Mulafoss

Seydisfjordur, East Region (Austurland), Iceland

About Mulafoss


Hiking Distance: 1km round trip; some scrambling
Suggested Time: 45-60 minutes

Date first visited: 2021-08-10
Date last visited: 2021-08-10

Waterfall Latitude: 65.23097
Waterfall Longitude: -14.07743

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Mulafoss (Múlafoss) was one of the uppermost of the series of waterfalls and cascades tumbling down the Fjarðará from the pass at Fjarðarheiði to the harbor at Seyðisfjörður.

While the stream features countless cascades and waterfalls, only a few of them actually have official names to them, and Múlafoss happens to be one of them (Gufufoss is another notable one).

Mulafoss_040_08092021 - The main tier of Mulafoss (Múlafoss)
The main tier of Mulafoss (Múlafoss)

Speaking of names, I’m aware that there are many other waterfalls in Iceland sharing the name Múlafoss, which means “Mule Falls”, as I’ve noticed them on my topo map so it’s a pretty common name.

As for the significance of this particular waterfall, it sits beneath a monument at Neðri-Stafur, which was dedicated to transportation pioneer Þorbjörn Arnoddsson.

He took the initiative to provide a winter snow vehicle service over the Fjarðarheiði pass in 1952 so the town of Seyðisfjörður wouldn’t be isolated in the Winter, and he kept this up for 10 years.

These days, the road over the pass may be closed from time to time due to snow, but the closure typically doesn’t last for months like it used to.

Seydisfjordur_025_07012007 - This was the Þorbjörn Arnoddsson monument when it was a roadside attraction along the Route 93 when we first were here in July 2007. When we came back in August 2021, this was no longer an easy roadside attraction
This was the Þorbjörn Arnoddsson monument when it was a roadside attraction along the Route 93 when we first were here in July 2007. When we came back in August 2021, this was no longer an easy roadside attraction

When we first visited Seyðisfjörður in early July 2007, the Þorbjörn Arnoddsson monument was actually a quick roadside stop beside the Route 93.

However, when we came back in August 2021, we noticed that we had to walk to the monument, and this was the same walk that enabled us to seek out Múlafoss.

From the Neðri-Stafur car park (see directions below), we walked about 400m between the Road 93 and the Fjarðará Stream to the organ-looking Þorbjörn Arnoddsson memorial.

Then, we followed some unofficial use-trails down slope on a scramble where we tried to tread where other people have gone before and not trample the moss to start new trails.

Mulafoss_038_08092021 - Context of the somewhat unofficial scramble to get a better look at Múlafoss
Context of the somewhat unofficial scramble to get a better look at Múlafoss

While the scramble was a bit suss (I’m sure the authorities at some point will either set up closure barricades or try to turn them into an official trail with lookout), we’d eventually catch our first decent views of the waterfall in about 150m.

At this point, we basically got a somewhat partial profile glimpse of Múlafoss as I didn’t feel comfortable getting any closer to the cliff edges to improve the view.

Once we had our fill of the falls, we just scrambled back up the way we came, but along the way, we noticed other alternate views of the main drop of Múlafoss as well as a smaller upper tier.

Finally, on the way back to the car park, I did notice that there was a bridge over the Fjarðará Stream.

Mulafoss_056_08092021 - Looking down across a waterfall just upstream of the main drop of Múlafoss
Looking down across a waterfall just upstream of the main drop of Múlafoss

However, after briefly exploring what was on the other side, I noticed that the bridge’s far end was loose and that there was a sign suggesting 4 hikes, including one that continued from here along a mountain shoulder to a view over the town.

I didn’t pursue those trails any further so I can’t say anything more about them, but the narrowness of the trails along with the condition of the bridge suggested to me that they don’t see that much traffic, especially compared to the Road 93.

Overall, my Mom and I spent about an hour away from the car to cover the roughly 1-1.2km distance, which included the scrambling.

Authorities

Mulafoss (Múlafoss) resides in the East Region near Seyðisfjörður, Iceland. It is administered by the municipality of Múlaþing. For information or inquiries about the general area as well as current conditions, you may want to try visiting their website.

