It is said JRR Tolkien was hiking this pass when he was inspired to write The Lord of The Rings. And only a few hundred meters into the hike you will see why. As you hike upwards, stunning waterfalls reveal themselves behind ever bend and jagged volcanic cliffs blanketed in moss skirt the sides of the trail. It is one of the most beautiful hikes in all of Iceland.

You can start on either side of the pass whether it is Thórsmörk or Skógar, each way is just as visually stunning as the other. The trail winds up past numerous waterfalls and picture perfect landscapes. Signs and cairns will direct you in the right direction. At the top there are two mountain huts that you can hunker down in and warm up, use the kitchen, buy assorted food items and they even offer beds if you get reservations in advance. The trail gets very technical at some points and requires holding onto chains that are anchored into the rock to prevent a fall. The route is only accessible from mid-June to late-August. The trek is 14 miles one way and takes close to 12 hours to complete when moving at a decent pace. It is hands down the most beautiful hike I've ever had the opportunity experience and offers an amazing sample of the wild, untamed beauty that Iceland has to offer.

Pack List

  • Good Shoes
  • Water
  • Food
  • Camera
  • Clothing to withstand the unpredictable Icelandic weather
Show More
RT Distance 14 Miles
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Summer
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Bathrooms
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike to the Falls above Skógafoss

You can see Skogafoss from the highway. You will also immediately see the tourist buses and the throngs of people working hard to make the same photo.

534 Saves

Explore Skógafoss in the Winter

Throughout all seasons of the year, Skógafoss is one of Iceland’s most visited waterfalls. This waterfall is in the top 5 largest in the country, with a dizzying drop of 60 meters.

261 Saves

Walk Behind A Hidden Waterfall at Kvernufoss

Begin by driving to the Skogar Museum, just off the Ring Road (1). You will take the same turn to get here as you would to get to Skogafoss, so it makes sense to plan to see both at the same time.

295 Saves