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About the Laugavegur

The 49-mile Laugavegur is the longest hiking trail in Iceland, and it is also one of the most popular. Its well-worn tread, cozy huts, steady stream of trekkers, and frequent wood marking posts make it a relatively safe and logistically easy venture. And the scenery is top-notch: colorful rhyolite-containing mountains, hot springs and thermal vents, neon green mosses and grass, enormous ice caps, and raging glacier-fed rivers and broad gravel floodplains. If you only have enough time for a few days of backpacking in Iceland, do Laugavegur—it’s the best bang for your buck.

The northern terminus is Landmannalaugar (elev. 500m), which will remind you of a Himalayan base camp with its alpine look and its villages of mountaineering tents. It is 34 miles south to Porsmork, a peaceful valley that’s about 20 miles upstream from the Ring Rd on F249. Some trekkers stop here, but I recommend hiking another 15 miles to Skogar, a small village on the Ring Road; the trail goes up and over a high pass between the glaciers Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull.

If you plan to overnight on Laugavegur, you have three options: (1) stay in the huts, which cost about $40 per person per night; (2) camp outside of the huts in a designated camping area, which costs about $10 per person per night; or (3) camp in a non-designated area, which costs nothing. Not surprisingly I opted for the last approach—I was equipped to camp outside in all conditions, and there were plenty of excellent campsites besides the designated ones. If you want to stay in a hut you’ll need your own sleeping bag or sheets and you should make reservations, especially in the peak summer season.

Please read about camping regulations along the Laugavegur. Recommended and legal practices partly depend on land ownership.

It is recommended that you spend 5 days hiking Laugavegur but it is certainly possible to do in less. With a 40-lb pack (25 of those pounds were food) I hiked the entire trail in 28 hours, including an 8-hour overnight camp. After my Traverse, I ran and hiked from Porsmork to Landmannalaugar to Skogar (about 83 miles total) in 1.5 days. Laugavegur is not the easiest 49 miles I’ve seen, but it’s far from the most difficult.

To reach Landmannalaugar you can take the Reykjavik Excursions bus (Route 11) from the BSI terminal in Reykjavik; it leaves at 8:30am and arrives at 12:30pm. If you are doing Iceland on the cheap, you can try to hitch. Landmannalaugar does not see much thru-traffic but it is a popular destination; you should be able to at least reach the town of Hella, which is on the Ring Rd and which is a stop on the Route 11 bus. There are several daily buses to Porsmork, also operated by Reykjavik Excursions. Skogar is on the Ring Road and you can either hitch or grab a bus from there. There is a bus schedule posted in the campground bathroom.

Below is a description of Laugavegur. The basic description is from the Icelandic Touring Association’s website, and then I have inserted many of my own comments.
http://www.fi.is/en/hiking-trails/

Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker

— 12km, estimated walking time 4-5 hours, 470m net climb —

From the hut in Landmannalaugar (75-person capacity) the gentle trail goes through a rough lavafield “Laugahraun.” It’s a steady and often steep climb up the slopes of “Brennisteinsalda” and to a plateau. The view offers an incredible spectrum of colours, especially to the north. After 3 – 4 hours you arrive at “Stórihver,” a hot spring and one of the fewe green spots visible in the first day. Early in the season the rest of the trail from here to the hut “Höskuldsskáli” is covered with snow; by mid-July 2008 it was mostly melted out. Chances of fog are very high so even though the trail is clearly marked you must be careful. More importantly, you can encounter cold and wet conditions here, so be prepared with good raingear and insulated garments. A walk to the icecaves (approx. 1.5km from the hut) is a must. The hut sleeps 36 persons.

Hrafntinnusker to Álftavatn

— 12 km, estimated walking time 4 – 5 hours, 490m net descent

The first part of the trail takes us through a vast expanse dissected by small ravines where snow lingers well into the summer. The trail cuts right across these ravines, resulting in many steep short climbs and descents; I recommend going cross-country about 400m to the east, which will keep you away from these unnecessary climbs and descents. If the visibility is good a walk up to the top of mountain “Háskerðingur” (1281 m) will reward your with a breathtaking view. Soon we leave the colourful rhyolite mountains and descend steeply into an area with dark palagonite mountains and glaciers. You will also notice a considerable increase in vegetation as you lose elevatino. The trail down the “Jökultungur” is rather steep but leads down to a friendly oasis on the banks of river “Grashagakvísl” a fine place to rest for a while. From there on the trail to the two huts by the lake “Álftavatn” is on flat land that can be marshy early in the season. There are two huts (58 persons, GPS 63°51.470 – 19°13.640).

