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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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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