Rjukandi

Eastern Ring Road / Egilsstadir, East Region (Austurland), Iceland

About Rjukandi


Hiking Distance: roadside; 800m round trip (to base)
Suggested Time: 15-30 minutes

Date first visited: 2007-06-30
Date last visited: 2021-08-10

Waterfall Latitude: 65.33448
Waterfall Longitude: -15.08085

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Rjukandi were hard-to-miss waterfalls that we spotted along the Ring Road in East Iceland as we were driving between Mývatn and Egilsstaðir.

There were actually a series of these waterfalls with the biggest one being called Rjukandafoss (139m).

Ring_Road_007_06302007 - This particular waterfall of Rjukandi had a signpost (as of late June 2007) calling it Yst-i-Rjukandi
This particular waterfall of Rjukandi had a signpost (as of late June 2007) calling it Yst-i-Rjukandi

Back when we first drove through here in late June 2007, these were obscure waterfalls that didn’t really seem to garner that much attention.

That said, we did notice that there were informal pullouts and signage to stop for some of them, including signs for Yst-i-Rjukandi and Fremsti Rjukandi.

However, when we came back in August 2021, it seemed like the Rjukandi Waterfalls received a lot more attention (especially for Rjukandafoss).

I suspect this was due to the fact that they were situated near the turnoff for Jökuldalur, which was where the very popular Stuðlagil Canyon was located.

Rjukandafoss_040_08102021 - Looking across an attractive lower tier on the Yst-i-Rjukandi River downstream of Rjukandafoss with the Ring Road in view (to give you an idea of how close the falls was to the road)
Looking across an attractive lower tier on the Yst-i-Rjukandi River downstream of Rjukandafoss with the Ring Road in view (to give you an idea of how close the falls was to the road)

According to the signs here, there are actually three rivers by the name of Rjukandi in this valley.

These rivers were fed by the snow from Sandfell Mountain to the north as opposed to the glacial rivers rushing in from the south.

Although it’s pretty straightforward to see Rjukandafoss from the road or even in a drive-by, we found it worthwhile to stretch the legs and go for a short walk to its base.

The round-trip distance ended up being about 800m, where there was an intermediate waterfall at the half-way point.

Ring_Road_004_06302007 - One of the waterfalls of Rjukandi as seen in late June 2007. A signpost proclaimed this one to be the Fremsti Rjukandi
One of the waterfalls of Rjukandi as seen in late June 2007. A signpost proclaimed this one to be the Fremsti Rjukandi

The trail became increasingly steeper the higher up we went so it was worth wearing hiking boots due to the better traction.

Overall, this excursion took us no more than 30 minutes total.

Authorities

Rjukandi resides in the East Region near Egilsstaðir, 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.

