Dynkur (Buðarhálsfoss)

Thjorsa River, South Region (Suðurland), Iceland

About Dynkur (Buðarhálsfoss)


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2007-07-09
Date last visited: 2007-07-09

Waterfall Latitude: 64.3381
Waterfall Longitude: -19.40126

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Dynkur (also called Budarhalsfoss or Búðarhálsfoss; “BOO-thur-howls-foss”) was a wide and powerful multi-segmented waterfall on the Þjórsá River.

According to my Icelandic dictionary, the word means “bump or thump or thud” and I’d imagine its name had something to do with the loud and powerful sounds the falls must make.

Dynkur_033_07092007 - Dynkur
Dynkur

Getting to this waterfall required a bit of driving on very scary 4wd roads that probably made me the most nervous I had ever been behind the wheel (and this was despite there being no river crossings).

Once we made it to the “car park,” we were able to get distant views of the falls.

However, it looked like the trail kept going closer to the falls, but we didn’t do it because the swarming midges made life miserable for us the morning we were there.

Plus, I was nervous about not making it back to civilization having not being used to driving such rugged roads to even get here.

In fact, I felt that the drive back ended up being even harder than it was to get there (see driving directions below).

Dynkur_009_jx_07092007 - Easy to get lost, deep ripples and ruts in the road, and boulders to crawl over... That pretty much what we remembered most about our Dynkur experience
Easy to get lost, deep ripples and ruts in the road, and boulders to crawl over… That pretty much what we remembered most about our Dynkur experience

Nonetheless, I was having regrets about not taking the time to get closer to the falls, especially given the amount of trouble it took to even drive here in the first place!

Authorities

Dynkur resides in the South Region of Iceland. It is administered by the municipality of Rangárþing ytra. For information or inquiries about the general area as well as current conditions, you may want to try visiting their website.

Dynkur_002_07092007 - The black sand road. Notice how easy it is to lose the 'road' if the tire tracks somehow got smeared (possibly by sand storms that happen from time to time)
Dynkur_008_07092007 - Just desolate landscape, but if you look real carefully, you might see a white path on the topright, which I think is a glacier
Dynkur_017_07092007 - Looking back at Mt Hekla as it was gettting further away the closer we were heading to Dynkur
Dynkur_001_jx_07092007 - Continuing on the black-sand 'road' leading to Dynkur
Dynkur_005_jx_07092007 - Further still along the roughl road
Dynkur_006_jx_07092007 - Follow that sign!
Dynkur_022_07092007 - Starting to notice Dynkur as we were driving the final stretch to the falls
Dynkur_041_07092007 - Another distant look at Dynkur revealing more of the gorge downstram of the falls
Dynkur_045_07092007 - Julie having a distant look at Dynkur
Dynkur_051_07092007 - I believe this distant waterfall not far from Dynkur was named Gljúfurleitarfoss
Dynkur_020_jx_07092007 - On the return drive from Dynkur, we somehow missed this arrowed junction and wound up going the wrong way for a bit
Dynkur_029_jx_07092007 - Looking towards Mt Hekla which was a very welcome sight after the tense driving to get to and from Dynkur

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The following was how we managed to do the drive.

Starting from Hrauneyjar Highland Center (148km or 2 hours drive) east of Reykjavik), we took Route 26 west for a little over 6km.

There was a turnoff on the right hand side crossing the bridge over the Tungnaá then going onto black-sanded tracks.

Dynkur_003_jx_07092007 - Driving on charred volcanic landscape
Driving on charred volcanic landscape

From here, the signs were a bit faint so we had to pay close attention (and yes we did miss a few turns and had to backtrack a couple of times).

I recalled at about 4km off route 26, we turned right.

Then, we continued on the black-sanded road following the signs as best we could as we were driving through pretty barren and black terrain where we really had to pay attention or else risk losing the road.

After all, the road was practically the same surface as the desolate surroundings.

When we looked towards the south, we could see Mt Hekla, which was one of Iceland’s most active and notorious volcanoes.

