Snaedalsfoss (Hamarsafoss)

Hamarsa / Eastfjords, East Region (Austurland), Iceland

About Snaedalsfoss (Hamarsafoss)


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2007-07-02
Date last visited: 2021-08-09

Waterfall Latitude: 64.64343
Waterfall Longitude: -14.53769

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Snædalsfoss (or Hamarsafoss) is a fairly thick and conspicuous waterfall that we happened to notice while driving the Ring Road through the Eastfjords.

We happened to notice this waterfall on our first visit to Iceland in 2007 when we did the Ring Road in a clockwise manner.

Eastfjords_007_07012007 - Snædalsfoss was the mysterious waterfall near Djúpivogur that I never knew had a name until I saw it on my Gaia GPS app map
Snædalsfoss was the mysterious waterfall near Djúpivogur that I never knew had a name until I saw it on my Gaia GPS app map

However, when we passed by this area a second time in August 2021, we actually tried to see if it was possible to get a closer look instead of the distant view we wound up getting on that first visit.

So on the second visit, we drove down an unpaved road called Bragðavallavegur, which was on the same side of the river as the falls, and it ultimately brought us to the Bragðavellir Farm and Cottages.

Since we weren’t staying here, we really had no business in stopping here and looking to hike through their property to the falls, which was about 1.3km away.

Thus, we backtracked to the Ring Road again, and then we took the next road labeled Hamarssel on my Gaia GPS map, which we took to a familiar informal pullout with a view across the Hamarsá River towards Snædalsfoss.

Snaedalsfoss_010_08092021 - Context of the crumbling bridge over the Hamarsá with Snædalsfoss in the distance
Context of the crumbling bridge over the Hamarsá with Snædalsfoss in the distance

By the way, I believe this waterfall also went by the name Hamarsafoss because of the presence of the fairly large Hamarsá River.

Anyways, since we wanted to see if there was a legal way to get closer to the falls than just looking across the river at it, we had noticed there was a footbridge over the Hamarsá River.

However, when I got onto that bridge, I noticed that it looked like it was crumbling and unmaintained.

Furthermore, I noticed some fencing infrastructure on its far side essentially discouraging public access to go any further (the falls was still 1.4km away from the bridge).

Snaedalsfoss_024_08092021 - Tahia, who's a big lover of dogs, enjoyed the company of the local dog that I'd imagine belongs to the Bragðavellir Farm. It kind of reminds me of the time when we were followed around by a local dog way out at Djúpavík in the Westfjords
Tahia, who’s a big lover of dogs, enjoyed the company of the local dog that I’d imagine belongs to the Bragðavellir Farm. It kind of reminds me of the time when we were followed around by a local dog way out at Djúpavík in the Westfjords

Thus, we had to be content with our distant views across the river just like on our first visit back in 2007, but at least the local dog made its way towards us and kept us company for a bit.

Authorities

Snædalsfoss resides in the East Region near Djúpivogur, 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.