Álftavatn – Emstrur (Botnar)

— 15 km, estimated walking time 6-7 hrs, 40 m net descent —

Just after the huts you should cross the lake’s outlet (hopefully on a 2×6 plank) and follow the trail to the river “Bratthálskvísl”. You could also follow the road here but you will still eventually have to ford the river, which even in early-August was impassable without getting your feet wet—it is only shin-deep but it is about 15m wide. The trail takes us over the low ridge “Brattháls” into “Hvanngil” ravine. In “Hvanngil” are two huts, one built for sheepherders in 1963 and one for tourists, built in 1995. A short walk from the huts is the river “Kaldaklofskvísl” with a bridge for hikers. On the eastern bank of “Kaldaklofskvísl” the trail branches, one branch leading eastwards to “Mælifellssandur” (Road F210) but the other one southwards to “Emstrur” and we choose the latter. Less than 1 km from “Kaldaklofskvísl” the river you must wade “Blafjallakvisl,” which in mid-July was clear, lower-thigh deep, and moving peacefully. Approximately 4 km further we come to the river “Nyrðri Emstruá,” which is bridged. Soon we will be overlooking the huts in “Botnar” (40 persons, GPS 63°45.980 – 19°22.480). A fine walk in the evening is to the “Markarfljótsgljúfur” canyon.

Emstrur (Botnar) to Þórsmörk

— 15 km, estimated walking time 6-7 hrs, 300m net descent —

First we have to go around the canyon of “Syðri – Emstruá” and there is a steep, sandy path down to the bridge. Then a walk through the area known as “Almenningar” with crossing of among other rivers “Þröngá,” which is glacier-fed but which is widely braided at the crossing point and only knee-deep max. After crossing “Þröngá” a 40-minute walk up and over a low ridge takes us to the hut “Langidalur” in “Porsmork” (75 persons, GPS 63°40.960 – 19°30.890) Landscape and vegetation changes rapidly during this last section—birchwood and all kinds of plants emerge, a welcome change after the desert now behind us.

Porsmork to Skogar

— 20 km, estimated walking time 7-9 hrs, 100m net descent (but a 900m climb to start) —

This is probably the most popular hiking trail in Iceland as it is relatively short but it can also be very dangerous because of sudden changes in weather that can occur in any season. It can be calm and fine on the lowland but as you climb up to 1000 meters you can get heavy winds, pitch-black fog or even snowstorm. From the hut at Skogar walk downstream to the bridge over the glacier-fed river. Walk due south until reaching the road, and then follow the road east up valley towards the hut Eystrihattur. Alternatively, you can follow the blue-tipped wooden posts across the gravel if you enjoy twisting your ankles. Once you cross the creek that flows from the canyon Strakagil, begin climbing steeply. The trail levels out briefly onto a rocky plateau before climbing steeply again to the pass “Fimmvorouhals,” which early in the season will be snowbound. The pass lies between the glaciers “Eyjafjallajökull” and “Mýrdalsjökull.” There is a hut above the pass, accessible by a 1-km long trail. Shortly beyond and slightly below this sidetrail is an emergency hut. Depending on the weather and your mood, either follow the wooden posts cross-country or follow the road downhill. When you get to the Skóga river, follow the river, not the road. This is an amazing canyon of endless green walls and fantastic waterfalls. You’ll wind up right at Skógafoss, which is 60m high.

106 Responses to About the Laugavegur

  1. Mike February 20, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    Why do you need a 40-lb pack when you hiked the entire trail in 28 hour?

    • Andrew Skurka February 20, 2012 at 10:43 am #

      Because immediately after finishing this trail I went to Hofn in order to start my Iceland Traverse. I didn’t have an opportunity to resupply.

      • lisa July 19, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

        Again thanks for the great info, planning a trip next july with my daughter and so have read SOOO many reviews that offer different opinions about difficulty. I am mainly concerned with being able to navigate the trail. not an expert backpacker but we live and hike in Colorado. I will hone my GPS skills but how proficient do I need to be?

      • lisa July 19, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

        Again thanks for the great info, planning a trip mid july with my daughter and so have read SOOO many reviews that offer different opinions about difficulty. I am mainly concerned with being able to navigate the trail. not an expert backpacker but we live and hike in Colorado. I will hone my GPS skills but how proficient do I need to be? will we likely be seeing others as we hike?

      • Alistair Miller February 12, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

        Skogar to Jokulsarlon by bus ..is it possible . We want to hike to Skogar , stay a night then catch a bus to Jokulsarlon to see the Glacier lake and return to Reykavik that evening

    • lisa July 19, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

      is there a trail that would go up the side of skogafoss that I could access the canyon from as
      opposed to hiking the trail from Porsmork?

  2. Keith Bethea April 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    Great info here! My wife and I are planning to visit Iceland for two weeks at the end of May and we plan to hike The Laugavegur. Perhaps you can help us with our main concern for this trip, namely, getting back to our vehicle at the end of the hike. Some details:

    We’re renting a vehicle for the duration of our trip. Our rough plan is to travel the ring road, car camping with our tent along the way, with 5 days set aside for hiking The Laugavegur. Our thought for the hike is to park our vehicle in Landmannalaugar, then hike to Porsmark (or perhaps all the way to Skogar), tent camping in non-designated areas along the way (keep it cheap as possible), with the intent of getting a ride back to our vehicle in Landmannalaugar at the end of our hike. The thing is, we have no idea about getting rides from Porsmark or Skogar back to Landmannalaugar.