Drive_to_Studlagil_025_iPhone_08102021 - It was hard not to try to take road shots as we were driving by along the Ring Road before the Rjukandi Waterfalls. This photo was taken while we were on our way to Stuðlagil Canyon in August 2021
Drive_to_Studlagil_027_iPhone_08102021 - Another roadside shot as we passed by the first of the Rjukandi Waterfalls as we were coming in from the east in August 2021
Drive_to_Studlagil_031_iPhone_08102021 - Looking directly at another one of the attractive Rjukandi Waterfalls while driving by en route to Stuðlagil Canyon in August 2021
Drive_to_Studlagil_035_iPhone_08102021 - Yet another look up at a bunch of segments of the Rjukandi Waterfall on a drive-by
Drive_to_Studlagil_041_iPhone_08102021 - Starting to see the largest of the Rjukandi Waterfalls from the Ring Road in August 2021
Drive_to_Studlagil_043_iPhone_08102021 - Direct look at the Rjukandafoss on a drive-by as we were on our way to Stuðlagil Canyon in August 2021
Rjukandafoss_004_08102021 - Starting the short walk from the car park to the base of the main drop of Rjukandi on our August 2021 visit
Rjukandafoss_005_08102021 - Ascending towards the lookouts on the way up to the base of Rjukandi
Rjukandafoss_008_08102021 - This fencing was actually adjacent to the intermediate waterfall downstream of Rjukandi
Rjukandafoss_010_08102021 - Context of trying to see both the intermediate waterfall and the Rjukandafoss in the same shot in August 2021
Rjukandafoss_015_08102021 - Looking ahead towards the end of the trail at the base of the main drop of Rjukandafoss
Rjukandafoss_016_08102021 - Looking back down the hill from the base of Rjukandafoss
Rjukandafoss_026_08102021 - Looking up at Rjukandafoss from the end of the official trail
Rjukandafoss_029_08102021 - Another look at the context of coming back down after having had our fill of Rjukandafoss
Rjukandafoss_030_08102021 - Looking back at the context of the roped railings fronting Rjukandafoss
Rjukandafoss_032_08102021 - Following the Yst-i-Rjukandi River downstream
Rjukandafoss_034_08102021 - Continuing the downhill walk back to the car park after having had our fill of Rjukandafoss
Rjukandafoss_042_08102021 - Making it back to the car park by the Ring Road for Rjukandafoss to end our August 2021 visit
Drive_to_Dettifoss_East_042_iPhone_08122021 - Context of Rjukandafoss and the Ring Road as we were approaching from the east during our August 2021 visit to Iceland
Egilsstadir_002_jx_06302007 - When we were descending beyond the unsealed stretch of the Ring Road (in late June 2007), Julie took this photo of a waterfall in the distance, but we weren't sure if this was Rjukandi in the distance or if it was some other waterfall
Ring_Road_001_06302007 - A sign by the Ring Road saying Fremsti Rjukandi
Ring_Road_002_06302007 - Closer look at the lower drop of Fremsti Rjukandi
Ring_Road_006_06302007 - Then, we saw this sign for Yst-i-Rjukandi
Ring_Road_011_06302007 - Yst-i-Rjukandi looked like it had a stile fronting it so we got a closer look at the falls
Ring_Road_013_06302007 - Closer look at Yst-i-Rjukandi
Ring_Road_015_06302007 - Interestingly, there was a weather vane in front of Yst-i-Rjukandi
Ring_Road_016_06302007 - Beyond Yst-i-Rjukandi, we started noticing more impressively large waterfalls tumbling towards the Ring Road
Ring_Road_022_06302007 - From our vantage point by the road, it was difficult to capture all the waterfalls in one go. This road shot provided the context of at least three segments of the Rjukandi Waterfall somewhere east of Yst-i-Rjukandi


The series of Rjukandi Waterfalls generally start appearing at about 31.5km after crossing the bridge north of Egilsstaðir.

However, Rjukandafoss was the last of the big waterfalls in this series, and its picnic area with parking was about 14km further (or 45.5km from the long bridge north of Egilsstaðir).

Rjukandafoss_002_08102021 - Context of the parking and picnic area for Rjukandafoss as seen in August 2021
Context of the parking and picnic area for Rjukandafoss as seen in August 2021

Going in the other direction, the parking and picnic area for Rjukandafoss is about 4km east of the easternmost turnoff for the 923 road into Jökuldalur.

For geographical context, Egilsstaðir was 27km (about 30 minutes drive) west of Seyðisfjörður, 175km (about 2 hours 15 minutes drive) southeast of Mývatn, 248km (over 3 hours drive) east of Akureyri, 186km (under 3 hours drive) north of Höfn, 448km (under 6 hours drive) northeast of Vík, and 6351km (7.5 hours drive) northeast of Reykjavík.

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Downstream to upstream sweep of the falls before ending at the main drop


Sweep starting with a distant view upstream at Rjukandi before panning over to the brink of the lower intermediate waterfall

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Tagged with: ring road, egilsstadir, east region, austurland, northeast region, nordurland eystra, iceland, waterfall



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