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Overview

Glymur Waterfall is Iceland’s second-tallest waterfall and located in West Iceland. It is about an hour from Reykjavík and offers one of the best hikes in the entire country. Our team breaks down tips below on how to hike to the top of this incredible waterfall, what to bring and how to cross the river. We also provide step by step photos so that you can easily follow the trail markers. We hope you enjoy this gem of a hike!

Glymur Waterfall Sunset

Quick Facts

Time Spent4 hours
Best Time to Visit?Daytime
Distance3.8 Miles (Roundtrip)
Type of TrailLoop
Bathroom Available?No
Cost for EntryFree
Worth It?Must Go
Hiking DifficultyAdvanced
Seasonal?Spring - Fall

 Note: Always check trail status and weather conditions before visiting

Attraction Tips

Make sure you have plenty of time to complete the hike

Considering this hike is a full 4 hours roundtrip, make sure you get here at a reasonable time so that you are back at your car before the sun sets.

This trail may not be for those afraid of heights

You may read plenty of reviews across the internet that this hike isn’t for those afraid of heights – we don’t necessarily agree with this. The trail does follow the edge of the canyon and waterfall, but there is plenty of space at all times. It may make certain people a little uncomfortable, but we don’t think it should hold you back from experiencing one of the best hikes in Iceland.

This Hike Requires Crossing a River

While this is a truly amazing hike, it must be known that it requires crossing a river at the base of the trail and, if you’re doing the full loop, crossing the river above the waterfall. Doing the full loop is not necessary though – if you are uncomfortable crossing the river above the waterfall, you can just walk back the way you came. Please be aware of the water levels and your personal physical abilities.

How to Get There & Parking

Address:

Glymur Waterfall, Iceland
 

Parking: Free

What To Bring

Water Bottle(s) / Snacks

Waterproof Jacket / Pants (Rain Gear)

Waterproof Hiking Shoes (Sneakers or Boots)

Waterproof Backpack

Extra Pair of Socks
(if needed when crossing the river)

Attraction Details

When you arrive, there is a pretty spacious parking lot with plenty of room to park. There is no bathroom at the start of the trail, so make sure to find a gas station nearby before you get here.

The trail head is easy to spot from the parking lot and you’ll walk through a gate that leads to the beginning of the trail, which is very well maintained with gravel before you reach the river. On the gate at the beginning of the trail, there is a sign that shares a few disclaimers about the hike, as well as if there is a log over the river that you need to cross – the log is only there in the summer months so take caution if you cross at another time! Starting the hike out, there are very clear green and yellow signs that point towards the Glymur waterfall and are extremely easy to follow. Take a left following the sign at the very beginning and then right at the next fork.

You’ll cross a small stream after walking on the trail a little and there is yellow marked rock to keep you on the right track. After about 30 minutes into the hike, you’ll reach an overlook area next to a set of stairs that lead down to a natural arch. Before you walk down the stairs go up on the ridge to the left and have a clear look at the river to cross and where the log sits. We’d recommend turning around and looking back at this point towards the fjord, which offers an incredible view.

After spending a short time here, follow the signs and walk down the stairs to the natural arch, taking a left leaving the arch at the bottom that will lead you to the river crossing. We needed to wait for a few people to cross the river ahead of us (only one person should cross at a time), but that helped us see the best way to get across to the other side. Be very, very careful when crossing the river – the current is real here, so make sure you have your balance at all times. You can choose to take your shoes off (as we saw many people d0) and carry them across or, if you have waterproof boots, you can wear them across. If you choose to do this, bring an extra pair of socks just in case water comes into your shoes. The water is obviously very cold, so take that into account as you’re making your decision to cross with or without shoes!

When crossing the river, there is a bit of slack on the wire, so the best way to stabilize it and yourself is to push down on the wire. It’s not too difficult, but definitely be careful and we would not recommended for young children to attempt to cross the river. Once you cross, there is another clear sign that points you in the right direction to head up the right side of the waterfall. The hiking path up the right side of the waterfall after you cross the river is definitely the best way to experience this hike, since it offers increasingly jaw-dropping views as you move along on the trail.

Attraction Details Continued Below

Attraction Details

When you arrive, there is a pretty spacious parking lot with plenty of room to park. There is no bathroom at the start of the trail, so make sure to find a gas station nearby before you get here.

The trail head is easy to spot from the parking lot and you’ll walk through a gate that leads to the beginning of the trail, which is very well maintained with gravel before you reach the river. On the gate at the beginning of the trail, there is a sign that shares a few disclaimers about the hike, as well as if there is a log over the river that you need to cross – the log is only there in the summer months so take caution if you cross at another time! Starting the hike out, there are very clear green and yellow signs that point towards the Glymur waterfall and are extremely easy to follow. Take a left following the sign at the very beginning and then right at the next fork.

