Strutsfoss

Sudurdalur / Egilsstadir, East Region (Austurland), Iceland

About Strutsfoss


Hiking Distance: 8.4km round trip
Suggested Time: at least 3 hours

Date first visited: 2021-08-11
Date last visited: 2021-08-11

Waterfall Latitude: 64.89548
Waterfall Longitude: -15.02446

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Strutsfoss (Strútsfoss) was a towering two-tiered waterfall on the Strútsá Stream (with heights of 20m and 100m, respectively) hiding deep in the Villingadalur arm of Suðurdalur Valley.

Although this waterfall receives far less traffic than the popular Hengifoss, it’s certainly no slouch in its own right.

Strutsfoss_182_08112021 - Strutsfoss (or more accurately Strútsfoss)
Strutsfoss (or more accurately Strútsfoss)

In addition to being one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland, Strútsfoss also possesses the red strata that Hengifoss has in its underlying cliffs.

Moreover, the seemingly obscure nature of this waterfall meant that we didn’t have to contend with crowds and that made for a very peaceful (albeit long) hike where it was just us and Nature.

Hiking to Strútsfoss

The hike to Strútsfoss began from the uppermost farm in Suðurdalur called the Sturluflöt Farm (see directions below).

According to my GPS logs on both Gaia GPS and my Garmin Fenix 6X Pro, we hiked between 8-8.4km round-trip.

Strutsfoss_066_08112021 - Context of Mom on the trail with part of Strútsfoss in view though the clouds were stubbornly obscuring its upper tier
Context of Mom on the trail with part of Strútsfoss in view though the clouds were stubbornly obscuring its upper tier

In my trip logs, it took my Mom and I about 3 hours to complete the hike (including the time we paused to take pictures).

Aside from a moderate climb to get past the Sturluflöt boundaries and a very steep climb at the very end of the hike, the majority of this trail was more or less flat with gentle undulations.

Really, the only thing to worry about concerning the experience was the weather as tall waterfalls like this tend to be obscured by clouds.

It was certainly the case on our August 2021 visit, and we had to be real patient (and lucky) for the clouds to lift enough for us to experience the waterfall properly.

Trail Description

Strutsfoss_264_08112021 - Looking across the pasture of the Sturluflöt Farm towards a cascade tumbling down what I think is a side arm of the Ytri-Þverá Stream
Looking across the pasture of the Sturluflöt Farm towards a cascade tumbling down what I think is a side arm of the Ytri-Þverá Stream

At the unpaved car park by the entrance to the Sturluflöt Farm, there was an unusual WC as well as a view of a tall cascade across the farm’s pasture (on a branch of the Ytri-Þverá Stream).

The trail actually made us go around the Sturluflöt Property so we found ourselves hiking along the Kelduá River for about 500m.

As the path started to veer to our left, we noticed an attractive river waterfall further upstream on the Kelduá, which we paused briefly for.

Then, the path started following the Fellsá River uphill towards a fork in the trail about 1km away.

Strutsfoss_258_08112021 - Attractive cascades on the Kelduá River as the trail started to turn and ascend into the Villingadalur Valley
Attractive cascades on the Kelduá River as the trail started to turn and ascend into the Villingadalur Valley

At the fork, there was a path that descended to a footbridge traversing the Fellsá, but we stayed to the left to remain on the path to Strútsfoss as it went past some kind of shed.

As the trail started to veer away from the Sturluflöt Farm, we then followed the Villingadalur Valley.

In this stretch, we went through an extensively open area with low-lying shrubs (with interesting fuzzy black-trimmed leaves and bluish moths) alternating with open grassy fields.

The terrain undulated with only minor hills to go up and down, but nothing that was taxing besides the act of walking itself.

Strutsfoss_035_08112021 - Mom approaching a wooden shed as we ascended into Villingadalur up ahead
Mom approaching a wooden shed as we ascended into Villingadalur up ahead

The hike would persist in this manner for about the next 2km all the while revealing side cascades on the cliffs across the Fjellsá.