    Would you be able to shed some light about this? Is there transportation available to Landmannalaugar from Porsmark and/or Skogar? Is parking our vehicle in Landmannalaugar a feasible idea, or should we consider another option, i.e. parking in Reykjavik and getting rides to/from the northern and southern terminus of the Laugavegur? We’re on a bit of a budget and the vehicle rental is quite an expense, so we’d like to get as much out of it as possible and use public transportation as little as possible…though we also very much want to do this hike and have some assurance of being able to get back to our vehicle before setting out.

    Thanks for the helpful site. We’re soooo looking forward to this trip!

    -K

    • Andrew Skurka April 7, 2012 at 11:50 am #

      The transportation routes may have changed since I was there in summer 2008. I took a bus to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavik. Doubtful that you can find a bus that originates elsewhere. No likelihood to hitch of hitching a ride back there — not much personal traffic.

      Personally, I’d just walk it twice. It probably wouldn’t take any more time than getting a ride back to the start.

  3. Keith Bethea April 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Cool, thanks for the info! I think our plan now may be to drive to Landmannalaugar, park there, begin our hike and double-back to our vehicle. Our only question now is whether to pick Porsmork or Skogar as our turnaround point. Were you able to pick up any provisions from either Porsmork or Skogar? Or did you have all of your food with you when you set out? Thanks again for the info.

    • Andrew Skurka April 7, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

      I don’t recall what resupply options are there. Not much, if I remember correctly. Probably more at Landmannalaugar than at Porsmork or Skogar, assuming anything at all. It’s not that long of a trip — pack efficiently and it’d be tough to imagine it taking longer than 6 days for a round-trip. That’s only 9 pounds of food at 1.5 pounds/person/day, or about 3,000 calories assuming 125 calories/oz.

      • Keith Bethea April 8, 2012 at 11:35 am #

        Cheers, man, I think this will do. Barring any weird weather, making a round trip will be our plan. If I come up with any more needling questions I’ll be sure to ask, but I think I’m good for now. Thanks again for everything. Very insightful stuff!

  4. Keith Bethea May 16, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    Hey Andrew, another question. How readily available was water throughout the trail? Should we anticipate having to lug a lot of it around, or can we count on passing enough water sources to suffice? Hope you’re well!

  5. Aurélie March 4, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    Hi Andrew,

    Just wanted to say thanks for the great detail and info regarding Iceland on your site. I’ve been to Iceland twice and will keep going back. It’s a mesmerizing place for sure. Reading about your experience takes me right back. Thanks for sharing with us!

    Aurélie

  6. Kate Gordon April 30, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    Hello, how was your hike? Were you able to make it in May? We are planing to hike Laugavegur in early June and are a little worried that everything will be closed and unreachable.
    Thanks!

    • Andrew Skurka April 30, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

      You should be okay by early-June. There will be more snow, but sometimes this makes travel easier because it covers the gnarly footing underneath.

  7. Molly Absolon May 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Hi Andrew,
    We are hoping to do the hike in mid-June and had two quick questions for you.
    1. Do we need ice axes for the snow?
    2. I see that some of the huts don’t open until June 25 or so. We are planning to have a tent and wild camp, but the information was a bit confusing as to whether or not you are allowed into the park. It seems from looking at your comments here, that shouldn’t be an issue, but I just wanted to doublecheck. Thanks!

    • Andrew Skurka May 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      1. What you may need I may not need, and vice versa. With that qualifier, I’d say that personally I would not take an axe or crampons. I don’t recall any terrain that was steep enough to justify it.

      2. I camped out and was never told that I couldn’t. But maybe I was breaking the rules without knowing it. I’m sure there is some information online somewhere about it.

      • David Noll December 27, 2015 at 5:33 am #

        Camping away from the huts is illegal.

    • David September 16, 2015 at 6:30 am #

      Hi, can I ask how you got on? I am looking at doing the trip mid- June next year. Did you do it ok?

      Thanks

  8. Janet May 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    Hey Andrew,

    My husband and I want to hike Landmannalaugar to Skogar August 20 – 24/25 (need to be back in Rekyjavik on evening of 25th). We are experienced backpackers and, given the hut availability is a challenge at this late date, we are contemplating camping. Wondering if you could answer a few questions for us:
    1. Are reservations required for the ‘designated’ sites? If so, who do you book through?
    2. Any issues with the non-designated camping from wardens?
    3. If camping, do the wardens let you use the huts for cooking?
    4. Do you recommend going from Skogar to L or vice versa?
    5. It’s our first time and we’re contemplating an overnight in the Volcano Hut at Thorsmork. Recommended?

    Thanks so much!

    • Andrew Skurka May 25, 2013 at 8:30 am #

      I’m unsure of the right answer to any of these questions, sorry.

