The total hiking
distance comprises about 55 kilometres, which can be divided into
comfortable stretches between huts. The hike can start from both
ends, or indeed from any of the huts. Let us start at Landmannalaugar
and end in Rjupnavellir in County Landsveit. The route is marked, and
the huts are in Landmannalaugar, Landmannahellir, Afangagil and
Rjupnavellir. The distances between huts are relatively easy,
comparable to the Laugavegur Route.
The first stage from Landmannalaugar to Landmannahellir is about 16,5
kilometres long. It starts at 590 metres above sea level and ends at
the same level. First the rugged Laugahraun lave field is crossed,
then the small alluvial plain, Vondugilsaurar, to the right along the
western edge of the lava field. From there, the trail accends the
ridge Uppgonguhryggur, where it continues over the highest point, 823
metres, to valley Domadalur. At Domadalshals it is possilbe to choose
one of two possible trails, past the western side of lake
Lifrarfjallavatn, and the northern side of lake Lodmundarvatn to
Hellisfjall to the huts at Landmannahellir. The other route continues
along the 4wd-track to the huts. Hiking time 5-7 hours.
The second stage continues from Landmannahellir (590 m.) for 17-18
kilometres to the hut at Afangagil (260 m.). The first heading is
toward Mt Herbjarnarfell, then Mts Saudleysur through Lambaskard.
There the lava field Lambafitjahraun (1913) is crossed. River
Helliskvisl has to be forded to continue on the old Dyngjuleid-route.
From fissure Valagja the route continues between Mts Valafell and
Valafell. Hiking time 5-7 hours.
The third stage from Afangagil to the hut at Rjupnavellir is 21 km
long. At Afangagil is a new sheep pen for the autumnly roundups in
the area. The trail takes you along some old sheep cots in the
Solvahraun lava fields. From there the course is taken to the edge of
the 1970 Skjolkviahraun lava field. The trail continues along
Saudafellsalda to the easternmost catchment area of river Ytri-Ranga
and along it. At Fossabrekkur the cold springs cascades create a
beautiful contrast in the black desert. At the mouth of gully
Ofaerugil the river is crossed on a bridge to the new huts at
Rjupnavellir on the property of farm Merkihvoll. Hiking time 5-7
The huts at Rjupnavellir are accessible by car. They are situated
just north of the forested area Galtalaekjarskogur. Daily bus
connections from the capital and from Landmannalaugar
enable hikers to
catch busses in either direction by notifying the bus company,
Reykjavik Excursions, in advance.
Huts on the above hiking route:
gps coordinates N 63 59 V 19 03
gps coordinates N 64 03 V 19 14
coordinates N 64 06 V 19 34
Rjupnavellir: gps coordinates N 64 02 V 19 50