Towards the latter 500m of this stretch in the Villingadalur, we started to see Strútsfoss in the distance of the side canyon we were about to enter into.

Eventually, the trail veered into the side valley along the edge of the Strútsgil Gorge as we started to leave Villingadalur and approach a large rock cairn.

This was where we got our first satisfactory look at the Strútsfoss Waterfall, but it was still a rather distant vantage point so we continued on the trail for a closer look.

Strutsfoss_210_08112021 - This was the large rock cairn with a distant view towards the Strútsfoss Waterfall
This was the large rock cairn with a distant view towards the Strútsfoss Waterfall

At this point, the trail narrowed and climbed very steeply for the next 400m leading us up to the top of a hill.

Beyond the hill, there was a similarly steep path descending to the edge of a side ravine carved out by the Ytri-Þverá Stream, which had its own cascade.

This was the end of the hike, but from this spot, we were able to see not only Strútsfoss but also the rugged interior of the Strútsgil Gorge with its red striped cliffs.

After having our fill of this spot, we then went back the way we came, but we had to be real careful not to slip and fall on the steep descent back into Villingadalur Valley.

Strutsfoss_110_08112021 - This was the view of Strútsfoss in the context of the rugged Strútsgil Gorge, where I noticed some more of those red strata on the cliffs
This was the view of Strútsfoss in the context of the rugged Strútsgil Gorge, where I noticed some more of those red strata on the cliffs

This was where having good shoes and trekking poles, respectively, certainly helped with the traction and balance.

Authorities

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

Strutsfoss_001_08112021 - Looking towards the cascade that greeted us as we arrived at the Strútsfoss car park
Strutsfoss_005_08112021 - Mom getting started on the Strútsfoss hike, which actually took us away from the waterfall because we had to go around the Sturluflöt Farm's property
Strutsfoss_012_08112021 - Context of the beginning of the Strútsfoss Trail following the Kelduá in Suðurdalur
Strutsfoss_018_08112021 - Looking ahead towards the head of the Suðurdalur Valley where the Villingadalur will come in on the left of this photo
Strutsfoss_028_08112021 - Mom ascending the grassy trail as we approached the Villingadalur Valley alongside the Fellsá
Strutsfoss_038_08112021 - This sign kept us on track to go into Villingadalur instead of following the fencing marking the property boundary of the Sturluflöt Farm
Strutsfoss_040_08112021 - Context of Mom going through some low-lying shrubs as we made our way into Villingadalur Valley on the way to Strútsfoss
Strutsfoss_043_08112021 - The more we climbed, the more we were able to look back towards the Suðurdalur Valley and the Sturluflöt Farm
Strutsfoss_046_08112021 - Another stretch where we had to walk through the low-lying shrubs in Villingadalur Valley
Strutsfoss_048_08112021 - Closeup look at some of the fuzzy black-trimmed leaves growing within the low-lying shrubs of Villingadalur Valley en route to Strútsfoss
Strutsfoss_053_08112021 - Mom continuing to hike along Villingadalur amongst the low-lying shrubs
Strutsfoss_059_08112021 - Mom now traversing a wide open area in Villingadalur as we continued to make our way towards Strútsfoss, which was hiding inside the side canyon on our left
Strutsfoss_075_08112021 - Looking towards one of the side cascades feeding the Fellsá as we continued in Villingadalur towards Strútsfoss
Strutsfoss_076_08112021 - Context of that side cascade, where it was merely one of many gullies draping the south-facing wall of Villingadalur
Strutsfoss_077_08112021 - Mom continuing to follow along a wide open stretch of the Villingadalur Valley as we pushed towards Strútsfoss
Strutsfoss_080_08112021 - Finally making it to the rock cairn for Strútsfoss, but as you can see, the distant view compelled us to keep going
Strutsfoss_081_08112021 - Context of Mom continuing up the steep trail to get closer to Strútsfoss
Strutsfoss_083_08112021 - We had to contend with clouds blocking the upper drop of Strútsfoss during our August 2021 visit
Strutsfoss_088_08112021 - Context of Mom going up the increasingly steep trail to the hill with a view of Strútsfoss
Strutsfoss_093_08112021 - Closer look at the steep and slippery trail (due to the loose rocks and dirt) with Strútsfoss in the background
Strutsfoss_098_08112021 - While climbing higher to get a better view of Strútsfoss, I noticed this waterfall that I think is on the Stórilækur Stream
Strutsfoss_099_08112021 - Looking across the Strútsgil Gorge as I still climbed higher on the steep trail to the lookout for Strútsfoss
Strutsfoss_111_08112021 - Looking towards a side cascade on the Ytri-Þverá Stream as seen from the end of the hike for Strútsfoss
Strutsfoss_123_08112021 - Looking back up at Mom on the top of the hill just to give you an idea of how far down I went to the end of the trail
Strutsfoss_167_08112021 - As we started to descend back down from the hill, Strútsfoss started to reveal its upper drop again thanks to clouds starting to lift
Strutsfoss_187_08112021 - Another contextual look towards Strútsfoss and its rugged gorge as I was making my way back down
Strutsfoss_216_08112021 - Mom making her way back along Villingadalur after having had her fill of Strútsfoss
Strutsfoss_221_08112021 - Closeup look at some wildflowers with some kind of purple moth doing its thing in Villingadalur
Strutsfoss_226_08112021 - Mom continuing to make her way back along Villingadalur back to the trailhead
Strutsfoss_237_08112021 - Now that the clouds were definitely lifting, I realized that for a good chunk of the Villingadalur stretch of the hike, we should have been able to see parts of Strútsfoss
Strutsfoss_241_08112021 - Context of Mom continuing to make her way back down to the trailhead as she was going back through the low-lying shrubs at the foot of Villingadalur
Strutsfoss_251_08112021 - Mom making the final descent as we started to go around the Sturluflöt Farm again
Strutsfoss_255_08112021 - Context of Mom continuing to descend back towards the Sturluflöt Farm and the trailhead


