Glymur

Hvalfjordur, West Region (Vesturland) / Capital Region (Höfuðborgarsvæði), Iceland

About Glymur


Hiking Distance: 5km round trip; 7.8km loop with some scrambling and river crossing
Suggested Time: 4 hours

Date first visited: 2007-06-21
Date last visited: 2021-08-05

Waterfall Latitude: 64.3904
Waterfall Longitude: -21.25177

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Glymur (sounds like “glimmer”; my Icelandic dictionary says it means “clash or ringing”) was once said to be the tallest waterfall in Iceland at 196m (198m according to a sign on my latest visit).

Situated within Botnsdalur, which is a valley at the head of Hvalfjörður (the Whale Fjord; I think is pronounced “KHVAHL-feeur-thur”), I had read that it was once a very popular attraction.

Glymur_104_06212007 - Glymur
Glymur

That was because the Ring Road used to go around the fjord until an underwater tunnel bypassed the old route to become the new route for the Ring Road.

As a result of the reduced traffic compared to the Ring Road sites, experiencing the Glymur Waterfall involved a bit of an adventure.

That said, I have noticed some improvement in the infrastructure (e.g. better trail markers and signage) as well as the trail conditions between my visits.

As for the waterfall itself, it had been given proper attention as Iceland’s tallest for many years because its flow on the Botnsá River was perennial.

Glymur_147_06212007 - Passing through a double arch on the hike to Glymur. This arch (which I've sinced learned was called Þvottahellir) was quite an unexpected surprise as it added to the hit list of reasons to enjoy this hike
Passing through a double arch on the hike to Glymur. This arch (which I’ve sinced learned was called Þvottahellir) was quite an unexpected surprise as it added to the hit list of reasons to enjoy this hike

The flow was the result of draining the lake Hvalvatn, which was said to be Iceland’s second deepest lake at 160m.

Botnsá carved a deep and narrow canyon called Glymsgljúfur (“GLIMS-glew-vur”), which in my mind resulted in the rather adventurous and rugged feel of the hike while also making it difficult to view the whole waterfall from any one spot.

Nevertheless, in our visits to Glymur (spanning 14 years so far), the hike to experience it came with added benefits like experiencing the cave and double arch of Þvottahellir (“THVOT-uh-het-lir”), sweeping vistas towards the fjord, and bonus waterfalls.

Why Did Glymur Lose Its Status?

When it comes to the issue of determining what the highest waterfall is, this is a fluid argument largely because there’s no consensus definition on how you measure waterfall height.

Morsarfoss_020_08082021 - This was as much of Morsárfoss that I was able to see as of my last view of it in August 2021
This was as much of Morsárfoss that I was able to see as of my last view of it in August 2021

Even if by one method of measure a waterfall is deemed to be the highest, is it worth visiting?

This is precisely the case with the waterfall that has apparently dethroned Glymur as Iceland’s tallest – Morsárfoss.

That waterfall (as of the latest update to this write-up) is still mostly covered in ice, but due to the acceleration of Global Warming, it’s revealing more of itself.

I guess it’s subjective whether one waterfall is more worth visiting than the other, and to me, it’s not unlike the debate around visiting Angel Falls versus Tugela Falls.

Angel_Falls_109_11222007 - Glymur versus Morsárfoss suffers from a similar debate between Angel Falls and Tugela Falls.  Which one would you rather visit if you had to choose between the two?
Glymur versus Morsárfoss suffers from a similar debate between Angel Falls and Tugela Falls. Which one would you rather visit if you had to choose between the two?

Really, I think trying to associate a title like “the tallest” or “the bluest” or “the widest”, etc. is nothing more than click bait (or “headlines” before social media was a thing).

That’s why I’m pretty ambivalent about what’s taller though the one thing I do know was that Glymur was known to be the tallest on our first visit in June 2007.

Of course, one could argue that maybe the authorities or proponents of that claim had gotten it wrong all this time.

Regardless, in my mind, that’s all pure speculation and really superfluous to one’s enjoyment of the waterfalling experience.

