Occasional Traveler

A collection of my thoughts and photos on travel.

Posts Tagged ‘Iceland

Glymur Waterfall Hike (Failed) Attempt

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I love researching hikes for trips and Iceland was not lacking options. I especially get excited about hikes that are a little more off the beaten path since it usually means there won’t be a ton of people on the trails. I read about the Glymur Waterfall Hike on a few blogs (Life with a View). The hike included a river crossing with delicious glacier water, a cave, and great views of the second highest waterfall in Iceland!

I was a little concerned about this river crossing— it involved walking along some rocks and a log in the water while holding on to a wire. I read a few different blog posts about this crossing and ultimately decided it was doable.

Fast forward to Day 2 of our 8-day post-graduation Iceland trip. Following Google maps, we left Reykjavik after a late breakfast and arrived at the trail head a couple of hours later. There were other cars in the gravel lot, but there were plenty of spots to park. The sign indicated that our hike would be 3.6km one-way. No sweat!


There were some gray clouds in the sky and we knew rain was likely, so we wore our rain jackets and I left my DSLR in the car. The views from the parking lot were still stunning! We had noticed during our drive and now on this hike that there were fields of these pretty purple flowers that reminded me of bluebonnets. I later learned that the flower is the Alaskan lupine, a flower that was introduced to Iceland in 1945 to fight soil erosion, but that ended up spreading all over the island. There’s apparently mixed feelings about these flowers among Icelanders.

We reached the river and there was a path down to the cave. I opted to walk around and snap some photos of the river from the higher vantage point.

If you look closely, you can see someone making the river crossing!

Shortly after, we descended down the trail to the cave. Well, it’s a bit dark in there and Michael ended up slipping and cutting his wrist. Eeks! It was a deep, bloody gash. He went to the side of the river to rinse it off in that delicious glacier water (we forgot to try drinking it!). Being the worrywart that I am, I was already thinking that we might have to find an urgent care center for him to get stitches. And Michael being himself, insisted that he was fine and that we should continue our hike.

20180619_132546View from inside the cave looking down onto the river.

20180619_131208View looking up at the cave once we walked through it.

After leaving the cave, the trail descended further and continues along the side of the river. Then, we reached the river crossing. A couple of hikers were stepping out of the river, pants rolled up and shoes hanging around their necks. Hm. The water level was MUCH higher than what I had seen in the blogs, so the stepping rocks were all under water and the water was moving fast. We watched a few more people carefully cross before deciding that maybe we should just hike back— especially with Michael’s cut wrist.

So, we didn’t get to see the waterfall at all, but really, we couldn’t complain. The views from our short hike (we covered maybe 1.8 miles round-trip) were great! Michael was careful to avoid putting his wrist into untreated pool water for the rest of the trip, and he now has a gnarly scar with a (sorta) cool story.



Written by Jessica

November 6, 2018 at 5:18 PM

Posted in Iceland, photography, travel

Tagged with , ,