The start of the hike for Strutsfoss (Strútsfoss) was deep in the Suðurdalur Valley by the Sturluflöt Farm.

I’ll describe the driving directions from Egilsstaðir (“EH-yils-sta-thir”).

Strutsfoss_004_08112021 - The car park for Strútsfoss
The car park for Strútsfoss

Starting from the roundabout between the Route 1 and Route 95 in Egilsstaðir, we drove south on the Route 95 for a little more than 11km, where we’d eventually leave the 95 for the 931 road.

Then, we’d take the 931 road along the southern banks of Lagarfljót for about 21km (passing through Hallormsstaðarskógur Forest) before turning left onto the Road 933.

Then, we’d follow the 933 road for nearly 20km to the car park right at the entrance to the Sturluflöt Farm.

The last 8km or so was on a gravel road.

Strutsfoss_002_08112021 - Looking towards the private entrance for the Sturluflöt Farm
Looking towards the private entrance for the Sturluflöt Farm

Overall, this drive would take about an hour.

Now since we actually drove from Hengifoss to Strútsfoss, I’ll also describe this route.

From Hengifoss, we continued about 6.5km west on the Route 933 before turning left on an easy-to-miss road taking us nearly 2km across Lagarfljót over two bridges.

Then, we turned right onto the Road 935 (Suðurdalsvegur) and followed it for about 12km to the car park for Strútsfoss on the right.

Strutsfoss_006_08112021 - The car park for Strútsfoss had an unusual WC
The car park for Strútsfoss had an unusual WC

This drive only took us about 25 minutes.

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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270 degree sweep from the end of the hike for Strutsfoss examining neighboring waterfalls as well as the main waterfalls and the red-strata-lined canyon downstream of it


360 degree sweep showing Strutsfoss twice in perhaps the cleanest view yet that I was able to get of its upper drop as clouds were starting to lift


360 degree sweep from the rock cairn that started and ended with a fairly clean look at Strutsfoss

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Tagged with: sudurdalur, jokulsa a fljotsdal, egilsstadir, sturluflot, keldua, villingadalur, fellsa, strutsgil, red strata



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