Different Ways to Hike to Glymur

Glymur_133_06212007 - Context of Julie negotiating one of the sketchier parts of the Glymur hike on our first visit in 2007
Context of Julie negotiating one of the sketchier parts of the Glymur hike on our first visit in 2007

We managed to experience the Glymur Waterfall a couple of different ways, which we’ll get into in the rest of this write-up.

When we first did the Glymur hike back in 2007, we did a rugged out-and-back hike to a handful of unsigned views of the waterfall (so you’ll definitely want to wear legitimate hiking boots).

Eventually, when we felt that we had gotten the best views of Glymur and proceeding further would have worsened the view, that was when we turned back.

Of course, the problem with that way of thinking is how do you know if you’re turning back prematurely or not?

Glymur_043_06212007 - Julie checking out Glymur from one of the spots right at the edge of a cliff, but how do we know how far up the canyon we should go to get the full experience or else risk turning back prematurely?
Julie checking out Glymur from one of the spots right at the edge of a cliff, but how do we know how far up the canyon we should go to get the full experience or else risk turning back prematurely?

Thus, when I came back with Mom to do this hike in 2021, we did a longer counterclockwise loop hike up the same (or similar) route like the first time, but then we went back down on the other side of the Botnsá.

From looking at my GPS logs, we wound up hiking about 5km round-trip on our first go at Glymur.

However, on our second visit, the GPS told me that we had hiked about 7.8km though there were a few options of doing a shorter but steeper return hike versus the more gentle one that we ended up doing.

My trip logs indicated that we spent about 4 hours to do the longer loop hike, and it’s worth noting that in hindsight, we should have brought a pair of water shoes or sandals because the second crossing of the Botnsá was unbridged.

Glymur_017_06212007 - Julie trying to follow yellow-spray-painted dots on rocks to head towards Glymur back in 2007. Thankfully, the trail was much better marked as of my latest visit in 2021
Julie trying to follow yellow-spray-painted dots on rocks to head towards Glymur back in 2007. Thankfully, the trail was much better marked as of my latest visit in 2021

By the way, it was also worth mentioning that it was far easier to follow the Glymur Trail on our second visit, because back in 2007, we had plenty of head-scratching moments trying to find yellow spray-painted dots on rocks and walls to navigate.

Moreover, what few signs there were back then, they were all in Icelandic, which certainly isn’t the case now as we’ve noticed a greater effort to have at least English accompanying Icelandic on the signs.

In any case, even though we had a shorter hike on our first visit, it still took us nearly 4 hours to complete given the conditions back then.

Hiking Along The East Side of Botnsá and Glymsgljúfur

From the Botnsdalur Trailhead (see directions below), we went through a gate and then proceeded to hike about 250m.

Glymur_013_06212007 - Looking back towards Hvalfjörður (the Whale Fjord) fronted by a large field of wildflowers on the trail to Glymur
Looking back towards Hvalfjörður (the Whale Fjord) fronted by a large field of wildflowers on the trail to Glymur

In this 250m stretch, there was signage and a fork on the right leading to the Stóri Botn Farm, but thankfully, there was signage keeping us on track as of our 2021 visit.

Back in 2007, Julie and I had a bit of a hard time following the yellow dots as we had somehow lost the trail, and I suspect that somehow we managed to have taken the Stóri Botn track instead of the more direct route described earlier.

At the trail junction 250m beyond the trailhead, we kept right to continue east deeper into the Botnsdalur Valley for about 1km before reaching a sign leading us to the Þvottahellir Cave.

Although the trail seemed like it would disappear over a cliff as we went past the sign, it actually veered into a hole in that cliff eventually emerging out the other end through a large double arch.

Glymur_032_08052021 - Mom on the trail leading towards the Þvottahellir Cave, where the trail seemed to disappear, but it really went into the cliff just behind the foliage that Mom was about to go around
Mom on the trail leading towards the Þvottahellir Cave, where the trail seemed to disappear, but it really went into the cliff just behind the foliage that Mom was about to go around

The size of this arch would probably rival some of the more modest-sized arches in Arches National Park in Utah, which certainly made this hike more varied and alluring.

Anyways, while the cave itself might seem dark, it was short enough to never get completely dark both times I’ve done this hike.

Roughly 150m beyond Þvottahellir, the trail briefly followed the northern banks of the Botnsá River before reaching a crossing of the river itself.

