranging from mountains in almost every color of the rainbow, glaciers, roaring hot springs, waterfalls, big rivers, and even glacier lakes. The “Laugavegurinn” does not disappoint and continually lives up to all our expectations. We have always been left speechless from the color, mystique, and rugged beauty of Iceland. Join us on our next trip to one of the most awe-inspiring locations anywhere in the world.
Laugavegurinn Trail (Hot Spring Trek Included in price:
Transfer to/from Reykjavik by bus from airport and to and from trail head, guiding, permits, camping fees.
Laugavegurinn Trail (Hot Spring Trek) Not Included in price:
International airfare, hotel in Reykjavik and food is not included.
Size: 2-16 persons
Gear Needs: Warm outdoor clothing, waterproof jacket and pants, head wear and gloves, good hiking boots are a must, sleeping bag and pad, backpack etc.
Day 1: Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker
Distance 12 km, estimated walking time 4 – 5 hours. Elevation increase 470 meters. From the hut in Landmannalaugar the trail goes through a rough lavafield “Laugahraun”. From there on up the slopes of “Brennisteinsalda” and to the plateau, the view offers an incredible spectrum of colors. After 3 – 4 hours you arrive at “Stórihver”, a hot spring and almost the only green spot visible in the first day. In most years, the rest of the trail from “Stórihver” to “Höskuldsskáli” hut is covered with snow. Chances of fog are very high, so even though the trail is clearly marked you must be careful. A walk to the ice caves (approx. 1.5 km from the hut) is a must.
Day 2: Hrafntinnusker to Álftavatn:
Distance 12 km, estimated walking time 4 – 5 hours. Elevation decrease 490 m. The first part of the trail takes us through a valley with some small ravines, but be careful as they may be filled with snow. If the visibility is good, a walk up to the top of mountain “Háskerðingur” (1281 m) will reward you with a breathtaking view. Soon we leave the colorful rhyolite mountains and enter an area with dark palagonite mountains and glaciers. You will also notice a considerable increase in vegetation. The trail down the “Jökultungur” is rather steep, but leads down to a friendly oasis on the banks of river “Grashagakvísl” a fine place to rest for a while. From there on, the trail to the two huts by the lake “Álftavatn” is on flat land.
Day 3: Álftavatn to Ermstrur
Distance 15 km., estimated walking time 6-7 hrs., elevation decrease 40 m. The trail takes us over the ridge “Brattháls” into “Hvanngil” ravine, wading across the river “Bratthálskvísl”. In “Hvanngil” are two huts, one built for sheepherders in 1963 and one for tourists, built in 1995. A short walk from the huts is the river “Kaldaklofskvísl” with a bridge for hikers. On the eastern bank of “Kaldaklofskvísl” the trail branches, one branch leading eastwards to “Mælifellssandur”, but the other one southwards to “Emstrur” and we choose the latter. Less than one km from “Kaldaklofskvísl” another river has to be waded and approximately 4 km further we come to the river “Nyrðri Emstruá”, but this time there is a bridge to cross it. Soon we will be overlooking the huts in “Botnar”. A fine walk in the evening is to the “Markarfljótsgljúfur” canyon.
Day 4: Ermstrur toThorsmork
Distance 15 km., estimated walking time 6-7 hrs., elevation decrease 300 m. First we have to go around the canyon of “Syðri – Emstruá” and there is a very steep path down to the bridge, so be careful. Then a walk through the area known as “Almenningar” with crossing of among other rivers “Þröngá”. It is good practice when wading to go hand in hand and head downstream. After crossing “Þröngá”, a 30 minute walk takes us to the hut in “Langidalur” in “Þórsmörk” Landscape and vegetation is changing rapidly. Birchwood and all kinds of plants are a welcome change after the desert now behind us.
Distance 2o km., estimated walking time 8 to 9 hours. Thorsmork to Skogar is an experience not to miss. It is a long day, but first you climb with views of glaciers below and then finally you come to the wall of fresh lava and the trail through it. It is still warm where you hike and you can warm your cold hands on the vents and pick up warm fresh rocks, but don’t put them in your pocket, it will go from warm to very hot. Then you walk on the ash over the glacial ice and see all kinds of neat formations and finally emerge to take a trail down.