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Alftavatn – Emstrur – Thorsmork Hike

Region: Highland
Coordinates: 63.854954° N 19.248147° W
Hiking time: 2 days
Difficulty: easy
Length: 30 km
Elevation: m
Highest Point: m


About Alftavatn-Emstrur-Thorsmork Hiking Trail

1. day: Álftavatn – Emstrur (Botnar)

Distance 15 km., estimated walking time 6-7 hrs., elevation decrease 40 m. The trail takes us over the ridge “Brattháls” into “Hvanngil” ravine, wading across the river “Bratthálskvísl”. In “Hvanngil” are two huts, one built for sheepherders in 1963 and one for tourists, built in 1995. A short walk from the huts is the river “Kaldaklofskvísl” with a bridge for hikers. On the eastern bank of “Kaldaklofskvísl” the trail branches, one branch leading eastwards to “Mælifellssandur” (Road F 210) but the other one southwards to “Emstrur” and we choose the latter. Less than one km from “Kaldaklofskvísl” another river has to be waded and approximately 4 km further we come to the river “Nyrðri Emstruá” but this time there is a bridge to cross it. Soon we will be overlooking the huts in “Botnar” (40 persons, GPS 63°45.980 – 19°22.480). A fine walk in the evening is to the “Markarfljótsgljúfur” canyon.

2. day: Emstrur (Botnar) – Þórsmörk

Distance 15 km., estimated walking time 6-7 hrs., elevation decrease 300 m. First we have to go around the canyon of “Syðri – Emstruá” and there is a very steep path down to the bridge so be careful. Then a walk through the area known as “Almenningar” with crossing of among other rivers “Þröngá”. It is good practice when wading to go hand in hand and head downstream. After crossing “Þröngá” a 30 minutes walk takes us to the hut in “Langidalur” in “Þórsmörk” (75 persons, GPS 63°40.960 – 19°30.890) Landscape and vegetation is changing rapidly. Birchwood and all kinds of plants a welcome change after the desert now behind us. The hut in Thorsmork is Basar huts in Godaland, in Langidalur Hut Skagfjordsskáli and cottages and huts in Husadalur.

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