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KJOS hiking

Region: South Iceland
Coordinates: 64.0846707° N 16.9939249° W

The walk across the colourful rhyolite alluvium at the foot of the rhyolite slopes to the end of the Morsardalur Valley is very invigorating for body and soul. On the left a short side valley framed with 600-1000 metres high mountains, among them the sheer peak Thumall (1279m), opens up. This valley is called Kjos. Its stream carries a great volume of rhyolite debris very industriously to the larger River Morsa, which takes over the distribution.

The whole landscape is indented with gorges and gullies, coloured by rhyolite intrusions and decorated with basaltic dykes. The glacier snout Morsarjokull adds to the contrasts. It tumbles down the steep slope and precipice with thundering noises echoing between the mountains. At the mouth of the Morsa Valley are remnants of a forest and the alluvial fan is decorated with new sprouts of trees and an increasing number of other plants. The lupines were imported from Alaska and sown a few decades ago.

The pyramid shaped barrier mountain between the valley and the gigantic glacier tongue Skeidararjokull is called Jokulfell. The outlet of River Skeidara is at its foot. Hot springs are situated in its lower slopes, only a short distance from the forest remnants, Baejarstadaskogur. The hike from the camping grounds at Skaftafell to Kjos and back take 10-12 hours.

Kjos in Icelandic

Links in KJOS hiking


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