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Dettifoss and Selfoss

Dettifoss, Iceland

based on 5 reviews



2.55 miles

Elevation Gain

535 ft

Route Type



Added by Alex Tande

Dettifoss and Selfoss are two great waterfalls in a relatively short distance, with 0 effort required to explore them. 

Dettifoss and Selfoss are two waterfalls located closely together, separated only by about one kilometer of easy walking along a cliff top. 

From the parking lot it is easy to find the start the trail. Just to the right of bathroom, or the water closet (WC) is the beginning to get to both Dettifoss and Selfoss. 

We started by walking to Dettifoss, following all the signs to the falls. It first kicks you out almost right on top of the falls. From there you can either walk down closer to the falls or further down stream from the falls to actually see the full cascade of Europe's largest waterfall in terms of volume of water. The trails closer to the falls will most likely be closed unless you are there in summer. 

After Dettifoss, you follow the cliff upstream to find yourself at Selfoss. You will lose visuals of the falls the closer to the top of the falls you get. 

The entire way is super flat with a few steps here and there. It is an easy walk to enjoy some cool water falls. 

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Dettifoss and Selfoss Reviews

The waterfalls are amazing and especially Dettifoss is mindblowing because of how immense it is. Access is very easy, though expect to get wet :)

Two different but both impressive waterfalls located on glacier river Jökulsá. Impressive geology around the waterfalls and in the canyon!

If you are in north Iceland make this a priority. Dettifoss is mind boggling immense. We drove up on the west side because that road is paved. I think it has a better vantage point as well. When you walk to Gulfoss a 5-10 minute walk up river you can hop around on the rocks above the falls. The east side probably is a better vantage point for pictures of Gulfoss though.

When we reached Dettifoss there were two gorgeous rainbows at the drop. Everyone was excited about it. It was a fun little trek out to Dettifoss to see such a powerful waterfall, but I wish I would've been on the other side of the waterfalls to really capture better photos. Not a big deal... Selfoss on the other hand was a pleasant surprise. The streams were smaller and had some vegetation in between the flow and was breathtaking. Both were a sight to see for certain.

I explored around these waterfalls during a pretty severe storm so although I did not have to deal with any of the typical crowds, I did have some limited access to the best vantage points of Dettifoss. You could see how Dettifoss is tremendously powerful, but I honestly did not get that feeling from it. I thought, Selfoss had a bit more going for it in terms of grace and composition for images.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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