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Asbyrgi, Iceland
Asbyrgi - selfoss in black & white
Asbyrgi - Dettifoss in all it's glory
Asbyrgi - Looking upriver, first glimpse of the canyon.
Asbyrgi - Looking upriver, first glimpse of the canyon.
Asbyrgi - Looking upriver, first glimpse of the canyon.

Asbyrgi Reviews

ikoric ikoric
4 reviews
Asbyrgi through-hike to Dettifoss May 19, 2010
A 32-km fairly flat trek from the canyon's horseshoe beginnings to the amazing Dettifoss waterfall (on the side less often visited by tourists).

The first day of the hike is fairly unexciting, as you follow the plateau through scrubland for most of the 14km - be sure to carry water. Toward the end of the day your efforts are finally rewarded with views of the river canyon.

Day two spends the entire 18km along the canyon's edge, at some places you can dip down to the river, or enjoy views of strange rock formations. There is a shorter option to the campground which shaves about 3km off of your trip, but you miss out on Hafragilifoss and some crazy-steep rope-assisted cliff scrambling.

The second campground is a moonscape about 500m away from Dettifoss and tends to be very windy, if not moist. The beauty of sleeping here is that the first tour bus doesn't roll in until noon, so you get Europe's biggest falls, and Selfoss (arguably among the most beautiful) all to yourself.

You can easily hitch-hike out of this area in high season (it's many km of dirt road to the hwy) or hop onto the bus as it departs.
selfoss in black & white
Dettifoss in all it's glory
Looking upriver, first glimpse of …
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sandraljoska sandralj…
31 reviews
Feb 23, 2008
Ásbyrgi canyon lies in the north of Iceland, about two hours' drive to the east from Akureyri. The enormous, horseshoe-shaped depression is part of the Jökulsárgljúfur National Park and measures approximately 3.5 km in length and 1.1 km across. For more than half of its length, the canyon is divided through the middle by a distinctive rock formation 25 meters high called Eyjan ("the Island"), from which hikers may enjoy spectacular views.

The canyon's steep sides are formed by cliffs up to 100 metres in height. Down in the canyon, visitors walk through a woodland of birch and willow. Between 1947 and 1977, a number of foreign tree species were introduced, including fir, larch and pine. A small lake called Botnstjörn is home to a variety of waterfowl species.

Ásbyrgi was most likely formed by catastrophic glacial flooding of the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum after the last Ice Age, first 8-10,000 years ago, and then again some 3,000 years ago. The river has since changed its course and now runs about 20 km to the east. The legend explains the unusual shape of the canyon differently. Nicknamed Sleipnir's footprint, it is said that the canyon was formed when Odin's eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, touched one of its feet to the ground here. Legend also relates that the canyon is the capital city of the "hidden people" (huldufólk), who live in cracks within the surrounding cliffs.

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Asbyrgi Map
1 review
photo by: sandraljoska