Each time we’ve done this hike, there was a primitive log bridge that we had to balance on to get across without getting wet.

Glymur_030_06212007 - Julie approaching a reinforced log spanning the river while holding on to a metal wire for balance on the Glymur hike
Julie approaching a reinforced log spanning the river while holding on to a metal wire for balance on the Glymur hike

There was also a bit of rock hopping necessary to even get to one end of the log so we found having trekking poles helped a lot with the balance.

Beyond the river crossing, the trail then reached perhaps the most challenging part yet, which involved a rather steep and sketchy ascent climbing about 50m in a 150m stretch.

When we first did this hike back in 2007, we actually had to ascend directly on loose rocks with plenty of hand-over-feet scrambling.

However, in 2021, the trail was more established with some wires and railings to hold onto, but I noticed the path did suffer from a good deal of erosion in the steepest sections due to frequent use, which made some parts quite slippery.

Glymur_060_08052021 - Mom going up perhaps the sketchiest part of the steepest part of the Glymur hike, especially after the trail re-route and railing infrastructure changes between our 2007 and 2021 visits
Mom going up perhaps the sketchiest part of the steepest part of the Glymur hike, especially after the trail re-route and railing infrastructure changes between our 2007 and 2021 visits

After the steep climb, we then walked another 200m towards the first of many spots to see the Glymur Waterfall.

The trail continued through a couple of gullies and side waterfalls for the next 400m when we reached the so-called Steðjasnös View.

From this vantage point, there was a nice angled view of Glymur and the canyon bottom as well as a phallic-looking rock.

By the way, that rock is how I remembered this view even before there was the sign identifying this spot was put up after our 2007 visit.

Glymur_106_08052021 - Context of Mom about to descend another steep and slippery part of the hike passing before this attractive side waterfall on the way to the Glymur lookouts
Context of Mom about to descend another steep and slippery part of the hike passing before this attractive side waterfall on the way to the Glymur lookouts

Another 160m further from the Steðjasnös View was the Hellupallur View, which yielded a more direct look at the upper section of Glymur.

There was some signage at a fork indicating that there was this somewhat hidden lookout around a knob near the next set of steps and slopes.

This lookout (or the knob above it) might have been our turnaround point on our 2007 hike.

Heck, I didn’t even know this spot had a name since we never saw any identifying signage on either of my visits.

Glymur_153_08052021 - Mom checking out Glymur from the Hellapallur View
Mom checking out Glymur from the Hellapallur View

However, in 2021, I did notice stacks of loose rocks arranged like makeshift railings, which further indicated to me that this was an official lookout.

Returning to the car park from this viewpoint was about 2.5km according to my GPS logs (the signage said it was 2.4km or 4.8km round-trip from here).

Hiking Beyond Glymur to Finish the Loop

The hit parade of viewpoints of Glymur kept coming as we continued hiking further along the southern rim of the Glymsgljúfur Canyon for about the next kilometer.

However, with each successive vantage point, it yielded more direct views of the upper parts of Glymur while concealing the waterfall’s base.

Glymur_246_08052021 - Context of the brink of Glymur spilling into Glymsgljúfur Canyon with Hvalfjörður in the distance
Context of the brink of Glymur spilling into Glymsgljúfur Canyon with Hvalfjörður in the distance

Ultimately, we’d reach the brink of Glymur, which revealed a smaller hidden waterfall in the river just around a corner.

From there, the trail finally flattened out and started to descend alongside a calmer and wider part of the Botnsá River.

After another 200m beyond the brink of Glymur (or 1.2km beyond the Hellapallur View), we then had to wade across the river to start the return hike on the other side.

Given the combination of cold water with slippery yet sharp rocks, I really wished I had come better prepared with a change into water sandals (we did it barefoot) though the trekking poles helped us against the current and slippery footing.

Glymur_259_08052021 - Context of Mom fording Botnsá upstream of Glymur so we could complete the loop hike
Context of Mom fording Botnsá upstream of Glymur so we could complete the loop hike

Once we dried off our feet and put back on our hiking socks and hiking boots, we then had to find our way back to the main trail in the downstream direction.

