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Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River Hike

Overview

The Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River is a hot spring and hike in that offers an amazing experience of being able to bathe and relax in the naturally heated Icelandic water.

Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River

Quick Facts

Time Spent3 hours
Best Time to Visit?Morning to Midday
Distance2.4 Miles (Roundtrip)
Type of TrailThere & Back
Bathroom Available?Yes
Cost for EntryFree
Worth It?Must Go (Weather Permitting)
Hiking DifficultyBeginner to Moderate
Seasonal?Spring - Fall

 Note: Always check trail status and weather conditions before visiting

Attraction Tips

Wear Waterproof Gear

It was very rainy and very windy the day we went on this hike. Make sure to have a waterproof jacket and pants!

Wear Your Bathing Suit & Bring a Towel

Instead of changing into your bathing suit at the top of the mountain, put on your bathing suit in the bathroom at the start of the trail. It can, and probably will, be cold, windy and wet at the top, so you won’t want to spend extra time changing. You’ll thank us for this! Also, we just wore our wet bathing suits under our hiking clothes after we got out of the river, then changed into dry clothes when we got back to the trail head.

Get in the Water!

To us, the whole point of this hike is to get into the hot spring when you get to the top – don’t chicken out if it’s too cold out! You’ll regret it.

The Water is Warmer Higher Up the River

There are a few different places to enter the thermal river. Although it is more shallow the more you move up the river, the water is warmer in those places.

How to Get There & Parking

Address:

Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River
Reykjadalur, Iceland
 

Parking: Free

There is plenty of room to park at the base of this hike.

What To Bring

Water Bottle(s) / Snacks

Bathing Suit

Quick Dry Towel

Waterproof Jacket / Pants (Rain Gear)

Hiking Shoes (Sneakers or Boots)

Waterproof Backpack

Wet / Dry Bag or Plastic Bag for Towel and Wet Bathing Suit

Attraction Details

When you arrive, there is a parking lot and long road leading up to the trailhead with plenty of room to park on both sides. There is a bathroom at the start of the trail that you can use to change into your bathing suit, which we would recommend doing here instead of at the river. There are semi-private changing stalls at the top by the river, but ultimately it’ll be cold and probably wet when you get to the top, so the last thing you’re gonna want to do is change into your bathing suit there.

The trail head is easy to spot from the parking lot and very well maintained with gravel. There is a bit of a steady uphill climb throughout the hike, with a few areas where the trail levels out or goes slightly downhill, but overall is not a very difficult hike. Along the way, you’ll see geothermal hot springs that are an amazing turquoise blue, but steer clear of touching any of the water there, as it can reach up to 100 °C / 212 °F

We got to the top a little after one hour and the path splits around the river on wooden docks. Following the path to the left of the river will put you towards the middle, where the water is a bit deeper. Following the path to the right of the river will lead up further to the top of the river. While it is warmer the further you walk up, the water does also get more shallow. If you’re hiking to the top you MUST get in the water! While the hike itself is great, getting in the thermal river while you’re there makes the experience whole.

We spent about 45 minutes at the top exploring the area around the river, taking a few pictures and getting in the water. We got in the river about midway and while it was definitely warm, we probably would’ve preferred to get in a bit further up. One thing to remember is that getting out of the water is not an easy feat! We prepped our clothes at the top of our bags so that we could easily dry off and get our clothes back on. If you want to change at this point, we’d recommend bringing a wet / dry bag or plastic bag to put your wet towel and bathing suit in. In our opinion, it’s better to just keep them on and change again at the bathroom at the bottom.

Once we were done, we got back on the trail and it took about 45 minutes to get back down to the bottom. We took about 20-30 minutes to go to the bathroom, change and eat lunch before moving onto the next attraction. Have fun with this one! It’s a very unique Icelandic experience.

One last note here – if the weather forecast expects there to be heavy rain or wind, we would probably recommend skipping and returning to this attraction at a later time. As we headed back down, the weather wasn’t the greatest and made for a pretty miserable hike with wind blowing rain into us head-on for most of the way back down. Don’t get us wrong – this is a very cool attraction, but worth keeping the weather forecast in mind before starting the trek.

Attraction Details

When you arrive, there is a parking lot and long road leading up to the trailhead with plenty of room to park on both sides. There is a bathroom at the start of the trail that you can use to change into your bathing suit, which we would recommend doing here instead of at the river. There are semi-private changing stalls at the top by the river, but ultimately it’ll be cold and probably wet when you get to the top, so the last thing you’re gonna want to do is change into your bathing suit there.

The trail head is easy to spot from the parking lot and very well maintained with gravel. There is a bit of a steady uphill climb throughout the hike, with a few areas where the trail levels out or goes slightly downhill, but overall is not a very difficult hike. Along the way, you’ll see geothermal hot springs that are an amazing turquoise blue, but steer clear of touching any of the water there, as it can reach up to 100 °C / 212 °F

We got to the top a little after one hour and the path splits around the river on wooden docks. Following the path to the left of the river will put you towards the middle, where the water is a bit deeper. Following the path to the right of the river will lead up further to the top of the river. While it is warmer the further you walk up, the water does also get more shallow. If you’re hiking to the top you MUST get in the water! While the hike itself is great, getting in the thermal river while you’re there makes the experience whole.

We spent about 45 minutes at the top exploring the area around the river, taking a few pictures and getting in the water. We got in the river about midway and while it was definitely warm, we probably would’ve preferred to get in a bit further up. One thing to remember is that getting out of the water is not an easy feat! We prepped our clothes at the top of our bags so that we could easily dry off and get our clothes back on. If you want to change at this point, we’d recommend bringing a wet / dry bag or plastic bag to put your wet towel and bathing suit in. In our opinion, it’s better to just keep them on and change again at the bathroom at the bottom.

Once we were done, we got back on the trail and it took about 45 minutes to get back down to the bottom. We took about 20-30 minutes to go to the bathroom, change and eat lunch before moving onto the next attraction. Have fun with this one! It’s a very unique Icelandic experience.

One last note here – if the weather forecast expects there to be heavy rain or wind, we would probably recommend skipping and returning to this attraction at a later time. As we headed back down, the weather wasn’t the greatest and made for a pretty miserable hike with wind blowing rain into us head-on for most of the way back down. Don’t get us wrong – this is a very cool attraction, but worth keeping the weather forecast in mind before starting the trek.

Featured Images

Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River Parking Lot
Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River Bathroom
Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River Trail Head
Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River Stream
Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River Trail
Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River Trail Views
Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River Turquoise Spring
Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River
Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River Scenery
Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River View

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