east iceland: a hike along the river fjarðará

Friday, August 19:  Our afternoon hike just off the Route 93 pass from Egilsstaðir to Seyðisfjörður is wonderful in every way, from the crisp blue skies and the clouds draped artfully over the surrounding peaks to the series of surprising waterfalls we discover in the river Fjarðará.  We could have never known from the road that so many waterfalls flow along this river.  We had seen the largest waterfall from the road, but all the rest we discover by getting out of the car and walking on narrow trails through grass and heather, or walking on top of the squishy pink-purple flowers or rounded boulders.

view of Seyðisfjörður from the pass and the river
view of Seyðisfjörður from the pass and the river

The river Fjarðará carves its way in a serpentine fashion down the mountain pass into the pretty town of Seyðisfjörður and we enjoy walking beside it, climbing slightly toward the biggest waterfall, the one visible from the road.

early views
early views
along the river
along the river
the heathers
the heathers

We come across a cute threesome of Icelandic sheep, sunning on the rocks not too far from the waterfall.

Icelandic sheep
Icelandic sheep
Icelandic sheep at rest
Icelandic sheep at rest

As we approach, they make their way to another spot, obviously perturbed by our invasion of their space.

sheep on the hill
sheep on the hill
Mike on our hike
Mike on our hike
the river Fjarðará
the river Fjarðará
the river Fjarðará
the river Fjarðará
hiking through the heather
hiking through the heather
642
me on our hike
the river Fjarðará
the river Fjarðará

Every time I see Iceland’s glacier-carved valleys covered in moss, I’m awestruck by their beauty.

hiking through the pass
hiking through the pass

The views down into the fjord and the town are fabulous.

view toward Seyðisfjörður
view toward Seyðisfjörður
view toward Seyðisfjörður
view toward Seyðisfjörður
Fjarðará waterfall
Fjarðará waterfall
river Fjarðará
river Fjarðará
Fjarðará
Fjarðará
the river Fjarðará
the river Fjarðará
the river Fjarðará
the river Fjarðará

As we get close to the large waterfall, we enjoy clambering about on the rocks, especially Mike, who seems always intent on courting accidents.  Luckily he avoids any falls into the water this time, although I’ve known him to topple off of rocks in his cavalier past.

me on the river Fjarðará
me on the river Fjarðará
the river Fjarðará
the river Fjarðará
Mike at the river Fjarðará
Mike at the river Fjarðará
waterfall in Fjarðará
waterfall in Fjarðará
Fjarðará waterfall
Fjarðará waterfall
Fjarðará waterfall
Fjarðará waterfall
Mike at Fjarðará
Mike at Fjarðará
Fjarðará
Fjarðará
me at Fjarðará
me at Fjarðará
Mike at Fjarðará
Mike at Fjarðará
Fjarðará
Fjarðará
Fjarðará
Fjarðará

As we walk down the trail from the big waterfall, we find the other waterfalls that we hadn’t known were there, hidden as they are by the undulating landscape.

Mike hiking through the heather
Mike hiking through the heather
along the river Fjarðará
along the river Fjarðará
Fjarðará
Fjarðará
Mike along the Fjarðará
Mike along the Fjarðará
another waterfall on the Fjarðará
another waterfall on the Fjarðará

As we continue our walk, we discover numerous places where the river cascades down rocky ledges.

waterfall at Fjarðará
waterfall at Fjarðará
waterfall at Fjarðará
waterfall at Fjarðará
waterfall at Fjarðará
waterfall at Fjarðará
waterfall at Fjarðará
waterfall at Fjarðará
waterfall at Fjarðará
waterfall at Fjarðará

On the other side of the river, we can see two other hikers, and though we’re envious that they’re on that far side, we realize we would have to walk all the way up from the town to get there.  There is simply no easy way to cross the river.

waterfall at Fjarðará
waterfall at Fjarðará

Though it would have been fun to walk up from the town, we have plans to explore another hike on the north side of the fjord.  We’ve been told we can drive as far as the road will take us, park the car, and then walk about an hour to the lighthouse at the end of the fjord.  Thus, we take off for that hike, another small adventure that turns out a little differently than we expect.🙂

4 thoughts on “east iceland: a hike along the river fjarðará

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