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  • Writer's pictureEinar Páll Svavarsson

Rauðfoss waterfall in the Highland

Updated: Jun 25


Rauðfoss waterfall
Rauðfoss waterfall

Rauðfoss (Red Waterfall) is a unique waterfall, albeit not often counted among major natural wonders. Located a short hike from the mountain road Nyrðri Fjallabak, the Dómadalur track leading to the more famous Landmannalaugar, it is a place only a few people stop by. Like the Dynjandi waterfall in the Westfjords, it takes on the form of a veil, falling in a beautiful stream and stretching out on both sides as it reaches the ground. Rauðfoss derives its name from the mountain behind the waterfall, which is adorned with red or orange hues. The waterfall is part of the river Rauðufossakvísl, which originates in the mystical source Rauðfossakvíls in the Rauðufossafjöll mountains. This is also what makes Rauðfoss unique. The waterfall is about 60-meter high and, indeed, is an impressive sight surrounded by captivating landscapes.

Map of Highland of Iceland home of Rauðfoss waterfall
Map of Highland of Iceland home of Rauðfoss waterfall

A refreshing and relatively easy hike:

Rauðfoss waterfall at Fjallabak Nyrðri Highland in Iceland
Rauðfoss waterfall at Fjallabak Nyrðri Highland in Iceland

When driving Dómadalsleið or Nyrðri Fjallabak mountain road coming from the west by Búrfell mountain, you will notice a sign "Rauðufossafjöll" about 24 kilometers into the road. The turn will lead you to a parking lot only minutes away from the mountain road F225. From the parking lot starts an old dirt road that is forbidden and illegal to drive. Today, it serves as a walking path to Rauðfoss. The walk takes about 30 minutes, and although the waterfall is visible from the main road, you will start to see it only after you trek toward the top of the first hill. Rauðfoss needs to be seen up close if you really want to enjoy its true beauty. This is especially true for photographers.


Finding your way to Rauðfoss:

Rauðfoss waterfall in spring
Rauðfoss waterfall in spring

When you drive from Reykjavík, you find your way to Dómadalsleið on Nyrðri Fjallabak mountain road. We recommend renting a good 4X4 vehicle if you intend to drive a mountain road in Iceland. On the southern part of the Ring Road, look out for the road Landvegur (Road Nr. 26) after you pass the bridge on the mighty river Þjórsá. You need to drive approximately 50 kilometers north on Landvegur, and by the mountain Búrfell, you take a right turn on Dómadalsleið (Road Nr. 225). Another 24 kilometers will take you to the sign "Rauðufossafjöll" on the south side, the right side coming from Búrfell. Now revel in the charm of the place, but be careful as the vegetation in the Icelandic Highland is very sensitive



 

If you're planning to tour Iceland in a rental car, make sure to read this article about the three important things you need to know and the type of car that would be best for your trip!

 

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