Even though I was tempted to keep hiking 3km further upstream to reach the Hvalvatn Lake as well as to see Breiðifoss along the way, we stuck to the plan (though the threatening weather further aided this decision).

At about 500m from where we crossed Botnsá, we encountered a signed trail junction as well as a short access trail going to a large cairn with an unusual partial look at Glymur.

That lookout represented our last look at the waterfall before descending the final 3km stretch of trail or so down the fairly gentle Svartihryggur Ridge.

Glymur_292_08052021 - Unusual view of Glymur from the north side of Botnsá as the waterfall twisted away from us. This was our last look at the waterfall before returning to the trailhead via the Svartihryggur Ridge
Unusual view of Glymur from the north side of Botnsá as the waterfall twisted away from us. This was our last look at the waterfall before returning to the trailhead via the Svartihryggur Ridge

We did have the option of doing a much more adventurous and steeper descent within the north side of Glymsgljúfur Canyon, but by this point, we were ready to finish the hike.

We found this section of the trail to go by pretty quickly given the downhill trajectory though there were some loose rock sections conspiring to bust our ankles while at the same time yielding views of Hvalfjörður to slow us down and savor the scenery.

I noticed there were far fewer people willing to complete this hike as a loop (probably due to the unbridged river crossing above Glymur) so that certainly helped with the social distancing aspect of this hike.

Authorities

Glymur resides in the Southern Region of Iceland near Akranes, Iceland. It is administered by the municipality of Hvalfjarðarsveit. For information or inquiries about the general area as well as current conditions, you may want to try visiting their website.

