This is the vastest lava area of the country. The individual lava fields date back to
different ages, but all of them were created during the Holocene. The total area of the
Odadahraun is about 6000 kmē and all of it is the property of the farm Reykjahlid
lake Myvatn. It is a part of the Icelandic Graben and is very volcanically active. The
natural phenomena described under this title are either within or on the outskirts of
the area. The area should only be accessed by 4wd vehicles or on foot. Hikers
should be aware of the lack of surface water in the lava fields and bring along sufficient
supplies of water. Hikers should also plan their daily progress conservatively and use
maps rather than relying on their eyes, because the clear air draws all landmarks closer
than they really are.
There are very few vegetated oases in the area
and the few huts are not situated, where a day's hike is concluded every time. Therefore
it is necessary to bring tents along. Ancient routes across this area have been discovered
during the last few decades. The whole area lies in the rain shadow of the icecap
Vatnajokull and the precipitation is minimal the whole year round.
The mountain massif Dyngjufjoll, similiar in size as
the volcano Oraefajokull, surrounds one of the largest calderas of the
country with an approximate area of 50 square kilometres. Mt
Oraefajokull still stands proudly as a cone shaped volcano of the same
kind as Mt St Helens in the state of Washington in the USA, but Mts
Dyngjufjoll have collapsed. Its highest point is Mt
Thorvaldsfjall (1510 metres), rising to the south above Lake Askja,
which was created after the 1875 eruption.
A new hut for 30 persons was built at
Drekagil in 2004. The 1968 hut accommodates
After the establishment of Europe's largest national park,
Vatnajokull, on June 7th, 2008, Drekagil in Dyngjufjoll became one of
the centres for the NP wardens.
Hiking. This part of the Interior offers a great variety
of possibilities for short or long hikes. In most cases it
depends on the individual traveller to decide which hillock or
mountain is the best vantage point, or how far to go into the
wilderness. Long hikes require good planning, preparations, and
physical fitness. The psychology has to be considered as well.
Sometimes the vast, barren landscapes, and the solitude overwhelme
hikers, who are travelling alone and do not meet a soul for days on
end. The Odadahraun lava desert is very dry, which means, that
hikers have to carry water supplies if they do not know where to look
for sanded snow patches during summer. There are absolutely no
streams in this vast and permeable area, only at its edges in all
Urdarhals 48 km <Askja> Kverkfjoll