You’ll cross a small stream after walking on the trail a little and there is yellow marked rock to keep you on the right track. After about 30 minutes into the hike, you’ll reach an overlook area next to a set of stairs that lead down to a natural arch. Before you walk down the stairs go up on the ridge to the left and have a clear look at the river to cross and where the log sits. We’d recommend turning around and looking back at this point towards the fjord, which offers an incredible view.

After spending a short time here, follow the signs and walk down the stairs to the natural arch, taking a left leaving the arch at the bottom that will lead you to the river crossing. We needed to wait for a few people to cross the river ahead of us (only one person should cross at a time), but that helped us see the best way to get across to the other side. Be very, very careful when crossing the river – the current is real here, so make sure you have your balance at all times. You can choose to take your shoes off (as we saw many people d0) and carry them across or, if you have waterproof boots, you can wear them across. If you choose to do this, bring an extra pair of socks just in case water comes into your shoes. The water is obviously very cold, so take that into account as you’re making your decision to cross with or without shoes!

When crossing the river, there is a bit of slack on the wire, so the best way to stabilize it and yourself is to push down on the wire. It’s not too difficult, but definitely be careful and we would not recommended for young children to attempt to cross the river. Once you cross, there is another clear sign that points you in the right direction to head up the right side of the waterfall. The hiking path up the right side of the waterfall after you cross the river is definitely the best way to experience this hike, since it offers increasingly jaw-dropping views as you move along on the trail.

Attraction Details Continued Below

Attraction Details (Continued)

After crossing the river, this is where the climb begins – get ready for a grueling uphill hike! The path really is well maintained and it’s clear where to follow, even if there are no trail markers. There are sections of the hike on the way up that have helpful ropes to pull yourself up in areas that are more steep than others. There are plenty of lookout points on the way up, so make sure to spend time taking breaks and admiring the landscape.

About 1 hour and 30 minutes into the hike, there is a trail marker that points to the right and the left – on the left side of the marker there is a number (5) and you should definitely make this quick five minute detour for one of the best views of the falls from a lower vantage point. After this stop, you pretty much follow the path up the side of the mountain the rest of the way to the top. You’ll want to keep stopping to take pictures, but just know that the views continually get better and better as you go up higher.

Once at the top of the waterfall, which is just after the 2 hour mark of the hike, soak in the incredible view and the epic sounds of the waterfall. If you’re not planning on crossing the river at the top, this is the place to turn around and head back down, as there isn’t much else to see beyond the top of the waterfall unless you’re crossing over. If you are crossing the river, walk up about 5-10 minutes further until you see a white pole marker – this is where you want to follow the path down to the river to cross.

This is another opportunity to take your shoes off when crossing the river (as we saw many people do) or if you have waterproof boots, you can keep them on. As noted before, please use extreme caution and keep your balance when crossing the river, since it can carry a strong current at times and the rocks can be slippery. The depth of the river at the top of the waterfall is a bit more than at the bottom, so when we crossed with our duck boots on at the top, the water flooded into our boots – good thing we had a pair of backup socks!

This is also a great spot to refill your water bottles directly from the river, as Iceland offers some of the cleanest water in the world. We filled our water bottles right from the river and it was quite refreshing and clear as can be.

After you cross over, although there is a bit of hike back to the parking lot, the hard parts are over and it’s all downhill from here. It’s pretty surreal standing on top of the waterfall from this perspective to see the ever-expanding Icelandic landscape. As you start your descent, there is a trail marker sign that points to two different ways to get down, both of which take you back to the parking lot. Take our advice on this one and go with the path to the right that is 3,0km. We made the mistake of taking the more difficult 3,2km path down to the left, since we thought it would offer better views looking back up at the waterfall – it does not and we wouldn’t recommend anyone taking this way down. We are avid hikers, but there are a lot of loose rocks and unnecessarily tough steps down that made us wish we took the other way. Do yourself a favor and make sure you take the path to the right of the trail marker on the way down!

It’s easy to follow the path back from here and the trail markers are very clear. The path eventually merges back to where the natural arch is located and it’s a familiar stretch back from there. We got back to the parking lot at the 4 hour mark and got some much needed relaxation in our car for about 15-30 minutes before moving on. As you leave the parking lot, there is a pull-off area to the left near a bridge that we stopped at for five minutes to admire the sunset. Depending on what time of day and year you visit, you may have a chance to see the incredible views shown in the images below.