Glymur_004_08052021 - Mom going past the gate to start the Glymur hike in August 2021. This photo and the next several ones were taken from that 2021 visit
Glymur_008_08052021 - Mom following the much-easier-to-follow Glymur Trail as of 2021, which was trickier to follow when we first did it in 2007
Glymur_010_08052021 - Botnsdalur was flanked by some intriguing cliffs that I hadn't noticed before when we first did this hike in 2007
Glymur_011_08052021 - During our 2021 hike, it was more obvious to follow the trail at forks and junctions like what's shown here
Glymur_017_08052021 - Mom going over some sections of the early part of the Glymur hike that involved potentially going through water from some side streams
Glymur_021_08052021 - Looking in the distance towards a side cascade as we continued on the Glymur hike
Glymur_022_08052021 - Context of Mom on the Glymur Trail with some gully in the distance showing that there are other possible avenues for new waterfalls under rainy conditions
Glymur_027_08052021 - During our 2021 hike to Glymur, we were going through terrain that seemed to have taller trees and shrubs than when we first did the hike in 2007, which goes to show you that even benign things like foliage growth can change the look and feel of the same hike
Glymur_031_08052021 - Mom descending past the Þvottahellir sign, which definitely wasn't there when we first did this hike in 2007
Glymur_035_08052021 - Mom standing at one of the two big openings of the Þvottahellir Cave (or double arch)
Glymur_036_08052021 - Looking back at the context of the Þvottahellir Cave, where the opening you see on the right of this photo was where we entered
Glymur_038_08052021 - Mom descending the trail from Þvottahellir towards the Botnsá River
Glymur_041_08052021 - Mom following along the Botnsá River towards the log traversing it up ahead
Glymur_042_08052021 - Looking back at Þvottahellir to give you an idea of how far along the river we needed to go before reaching the crossing
Glymur_044_08052021 - Looking towards the wire-assisted log crossing of Botnsá, which actually seemed trickier when we did it in August 2021 as opposed to June 2007 because the river seemed to be running higher than it did in our past visit
Glymur_048_08052021 - Beyond the crossing of Botnsá, I noticed this interesting spire-shaped mountain, which I hadn't noticed back in 2007. I guess as you get older, you tend to slow things down and notice details like this more
Glymur_049_08052021 - More signage steering us along the correct path towards Glymur. Such signs seemed to have helped to do away with the yellow-painted dots on rocks and cliffs that we had to follow back in 2007
Glymur_053_08052021 - Mom starting the steep ascent shortly after the log-assisted crossing of the river before it got real steep during our 2021 hike
Glymur_058_08052021 - Looking back at the context of Þvottahellir as it appeared someone was about to make the crossing of the Botnsá River as we were making our steep ascent
Glymur_062_08052021 - Mom holding onto wires for reinforcement as she went up the familiar steep loose-rock ascent on the Glymur Trail
Glymur_064_08052021 - Mom Continuing to go up the steep loose-rock ascent of the Glymur Trail while holding onto wires, which definitely weren't around when we did this hike back in 2007
Glymur_065_08052021 - Looking back down at the context of the steep and slippery ascent from the Botnsá River up the south side of the Glymsgljúfur Canyon rim
Glymur_071_08052021 - Mom continuing to work her way up the steepest part of the Glymur hike, which now has these large boulders acting as steps to make things a bit easier than they were when Julie and I first did this hike
Glymur_073_08052021 - Looking back at the context of Hvalfjörður after having made it up beyond the steepest part of the Glymur hike
Glymur_076_08052021 - Context of Mom still ascending towards Glymur, which was becoming more visible. As you can see, the trail was still ascending, but it wasn't nearly as steep as that section we had just climbed
Glymur_083_08052021 - Looking back at the context of Þvottahellir and the cliffs behind it as we were continuing to ascend along the south rim of Glymsgljúfur
Glymur_084_08052021 - Glymur was becoming even more visible the higher up we went
Glymur_090_08052021 - Context of Glymur and a companion waterfall as we were nearing the first of a handful of lookouts (most of which are informal and unsigned)
Glymur_096_08052021 - Context of Glymur and some hikers making it up to one of the higher vantage points, which provides a sense of scale
Glymur_098_08052021 - Context of the continuation of the Glymur hike with a partial view of Glymur up ahead
Glymur_103_08052021 - Looking across the canyon at some side waterfall with the bottom of another one in front of it as we continued along the Glymur hike
Glymur_104_08052021 - Looking ahead at the context of that companion waterfall we saw earlier at the first lookout for Glymur with its lower sections
Glymur_109_08052021 - Looking back at the steep wire-aided descent fronting another side waterfall along the Glymur Trail. Those wires and poles definitely weren't around when we first did this hike in 2007
Glymur_115_08052021 - Mom approaching the brink of the next waterfall after having done the descent and ascent of one of the gullies along the way
Glymur_118_08052021 - Mom approaching the next crossing of a side stream before a cascade on the Glymur hike
Glymur_121_08052021 - Looking upstream at the rest of the cascade on that stream that we had just crossed
Glymur_127_08052021 - This ridge was the so-called Steðjasnös View
Glymur_135_08052021 - This was the view of Glymur from the Steðjasnös View
Glymur_143_08052021 - From this angle, I think it becomes clearer why I thought the pillar at the Steðjasnös View was phallic
Glymur_156_08052021 - This was the view of Glymur from the Hellapallur View
Glymur_166_08052021 - Beyond the Hellapallur View, we still had to continue ascending to see what else the Glymur hike had in store for us
Glymur_171_08052021 - The climbing continued on the Glymur hike beyond the Hellapallur View, but as you can see here, it wasn't nearly as steep as shortly after our crossing of Botnsá
Glymur_179_08052021 - As we continued higher up the Glymur Trail, we could see the uppermost part of the waterfall more clearly but the lower parts started to get hidden by the cliffs
Glymur_188_08052021 - Context of Mom continuing up the Glymur Trail with Hvalfjörður further in the distance behind her
Glymur_193_08052021 - An even more frontal view of the upper section of Glymur as we continued the ascent towards the waterfall's brink
Glymur_202_08052021 - Context of Mom looking towards the brink of Glymur while there were other hikers already starting to make their way back down to the trailhead on the other side of the canyon
Glymur_207_08052021 - Another more frontal look at Glymur revealing more of its leftmost segment the higher up the trail we went
Glymur_213_08052021 - The sun made a brief appearance when we got close to its brink during our August 2021 hike, but you can see from the darkness of the clouds that the next round of rain wasn't far behind either
