Thorufoss

Laxa i Kjos, Capital Region (Höfuðborgarsvæði), Iceland

About Thorufoss


Hiking Distance: almost roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2007-06-21
Date last visited: 2021-08-05

Waterfall Latitude: 64.26097
Waterfall Longitude: -21.36997

Waterfaller Newsletter

Get over the hump of the mid-week blues! Subscribe and get exclusive curated content delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.

Thorufoss (Icelandic spelling is Þórufoss; pronounced “THOR-oo-foss”) was an obscure yet attractive waterfall we saw on the Laxá í Kjós River.

Not only did it have a pretty satisfying size in a raw and Naturesque landscape, but it also featured a somewhat trapezoidal shape.

Thorufoss_027_06212007 - Thorufoss
Thorufoss

I called this waterfall obscure because it didn’t seem to be well signposted (if at all) during our first visit in June 2007.

It basically came down to trusting our GPS with map software and hoping that the pre-trip waypoint was correctly put in.

The waterfall and ravine that it was in was not visible from the small pullout (see directions below).

So we had to walk a short distance towards the river (and the source of the noise of falling water) onto a wide bluff overlooking the river before the falls finally revealed itself.

Thorufoss_046_08052021 - Looking back at a group of tourists who managed to follow us to the base of Þórufoss after seeing how we followed one of the unofficial use-trails
Looking back at a group of tourists who managed to follow us to the base of Þórufoss after seeing how we followed one of the unofficial use-trails

On that first visit of the falls, we were content to with the elevated and contextual views of Thorufoss without getting a closer look at its base.

Anyways, when we came back in August 2021 (14 years after our first visit), we found that the obscurity of this waterfall was no more.

We observed that there was a dedicated signposted car park, and the once-obscure use-trails that weren’t so obvious back in 2007 now were quite pronounced.

I even stumbled upon a video showing a scene from the Game of Thrones (even though I’ve never watched the HBO series), which undoubtedly brought it more attention.

Laxa_i_Kjos_003_06212007 - Þórufoss is on the Laxá í Kjós River, which is said to be great for salmon fishing.  The waterfall is perhaps the largest of the many rapids and cascades that run towards Hvalfjörður to the north
Þórufoss is on the Laxá í Kjós River, which is said to be great for salmon fishing. The waterfall is perhaps the largest of the many rapids and cascades that run towards Hvalfjörður to the north

Speaking of the use trails, given the reputation of the river Laxá í Kjós (upon which Þórufoss flowed on) for its quantity of feisty Atlantic Salmon, I suspected these use-trails were probably started by anglers reaching the banks of the river.

So given the more obvious use-trails that we noticed on our second visit, we managed to scramble down one of these trails to reach the banks of the river.

Then, we were able to follow the narrow “trail” hugging the south side of the river towards the mist zone at the base of the falls.

There’s nothing official about this narrow and slippery trail so we really did this at our own risk.

Thorufoss_009_08052021 - Looking down along the narrow and eroded banks of this side cascade as we took it down towards the base of Þórufoss
Looking down along the narrow and eroded banks of this side cascade as we took it down towards the base of Þórufoss

Of course, after the lemmings effect of other people watching us do this, pretty soon many other people did the same, and I’d imagine these use-trails will continue to become more pronounced (and more eroded) over time.

Authorities

Thorufoss resides in the Capital Region of Iceland near Reykjavik, Iceland. It is administered by the municipality of Kjósarhreppur. For information or inquiries about the general area as well as current conditions, you may want to try visiting their website.

