Budararfoss and the Seydisfjordur Waterfalls

Seydisfjordur, East Region (Austurland), Iceland

About Budararfoss and the Seydisfjordur Waterfalls


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2007-07-01
Date last visited: 2021-08-12

Waterfall Latitude: 65.263
Waterfall Longitude: -13.98869

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Buðarárfoss and the Seyðisfjörður Waterfalls are what I’m clumping into this page to acknowledge the numerous waterfalls to be seen here.

Most of the waterfalls are mountain cascades converging towards the valley and the fjord of Seyðisfjörður.

Seydisfjordur_030_07012007 - One of the waterfalls backing the town of Seyðisfjörður
One of the waterfalls backing the town of Seyðisfjörður

However, I’ve singled out Buðarárfoss since it’s perhaps the most intimate and conspicuous of the waterfalls in town, but it also played a role in the area’s recent history with a severe landslide in December 2020.

What Happened In Seyðisfjörður?

Indeed, when we visited Seyðisfjörður in August 2021 (14 years after the first time which was when the photo above was taken), I noticed that a lot has changed aboout the town.

I couldn’t put my finger on what had changed until a sign near what looked like a construction site on the east end of town pretty much spelled it out for me.

That sign board showed before and after pictures of what happened just 8 months prior to our recent trip.

Budararfoss_017_08112021 - Looking upstream along the Buðará (flanked by flood-control channels and the odd giant boulder) towards the Buðarárfoss
Looking upstream along the Buðará (flanked by flood-control channels and the odd giant boulder) towards the Buðarárfoss

We noticed that Seyðisfjörður had built up a lot of avalanche chutes high up on the mountains surrounding the area to slow their momentum.

However, the landslide that happened which was said to be a once-in-a-thousand-year event was the result of unprecedented saturation rains.

Such rains were the heaviest in any five-day stretch in Iceland’s recorded history (569mm of cumulative rainfall in 5 days compared to 860mm of average rainfall over 365 days in Reykjavík).

The landslides destroyed 10 buildings, and they were primarily around the Buðarárfoss Waterfall.

Budararfoss_052_08112021 - Mom heading back towards Seyðisfjörður after leaving the bottom of Buðarárfoss. Notice Gufufoss way in the distance
Mom heading back towards Seyðisfjörður after leaving the bottom of Buðarárfoss. Notice Gufufoss way in the distance

When my Mom and I did a short 1.5km loop morning walk, that was when we saw things like giant boulders out-of-place in the middle of people’s lawns, water-damaged buildings, and rock-lined water channels lining the Buðará Stream.

It looked like the town was still recovering from the damages of that fateful event that was likely the result of Global Warming causing extreme weather events.

Experiencing the Seyðisfjörður Waterfalls Not On The Fjarðará River

In addition to doing a short walk taking in the Buðarárfoss, the steep-walled fjord (making me think this was the closest thing to a Norwegian Fjord) presented numerous mountain cascades.

In my mind, the most notable ones include the following…

Seydisfjordur_012_07012007 - This conspicuous cascade as seen from Neðri-Stafur along the upper part of Route 93 was tumbling beneath Mt Bólfur
This conspicuous cascade as seen from Neðri-Stafur along the upper part of Route 93 was tumbling beneath Mt Bólfur

The first one is a large cascade (I don’t know if it has an official name) tumbling beneath Mt Bólfur easily seen from the Neðri-Stafur vicinity of Route 93 descending into Seyðisfjörður.

Other notable cascades include the ones flowing on both the Ytri and Innri Hádegisá, which can be seen while driving the lower part of Route 93 as well as from a bridge over the Fjarðará River in the center of town.

The remaining cascades are pretty much random side cascades on both sides of the steep-walled valley that I have lost track of since such cascades were too numerous to count.

There were even some other waterfalls that I’ve noticed coming down cliffs and mountains when doing both the Gufufoss and Múlafoss excursions.

Seydisfjordur_044_07012007 - Another one of the waterfalls near the town of Seyðisfjörður. This was one of the cascades on the Hádegisá Stream
Another one of the waterfalls near the town of Seyðisfjörður. This was one of the cascades on the Hádegisá Stream

I’m sure there are others that I’ve missed, but this should give you a sense of how concentrated the waterfall display can be here (especially during the thaw or during rain).

