Do you love the idea of trekking straight up a mountain to explore some gorgeous waterfalls? Maybe even spending the morning or afternoon basking in their beauty and sereneness. Then allow us to introduce you to Hengifoss & Litlanesfoss Waterfalls in East Iceland!
Hiking in East Iceland
If you venture to Iceland to hike until your heart is content, East Iceland is a fabulous place to be based for several days. Especially if you’re embarking on an unforgettable Iceland self-drive journey for your wedding or honeymoon! For example, you could begin your day trekking to the top of Hengifoss, then a midday hike at Vestdalsfossar, afternoon discovery of Mjóifjörður and end the day relaxing at Vök Baths! So many options await you… In fact, you could also check out Stuðlagil or the incredible Stórurð too while in the area too!
How to Get to Hengifoss
Directly translated, Hengifoss means “hanging waterfall.” And Litlanesfoss translates to “little cape waterfall.” Likely, now you’re curious to know how do you get to these fabulous waterfalls, right? Happy to share with you all of the details and even step by step hiking directions too!
Firstly, if you’re coming from the KEF International Airport you can expect around an 8 hour and 40 minute drive (one way). Secondly, if you were already staying in the eastern town of Egilsstaðir then you would only have to drive 30 minutes to get to the start of the Hengifoss Waterfall hike.
Thirdly, if you’re interested in doing this hike, the light is most favorable in the early morning. For instance, we chose to hike it at sunrise during the first week of September. Although, it is extremely important to check the weather conditions if adventuring to do this hike outside of the summer months.
Why? The area can be closed because of how steep or icy the path can be. Also add in crazy winds too and you could get into a trouble. The day we hiked it, Hengifoss was borderline on the wind conditions. So please use Safe Travel and your best judgement before you venture out.
Hiking to Hengifoss & Litlanesfoss Waterfalls
When you plan to hike somewhere it is important to be prepared. To illustrate, preparedness could begin with packing a “go bag” for your days journey, checking the weather in Iceland or road conditions before you head out. Either way, making sure you have the correct information on the hike so you know what to expect is beneficial. Along with that, step by step directions to Hengifoss could be helpful as well. Which our Iceland Wedding Planner team is thrilled to provide to you below!
Hengifoss Waterfall Hike Information:
- Height of Hengifoss: 420 feet tall
- Vehicle Needed: Any can get you to the carpark.
- Directions to Parking Lot: Google Map
- Hiking Distance: 1.5 mile Hike (1 way)
- Trekking Time: 30-75 minutes (1 way) depending on pace and how close you want to get to Hengifoss.
- Skill Level: Easy (but it is straight up the mountain).
- Elevation: 1,070 feet
- Terrain: Stairs, loose gravel; dirt / mud; grates; wooden bridges; large to small rocky paths; and new boardwalk. Note- There are strategically placed benches to take breaks as needed.
- Number of Waterfalls: 6 (includes seeing Litlanesfoss Waterfall on the way to Hengifoss).
- Special Note: There are no signs or trail markers here (as of when this post was written) except the sign the blue sign shown below before the next river crossing.
- Leave No Trace Policy: Discover new places responsibly (take your own trash and pick up any you find).
Step 1: Parking at Hengifoss
Good news, the Google Map link above will take you right to the parking lot below Hengifoss Waterfall. You’ll find a bathroom, information signs, and ample parking there.
Step 2: Beginning the Hike
Within the first 10-15 minutes of the hike you’ll encounter stairs, the first gate to go through, and your first set of waterfalls to enjoy!
Step 3: Hiking to Litlanesfoss
Next, you’ll continue your track up the mountain. About 15-30 minutes into the hike you’ll cross a few foot bridges, see further into the canyon and stumble upon Litlanesfoss Waterfall. Marvel over it for a few minutes because it is lovely. For instance, if you’re a fan of basalt rock formations, this could be your favorite waterfall of this entire hike!
Step 4: The Final Stretch
At this point (20-40 minutes in) you’re in the final push of the elevation and the waterfall will unveil itself to you. Be excited!! You’re almost there! Enjoy the bonus waterfall you’ll see coming up on your left hand side too.
Likely you’ll notice the path transforms to a newly established boardwalk here. However, in the beginning of September we found it to be extremely slick and icy that early in the morning so please take care when on it.
Step 5: Completing the Hike to Hengifoss
Bravo! High five!! So close you can taste it! Continue to follow the boardwalk path (be respectful don’t venture off of it for preservation purposes) back to the crowning gem, Hengifoss Waterfall! Another sitting area awaits you if you need rest or a break. Otherwise this is the end of the hike. There are signs clearly posted asking you NOT to jump off the path, please respect them. In the meantime, lots of luck as you embark on your hike to Hengifoss!!
Getting Married at Hengifoss
Is it possible to propose or be married at Hengifoss Waterfall. But it is best to involve a local Iceland Wedding Planner to ensure you have the proper permissions in advance. Also this location, is best visited during the summer months (June-August) for the best weather conditions.
In conclusion, if this hiking in Iceland post has inspired you to plan your own adventure elopement, we would love to hear from you. Or at the very least make sure you educate yourself on how to plan a waterfall wedding. Lastly, feel free to contact us to get more information on what an adventure wedding in Iceland could look like with us!