      Personally, I camped, and wasn’t questioned about it. And I usually prefer hiking north because the sun is mostly at my back and that makes for better photos.

  9. Jimm February 16, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    Hi Andrew – I’m planning a trip with my brothers for mid May. We are all very experienced but are concerned about the weather during that time. Do you think there could be parts of the trail that are impassable due to snow / ice? We plan to pack our picks / crampons just in case, but wanted to get an idea of what we might see at that time of year. Cheers.

    • Andrew Skurka February 16, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

      I would imagine that the snow will still be snow-covered, but I don’t know for sure. You’ll have to consult another resource.

    • Murphy April 29, 2014 at 5:06 am #

      Jimm,
      We are also going in Mid May and I have been trying to find out more information about road and trail conditions. If you have found any useful sites please feel free to share. There are varying degrees of optimism about what will be accessible/open and type of car to use. My main concern is safety. Thank you

  10. Larry March 20, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    I am considering running the entire trail in a single push. Having done some 50 mile races and the R2R2R, sounds like it is definitely doable. Your opinion? It’s either this or the Zion traverse. ..

    • Andrew Skurka March 20, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

      There is a race on this route every year, so yes, very doable.

  11. Milan May 2, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    Hi there!

    We are planning to do the usual Laugavegur trek starting from Laugavegur on May 31st. By May 6th we have to be already back in Reykjavik. We will not have car and we plan to get there hitchhiking.
    You think our trip is possible? Do you think there will also other people on the trail?

    Thanks a lot for your comments/tips!
    Cheers, Milan

  12. Paolo January 2, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    Andrew, thanks a lot for this post.

    My friend and I are planning on doing this in April. We both understand that that may be too early. We’re gathering as much info as we could so we could determine whether to go ahead or not. We could only do it in April this year. Otherwise, we’d have to postpone it to 2016.

    We do winter backpacking in the adirondacks and the white moutains in New York and New Hampshire, but neither one of us has been to Iceland. We’re obviously concerned that we might be unprepared for the terrain and the weather conditions there.

    Do you think April is going to be much of a problem or much different than winters here in the US?

    Thanks.

    • Andrew Skurka January 4, 2015 at 8:00 am #

      Hmm, not sure about your plan.

      I believe the Laugavegur is designed as a summer route, and summer routes are not always optimized for winter travel. For instance, it may cut immediately underneath an avalanche-prone slope, or it may stay in a river bottom whereas the best snow is on the benches above. Just generalizing here. I would also add that the conditions will be quite different than NH and NY. You will encounter much more snow (enough to create glaciers) and an Arctic landscape with minimal vegetation — it’d be like doing your whole trip above treeline with no option of dropping into the forests for wind protection, radiant warmth, and wood fires.

      Personally, if your goal is to do the Laugavegur, I would probably wait until 2016 when you can do it “right.” If your goal is a cool winter trip, then maybe this is a good idea. Although, personally I’d go check it out in friendlier conditions first before trying to do it in winter.

      If you deem this to be a bad idea but still want to do something in April, I’d recommend that you consider the Colorado Plateau in southern Utah and northern Arizona. This is where I go to backpack at this time of year. In fact, maybe we’d run across each other in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

  13. Anne January 12, 2015 at 8:17 am #

    Are there any stretches that are dangerous from the point of view of narrow paths with sheer drops on each side? Also, is this trail suitable for pre-teens? Thanks

    • Andrew Skurka January 12, 2015 at 8:49 am #

      No, there are no such stretches.

      It suitability depends entirely on your pre-teen. It is not an intro-level trip.

  14. Michael January 20, 2015 at 2:48 am #

    Hi Andrew. Thanks for the information, it has been most helpful so I apologise if I repeat questions or ask information that you’ve already supplied.

    I was wondering if you could tell me about the gradient of the trek ie is it largely flat or up and down and if the latter are these increases/decreases steep?

    Myself and my girlfriend completed a trek in Nepal and found it quite difficult as not only wasthe elevation quite intense (2000+m) but it also involved ‘alot of up and down bits’ which made it even more difficult. We intend to do the trek at the end of July so any help would be great.

    • Andrew Skurka January 20, 2015 at 9:11 am #

      It’s “moderate,” at least from my perspective. It’s not a super mountainous area like the Himmalaya or Mountain West in the US. But it’s not flat either. A few climbs will get your attention but I think you will find it easier than Nepal.

  15. Jim February 3, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

    Hi Andrew! Top marks for the web site! Im currently planning to trek the laugavegar at the beginning of the season and was wondering about the ‘non designated’ camping sites you mention, all the literature i have read so far forbids camping outside of any designated areas, could you clarify please?

    Thanks!

    • Andrew Skurka February 3, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

      Camping regulations may have changed since I was there, or I was unaware of them. Designated camping makes sense for this trail — it’s heavily used, including by many inexperienced backpackers who are not familiar with LNT best practices.