Snaedalsfoss_001_08092021 - When we looked at the continuation of the unpaved Hamarssel Road, it looked like it went quite a ways along the Hamarsá River
Snaedalsfoss_002_08092021 - This was the distant view across the Hamarsá River towards Snædalsfoss
Snaedalsfoss_006_08092021 - Following this old road as I approached that bridge spanning the Hamarsá River in an attempt to get closer to Snædalsfoss without trespassing
Snaedalsfoss_007_08092021 - Contextual view across the Hamarsá River towards Snædalsfoss
Snaedalsfoss_008_08092021 - Getting closer to the bridge over the Hamarsá River
Snaedalsfoss_011_08092021 - Upon closer inspection of the bridge over Hamarsá, it looked like it was in deteriorating shape and it made me wonder if it was no longer maintained
Snaedalsfoss_012_08092021 - On the other side of the bridge was some fencing perhaps to discourage trespassing. So I respected the hint and opted to not continue to hike the 1.4km from here to the front of Snædalsfoss
Snaedalsfoss_013_08092021 - This was the angled view across the Hamarsá River towards Snædalsfoss from that old bridge
Snaedalsfoss_015_08092021 - Looking back at the context of the pullout where we stopped the car at and the bridge that I was on
Snaedalsfoss_031_08092021 - The whole time we were alone in this spot near Snædalsfoss, the local dog was keeping us company
Snaedalsfoss_033_08092021 - Using a telephoto lens to bring Snædalsfoss a lot closer
Snaedalsfoss_035_08092021 - Another focused look across the Hamarsá River towards Snædalsfoss
Snaedalsfoss_046_08092021 - Still another focused look with a telephoto lens at Snædalsfoss
Snaedalsfoss_051_08092021 - Looking down the wide Hamarsá River before we continued on our long drive up the Eastfjords during our August 2021 visit
Snaedalsfoss_002_08092021 - This was the distant view across the Hamarsá River towards Snædalsfoss
Eastfjords_006_07012007 - This is how we saw Snædalsfoss (which I called the waterfall near Djúpivogur because I didn't know its name at the time) when we first stopped by on our first Iceland trip in 2007
Eastfjords_017_07022007 - I recalled that on our 2007 trip, we drove the Ring Road in a clockwise direction, and back then, the Eastfjords of Iceland were mostly quiet and undeveloped.  It was also mostly unsealed so when we finally got onto some sealed roads, it did feel like we were going back into 'civilization', and this occurred as we were approaching the Batman mountain in the distance


The nearest town of any significant size to Snædalsfoss is the small coastal town of Djúpivogur so I’ll describe the driving directions from there.

Starting from Djúpivogur, we’d drive back towards the Ring Road (roughly 1.3km) before turning left onto the Ring Road.

Snaedalsfoss_002_iPhone_08092021 - Approaching a bend on the unpaved Hamarssel Road where the small road veering left was where we saw a patch of clearing acting as the pullout. I suspect it was the former road leading over the old bridge towards the Bragðavellir Farm
Approaching a bend on the unpaved Hamarssel Road where the small road veering left was where we saw a patch of clearing acting as the pullout. I suspect it was the former road leading over the old bridge towards the Bragðavellir Farm

Then, we’d drive on the Ring Road for about 10km before turning right onto an unsigned (at least both times we’ve been here in 2007 and 2021) road on the right (before the long bridge).

That unsigned road is labeled Hamarssel on my topo map, where we’d then follow it roughly 700m towards a bend in the road, where we found an informal pullout.

This pullout is within view of the old bridge I described in this write-up, and I suspect that it might have been a road going over that bridge at one point.

In any case, this drive would take about 15 minutes.

Drive_to_Snaedalsfoss_032_iPhone_08092021 - Context of the access road leading to the Bragðavellir Farm and Cotages with Snædalsfoss in the distance
Context of the access road leading to the Bragðavellir Farm and Cotages with Snædalsfoss in the distance

If you’re coming from Höfn in the other direction, then we’d drive 5km back to the Ring Road before turning right onto the Ring Road.

From there, we’d drive 87km, where we’d cross the bridge over Hamarsá and then turn left onto the unpaved Hamarssel Road and follow it for roughly 700m to the informal pullout for a distant view of the falls.

Finally, if you’re interested in checking out the Bragðavellir Cottages, then we’d return from Hamarssel back to the Ring Road, cross the long bridge, and then make the first turn on the right to reach the property.

Just to give you a little bit of perspective on distances, Djúpivogur is about 104km (about 90 minutes drive) east of Höfn, 85km (about 90 minutes drive) south of Egilsstaðir, 297km (about 4 hours drive) east of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, 331km (about 4.5 hours drive) southeast of Akureyri, and 552km (over 7 hours drive) east of Reykjavík.

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Backwards L-shaped sweep starting from the bridge and then panning over to the waterfall with zoom ins from a distance


Back and forth zoomed in sweep along the river before focusing on the waterfall itself

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Tagged with: djupivogur, hofn, east region, austurland, iceland, waterfall, ring road, hamarsafoss, mulathing



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