Stakkholtsgjá Canyon | A Visit to the Wondrous Canyon in the Highlands of Iceland


Basic Information

  • Stakkholtsgjá is located in the Southern part of the Icelandic Highlands. 
  • Located on your way to Þórsmörk Nature Reserve.
  • It takes about an hour and a half or at most two hours to undertake the hike back and forth.
  • Stakkholtsgjá canyon is only accessible in summer.
  • A 4×4 car is required to go to Stakkholtsgjá Canyon. 

Stakkholtsgjá is a wondrous canyon, situated in Southern part of the Icelandic Highlands. It is highly-known for the magical hiking trail that leads to a majestic waterfall. The gorge is a part of the Þórsmörk Nature Reserve. Every bit of Stakkholtsgjá canyon shines out with picturesque beauty. Stakkholtsgjá is about a hundred meters deep. While crossing the two kilometers long gravel path of the canyon, you will experience many moments of amazement.

The canyon passes across several small streams that are to be crossed. Though the trail is relatively large at its entrance, it narrows towards its edge. Starting from the entrance of the gorge, it is covered by high and straight high palagonite cliffs. The palagonite cliffs have various forms, fascinating caves, deep and narrow ravines, and shelves with vegetation and, to name some.

Stakkholtsgjá canyon

Hike Your Way up to the Waterfall

The hike in Stakkholtsgjá gorge is amazing. Icelandic people have quite a lot of fun traversing trails like these. It takes about an hour and a half or at most two hours to undertake the hike back and forth. Though the trail is not even, it is comparatively flat and should be comfortable for most individuals, which includes children. Although, you have to be very careful with children especially in areas like these which are mossy. There is always the risk of slipping. The path is cut by multiple smaller streams that have the rocks beneath. Though the streams are not deep, the rocks can be quite slippery. Wearing sturdy waterproof boots with excellent grip is highly recommended. You also need to be careful around the waterfall which is quite damp.

Choose a bright day to visit this beautiful place. The entire experience of hiking fills with fun under the sunshine. It makes the surroundings even more mystical. Do carry your camera along as you can click some stunning shots here. Just make sure your equipment does not get wet from the heavy drizzle around the waterfall.

After you have spent some time at Stakkholtsgjá, you can explore the Þórsmörk Nature Reserve which is famous for the widespread forests and three glaciers that surround it: Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, and Tindfjallajökull.

Stakkholtsgjá canyon

Driving to Stakkholtsgjá Canyon

You can always opt for a guided tour to Stakkholtsgjá but if you are on a self-driving tour, you must take care of a few important things. You will require a four-wheel-drive to reach the canyon. If your drive starts from Reykjavík, you have to go towards the Ring Road traveling south in the direction of Route 249. Then you will have to take the turn located right next to the famous South Coast waterfall of Seljalandsfoss and the road that takes you to Þórsmörk. This Route 249 further turns into the highland trail, the F249, which bumps quite a lot. The trail includes river crossings. The canyon can be found inside Þórsmörk. Ensure that you and your vehicle are fully prepared for the trip. If the trip is done with caution, you will remember it for a lifetime. Stakkholtsgjá canyon is only accessible in summer.

Stakkholtsgjá canyon

Stakkholtsgjá Canyon on a map

Interesting locations in the area

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