    • Sai March 17, 2015 at 9:43 am #

      Jim, are you trekking mid-June by any chance? I plan 17th to 20th.

      • Nabeel April 20, 2015 at 10:32 am #

        Hi Sai, I am planning to hike mid june, preferably starting from 15th June. how abou tu?

  16. Michelle February 17, 2015 at 9:38 pm #

    Hi Andrew…What is there a difference in difficulty if we choose to go Northbound or Southbound on the trail? Why do most people choose Southbound? Thank you for your help!

    • Andrew Skurka February 17, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

      The biggest reason is that you lose more vertical going south. Logistically, I also found it easier to start in the north, since there is a bus from Reykjavik. From the finish, especially if you go to the coast, it is easy to hitch.

      You might be able to catch that bus back to the capital, don’t recall. That would make vertical the only reason.

      Depending on weather, it could make more sense to go north. Notably, if there is a storm blowing in, the weather in the south will be better since it is lower in elevation.

  17. Sai March 17, 2015 at 9:42 am #

    I am planning to solo this mid-june. Would you reccomend any modifications to your route, based on more unpredictable weather?

    • Kenneth March 30, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

      I am also looking to go during mid June (likely around 18-26 period). Just wondering what the temperature will be like then, and what sort of temperatures we should prepare for when camping outside.

      • Rob August 5, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

        Hi – did you ever get a response here? Trying to figure out what the night time conditions will be like. how warm of a sleeping bag will we need?

    • Nabeel April 20, 2015 at 10:37 am #

      I am also planning to do it from 15th. If you would like to team up, you can contact me at [email protected]

  18. Danny April 23, 2015 at 1:31 am #

    Hi Andrew,

    Great write up, I really enjoyed it. I’m heading over to hike the trail and was just wondering which map you used?

    Thanks.

    • Andrew Skurka April 23, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

      It was a recreation map specific to the trail, can’t remember much more about it.

  19. Murielle April 28, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

    Hi Andrew, thanks for this write-up!

    I’m looking to do the trail in June (starting on June 21st) and have reserved the huts along the way, except for Emstrur which is booked out.

    Is it possible to hike straight from Hvanngil to Thorsmork without stopping overnight in Emstrur? Keen to read your advice. Thanks!

  20. Beatriz April 29, 2015 at 2:07 am #

    Hi Andrew and everybody!
    I would like to do the trail starting beginning of June. Low budget so planning to camp in not designated areas. Apparently the huts will still be closed and official websites say it is not recommended to walk the trail when the huts are closed.
    What do you think? Thanks!

  21. Eglo May 31, 2015 at 7:25 am #

    For clarification: do not camp outside of the designated campsites! The ecosystem is very fragile and can be easily damaged simply by walking off-trail. Just pay the $10 to camp out at the designated areas and save some beauty for future hikers and the people of Iceland.

  22. Clarissa July 7, 2015 at 5:23 am #

    Hi I was wondering if you know where you can book the huts for this year August.
    Also do you think staying in the huts or camping is the better option for two people end of August this year?
    Thanks

  23. Daniel July 24, 2015 at 3:50 am #

    Great write up Andrew!
    I will be hiking the trail on August 12th and after reading your account i think i will extend my hike to Skogar.

  24. jennifer burdette August 5, 2015 at 12:18 am #

    Andrew,
    thank you so much for your guidance on this trail!
    I leave on the 26th of August. I have huts booked until the 30th and am on the fence about the hike out to the final mountain pass, extending to Skogar. I have a hut pass to stay in Thorsmork on the 30th and am worried about the distance time. How far at a moderate pace is the extra to Skogar with a 35lb pack? I could easily catch a bus from either spot. I am an experienced backpacker and climbed Rainier in may.
    Also, how readily available is water? Should I bring a Sawyer Mini?

  25. Rob August 5, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

    Hi! Trying to plan for a trip for august 19th and trying to figure out the temperatures we should expect, specifically over night. How warm do we need to be? any thoughts?

  26. Chris August 11, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    Quick question for you. What is your take on the estimated times that are listed above? Are they average or slow? Thanks man–

    Also. You didn’t happen to assess the rivers from Thorsmork for packrafting, did you? Seems like you can float to the road via the Krossa/Markarflijot, but it’s tough to tell if it’s mellow boogie water or whitewater.

    • Andrew Skurka August 12, 2015 at 7:09 am #

      I didn’t know what a packraft was when I was in Iceland. But all the rivers looked fast to me — there is too much gradient for them to be mellow.

  27. Jessica September 25, 2015 at 7:31 am #

    So this may sound like an entirely novice-like question but I have a limited amount of time in Iceland (6 days total) with a pretty full itinerary. I had planned to visit the Snaefellsnes peninsula and Husavik for some whale watching. I just found out about this trail and i’m NOT experienced in backpacking at all. I was wondering if it was worth making the 3 hour drive just to spend a few hours hiking around and then heading back to Reykjavik in evening. Is the trail pretty easy? I’d love any suggestions you would have to offer!