Thorufoss_001_08052021 - When we returned to the Thorufoss waterfall in August 2021, we had to wait out a rather heavy squall, which yielded this rainbow when the craziness ended and was calm enough for me to get out of the car
Thorufoss_005_08052021 - Looking down at the context of the Thorufoss Waterfall where there was one couple that did manage to make it down to its base
Thorufoss_007_08052021 - Looking at the context of the eroded scramble alongside a side stream leading towards the base of Thorufoss
Thorufoss_052_08052021 - Looking back at the context of the eroded scramble that I took on the other side of this cascade to reach the base of Thorufoss
Thorufoss_011_08052021 - After making to the banks of the Laxa i Kjos River, the rest of the way to the base of Thorufoss was pretty straightforward
Thorufoss_048_08052021 - Looking back towards some of the bluffs that would have overlooked Thorufoss, where some people were doing just that while we were below
Thorufoss_014_08052021 - Direct look at the full width of the Thorufoss Waterfall
Thorufoss_025_08052021 - Context of the scramble leading to the spray zone at the base of the Thorufoss Waterfall
Thorufoss_028_08052021 - Context of someone braving the spray zone in front of Thorufoss, which provided this photo a sense of scale of the size of the waterfall
Thorufoss_033_08052021 - Looking across a calm part of the river that was reflecting the Thorufoss Waterfall
Thorufoss_045_08052021 - Looking back at Mom as she was headed back towards the car park after having her fill of Thorufoss' base
Thorufoss_051_08052021 - Back to ascending the eroded path leading up alongside this side cascade as I was returning towards the Thorufoss car park and viewing bluffs
Thorufoss_056_08052021 - Full contextual view of Thorufoss after having returned to the overlooking bluffs. Notice the people standing near the base of the falls for a sense of scale
Thorufoss_058_08052021 - Looking back towards the car park just to give you an idea of how far I walked out onto the bluffs to get my elevated views of Thorufoss. This was the last of the 2021 photos in this gallery.
Laxa_i_Kjos_002_jx_06212007 - While driving the unpaved route 48 (unpaved as of 2007), we shared the road with sheep. Note that the rest of the photos in this photo gallery were taken on that 2007 trip
Thorufoss_021_06212007 - Focused look at the Thorufoss waterfall during our first visit in 2007
Thorufoss_037_06212007 - Julie has a seat (largely to ensure she doesn't lose her balance and fall off the edge) and checks out Þórufoss
Thorufoss_025_06212007 - Another close-up look at Þórufoss
Thorufoss_040_06212007 - Looking downstream at the Laxá í Kjós
Thorufoss_038_06212007 - Looking directly across the Laxá í Kjós towards some obscure side waterfall on the other side
Thorufoss_041_06212007 - Last look at the Thorufoss waterfall during our 2007 visit


This was the approach we took as we had come from the direction of Hvalfjörður (after having visited Glymur and Sjávarfoss.

From the route 47 and 48 junction (at the mouth of the river Laxá í Kjós), we drove about 17km southeast on the unpaved route 48 (essentially running parallel to the river) until we saw a pole and a pullout on our left.

Thorufoss_052_06212007 - In 2007, this pole kind of served as our landmark letting us know that we were some place close to where we wanted to be - the Thorufoss waterfall
In 2007, this pole kind of served as our landmark letting us know that we were some place close to where we wanted to be – the Thorufoss waterfall

That pole basically served as a landmark (maybe the sign that was attached to it was taken off or blown down?) to hint to us that perhaps this was the correct place to stop.

It’s a little over 42km from Reykjavik to the route 47 and 48 junction.

The route 47/48 junction was about 12km east of where the Ring Road goes under the Hvalfjörður.

We left the Ring Road to go onto Road 47 at this junction.

Thorufoss_003_08052021 - In 2021, that obscure pole and pullout was now replaced by this much larger car park with a signed turnoff making it much easier to find the Thorufoss waterfall
In 2021, that obscure pole and pullout was now replaced by this much larger car park with a signed turnoff making it much easier to find the Thorufoss waterfall

Overall, the drive to go this route from Reykjavik was about 48km (taking under an hour).

Alternatively, you could also drive from Reykjavik to the Ring Road, then take the Ring Road north for about 10km then turn right onto Route 36.

Follow Route 36 for about 17km then turn left onto Route 48.

Follow Route 48 for about 5.5km and look for a small pole on the right.

Thorufoss_004_08052021 - There's now a signpost pointing towards the car park for the Thorufoss waterfall. Notice how the Road 48 right behind the sign is now paved
There’s now a signpost pointing towards the car park for the Thorufoss waterfall. Notice how the Road 48 right behind the sign is now paved

The total driving going this way is roughly 40km (a little over 30 minutes drive).

Find A Place To Stay



Booking.com

Semicircular downstream to upstream sweep along the banks of the Laxa i Kjos ending up with somewhat distant view of Thorufoss


Downstream to upstream view from the base of Thorufoss in its mist zone


Downstream to upstream sweep from the ridge overlooking Thorufoss

Related Top 10 Lists

No Posts Found

Trip Planning Resources


Nearby Accommodations




Booking.com


Tagged with: thorufoss, porufoss, laxa, kjos, hvalfjordur, iceland, waterfall, reykjavik, west region, vesturland



Visitor Comments:

No users have replied to the content on this page


Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

No users have submitted a write-up/review of this waterfall


Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls

The Waterfaller Newsletter

The Waterfaller Newsletter is where we curate the wealth of information on the World of Waterfalls website and deliver it to you in bite-sized chunks in your email inbox. You'll also get exclusive content like...

  • Waterfall Wednesdays
  • Insider Tips
  • User-submitted Waterfall Write-up of the Month
  • and the latest news and updates both within the website as well as around the wonderful world of waterfalls


The Process of How I Earn Income Sharing My Passion Through Lived Experiences

Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.