DISTANCE
32.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5,583 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

hot springs

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

no shade

no dogs

backpacking
4 days ago

Looking into this hike I was thrilled! I spent months planning and packing and preparing. The pictures I found and the reviews read all for good reason say amazing things. That being said I am now currently camped with a group of 5 at Álftavatn. This has easily been one of the harder hikes I have ever done. I’ve hiked 13k mountains and spent weeks at a time on trails. But this was a completely new experience. From day one going north to south the trail tricks you with the simplicity of an easy hike as you meander down the trail. Ignorance was my main problem for day one. We then climbed up more mountain ridges than I can count! Up and up and up until you are trekking through snow on top of the mountains. Generally I am not one to complain, but wow! This was like some alpine hiking. It was unreal the level of altitude we gained. Mind you the first day is around 12k. Nothing big. However when it’s 12k in pretty much entirely upwards direction, it tends to wear on you. The campsite that night was a winter wonderland, the campsites are obsidian glass that have been piled to help break the wind a little. That night my water bottle froze... the hut warden had previously been tanning when the sun was out. The second the sun was gone... bamb! So cold! From day 2 we then started the decent out of the snow. From all the up we did we must have done just as much down. The day itself was much easier and the site has a bar!!! Much needed. Can’t wait To see what the next days hold.