    • Andrew Skurka September 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

      The trail is heavily used, so even without any backpacking experience I think you could manage to day-hike without issue, so long as you are in reasonable fitness.

  28. Marcy October 30, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

    I used these details during my hike in Laugavegurinn. Pretty much accurate, except for the last part. Porsmork to Skogar (Took me almost 10 hours!) Probably because I lost 3 times and I have to go back to the trail and find my way. Iceland is very beautiful. Thanks Andrew!

  29. Jill December 4, 2015 at 10:46 pm #

    Glad I found this forum!

    I’m looking to book huts for July 2016. The website indicates they’re “full for 2016.” How far in advance did you book your huts? And, do they only take reservations by phone? (That surprised me.)

    Any suggestions will help … including how far in advance y’all booked your huts.

    Thanks so much!

    • Melissa January 14, 2016 at 7:59 am #

      Hi Jill,

      What website did you use for booking huts? I was unable to find even that! We’re also going in July 2016 and it looks like we’ll be camping too.

      • Angi February 10, 2016 at 12:40 pm #

        I would like to know the website too! 🙂 I’m having trouble figuring out how to book huts without purchasing an entire “package” from a different site. We’re planning a July 2016 trip as well and if huts are booked I need to start tent shopping!

        • haraldur Eiríksson February 13, 2016 at 10:42 am #

          Hi, check the website there is a new house on the path.
          Good luck.
          Haraldur

    • haraldur Eiríksson February 13, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

      Hi, check the website laugavegur-hikin.is there is a new house on the path.
      Good luck,
      Haraldur

      • Mattie April 10, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

        Does anyone know if you have to book spaces for camping if you aren’t using the huts? Thanks!

    • Cinta May 15, 2016 at 12:47 pm #

      I booked the huts in January by writing to this email address [email protected]. It’s probably a bit late to book huts, as doing it as early as January did not make the reservations any easier.

    • Smiles August 3, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

      We had huts July 10-13. Booked mid October and got the 2 big hits immediately. We went on a wait list for small huts – Hraftinnusker and Emstrur. they are held for tour groups until later. We found out we got off the wait list in mid June.

  30. Eric January 26, 2016 at 11:39 am #

    Hello All,

    I am from NC and am planning on hiking this trail between end of June or end of July 2016. If anyone wants to group up reply to this message. I am a fairly experienced hiker.

    Andrew – Was there ever a definitive response as to the availability of water along the trail?

    • Mattie April 10, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

      Hi! I’m planning on doing this hike starting around June 23rd. I’m from Colorado and will be traveling there the whole month of June.

  31. Austin February 18, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    Looking forward to doing this trek this summer. Looking at the last stretch, Thorsmork to Skogar, Which side of the river did you follow instead of the road? I am assuming the east side looking at the terrain? Was there a trail there or were you cross country along the cliff top?

    Thanks for your thoughts!

  32. Geoff Boyd February 23, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

    Hey Andrew,
    My brother and I are experienced hikers, we are going to be in Iceland for a week and trying to find the most beautiful hike that we can do in Iceland. If you had to pick one hike there what would it be? We prefer wild camping and are OK with a little bush-wacking.
    We are going to be in Europe for 85 days this summer. We are planning the Dolomites, possible Mont Blanc, maybe west highland way, and a few other places among an Iceland trail too. Do you have any recommendations?

    -Geoff

  33. niels May 26, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

    Hi,

    On the 23th of june we hope to arrive in iceland by plane, the next day we want to start with the trek from lanmanalaugar. I cant find any information of the current opening of the trail and huts. We are taking our own tents, but is the track even opened at the ed of june? and where can i get more information?

    I am looking forward to any response.

    Thank you very much,
    Niels

  34. Florin June 19, 2016 at 5:06 pm #

    Hi, I’m planning to visit Iceland with my 79 years old mom early August this year for a couple of weeks. I am going to bring a tent. While we like to hike we are not very experienced hikers. We did hike the Annapurna circuit a couple of years ago in the Himalaya but we did have porters there. We did the Tongarira Northern Circuit in New Zealand 4 years ago and the W circuit in Paragonia 2 years ago. I am concerned for my mom. She can walk nonstop but she is very slow. She does not realky need to rest except to sleep at night. She will not wade through rivers so a trail or road or bridge is a must. Do u think this trail is feasible for us Thank u

    • Andrew Skurka June 19, 2016 at 8:32 pm #

      I would not. The oldest client I ever had was 82, and it was not good despite him being an elite endurance athlete a decade earlier. Second oldest was 72. That was okay, but he’s a complete freak. The Laugavegur is a tough trail and I would not want to be caught out there in tough conditions with a person with limited mobility.

  35. Florin June 19, 2016 at 9:15 pm #

    Thank u very much for your advise. I really appreciate. Do u have some advise for maybe some other routes I could take my mom on? We have a couple of weeks

  36. Niels de Wit June 20, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

    Thank you hayley,

    I’ve had contact with the bus operator from sterna and he told me that the huts open when the busses start with the ring rod tours, so it is open for a while now. good luck with the trail!

