Explore the most popular trails in Reykjavík with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Reykjavík, Iceland Map

None of us are frequent climbers. some Yosemite trails and the Acadia park's Cadillac Mountain were our prior ascents. Cadillac was harder than the trails we took at Yosemite with poorer trail markings on open rock face and a steady ascent with little to no ropes or rails.

Glymur falls was harder still due to steepness, narrow parts of the path with precipitous falls, also plenty of mud on the descent and some slippery rocks due to rain. Because there are hand ropes in many places on the ascent this trail only requires great hicking shoes/boots, appopriate clothing on or in a waterproof pack and if you do the river crossing above the falls good water shoes.

Our group discussed the medium difficulty rating and we agree, it is medium as it requires no technical climbing skills and can be done if you are moderately fit. Our group took breaks for water and pictures. So our hike took 4 hours. We were amazed at the lack of guard rails, walls and fences like back in the US ....LOL. You'll get over it.

On our hike we changed layers at the top where cold winds and misty rains started chilling us through our Gortex jacket and pants. Even in August after sweating and getting our heads wet, the rain and winds by the peak's river crossing could be an issue if you don't have extra layers to add.

Also, when crossing the river above the falls...as noted elsewhere in other reviews, be mindful of how slick the large and flat rocks can get. I watched another hiker in good diving shoes go right into the water slipping. Use the smaller rocks for stepping. The deepest water we hit there was halfway up our shins.

Another point...as you come back down the easier trail there will be a sign post and it will say to the right is parking in 3km. It will say to left parking is in 3.2km. and some climbing is needed. Go left. Left involves a decent on some gravel and rock and a serpentine trail but it is the preferred path. Just look for two huge stone cairns and take one two trails down ..they rejoin later in the grassy and rocky meadow.

Super look over the sea and the port and what a nice city!!!

This hike is impressive! I was getting a bit bored of the “walk-up” touristy waterfalls in Iceland and this one is definitely not that, but also is not for the faint of heart (in many ways)! You can’t see the waterfalls you are hiking to when you leave the parking lot and the first (wrong) waterfalls you see may lead you to believe this hike won’t really be worth it, but just wait!

The drive to the trailhead only requires a 2WD vehicle. We spent 4 hours on this hike; it probably would have been 3 if I didn’t stop to take so many pics. There are no restrooms. Women (and men): please please please PACK OUT YOUR TIOLET PAPER TRASH! Bring an extra ziplock bag or napkin to stick your used toilet paper in, or better yet, just skip the toilet paper altogether. It was really sad and disgusting to see this trail littered with toilet paper. I’m not sure why people think it’s okay to toss their toilet paper in nature.

There are two decent river crossings. The first river crossing happens after you go through the cave. There is a rope to hold onto with large rocks to step on part of the way, and then a log the rest of the way, but a sign said that the log is taken away in winter when it’s too dangerous and slippery. We went in August and the river crossing was not bad at all and I didn’t even think it was slippery.

After the first river crossing is when the hike finally gets real. I didn’t read reviews of this hike before tackling it, but even now that I’m looking at reviews, I’m shocked at how hardly anyone mentions how tough and scary this hike is! If you are afraid of heights or are out of shape, this hike is not for you. I’m from Colorado and used to hard hikes and don’t even consider myself afraid of heights, but this hike is absolutely no joke! There are cliffside exposures practically the whole way after the first river crossing and although there are ropes and poles to help people up some of the steep sections, there are still plenty of spots where you are on your own on very loose dirt/rock sections that are inches away from a cliff. It also doesn’t help that this trail has high traffic so you may have to move aside on a steep section to let opposite traffic by.

There are several sections that level out on cliffs to get a perfect view of the canyon and waterfall and each view gets better and better. If you reach one of the first views of this magnificent waterfall and don’t think this hike is for you, just turn around because the trail doesn’t get any easier.

At the top of the waterfall is when you can cross the water a second time and keep going on a loop to continue down the other side of the canyon instead of coming back the way you came. I would recommend this option to get back since the loop trail going back is not nearly as steep. This is where you will most certainly have to take off your shoes to cross a wide river because you’ll be in water that is at least ankle deep. Stay on the loose rocks rather than the big flat rocks under the water because the big rocks have moss that is very slippery. The water is relatively shallow at the top and there are plenty of sections that do not have strong current.

There are also two trail options to return back on the other side of the canyon. The trail options on the other side of the canyon are not nearly as scenic as the first trail to get up to the waterfall and there are not good views of the waterfall along the way, but as such, they are not nearly as steep or scary. You may wonder afterwards why the first trail going out doesn’t just take you up on the non-steep/non-cliff trail, but it was definitely worth it to do the trail going counterclock -wise and go up the steep section first because you can only see the waterfall from that angle.

I really enjoyed this hike! The cave and log river crossing were novel.

Okay the falls are beautiful and no they are not the ones you see from the parking lot. Also theres a cave too that you pass through however thats the start of the difficulties of this trail. This is not a moderate trail and I regularly hike in Colorado. Shortly after the cave which is slippery when wet, you have to cross the river which requires walking through the river and then walking on a wet slippery log over to the other side. You have to roll up your pants and take you shoes off. The water is freezing. Then the trail becomes narrow and steep and there are 4 spots where you must use the ropes provided to climb up the mountain. A few of the poles are loose and doesnt help your ascent or descent. We did an out and back and stopped at the last lookout point between check points 5&6. Also the trail is well marked with signs but also look for the yellow dots on rocks (esp around check point 2 because of tangents from the trail). Other than that if you are an experienced hiker, you should do this. If not, you are welcome to try.

