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.