  37. connah August 11, 2016 at 7:10 am #

    Hi, I was wondering if you knew if there was a bus terminal at the end of the trail (Skogafoss) which i could get a Excursions service bus at.. thank you

    • Andrew Skurka August 11, 2016 at 11:00 am #

      I’m unsure, but this information is probably online elsewhere.

  38. Dan R August 11, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    Hi. We are staying in a house just south of Hella next week for 2 nights and would love to hike Skogar to Thorsmork in a long day, if the weather looks ok.

    We are a family. of 4, age range 61 to 22. I’m the 61 YO, in good shape but not an “animal.” We would leave early, and will have a 2wd car, so would it be better to get a bus up from Skogar (parking there) and hike down or the other way? We are not the swiftest so I would budget 10 hours and move at a comfortable pace. Is there drinking water on the way? Do we need a filter?

    • Andrew Skurka August 11, 2016 at 10:56 am #

      I would rather hike TO my car, so that I can leave when I reach it, rather than waiting on a bus or risking it being off schedule.

      There are no water taps on the trail. There is plenty of natural sources. They will be shown on the map. Yes, it should be purified with chemicals (e.g. bleach, iodine, chlorine dioxide) or it should be filtered.

  39. Dan R August 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

    Excellent advice. Thank you. Does anyone know about the bus from Skogar? Where would we park to catch the bus? I assume it would be at the falls, rather than the Ring Road? Are reservations required? I did see the link to the schedule.

  40. Dan R August 11, 2016 at 8:48 pm #

    I’m not finding any good bus info/schedule that would get us out to Thorsmork except the first one at 12:00, which is WAY too late for us to start the hike down to the ring road and our car. If we hike up, we could try to catch a 16:00 down again or if we are too slow to catch that, the last one at 20:15. So, this seems like the only option and we would need to leave early so arrive comfortably ahead of the 16:00 Bus back. Still can’t figure out where to park. Anyone? Thanks.

  41. Mandy January 20, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

    I am planning on going to Iceland in two weeks and just found this trail. It will be in the beginning of February. I’m not familiar with the weather conditions, would this not be recommended?

    • Andrew Skurka January 20, 2017 at 3:20 pm #

      You should familiarize yourself with the weather conditions. Search for climatic norms in Iceland in February. The answer should very obvious.

  42. Laura February 7, 2017 at 6:36 pm #

    Hi, Andrew

    I have a question I’m hoping you can answer for me.

    Does one see any/many beautiful waterfalls on the Laugavegur Trail?

    Thanks so much,

    Laura

    • Andrew Skurka February 7, 2017 at 7:05 pm #

      A few, but not as many as you can see in a car with a few short walks.

  43. Paulvp March 9, 2017 at 9:20 pm #

    Andrew, this is very helpful. I get vertigo sometimes, and though I have done some decent hikes, am anxious if the trail is a steep downhill with a sheer drop and no ropes. Your description did not indicate such a stretch, but best to ask 🙂

    • Andrew Skurka March 10, 2017 at 9:36 am #

      No, nothing like that.

      • Paulvp March 10, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

        Thanks for that quick response

  44. Joe Annese March 13, 2017 at 6:37 pm #

    Andrew, which shelter did u bring with you on this trail? If you were to go again, which shelter would you most likely bring? Thanks.. Joe.

    • Andrew Skurka March 13, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

      I used a GoLite Shangri La 2, , which has since been discontinued, with a water-resistant bivy. The system is along these lines, https://andrewskurka.com/2016/gear-list-one-shelter-quiver-modular-double-wall-backpacking-tent/.

      I would not take that system again. In the loose volcanic sand, a freestanding shelter would be extremely helpful. Also, a tent that can be completely sealed shut, to protect the occupant from blowing sand. Basically, I would go with a single-wall mountaineering tent, like the BD FirstLight, MSR Advance Pro, or MSR Access 1.

      • David February 3, 2018 at 9:41 pm #

        Hi Andrew! Do you think a 4-season (mountaineering) tent is necessary? Basically, do you think MSR Elixir 2 (similar to Hubba Hubba) is sufficient for a late-Aug or early-Sep trek? In your experience, how much wind is there? 60 kph or more like 100 kph? Any thought or suggestions would be much appreciated!

        • Andrew Skurka February 4, 2018 at 8:44 am #

          Iceland gets extreme weather year-round, but on average a 3-season tent should be okay. Just make sure to have extra guylines (already attached) and big stakes that will still hold in looser soils.

  45. Joe March 13, 2017 at 6:44 pm #

    Thanks

  46. Kate May 24, 2017 at 1:16 am #

    Very usefull info here! We are planning to hike The Laugavegur trek starting from Laugavegur on Juny 17 or 18. Perhaps you can help us , how could we getting back to our vehicle at the end of the hike. (we would like to park our vehicle in Landmannalaugar, then hike to Porsmark and after that we have no idea about getting rides from Porsmark or Skogar back to Landmannalaugar.)