23 days ago

What a fantastic trail. We took the blue route to Stein (“peak”) which is the one i recommend to do. Took us 2 hrs. Although we saw people in strappy sandals and brand new white converse, it would be better to wear trail shoes or hiking boots, as the trail is very wet. It also is apparently easier to go left on the loop (aka at check point 3 go straight, dont cross the bridge), but both ways are doable. It rain on us and was very windy and i got cold. Other than that the trail is very well marked and there is a small cafe at the bottom.

on Mount Esja (Esjan)

30 days ago

Good challenge! Took the left up and the right down...hard work out of the way first and less pounding on the joints back down. Chains in the rock the last 0.1 mile don’t help that much but they’re there, and the trail is quite gravelly and loose.

30 days ago

Do not, under any circumstance, use this trail map. The original recorder took an access path to some smaller falls and then made up his own route. There is no trail, no markers, and it requires you to cross tops of waterfalls and walk over glacial flora. Use the other Glymur Falls Loop Trail map instead.

30 days ago

Short but active hike with rewarding views on both the ways up and down! Worth a visit while you’re traveling in Iceland near Reykjavík.

One of my favorite hikes of all time. Be aware that it’s extremely windy at the top. At least it was when we went in June. The water crossing is so fun. We did it barefoot and wished we had some water shoes. It’s doable without though. Hiking shoes and boots needed because it’s slippery.

trail running
1 month ago

Great place for a quick run!

Amazing views. One of the best hikes I’ve ever done and fully recommend. Thankful for the great tread on my boots. And the weather was poor so it got very windy on the way back (west side). River crossings we’re easy but glad I had water shoes. Hug tight to the edge on the west side coming back down; muddy though. (I started by going over the log and then crossing the river above the falls). Shorter than the 3-4 hours that I expected. Took me about 2 hours and 15 minutes to do the full loop- that was with taking multiple picture stops, however, I’m very athletic. And if you’re driving from the Golden Circle route 48 becomes gravel and has very large holes. I was nervous, but made it in a Toyota Yaris (very small car).

Skipped the lower river crossing as the flow seemed a bit too strong for us. We backtracked and took the far north trail up and around. Although very visible on Google maps the entrance/exit split is somewhat hard to find - near 235m east of the parking lot gate. North path had no trail markers we saw, 12-13% incline in some sections.

Fun hike! Not too challenging physically. The river crossing isn't as scary as it looks. Would be easier with water shoes, but we just took off our boots, socks and rolled up out pants and cross it with no problem.

Great trail. Traffic jam at the log crossing below, at least on a Sunday afternoon. Crossing past the falls at the top was worth it just to not have to wait again. Like others have said, the water is very cold and the rocks a little painful. But totally worth it. Much less traffic coming down after crossing over. Beautiful views of the falls!

Beautiful, challenging and fun.

1 month ago

Amazing mountain hike. Definitely bring water shoes for crossing. The first lower crossing has a cable and then partial small log. The above waterfalls crossing has nothing. It was too deep and much wider for us to cross in mid June (would be doable but very cold and longer time in water). Amazing views- everything you’d expect and want to see in an Iceland hike. It is strenuous with lots of uphill parts and large elevation changes- bring water and snacks.

Fantastic hike again!! Water shoes are very helpful. The river runs cold and crossing quick keeps feeling in your feet. Steep spots have hand lines and A lot of work has gone into the trail over the past year. Props to those doing the work!

Nice walk that takes you all through town. Walked the city the day before and this took me to places I would have missed.

Water levels were very high and made for exciting river crossings. Bring real water shoes! We did it bare-footed. The river crossing above the falls was extremely cold and painful without shoes. Beauty here is also extreme. Climb is very steep in some parts and the decent slippery - but nothing treacherous. It took us 4 hours to hike, stop for lunch and take lots of photos.

2 months ago

Excellent hike! Good workout, when you get to the split at the bridge go right for "easier" but longer route and left for strenuous but shorter route.

great hike! crossing the river with the water being knee high was pretty intense, but totally worth it. once you cross the river you start to climb and can see the amazing waterfall. if you turn around the valley is also very picturesque. it snowed, rained, and then became very sunny on our trip!

2 months ago


Best hike I have done in Iceland after 5 months here

Easy walking

Great city! Great views!

Not your typical walk in the woods. One of our favorite hikes in Iceland. The "bridge" at the bottom was washed out. Probably not for the inexperienced -- cliff-side exposure on the southeast side with a need for route-finding skills on the way down the northwest side. But so worth it to get away from the tourons that swarm the easy trails.

8 months ago

Amazing! Hard! Stein!

Incredible, breathtaking views from the top. Hiking Esja got me into hiking. Highly recommend it. The climb to the top of Esja can be a little intense for beginners and the final section will need one to hang on to chains and use all fours at places.

Buses to and from Reykavik makes Esja very accessible.

Challenging with gorgeous views. Weather changes quickly so come prepared. Make the extra hike to the top if weather permits. There is a chain at the top that makes the descent a bit easier.

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