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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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”).
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.
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.
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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