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The spectacular Stuðlagil Canyon in East-Iceland – Basalt Columns and a turquoise River


Stuðlagil canyon in East-Iceland

The newest attraction in East-Iceland is the magnificent Stuðlagil canyon – the Column Basalt Canyon, with spectacular column basalt formations by means of which a powdery blue river runs.

When driving across the ring-road in 2020 I visited Stuðlagil from the Grund aspect of the river, the place you’ll be able to take a look on the canyon from above. It may also be visited from the opposite aspect of the river, the place a 5 km hike will take you down into the canyon itself. On this travel-blog I’m going to point out you what the canyon seems like from the northern aspect of the river.

The variety of the highway is 923 Jökuldalsvegur highway.

Stuðlagil canyon in East-Iceland

Stuðlagil canyon in East-Iceland

Stuðlagil is admittedly superb and is taken into account to have one of many largest choices of basalt columns in Iceland. However these basalt columns weren’t all the time seen, as they have been submerged when the huge glacial river Jökulsá á Dal, additionally referred to as Jökulsá á Brú, and Jökla, got here operating by means of the valley with nice drive, carrying tonnes of sediment.

When Okayárahnjúkavirkjun hydropower dam closed off the move of the glacial river into the Jökuldalur valley and diverted it into tunnels to Fljótsdalur station, these superb basalt columns grew to become seen. 

Stuðlagil basalt column canyon in East-Iceland

Stuðlagil canyon in East-Iceland

Now the low move of the river has bought probably the most lovely powdery blue and aquamarine color, which completely enhances the spectacular basalt columns.

And these days it’s even potential to stroll contained in the canyon and on high of the basalt column island which was as soon as in the midst of a roaring glacial river, which separated the farms within the Jökuldalur valley.

The folks in my photograph above visited Stuðlagil canyon from the opposite aspect of the river, however a 5 km hike results in that extra scenic a part of Stuðlagil, i.e. from the place the preferred pictures of Stuðlagil are taken.

Stuðlagil canyon in East-Iceland

Wonderful basalt columns in Stuðlagil canyon

We, however, did not have time for a 10  km hike throughout this journey, so we visited Stuðlagil from the opposite aspect of the river, from the farm Grund. The farm was a sheep farm, however now grows bushes.

From the Grund aspect of the river Jökulsá á Dal, the entry into the canyon is through a steep path above the canyon. A car parking zone with data indicators and an commentary platform additional down into the canyon was being erected throughout my go to, and some equipment was in a single spot of the canyon.

Stairs leading into Stuðlagil canyon in East-IcelandThe steps main into Stuðlagil canyon

On that spot, an commentary platform might be erected. Now, in August 2020 I visited Stuðlagil once more and stairs had been added which lead straight to the commentary platform.

This made the descent a complete lot simpler. I used the steps to see what the view from the commentary platform is like. It’s ok, however some bushes block part of the canyon. 

Stuðlagil canyon in East-Iceland

Stuðlagil canyon

You may nonetheless go to the canyon through the steep path, however the stairs are safer. Simply keep in mind to sanitize your palms after touching the steps as lots of people are visiting Stuðlagil canyon now. 

The descent through the steep gravel path into Stuðlagil is nothing main, and I discovered it harder ascending than descending.

Regína in Stuðlagil canyon in Nort-East Iceland

With my husband in Stuðlagil canyon

It helped rather a lot holding onto the rope which had been put as much as mark the trail, however on account of heavy visitors (as all people needs to see this canyon now), the sticks holding up the rope had collapsed in a number of locations.

Stuðlagil canyon in East-Iceland

Stuðlagil canyon

As soon as down as far inside Stuðlagil as is feasible on this aspect of the river, I used to be amazed on the multitude and great thing about the basalt columns. They tackle all types of types within the canyon and are each vertical and horizontal.

Right here you will note gray, brown, bluish, and russet-coloured basalt columns.

The preferred photograph is by the russet-coloured basalt columns on the opposite aspect of the canyon, which you’ll see in my first and second pictures. However I used to be fairly pleased with the view I had from my aspect of the canyon.

The information sign by Stuðlagil gorge in East-Iceland

The knowledge signal by the car parking zone of Grund farm

Watch out whereas taking pictures and the indicators warn us that the autumn into the canyon is lethal and that we’re right here at our personal danger. 

After we ascended the solar began shining, so that is what Stuðlagil seems like from above from the steep path. My husband took this photograph beneath. I used to be not about to show round whereas climbing uphill to take a photograph with my heavy digital camera. Not with my shaky steadiness 😉 And I have to confess that I used to be a bit out of breath on the best way up the steep hill once more.

Stuðlagil gorge in East-Iceland

Stuðlagil canyon

I’d not have wished to overlook visiting Stuðlagil, although I used to be struggling a bit throughout my go to. It’s a completely breathtaking canyon. And I for one love basalt columns and search out locations with distinguished basalt columns.

Word that by the farm and contained in the canyon heiðagæs – the pink-footed geese breed, so from Might 1st till June tenth, guests are requested to not disturb the breeding grounds, and all the time to remain on the paths.

Stuðlafoss waterfall in East-Iceland

Stuðlafoss waterfall on the opposite aspect of Stuðlagil canyon

To go to Stuðlagil from the opposite aspect of the river, which I plan to do sooner or later, you allow your automotive in a car parking zone by Hákonarstaðir farm. You cross a bridge and stroll for some 5 km to succeed in Stuðlagil. From what I might see when wanting over to the opposite aspect then the trail is usually even.

You will get extra data on the web site of Stuðlagil.

Some 2 km alongside the best way you will note Stuðlafoss waterfall – The Basalt Columns Falls, which from afar at the very least seemed superb. I zoomed in on it from the highway on the opposite aspect of the canyon, therefore the standard of the photograph. I’ll get a greater photograph after I handle to go to Stuðlagil from the opposite aspect of the river.

Stuðlagil canyon in East-Iceland

The knowledge signal pointing in direction of Grund farm and the car parking zone

The person-made waterfall Hverfandi seems when there’s an overflow in Hálslón dam at Okayárahnjúkavirkjun, thus altering the water ranges of Stuðlagil canyon and the color of the river.

 In September 2020, I visited Okayáranhnjúkavirkjun to take a look on the waterfall.

Hverfandi waterfall at Káranhjúkavirkjun

The mighty Hverfandi waterfall by Okayárahnjúkavirkjun

The title of the waterfall Hverfandi means Disappearing because it comes and goes relying on the water degree of Hálslón. Hverfandi in all its drive is extra highly effective than Dettifoss, Iceland’s strongest waterfall.

The overflow falls right into a chute that directs the glacial water into Hafrahvammagljúfur canyon and creates the man-made waterfall Hverfandi which cascades 90-100 meters into the canyon.

There are lots of different lovely stops within the East-Fjords, a lot of which I’ve written travel-blogs about. f.ex:

The majestic Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss Waterfalls in East-Iceland

Lagarfljótsormurinn Serpent in Lagarfljót Lake in East-Iceland – Iceland’s Loch Ness

Skriðuklaustur and the Archaeological Excavations in East-Iceland

Hallormsstaðaskógur Forest in East-Iceland – Iceland’s largest Forest

Have a beautiful time and keep protected at Stuðlagil canyon 🙂

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