Authorities

Buðarárfoss and the Seyðisfjörður Waterfalls reside in the East Region of 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_006_08092021 - This is a view towards a cascade beneath Mt Bólfur as we were looking back from Múlafoss
Mulafoss_011_08092021 - Looking towards wrinkly mountains that are sure to harbor waterfalls under more rain and/or more snowmelt. This photo was taken near Múlafoss
Mulafoss_023_08092021 - This is the August 2021 context of that cascade beneath Mt Bólfur with Seyðisfjörður still covered in morning fog
Gufufoss_105_08102021 - Looking in the distance towards a side cascade as seen from Gufufoss in August 2021
Seydisfjordur_063_08102021 - This was a morning view in August 2021 of a cascade on Hádegisá as seen from the main part of Seyðisfjörður
Seydisfjordur_064_08102021 - Fog was still reluctant to completely burn off in Seyðisfjörður in August 2021
Seydisfjordur_067_08102021 - Looking through the foggy haze towards Buðarárfoss from the main street going towards the east side of town in August 2021
Drive_back_to_Seydisfjordur_010_iPhone_08102021 - This was one of the waterfalls on the Fjarðará River which I suspect might be the Neðri Uðafoss as seen from the Route 93 in August 2021
Drive_back_to_Seydisfjordur_023_iPhone_08112021 - Context of one of the Hádegisá Cascades as we were driving the Route 93 back to Seyðisfjörður in August 2021
Drive_back_to_Seydisfjordur_028_iPhone_08112021 - Driving back along the main drag to the east end of town where Buðarárfoss loomed
Budararfoss_002_08112021 - Looking towards Buðarárfoss as Mom and I went on a short morning walk in town to get close to it
Budararfoss_005_08112021 - Lots of debris and rubble that was still lying around well downstream of Buðarárfoss, which put into perspective just how far down the mountain those landslides went in December 2020
Budararfoss_010_08112021 - Looking upstream from the bridge towards Buðarárfoss after the 2020 landslides
Budararfoss_011_08112021 - Focused look at Buðarárfoss from the bridge over its stream
Budararfoss_015_08112021 - Looking across the stream towards a couple of huge boulders resting on an open lawn area, which illustrates how powerful the 2020 landslides were
Budararfoss_021_08112021 - Closer look at Buðarárfoss with some of the boulders being repurposed as bridges and others were repurposed as flood channels
Budararfoss_028_08112021 - Mom hiking closer to the Buðarárfoss during our stay in Seyðisfjörður in August 2021
Budararfoss_031_08112021 - Looking back towards Seyðisfjörður from the trail leading up to Buðarárfoss
Budararfoss_035_08112021 - Mom still climbing up towards Buðarárfoss as part of our morning walk
Budararfoss_036_08112021 - Looking across one of the lower tiers of Buðarárfoss towards Seyðisfjörður
Budararfoss_040_08112021 - Looking up at Buðarárfoss with another individual checking out the falls providing a sense of scale
Budararfoss_042_08112021 - Another look towards Buðarárfoss from a crossing of its stream
Budararfoss_046_08112021 - I couldn't help but notice that there were pine-looking trees with brown needles, which to me seems indicative of bark beetles eating that tree from the inside out. I'm not sure if that's the case, but that's a worrying sign that Global Warming is even killing off planted trees in Iceland
Budararfoss_061_08112021 - Looking back up at Buðarárfoss as we were heading back down into Seyðisfjörður
Budararfoss_071_08112021 - Another look up towards Buðarárfoss where some of these homes appeared to have been affected by the landslides in late 2020
Budararfoss_075_08112021 - Context of the Skaftafell building and Buðarárfoss in the background
Drive_to_Dettifoss_East_003_iPhone_08122021 - Some miscellaneous cascades tumbling below Mt Bolfur as we were driving the Route 93 out of town and towards Northern Iceland
Drive_to_Dettifoss_East_005_iPhone_08122021 - Context of other side cascades in addition to those on the Fjarðará
Drive_to_Dettifoss_East_009_iPhone_08122021 - Another one of the miscellaneous cascades beneath Mt Bolfur while driving Route 93 into the low cloud ceiling above us
Drive_to_Dettifoss_East_011_iPhone_08122021 - Another cascade that the Route 93 passed by on the way up to the pass of Fjarðarheiði
Seydisfjordur_001_07012007 - On the pass between Egilsstaðir and Seyðisfjörður as seen in July 2007. This photo and the rest in this gallery were taken on that day
Seydisfjordur_003_07012007 - Amongst the moors on the pass between Egilsstaðir and Seyðisfjörður. Scenery like this really reminded me of the highland moors of Norway
Seydisfjordur_005_07012007 - Some kind of inscription on the monument at the pass between Egilsstaðir and Seyðisfjörður
Seydisfjordur_010_07012007 - Context of some cascade tumbling in the direction of Seyðisfjörður as seen from the pass
Seydisfjordur_016_07012007 - All zoomed in on the town of Seyðisfjörður as seen from the pass
Seydisfjordur_025_07012007 - Context of the monument at the pass between Egilsstaðir and Seyðisfjörður
Seydisfjordur_031_07012007 - The attractive waterfall within the town of Seyðisfjörður
Seydisfjordur_039_07012007 - Contextual look at that waterfall in the town of Seyðisfjörður
Seydisfjordur_041_07012007 - Grooves in the mountain backing the town of Seyðisfjörður suggesting that there could be many cascades tumbling down when it's raining or melting lots of snow
Seydisfjordur_043_07012007 - Another contextual look at the waterfall backing part of the town of Seyðisfjörður
Seydisfjordur_048_07012007 - Wildflowers before that cascade above
Seydisfjordur_049_07012007 - Looking downstream back towards the town of Seyðisfjörður as we were about to climb back up to the pass and eventually back to Egilsstaðir
Seydisfjordur_004_jx_07012007 - Julie took her own photo of that large cascade seen from the mountain pass above Seyðisfjörður


This page covers the stretch of Route 93 facing Seyðisfjörður as well as some of the local roads in the town itself.

The town of Seyðisfjörður is about 30km east of Egilsstaðir.

Seydisfjordur_008_07012007 - Full contextual view of Seyðisfjörður from the pass as seen in early July 2007
Full contextual view of Seyðisfjörður from the pass as seen in early July 2007

For more geographical context, Egilsstaðir was 645km (7.5 hours drive) northeast of Reykjavík and 266km (3.5 hours drive) east of Akureyri.

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360 degree sweep starting with the falls and then following the flow of water while revealing the post landslide evidence and work done


About 270 degree sweep following the trail before doing a sweep again across the falls and its surroundings, including a zoom in across the town with a hint of Gufufoss in the distance


Upstream to downstream semi-circular sweep and back from just across the stream

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



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