Glymur_222_08052021 - As Mom and I kept pushing on with the Glymur hike, we noticed less obvious trails and more white sticks acting as trail markers, which kind of shows you just how less-used this part of the trail was compared to earlier on
Glymur_226_08052021 - Looking across the top of the main section of the Glymur Waterfall
Glymur_233_08052021 - Another look across the brink of Glymur as we were pretty much at the top of the elevation gain and the rest of the hike was pretty much downhill for the most part
Glymur_242_08052021 - Looking across the brink of Glymur towards the depths of the narrow canyon
Glymur_247_08052021 - This was the hidden upper tier of Glymur, which only revealed itself after going past its brink (or having a drone)
Glymur_248_08052021 - The Botnsá River starts to calm down beyond that hidden upper waterfall, and that calm section was where it was most reasonable to go back across the river
Glymur_253_08052021 - Mom going across the wide Botnsá River at this point, where we wished that we had brought our water sandals or something to help our suffering bare feet (now we have a taste of what it's like to walk around on Naked and Afraid)
Glymur_262_08052021 - Beyond the Botnsá River we now had to head back downstream while looking for the main trail again
Glymur_265_08052021 - Looking at the context of the canyon over the brink of Glymur as we continued down the other side of the Botnsá River
Glymur_273_08052021 - Looking back across that hidden upper waterfall just upstream of Glymur. If you look closely, you can see people back on the trail on the other side for a sense of scale
Glymur_277_08052021 - After rejoining the main trail on the other side of the Botnsá River, it was pretty straightforward to follow the way back
Glymur_280_08052021 - Mom passing by a signed trail junction near the large rock cairn representing our last look at Glymur before going back to the car park
Glymur_281_08052021 - Approaching the large rock cairn at our last look back at Glymur from the other side of the Botnsá River
Glymur_283_08052021 - Our last look at the main part of Glymur before returning to the car park
Glymur_297_08052021 - Context of Mom surrounded by some threatening-looking clouds as we were making our way back towards the car park
Glymur_311_08052021 - Context of Mom descending into Botndalur with the Hvalfjörður starting to get hit with rain in the distance
Glymur_322_08052021 - Mom continuing the descent along the Svartihryggur part of the return hike from Glymur
Glymur_329_08052021 - By this point of our hike, the rain was pretty much hitting us, but at least it was the tail end of our 2021 Glymur hike so we were able to weather the storm so to speak
Glymur_344_08052021 - Finally approaching the Glymur Car Park as we were continuing to get weather
Glymur_346_08052021 - When we started our 2021 hike to Glymur, we were perhaps the second or third car parked here, but now you can see that it's quite busy when we returned over 4 hours later
Glymur_003_06212007 - The car park and trailhead for the Glymur Waterfall when we first did this hike back in June 2007. As you can see, that gate was still there so some things still hadn't changed over the years.  By the way, this photo and the rest of the photos in this gallery were taken from that visit
Glymur_001_06212007 - Looking past a field of purple wildflowers towards a farm near the Glymur Trailhead
Glymur_005_06212007 - Julie on the Glymur Waterfall Trail while we tried to follow the yellow spray-painted dots on the rocks
Glymur_009_06212007 - We noticed this side cascade at the start of the Glymur hike
Glymur_010_06212007 - Julie following what wound up being a false trail near the start of the Glymur Waterfall hike
Glymur_011_06212007 - After backtracking from the false trail that we took, we eventually found this wire fence and yellow painted rock to help us regain the trail. By the way, if you can't see the wire fence, look for the rusted brown line on the lower right side of this photo
Glymur_018_06212007 - After going right at a trail junction, Julie then followed the trail towards what appeared to be a hidden cave (not visible in this photo taken in 2007) on the Glymur hike
Glymur_021_06212007 - Julie going into the Þvottahellir Cave as we continued to follow the yellow dots
Glymur_025_06212007 - Looking back at the lower opening of the double arch after emerging from the 'cave' on the Glymur hike
Glymur_027_06212007 - Looking back up at the context of the double arch that we had just passed through on the Glymur hike as we descended towards the river
Glymur_032_06212007 - Julie crossing the river with the aid of a wire. By the way, if you're real observant, you might notice that this was the spot where Julie lost one of her bottled water on the 2007 Glymur hike
Glymur_035_06212007 - Looking back at the river as we were climbing up the steep and challenging part of the Glymur hike
Glymur_036_06212007 - Context of Julie hiking up towards Glymur beyond the steep part of the trail
Glymur_039_06212007 - Looking back at the bottom of the rugged canyon and Hvalfjordur in the distance as we continued to climb up to the Glymur Waterfall
Glymur_040_06212007 - Julie standing on an outcrop before Glymur during our 2007 visit
Glymur_045_06212007 - Context of Glymur and some other side waterfalls spilling into the steep canyon
Glymur_050_06212007 - Zoomed in (but partial) look at Glymur from the first outcrop
Glymur_057_06212007 - A smaller waterfall we saw as we went closer to the Glymur Waterfall
Glymur_057_06212007 - Looking towards a side waterfall that we ultimately had to cross in order to continue to improve our viewing experience of Glymur during our June 2007 visit
Glymur_116_06212007 - Julie standing before what we thought was one of the better views of Glymur during our June 2007 visit
Glymur_060_06212007 - Looking back towards the Hvalfjordur while continuing to hike up the Glymur Trail
Glymur_061_06212007 - Looking back at the context of Julie continuing the hike to improve the viewing experience of Glymur in June 2007
Glymur_069_06212007 - Closest view of Glymur that we had before we turned back during our June 2007 visit
Glymur_075_06212007 - Another contextual look at Glymur from our turnaround spot as we didn't think the views would get any better during our June 2007 visit
Glymur_078_06212007 - Focused look at as much of the Glymur Waterfall as we could see during our June 2007 visit
Glymur_097_06212007 - Now that we were going downhill from Glymur during our June 2007 hike, we had to be real cognizant of the dropoffs to our right
Glymur_111_06212007 - Last look back at the entire height of the Glymur Waterfall during our June 2007 visit
Glymur_127_06212007 - Julie crossing the stream on her return hike from Glymur in June 2007
Glymur_014_jx_06212007 - Looking upstream at a side waterfall that we had to cross on our way back down from Glymur in June 2007
Glymur_135_06212007 - Julie almost descending to the river and the log-bridge crossing on the return hike from Glymur
Glymur_141_06212007 - Julie returning to the double arch and cave as we did our 2007 hike to Glymur as an out-and-back
Glymur_153_06212007 - Julie passing through a field of wildflowers blooming before Hvalfjörður as we were close to the trailhead to end our Glymur hike in June 2007


