Weather and conditions on the main roads:
Snow will continue to blow over road 93 (Fjarðarheiði) in the east for the next 24 hours or so creating difficult driving conditions to and from Seyðisfjörður. Strong wind gusts expected until noon tomorrow from Seljalandsfoss to Jökulsárlón that can be hazardous for wins sensitive vehicles such as busses. Nothing else noteworthy in the forecast as it looks right now.
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: Trails outside of “main trails” are not serviced during winter and can be slippery – crampons recommended for those.
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: Spots of ice on a few trails – crampons recommended. Roads 570 and 571 over the glacier are closed!
Southern 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. Could become slippery with the upcoming temperature change.
Dettifoss og Selfoss: Roads are impassible – they may be cleared in the next days. Snow on the trails and crampons recommended.
Hengifoss: Snow on trails – possibility of spots of ice.
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 apart from wind gusts on the road.
Seljalandsfoss: The walking path behind the waterfall is closed during the winter due to ice formation – nothing remarkable about the conditions otherwise apart from wind gusts on the road.
Þórsmörk/Goðaland: Closed/Impassible for those not in a modified vehicle. Staff will remain in Húsadalur throughout the winter.
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!
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: Must not be underestimated! Considerably colder up top than by the roots and wind often increases after 250 m. Warm clothing is essential! Recommended to bring crampons to tackle ice at the top.
Skaftafell: S3 (Skaftafellsheiði) and S4 (Kristínartindar) are closed! No ice on S1 (Jökulslóð) and S2 (Svartifoss), crampons needed for other hikes.
Reykjadalur: Important to stay on the trail as it’s surrounded by dangerous hot springs and very vulnerable nature! NO sneakers!
Ásbyrgi: Snow on trails. Only accessible with 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 must keep the following in mind!
Considerable danger (level 3/5) in Tröllaskagi. Moderate danger (level 2/5) in Northern Westfjords and Eastfjords.