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Múlagljúfur Canyon, Iceland

Saturday, June 3, 2023 - 10:15am by Lolo
17 miles and 0.5 hours from our last stop


Hiking up Múlagljúfur with Vatnajökull behindHiking up Múlagljúfur with Vatnajökull behindDuring my pre-trip research, I came across a supposedly “hidden gem” along the southern portion of the Ring Road called the Múlagljúfur Canyon. Obviously Justin Bieber had not included it in his music video, or it definitely would not still be hidden.

Múl means mule and gljúfur means canyon. Hence, "Múlagljúfur” means Mules Canyon, so I added two more Icelandic words to my vocabulary today. I am practically fluent and it's only day 3 on the Ring Road.

Hangandifoss viewpointHangandifoss viewpointAccording to the directions, unlike every other place of interest along the Ring Road, the turnoff to this canyon was not signed out. Hmm…maybe it could still be a hidden gem. Before leaving home, we marked the turnoff on Google Maps.

The drive to the trailhead off the Ring Road was a bumpy gravel road, but turned out to be very doable, even in a camper van.

Rainbow over HangandifossRainbow over HangandifossThere was only one other car in the parking lot, so this was promising.

From the parking lot at the mouth of the canyon, we began hiking up into the canyon, with views of the Vatnajökull glacier behind us all the way.

After about a mile and a half we came to a lovely view of Hangandifoss, one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland. Its source is the Múlaa River, which is fed by the melting water of the Öræfajökull (glacier), an ice-covered volcano at the southern extremity of the Vatnajökull glacier

Of course, there was a beautiful rainbow in its spray. We’ve come to expect nothing less in this incredibly magic land.

From there we hiked back down from whence we came. We only saw about 5 people the entire time, so it is still pretty much a hidden gem. I only hope it can remain that way.

Múlagljúfur Canyon location map in "high definition"

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