There are many interesting hiking routes in the Lake Myvatn area. Following are some brief descriptions of marked routes.
Vindbelgjarfjall (Mt. Vindbelgur)
The route begins at the farm Vagnbrekka and lies across level country for about a half an hour to the mountain. There is another half an hour’s walk up the hyaloclastite mountain. The trail is fairly steep at times but no climbing is required. This route is suitable for all, and the view from the summit is spectacular.
The route lies around Stakholstjorn at Skutustadir and takes about one hour. There is also a shorter circular route into the western part of the area, which takes about 20-30 minutes. This is an easy walk through peculiar lava formations (pseudo-craters) in proximity to diverse bird life.
This circular route begins just inside the gate to the farm Kalfastrond and leads to Klasar, and then back. This is an easy walk through curious lava formations and landscapes. Small lake char can often be spotted in the coves.
A few hiking routes in this area have been marked with different colours, and a leaflet describing them is available from the wardens in the information centre or a box at the main entrance of the area. The “Little Circle” is the route closest to the parking area and takes some 10-15 minutes to walk. The “Big Circle” extends further into the area and takes about half an hour to complete. The “Church Circle” takes about one hour.
The Storagja Ravine – the Grjotagja Ravine – Mt. Hverfjall – Dimmuborgir
This route starts at the crossroads by Reykjahlid, and takes 2-3 hours. The trail lies first through richly vegetated country and then through an area blighted by wind erosion. The route from Grjotagja to Mt. Hverfjall lies through sandy plains and lava formations up Mt. Hverfjall at the mountain’s northwest end and makes a gently sloping and easy walk, whereas a trail from the south is quite steep. There is also a marked circular route along the rim of the crater. The walk from Mt. Hverfjall to the parking area at Dimmuborgir lies partly through the arches and tunnels of Dimmuborgir.
From the route between the Grjotagja and Storagja ravines lies a marked circular route through an area known as Hraun, a thickly vegetated lava field, especially with birch, and therefore ideal for plant observation. The route is beautiful and affords good shelter. It takes about an hour to walk from the Storagja ravine and back again.
The North Bank Circle
The North Bank Circle north of Lake Myvatn takes 2-3 hours. It begins at the highway, west of Reykjahlid, and lies along the bank of the lake. The influence of the lake on the vegetation in the lava field nearest to the bank is clearly visible. West of Slutnes, the route lies across the lava to the Fagranesholar Hills. This part of the route crosses the highway around the lake, where hikers can begin their journey there if they wish. From the Fagranesholar Hills the old highway is followed to Reykjahlid. This is an easy walk offering ample opportunities for bird watching.
The hot spring area named Hverir (Hverarond), east of Mt. Namafjall, is one of the largest sulphur spring areas in Iceland. From there a short trail lies up the mountain. To the Namaskard pass, and from there the trail leads down to the highway and back. Extreme caution must be taken in the high temperature area, as the soil may give. People are known to have sustained serious burns in this area.
The Hlidarheidi Circle
This route lies across the Hlidarheidi moor. It begins at the campsite Hlid, and leads north to the river Elda, and then. The course is set for Mt. Hlidarfjall. There is a considerably steep marked trail up the mountain, but the route is not difficult and takes 30-40 minutes each way. From Mt. Hlidarfjall the route lies east to Brunaborgir, a cluster of cinder craters, and then west again over the hills, and ending at the information centre. This is a pretty and peaceful route. Many species of birds can be spotted along the route.
From the parking area near Mt. Leirhnjukur lies an easy trail to the mountain. The route then leads through a hot spring area, into craters formed in the Krafla fires and to the summit. From there the route lies back to the parking area. Altogether hike takes one to one and a half hours.
Mt. Krafla Route
A trail lies between the information centre in Reykjahlid and Mt. Leirhnjukur. It lies from the Leirhnjukur and through a crater area. From there, the route continues through lava and gravel banks to Mt. Hlidarfjall, along the bank of the river Elda back down to the information centre. The Mt. Krafla route takes 3-4 hours to walk and is fairly easy.
Mt. Dalfjall Route
From the road in the Namaskard pass a marked route leads up to Mt. Leirhnjukur. It extends over the entire stretch of Mt. Dalfjall, providing an excellent view. The route crosses a lava field and then lies up a great fault rift all the way to the parking area by Mt. Leirhnjukur. This is an interesting route and not too physically demanding, although it takes 2-3 hours to complete. Volcanoes and faults in Mt. Dalfjall give a good insight into the process of geological divergence in the area.
The Viti Maar in Mt. Krafla
A short round trail goes around the maar (crater) Viti dating from 1724, to a hot spring area east of the maar, where caution is needed. This route is about a half an hour’s easy walk.