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  • Einar Páll Svavarsson

Drekagil is a dark and narrow gully


Drekagil in the Highland in Iceland
Drekagil in the Highland in Iceland

Drekagil or ‘Dragon’s Gully’ bears a fitting name. It is a dark and narrow gully loaded with geological and lava formations that can only remind you of an imaginary world of dragons and fairy tales. Although it is not very difficult to walk from the jaws of the gully to the end where you find a beautiful waterfall, it is a bit of a climb. Along the way, you can enjoy all the interesting rock formations on both sides. If you look up, you might see some dragons watching over the canyon, as if there is a hidden treasure somewhere guarded by their sharp observation. It is a place where your imagination can take over and is very suitable for an exciting family tour.


Map of Highland in Iceland
Map of Highland in Iceland

Part of the Dyngjufjöll Mountains


A waterfall at the far end of Drekagil
A waterfall at the far end of Drekagil

Drekagil is located on the east side of the famous Dyngjufjöll mountains: the mountains that surround the caldera Askja and the crater Víti (‘Hell'). In 1968, the Touring Club of Akureyri built a hut by the canyon. Today there are two cabins, a camping site, and an information center at Drekagil. It is one of eight to ten places in the Icelandic Highland that have the kind of basecamp atmosphere where adventurous travelers can stay for the night, chat, and compare their plans and experiences. It is a cold, harsh place that you can only visit with a 4X4 vehicle and totally lacks vegetation; it is instead filled with stones, rocks, jagged lava fields, volcanic ash, and mysterious lakes. No wonder that NASA used this place to train the first astronauts that landed on the moon, since it resembles the moon so much.


How to go to Drekagil


Drekagil lava formation
Drekagil lava formation

Visiting Drekagil requires a 4X4 vehicle since you must drive on off-road tracks and cross rivers. Therefore, a modified 4X4 car is recommended. Although there are a few road options to drive to Drekagil, one of the most popular is to drive the mountain road F88 from where you turn south on an intersection at the Ring Road no. 1, a few kilometers east of Mývatn. From there, you head to Herðubreiðalindir on a road called Öskjuvegur. South of Herðubreiðalindir, you take the mountain road F910 to Drekagil or ‘Dragon’s Gully’.




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