Backpack the Laugavegur Trail: Þórsmörk to Skógar

Þórsmörk, Iceland

Most backpackers choose to end their trek at Þórsmörk. Don't make that mistake. Trek the additional 15 miles on the Laugavegur trail that leaves Þórsmörk and ends at the ever-popular waterfall Skógafoss in Skógar, and you won't regret it.

If you are on your way to Iceland to trek the incredible Laugavegur trail, and you've read about the first part of the trek in this article, then don't miss out on the last 15 miles you should be adding to the trek. This trail actually continues on to Skógar, but some backpackers choose to end at Þórsmörk. Don't make that mistake. 

In my opinion after hiking the full 6 days on this trek, the last 15 miles were the most incredible views of the whole trek. I lost count of how many enormous waterfalls I passed. Not knowing what any of their names were, I snapped photo after photo. You won't regret it.

You will climb a little more than 3,000 feet, and then descend a little over 4,000 feet

This is probably the most popular hiking trail in Iceland as it is relatively short, but it can also be very dangerous because of sudden changes in weather that can occur in any season. You will notice in my photos the weather that usually settles in that area. Cloudy, rainy, and cold are something you should get used to. It can be calm and fine on the lowland but as you climb up to 1000 meters, you can get heavy winds, pitch-black fog or even snowstorm. 

You will see plenty of signs pointing you in the direction to Skógar, however, depending on weather these signs may be covered in snow or thick fog and clouds. 

From the hut at Skógar walk downstream to the bridge over the glacier-fed river. Walk due south until reaching the road, and then follow the road east up valley towards the hut Eystrihattur. Once you cross the creek that flows from the canyon Strakagil, you will start to climb steeply. The trail levels out briefly onto a rocky plateau before climbing again to the pass “Fimmvorouhals,” which early in the season will be snowbound. The pass lies between the glaciers “Eyjafjallajökull” and “Mýrdalsjökull.” There is a hut above the pass, accessible by a 1-km long trail. Shortly beyond and slightly below this side trail is an emergency hut. Depending on the weather and your mood, either follow the wooden posts cross-country or follow the road downhill. When you get to the Skóga river, follow the river, not the road. The river showcases an amazing canyon of endless green walls and incredible waterfalls. You’ll wind up right at Skógafoss, which is 60m high. 

This is where you will pick up any bus route you need, stay an extra day by camping, or make reservations at the hostels at the location. 

Be ready for hordes of people, once you reach the lowlands. Don't hurry past the last few miles, there is so much to do off the trail and see at the canyons.  

Pack List

  • Down jacket
  • Hiking boots
  • Wool layers
  • 60-70L backpack (if doing full trek)
  • Backpack raincover
  • Trekking poles
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Headlamp
  • Rain jacket and rain pants
  • Wool socks
  • Gloves
  • Water bottles and/or Camelbak that can hold at least 2L in total
Show More
RT Distance 15 Miles
Elevation Gain 3000 Feet
Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Bathrooms
Forest
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Don't Miss It!

Completely agree with this description--don't end your hike before reaching Skogar! There is still so much amazingness in the last leg of this trek.


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