Hafragilsfoss

Vatnajökull National Park / Jökulsárgljúfur, Northeast Region, Iceland

Rating: 2.5     Difficulty: 1
Looking down at Hafragilsfoss
Hafragilsfoss was the third of four major waterfalls on the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum that we visited within the vast protected area of Vatnajökull National Park (formerly Jökulsárgljúfur National Park when we visited it in 2007). The falls was said to have a drop of 27m with an average width of 91m, and judging from the amount of mist it threw up as well as the muffled thundering sound that it made was a testament to the its size and volume. This was the third waterfall in the series of wateTh as it thunderously drops 27m.

The Jökulságljúfur canyon within the vicinity of the falls was said to be at its deepest. The power of the river was evident as we noticed a maze of gorges further downstream of the falls. It was this maze of gorges that probably reminded me the most of a miniature version of the real Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Like the other major waterfalls further upstream on the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum upstream, it was possible to experience this falls both sides of the river. However, we only witnessed this falls from the more accessible east side, and even then the view was distant making me wish I had a telephoto lens at the time.

Conversely on the west side, I had read that it was a bit of an adventure to get to the falls involving rope ladders and steep climbs. Without doing this climb, the literature had said that the view of the falls was marginal. The benefit of going through the trouble to do the 1.5- to 2-hour hike and scramble was that it promised put you right at the brink of the falls, but since we didn't do it, we can't really say for sure what it was like there.

Directions: From the turnoff leading to the east bank car park for Dettifoss (see that page for directions on getting there), continue north on Route 864 for another 2km where there's another signposted turnoff to the left. Take that turnoff and continue to the car park.

If you're interested in checking out the west bank of this waterfall, there's a turnoff branching off the spur road leading to Dettifoss. See that page for details.




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PHOTO JOURNAL
More zoomed in look at the thundering Hafragilsfoss
Looking right into perhaps the deepest part of Jökulsárgljúfur canyon just downstream of Hafragilsfoss
Looking down towards a geothermal plant near Krafla just to the east of the town of Reykjalið and the lake Mývatn, which were probably the closest signs of 'civilization' to the Jökulsárgljúfur
Full context look at HafragilsfossFull context look at the falls

Looking across the river at the rugged landscape downstream of HafragilsfossLooking across the river at the rugged landscape downstream of the falls

Looking way downstream of HafragilsfossLooking way downstream of the falls

We noticed there were more smaller waterfalls further downstream of Hafragilsfoss within the jumble of chasms belowWe noticed there were more smaller waterfalls further downstream of Hafragilsfoss within the jumble of chasms below

This portrait photo of Hafragilsfoss kind of hints that we were standing atop a cliff looking down at the fallsThis portrait photo of Hafragilsfoss kind of hints that we were standing atop a cliff looking down at the falls

Zoomed in look at one of the smaller waterfalls downstream of HafragilsfossZoomed in look at one of the smaller waterfalls downstream of the falls


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS

Left to right sweep of the distant falls as seen from the east bank


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MAP OF THE FALLS

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TRIP REPORTS
For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES



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