We hope you enjoy the Glymur Waterfall hike! It is one of the best hikes we had the pleasure of experiencing during our trip and can’t wait for you to have the chance to get out there.

Attraction Details (Continued)

After crossing the river, this is where the climb begins – get ready for a grueling uphill hike! The path really is well maintained and it’s clear where to follow, even if there are no trail markers. There are sections of the hike on the way up that have helpful ropes to pull yourself up in areas that are more steep than others. There are plenty of lookout points on the way up, so make sure to spend time taking breaks and admiring the landscape.

About 1 hour and 30 minutes into the hike, there is a trail marker that points to the right and the left – on the left side of the marker there is a number (5) and you should definitely make this quick five minute detour for one of the best views of the falls from a lower vantage point. After this stop, you pretty much follow the path up the side of the mountain the rest of the way to the top. You’ll want to keep stopping to take pictures, but just know that the views continually get better and better as you go up higher.

Once at the top of the waterfall, which is just after the 2 hour mark of the hike, soak in the incredible view and the epic sounds of the waterfall. If you’re not planning on crossing the river at the top, this is the place to turn around and head back down, as there isn’t much else to see beyond the top of the waterfall unless you’re crossing over. If you are crossing the river, walk up about 5-10 minutes further until you see a white pole marker – this is where you want to follow the path down to the river to cross.

This is another opportunity to take your shoes off when crossing the river (as we saw many people do) or if you have waterproof boots, you can keep them on. As noted before, please use extreme caution and keep your balance when crossing the river, since it can carry a strong current at times and the rocks can be slippery. The depth of the river at the top of the waterfall is a bit more than at the bottom, so when we crossed with our duck boots on at the top, the water flooded into our boots – good thing we had a pair of backup socks!

This is also a great spot to refill your water bottles directly from the river, as Iceland offers some of the cleanest water in the world. We filled our water bottles right from the river and it was quite refreshing and clear as can be.

After you cross over, although there is a bit of hike back to the parking lot, the hard parts are over and it’s all downhill from here. It’s pretty surreal standing on top of the waterfall from this perspective to see the ever-expanding Icelandic landscape. As you start your descent, there is a trail marker sign that points to two different ways to get down, both of which take you back to the parking lot. Take our advice on this one and go with the path to the right that is 3,0km. We made the mistake of taking the more difficult 3,2km path down to the left, since we thought it would offer better views looking back up at the waterfall – it does not and we wouldn’t recommend anyone taking this way down. We are avid hikers, but there are a lot of loose rocks and unnecessarily tough steps down that made us wish we took the other way. Do yourself a favor and make sure you take the path to the right of the trail marker on the way down!

It’s easy to follow the path back from here and the trail markers are very clear. The path eventually merges back to where the natural arch is located and it’s a familiar stretch back from there. We got back to the parking lot at the 4 hour mark and got some much needed relaxation in our car for about 15-30 minutes before moving on. As you leave the parking lot, there is a pull-off area to the left near a bridge that we stopped at for five minutes to admire the sunset. Depending on what time of day and year you visit, you may have a chance to see the incredible views shown in the images below.

We hope you enjoy the Glymur Waterfall hike! It is one of the best hikes we had the pleasure of experiencing during our trip and can’t wait for you to have the chance to get out there.

Featured Images

Glymur Waterfall Parking Lot
Glymur Waterfall Gate Entrance
Glymur Waterfall Trailhead
Glymur Waterfall Trail Signs
Glymur Waterfall Tree Circle
Glymur Waterfall Yellow Rock
Glymur Waterfall Trail Sign Steps
Glymur Waterfall Fjord
Glymur Waterfall Log View
Glymur Waterfall Trail Stairs
Glymur Waterfall Arch
Glymur Waterfall River Cross
Glymur Waterfall River Crossing
Glymur Waterfall Trail Sign After River
Glymur Waterfall Trail Ropes
Glymur Waterfall Canyon
Glymur Waterfall Overlook
Glymur Waterfall Views
Glymur Waterfall
Glymur Waterfall Top
Glymur Waterfall Top River Cross Marker
Glymur Waterfall Top River People Crossing
Glymur Waterfall Top Cross River
Glymur Waterfall Top Crossed River
Glymur Waterfall Top Overlook
Glymur Waterfall Top Fjord
Glymur Waterfall Top Trail Marker
Glymur Waterfall Trail Back
Glymur Waterfall Bridge Backdrop
Glymur Waterfall Bridge
Glymur Waterfall Sunset

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