Iceland day 5 – volcano activity day

By August 21, 2016Europe, Iceland

We started the day off by jumping right into a hike up to Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss waterfalls. I found these hikes because I saw a photo of the 2nd one and put it on my list of places to visit. Turns out Hengifoss was the more interesting waterfall because it was in a box canyon and the rocks had red stripes every so often due to volcanic activity.

Iceland - 5 Litlanesfoss With Me

Litlanesfoss was one of the waterfalls I really wantedto see due to the hexigon columns.

Iceland - 5 Hengifoss

Hengifoss is a box canyon and has the layers of rocks showing very well

 

 

 

Those waterfalls were on the east end of the island so from there we drove all the way to Dettifoss and Selfoss waterfalls on the north side, which took about two hours or so. Dettifoss is by far the most volume of water over a waterfall we will see here. It was absolutely impressive how much water was flowing over the cliff. In fact, you have to wonder where all the water comes from for all the waterfalls. I know it comes from glacier melt and springs, but my goodness how can the island flow SO MUCH water all the time? Anyways, of these two Selfoss was my favorite because we were able to hop rocks and get across 2-3 of the falls and be in the waterfall!

Iceland - 5 Selfoss

I love how this has all the little waterfalls. You can actually get out on top of this waterfall.

Next up was the Myvatn area on the north side and were we in for a treat. This whole region is known for the geothermal activity and we started at Krafla, which is a dormant volcano. It was a big hill with a crater in the middle and had water in it. It did not look like much, but I was standing IN A VOLCANO!!!! Wow that was a little mind boggling. 

Hverir turned out to be a much neater spot. It was a large field with geo thermal activity right at the surface with steam vents, boiling mud pots, sulfur, and a dry Martian looking appearance. It reminded me of a little Yellowstone NP.

Iceland - 5 Hverir - Mud Pool

This is an area of very shallow volcanic activity.

Iceland - 5 Dimmuborgir - From Cave

We are looking at Dimmuborgir lava field from a small cave in the lava.

We finished the day at Dimmuborgir, which is a large lava. Whenthe lava cooled it formed all kinds of interesting formations and shallow caves. Now you can walk trails around these columns and formations of cooled lava that stand 20-30 feet tall. It was kind of eerie.

Tomorrow we will spend the first half of the day continuing to explore the Myvatn area and I will give you a very cool tip to save you time and money!

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