    Is there transportation available to Landmannalaugar from Porsmark and/or Skogar?

    Thanks in advance

  47. Lee May 24, 2017 at 8:30 pm #

    Hello, I will be doing the Laugavegur in July-August. We have a total of 9 days in Iceland. My plan is to do the 4 day/3 night hike and then head back to Reykjavik then do 4 days by car. Visiting these places Hellnar, Kirkjufell, Stykkisholmur, Holmavik, The Golden Circle, Waterfalls and Solheimasandur, Skaftafell, Jokulsarlon and Vatnajokull National Park. My question is whether to cut the days with the car short in order to do the additional days trek from Porsmork to Skogar. Is that additional days trek worth missing out seeing some of the sites I plan to see by car?

    Many thanks.

  48. Lynne May 29, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

    What an informative site! I wish I had discovered it earlier. We signed up for an assisted hut to hut 5 day trek with an Icelandic Guiding comany. We carry only lunch and extra clothing, light shoes for river crossing. Reading their descriptions and watching the video made this trek seem doable for us. It was rated Moderate by the company. 3 out of 5. My friend is 72 and just finished an assisted 5 day trek in New Zealand, carrying all her clothing. I hike a lot in northern California, have done treks when younger, am 69 now. Would the fact that we have guides and not carrying too much weight lower the difficulty level sigbificantly? I apologize in advance if I should not be posting here as I am not backpacking on my own. I will use your site in the future for planning other trips.

  49. NMB July 8, 2017 at 2:26 am #

    Contemplating a solo trek to Laugavegur! Been trekking solo in Sweden and Denmark, that’s it.
    How well marked is the route? I’m terrible with a compass but have a good comprehension of maps.
    Should I be scared? 😛

  50. Frank Driscoll August 1, 2017 at 6:50 pm #

    How warm are the huts on the Laugavegur at night. I have read they are heated and want to bring a 30 or 40 degree sleeping bag.

    Thanks – and great info in this site.

    Frank

  51. Patty October 23, 2017 at 10:15 am #

    Andrew, I’m doing the Laugavegur trail next July and I strongly prefer to hike and backpack in trail-running shoes with an ultralight pack. A guiding service will be delivering my group’s food and gear to the huts each afternoon, so my pack will be very light. The guiding service strongly recommends waterproof backpacking boots with ankle support and I’m trying to figure out if I can comfortably wear my trail-runners or if I really need to wear boots. I’ve read about people wearing out their soles on this trail due to the abrasive pumice stone, and one of your posts refers to “the gnarly footing underneath.” What is your opinion on trail runners versus boots?

    • Andrew Skurka October 23, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

      Ha. I have worn breathable trail running shoes for every single summer trip for 15 years, including in Iceland and much harder off trail routes. So you know what I’m going to say. Although ultimately everyone should wear the shoes in which they are most comfortable, so I wouldn’t force a member of your group to wear breathable trail running shoes if they had a pair of proven waterproof boots.

  52. Patty October 23, 2017 at 10:23 am #

    Regarding maps, this is the too map the guiding service provided me with for my self-guided trek of the Laugavegur Trail: https://en.aventurenordique.com/thorsmork-landmannalaugar-hiking-map-serkort-iceland.html

  53. William James Leonard Jr. January 20, 2018 at 8:01 pm #

    Andrew,

    Thanks for all of the information. Fortunately all of my questions have already been asked by others, but I still wanted to give you some props for all you’ve shared. I’m doing the trail July 19th-July 24th and I couldn’t be more excited.

    Much appreciated,

    Lenny

    • Wayne Lesperance March 15, 2018 at 3:08 pm #

      Four of us from Pennsylvania are doing it the same time as you Lenny. Maybe we’ll meet on the trail! We are also very excited.

  54. Hayden Idrus April 3, 2018 at 2:07 pm #

    Hi Andrew,
    My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Iceland at the end of July and would like to hike the laugavegur trail over 5 days (first night camped in laudmannalaugar to enjoy the hot spring and then stopping at Hrafntinnusker, Alftavatn, Emstrur, and finishing in Pormorsk). Although we have both camped when we were younger we don’t have any recent experience hiking and camping. We are both in good physical condition as our work requires us to be, so Im not concerned about that, but do you think this trail would be too difficult for inexperienced campers?

    • Andrew Skurka April 4, 2018 at 12:40 pm #

      It’s a very heavily trafficked trail, and I’m certain that many have successfully completed it with far less experience than you. You should be properly prepared, of course, but there are a lot of people and refuges along the way if you really get in trouble.

  55. Kristin April 29, 2018 at 2:18 pm #

    We are doing this hike this August. Can you tell me where exactly you come out of the fimmvorduhals hike in Skogar and how far away this is from the Skogar Campground (where we will leave our car)?

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