Dynkur_019_jx_07092007 - Arrows at junctions like this were very important for us to figure out where we had to go to get to Dynkur
Arrows at junctions like this were very important for us to figure out where we had to go to get to Dynkur

After around 13km of driving, we started seeing encouraging white arrow-shaped signs with writings on them.

We made sure we followed the ones that said “Dynkur” on them.

So after another 1.6km, we encountered another white arrow.

This time, it pointed for us to go left, and it was on this last 3.5km stretch of driving that invovled going over very deep wheel-sized mud gullies flanked by grass.

Dynkur_010_jx_07092007 - Driving in grass just when the 4wd road was really getting rough
Driving in grass just when the 4wd road was really getting rough

This grassy section required me to keep one pair of tires on the elevated grassy middle of the road and the other pair of wheels on the tilted embankment of the gully (so as to not consistently bang the undercarriage of the car on the ground).

Some of this stretch also felt like we were just driving on grass.

As the road descended and joined what seemed to be a more well-established road, it also seemed like they intended this road as one-way considering there were rocks set up to make it hard for us to go back the way we came through this rough grassy area.

Right at the road junction, we noticed another waterfall across the river and gorge, which I believe was called Gljúfurleitarfoss (though this was difficult to photograph).

Dynkur_026_07092007 - Finally making it to Dynkur
Finally making it to Dynkur

And about another 500m later, we finally got to the “car park” for Dynkur.

But just getting to the this apparent endpoint was only half the battle.

On the return, sure enough, we easily missed the way we came in and had to follow the road which eventually degenerated into a real scary boulder field in 2 km.

In this field, some sections had left us no choice but to crawl over some of these boulders that ended up scraping the undercarriage of the car.

Dynkur_018_jx_07092007 - Even though we weren't out of the woods so to speak, we definitely breathed a bit of a sigh of relief after getting through the white-knuckle driving across the boulder field on the way back from Dynkur
Even though we weren’t out of the woods so to speak, we definitely breathed a bit of a sigh of relief after getting through the white-knuckle driving across the boulder field on the way back from Dynkur

It was this part of the drive that scared me the most.

Fortunately, we made it through this.

Eventually, we made it back to the black sand road we took on the way in (where we turned right at a junction 2.5km from the boulder fields).

From there, we had to pay careful attention once again to those white arrows, but this time, we wanted to make sure we were headed back to Hrauneyjar.

Dynkur_021_jx_07092007 - Easy-to-miss junction during the return journey
Easy-to-miss junction during the return journey

We got briefly lost at one point, but we eventually made it back to the Road 26.

This drive ended up taking us a little over an hour in each direction.

Apparently, there was no damage to the car because we weren’t charged for it.

Needless to say, this was quite an adventure, and I don’t think there’s any organized tours going here so you’ll have to rough it if you want to see it.

Dynkur_026_jx_07092007 - Finally starting to return to Thjorsadalur with Mt Hekla in the background. This was when we were actually relieved to see an active volcano!
Finally starting to return to Thjorsadalur with Mt Hekla in the background. This was when we were actually relieved to see an active volcano!

But again, I’d have to emphasize for this excursion that it pays to have a good memory and good concentration!

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Tagged with: thjorsa, thjorsadalur, thjorsardalur, interior, highlands, south region, sudurland, southern iceland, iceland, waterfall, 4wd, rough, gljufurleitafoss



Visitor Comments:

Iceland’s forgotten beauty queen (Dynkur) November 2, 2012 8:48 am by Sander Lelieveld - Dynkur, the waterfalls upstream of Gullfoss, are easily seen as even more beautiful than Gullfoss. However, it is not as easy to get there. You need a decent 4x4 and some guts to make it to the western shores, for those who are less courageous there is a somewhat easier eastern view (though not as… ...Read More
Dynkur is really worth a visit… September 6, 2010 2:00 pm by Claudia - ...but I never drove such a road before!! No doubt, it´s a thrilling experience to go there and not to know if you ever return back!! Pure Adrenaline! TOP :-) Thank you Johnny for your excellent descriptions and your hints! ...Read More

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