Mulafoss_001_08092021 - It's always nice to read a little about the place you're about to hike to, which is what this trailhead sign at Neðri-Stafur does
Mulafoss_003_08092021 - Looking back at the context of Neðri-Stafur in the direction of Seyðisfjörður from the trailhead
Mulafoss_005_08092021 - During our August 2021 visit, we had to contend with fog covering Seyðisfjörður in the morning
Mulafoss_011_08092021 - Looking towards wrinkles in the mountains surrounding the head of the valley leading to Seyðisfjörður
Mulafoss_017_08092021 - Approaching the footbridge and Þorbjörn Arnoddsson memorial
Mulafoss_018_08092021 - Looking across the footbridge over the Fjarðará Stream
Mulafoss_026_08092021 - This was probably the first clean look that I could get of Múlafoss after a short scramble beneath the Þorbjörn Arnoddsson memorial
Mulafoss_028_08092021 - Pleasing portrait view of Múlafoss
Mulafoss_029_08092021 - Full contextual view of Múlafoss
Mulafoss_031_08092021 - Looking downstream from Múlafoss where it seemed like the fog was slowly starting to lift
Mulafoss_041_08092021 - After having her fill of Múlafoss Mom scrambled back up to the memorial
Mulafoss_045_08092021 - On the way up, I caught this other glimpse of Múlafoss
Mulafoss_046_08092021 - Mom making it back to the Þorbjörn Arnoddsson memorial
Mulafoss_052_08092021 - Looking across an upper drop of Múlafoss
Mulafoss_058_08092021 - Looking back at the context of the Þorbjörn Arnoddsson memorial and the Road 93
Mulafoss_065_08092021 - Looking upstream along the Fjarðará Stream towards the footbridge across it
Mulafoss_066_08092021 - Even though we were above the fog, the Þorbjörn Arnoddsson memorial still looked majestic
Mulafoss_067_08092021 - Looking across some contraptions made between the footbridge and Múlafoss
Mulafoss_068_08092021 - About to go across the footbridge over the Fjarðará Stream
Mulafoss_074_08092021 - Looking downstream from the footbridge over the Fjarðará Stream
Mulafoss_077_08092021 - Context of the Þorbjörn Arnoddsson memorial and the mountain cascade on the Stafdalsá
Mulafoss_085_08092021 - A close-up examination of the footbridge revealed that one side of the bridge was pretty much detached from the ground
Mulafoss_087_08092021 - Another look downstream from the footbridge over the Fjarðará Stream
Mulafoss_092_08092021 - Context of Mom heading back to the car park with some kind of building up ahead


Mulafoss (Múlafoss) can be seen from the Route 93 just beneath the Fjarðarheiði Pass as we headed up to the pass about 4.5km from the main three-way intersection in Seyðisfjörður.

However, in order to get a better experience, we had to drive up about 6.2km from the main three-way intersection in town or about 18.3km east of the Route 93 and Route 94 intersection near Egilsstaðir.

Mulafoss_008_08092021 - The car park at Neðri-Stafur, which was where we started the walk to Múlafoss
The car park at Neðri-Stafur, which was where we started the walk to Múlafoss

That’s where there’s a dedicated car park for Neðri-Stafur, and the hike to both the Þorbjörn Arnoddsson monument as well as Múlafoss begins.

For some geographical context, Seyðisfjörður is 27km (about 30 minutes drive) east of Egilsstaðir, 201km (about 2.5 hours drive) east of Mývatn, 274km (3.5 hours drive) east of Akureyri, 212km (about 3 hours drive) north of Höfn, 474km (about 6 hours drive) northeast of Vík, and 661km (8 hours drive) northeast of Reykjavík.

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Deliberate 360 degree sweep starting with Mulafoss before showing cascades in the distance and then ending up back at the falls


360 degree sweep starting from a more closer profile view of the falls before panning around the ending back at the falls


360 degree sweep in the other direction showing the fog towards Seydisfjordur before ending up at the upper drop of Mulafoss

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Tagged with: seydisfjordur, egilsstadir, east region, austurland, iceland, waterfall, fjardara, mulathing



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