25 km long crater row called Lakagigar was created during a relatively
short, intensive, and catastrophic eruption
between the 8th of June 1783 and February 1874. It was among the biggest
and poisonous lava eruptions of the earth during historical times.
It created two vast lava fields with a total area of 565 km²,
and the total volume of tephra emitted
was estimated to have been 12,3 km³. The consequences were
enormous. Between 53% and 82% of the domestic animals and 20% of the
human population perished as a result.
As Iceland was
under Danish rule at the time, it was debated in the
Danish parliament to evacuate the remaining 40.000 Icelanders,
and find them new homes in Jutland, but the Icelanders would hear
nothing of that. Most of the craters are now covered with Woolly
Fringe Moss and the landscape is, to say the least,
picturesque. The crater area was proclaimed inviolate in 1971.
The Laki Area is now a part of the National Park Skaftafell.
This part of the Interior offers clear trails to follow, so it mostly
depends on the time the individual travellers have to spend in the area.
Long hikes require good planning, preparations, and physical fitness.
The psychology has to be considered as well. Sometimes the vast,
barren landscapes, and the solitude overwhelme hikers, who are
travelling alone and do not meet a soul for days on end.
offers daily tours to the Laki area from the hamlet Kirkjubaejarklaustur
and the National Park Skaftafell during summer.
HIGHLAND ICELAND SAGA
Warden at Laki
(in Blágil), tel. 8551095
Lakagígar– Guided walk with park ranger on Mt. Laki.
Monday to Friday at 12.00
The mountain is climed from the car park at Laki. From
the top of Mt. Laki there is a very good view of the crater
row to the east and west, and of several glaciers. On the
way, the park ranger will describe the Laki eruption and its
Starting at 12.00 at the car park
at Laki. Duration approximately 90 minutes.
Guided walk with park ranger along the Eldborg lava channel.
Saturday and Sunday at 14.00
From the car park at Tjarnargígur, into the crater and
then back along the Eldborg lava channel. On the way the
Laki eruption and its consequences are described; lava
formations and nature are explained.
Starting at 14.00 at the car park at Tjarnargígur.
Duration approximately 90 minutes.
Saturdays and Sundays. Longer hikes onto Kambar from
Lambavatn, and to Uxatindar from Úlfarsdalur (3 hours) can
be arranged with the park ranger. Telephone:
Vatnajokull National Park
From the crossroads
road #1 40 km
Klaustur 51 km.