To reach the Glymur Trailhead from Reykjavik, we drove about 9km east to the Ring Road (Route 1).

Then, we went north on it for about 24km to a fork with the Route 47 right before the tunnel going beneath the Hvalfjörður.

Glymur_001_08052021 - Context of the car park and trailhead for the Glymur Waterfall at Botnsdalur
Context of the car park and trailhead for the Glymur Waterfall at Botnsdalur

We turned right (to avoid the tunnel) and went onto Route 47, which continued alongside the fjord for about another 35km.

Just past a bridge at the head of the fjord, there was a signposted turnoff leading 3km further inland to the Glymur car park and trailhead.

This drive took us a little over an hour in each direction.

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Video starting with a downstream view towards Hvalfjordur before panning over to partial views of Glymur from two different lookouts


Downstream to upstream sweep of Glymur from a sanctioned lookout (Hellapallur) with a couple of zoomed in sweeps at the end


Upside down U-shaped sweep from yet another higher spot with frontal view of the falls closer to the brink of the falls


Sideways S-shaped sweep on Glymur before panning downstream to Hvalfjordur then panning back upstream ending at the falls


Precarious top down sweep of the brink of Glymur before panning downstream and then back upstream ending at a hidden upper tier of the waterfall


Closeup look at the upper part of the falls with lots of birds flying around


View of the entire length of Iceland's tallest permanent waterfall

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Tagged with: hvalfjordur, west region, vesturland, iceland, waterfall, reykjavik, hike, arch, hvalvatn



Visitor Comments:

Glymur December 20, 2008 2:32 am by _Anonymous2 - We visited Glymur last summer, with our two teenage daughters. After a beautiful but challenging hike, we got tired of listening to older daughter's complaining. We saw the falls, but didn't make it to the top of the falls. We're going back this summer, without kids, and WILL make it to the top. Amazing beauty. ...Read More

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