When you go on a hike, there is a special connection to nature that is uncanny. Maybe even addicting! No idea if it’s the fresh air, 360 views, or the excitement of what you’re about to experience… But specifically hiking in Iceland will leave you 100% awe-inspired! Today we would love to share with you a step by step guide to hiking Múlagljúfur (translation: “Mules Canyon”).
Best Time to Hike in Iceland
Although you’re able to hike year round in Iceland, different hikes a better and safer during certain months. So the best time to hike in Iceland can vary! For example, some of the most picturesque hikes, like Fimmvorduhals are best done between July and mid September depending on weather conditions.
But this hike to Múlagljúfur could be done year round depending on snow levels, as it is not a well marked trail. However, though we would recommend hiking to it between late April to early October but still be very aware of snow levels before you embark. Weather in Iceland can always be monitored on three informational websites such as the following:
- Belgingur (weather conditions, we specifically take note of precipitation and wind).
- Safe Travel (provides warnings and advice for travel).
- Road Conditions (gives a outlook on road conditions, closures, and web cameras).
What You’ll See on the Way
The magical thing about the hike to Múlagljúfur, is the simple fact it’s a short invigorating hike that has gorgeous views along the way. To illustrate, within 15 minutes of the hike you get to see Hangandifoss waterfall which has some of the bluest water we’ve seen! Additionally, you’ll find yourself marveling over the views to Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon, beautiful mountains, colorful textures, and interesting rock formations you’ll see on the way.
Next, you stumble upon another smaller waterfall which despite scouring 5 different atlases we could not find the name. Lastly, you’re lucky enough to feast your eyes on crowning gem, Múlafoss waterfall! Step by step directions to Múlagljúfur follow below…
Guide to Hiking Múlagljúfur
Very little information is out there about hiking to Múlagljúfur, at the time of writing this blog post, so we wanted to be a resource for you! As avid hikers, our Iceland Wedding Planner team is thrilled to share with you specific directions and insider knowledge of hiking to this offbeat canyon…
Specifications of the Iceland Canyon Hike
- Location: Southeast Iceland (5 minutes away from Fjallsárlón).
- Miles to Hike: 2.35 miles one way
- Time: 35-60 minutes one way (depending on your pace)
- Elevation: 1,035 feet
- Pitch: Uphill for 627 feet
- Terrain: Narrow paths, overgrown bushes, and loose rocks/stones (or mud depending on if it’s rained).
- Path Condition: Not well marked. Many of the stakes are warn down or very small.
Step 1: Múlagljúfur Parking Lot
Firstly, if you have Google Maps accessible in your vehicle or phone, you can use these coordinates: 63.9886667; -16.3971589 for the dirt road pull off point from Route 1. Secondly, we recommend you to have a higher clearance 4×4. Why? Because during summer this road gets quite rutted up / washed out and there is a small river that appears with heavy rains. Thirdly, you drive all the way until you see a small unmarked parking lot (Note: The coordinates of the parking lot: N 63.993021°; W 16.436285°).
Upon arrival, please be respectful to the area, flora and fauna around by picking up any trash others may have left behind (IE, cigarette buds, tissues, wrappers, etc). Meanwhile, we suggest you wear proper hiking boots that have ankle support as you will be hiking on loose gravel, rocks, and on narrow pathways. Further, bringing along a backpack with water, lunch/snacks, and your camera are necessities!
Step 2: The Múlagljúfur Trail
From the parking lot, you will hopefully see the trail markers directly above the glacier river retaining wall. The first few stakes you’ll see are a faded yellow and red. After this point they vary in colors to plain brown to white. Pretty quick into the hike, you’ll cross a small creek which is easy to jump over. Fun part of this hike is also seeing all of the beautiful obsidian within the landscape. Please look, touch, and take photos of it but do not take it for a souvenir (it’s illegal).
Step 3: River Crossings
There is another smaller river crossing (still easy to jump over) on the way. But then there is a larger river crossing which can flex up with glacier melt and rain… So pick your path carefully! Once you cross the larger river, that’s your last and you head into the final incline pushes to get yourself up to the canyon rim. Be careful and have sure footing as you ascend because parts of the trail become steep and narrow.
The View from the Top!
360 degree views are abound from the top of Múlagljúfur and makes the last 35-60 minutes of hiking soooo #worthit! Savor it, spend time here and BE IN THE MOMENT. Meaning, put the phone or camera down to look… breathe… feel… and listen to the sounds around you!
Múlagljúfur Hiking Elopement
Imagine yourself heading to Múlagljúfur Canyon for your hiking elopement! A couple of things that would be good to know before you get your heart set on it… For instance, in advance permission from Vatnajökull National Park is needed.
Furthermore, you should also prepare yourself to either hike in gear then change into your Iceland wedding dress or be 100% comfortable with the possibility of your dress tearing on the bushes, or getting dusty / muddy. Your choice! The majority of our adventure brides will hike in their wedding dress and love every second of it!
Hopefully this hiking to Múlagljúfur blog post has inspired you to get away from the touristy attractions and make a place feel like your own. Likely a fantastic romantic things to do with the one you love too!! In conclusions, do you love the idea of hiking during your adventure elopement in Iceland? If so, we would love to get that journey started with you… Feel free to contact us for more information!