Weather and conditions on the main roads:
Cooling temperatures tonight and over the next days – possibility of icy roads.
Tourists often mistake 4×4 for a vehicle that can take on all terrain, which is of course not the case and this must be explained as damages can cost thousands of dollars.
Drivers who get stuck in rivers or in snow have to get themselves out at own expense – there‘s no insurance in the world that covers damage linked to crossing a river. GPS devices also tend to lead drivers on to closed roads. For this reason, it’s very important they know where to access information about road conditions/closures. Illegal to drive off-road!!
Conditions in the highlands:
Highland roads are now all closed/impassible for unmodified vehicles! It’s important to be properly equipped for winter – especially those heading for hikes and camping!
Conditions in popular tourist sites:
This time of the year the conditions vary a lot on the weather. Trails are now icy/snowy in most parts of Iceland, even on lowlands so we recommend bringing crampons along ALWAYS, regardless of location! These essentials shouldn’t cost more than 2.000-4.000 ISK and make all the difference when exploring Icelandic sites during winter.
Reykjanes: Conditions on roads and trails by Gunnuhver are not good. Road 42 to Krýsuvík is often in worse conditions than others in the area.
Þingvellir: Nothing remarkable about the conditions.
Geysir og Gullfoss: Lower trail towards Gullfoss will remain closed this winter due to ice. The road leading to Gullfoss from Reykholt has some big pot holes which can cause damage to cars if not driven carefully!
Hraunfossar og Deildartunguhver: Nothing remarkable about the conditions.
Snæfellsjökull National Park: Nothing remarkable about the conditions on trails! Roads 570 and 571 over the glacier are closed!
South Westfjords: Keep road closures in mind – many mountain roads not winter serviced! No way to see Dynjandi as roads to and from there are closed and driving from Þingeyri to Bíldudalur now takes 6-7 hours in good weather instead of 2!
Hvítserkur: The road to Hvítserkur from the road 711 is closed and will remain so until spring. Weather dependent as to view the rock you’ll have to walk for 10 minutes, one way.
Goðafoss: Nothing remarkable about the conditions.
Dettifoss og Selfoss: Crampons recommended. Trail closure on the way to Selfoss – not recommended to go past it due to extreme ice and the waterfall can be viewed from that point.
Hengifoss: Nothing remarkable about the conditions
Reynisfjara: The beach can always be dangerous due to the unpredictability of the waves. It‘s not every wave – it‘s every 7th or 10th or 12th wave that goes a lot further up the beach than the rest making it difficult to assess danger upon arrival. There are no rocks in the ocean that break the waves and only a few meters of shore there‘s an underwater cliff so the pulling factor of these already powerful waves becomes even greater. On top of this the sand is very fine ash which makes it extra difficult to get away from these waves.
Same applies to Djúpalónssandur in Snæfellsnes Peninsula and Kirkjufjara beach but it‘s CLOSED for this reason.
Skógafoss: Nothing remarkable about the conditions.
Seljalandsfoss: The walking path behind the waterfall is closed during the winter due to ice formation – nothing remarkable about the conditions otherwise.
Þórsmörk/Goðaland: Closed/Impassible for those not in a modified vehicle. Staff will remain in Húsadalur throughout the winter. The area is quite wet.
Vestmannaeyjar: The ferry will depart from Þorlákshöfn until further notice on www.seatours.is (top of website).
Landmannalaugar: Roads are only passible for those with experience in a well modified vehicle! Wet snow and difficult to get around on a vehicle. Passible with a snowmobile.
Conditions on hiking trails:
Hiking during winter time requires proper equipment even on shorter hikes. Please study our equipment list as preparation is key for successful travel in Iceland. Winter has arrived in most areas in Iceland so we recommend having minor crampons with you at all time.
Esjan: Mountain crampons needed to go beyond Steinn as snow and ice are along that climb. Must not be underestimated! Considerably colder up top than by the roots and wind often increases after 250 m. Warm clothing is essential!
Skaftafell: S1 towards the glacier is clear. S2 to Svartifoss Waterfall is icy and crampons recommended for that. Other trails are closed.
Reykjadalur: Wet snow/mud now and important to bring crampons along as conditions can change quickly – can become VERY slippery when everything freezes! Important to stay on the trail as it’s surrounded by dangerous hot springs and very vulnerable nature! NO sneakers!
Ásbyrgi: Snow on trails and ice. Ice sheet over the road by the parking lot that can only be crossed in a 4×4.
Glymur: Log over the river Botnsá will not return until spring so now hikers must either cross the river on foot, go up on the west side (not a good angle to see the waterfall) or take a longer route over the old bridge along the hiking route “Leggjabrjótur”.
Those heading into the backcountry have to keep the following in mind!
Moderate danger (level 2/5) in Northern Westfjords.