Hengifoss, the red waterfall

Eastern Iceland

Hengifoss, the red waterfall

Unveiling the Majestic Hengifoss Waterfall: A Jewel of Eastern Iceland.


With its plunge estimated at around 128 meters, Hengifoss is one of Iceland's loftiest cascades. A natural marvel that encapsulates the island's volcanic essence and geological splendor, this blog ventures into the heart of Hengifoss, exploring the captivating geological narrative etched into its layers and the mystical allure of its surroundings, including the storied Lagarfljót River.


The Geological Canvas of Hengifoss


The spectacle of Hengifoss lies not just in its imposing height but in the striking contrast of red clay stripes set against the dark hues of basalt columns. This natural tapestry is a chronicle of Iceland's fiery past, a testament to the island's formation along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where tectonic plates diverge, fuelling volcanic activity and shaping the landscape.

The basaltic layers that form Hengifoss's backdrop tell tales of ancient eruptions. Each layer marks a period of volcanic activity. In contrast, the intervening red clay layers narrate epochs of quiescence when iron-rich sediments were deposited. These sediments, compacted over millennia into clay, now paint Hengifoss in vibrant strokes of red, bearing witness to Iceland's geological heartbeat's cyclical nature.


How to get to Hengifoss


The adventure to Hengifoss is itself a passage through the essence of Iceland's wild beauty. Contrary to the direct journey one might imagine from Egilsstadir, the nearest town and a central hub in Eastern Iceland, the waterfall cannot be reached by a mere hike from the town itself. Instead, a drive of just over 30 minutes is necessary to get to the trail's starting point.

From Egilsstadir, the journey unfolds through quintessentially Icelandic landscapes, leading adventurers to the trailhead. Here, the hike to Hengifoss begins, guiding visitors along a path that offers not only breathtaking views of the waterfall but also an immersive experience of Iceland's pristine natural beauty.

The trail to Hengifoss provides a spectacular hiking experience, with the river's canyon deepening as one ascends. Midway, the enchanting sight of Litlanesfoss, framed by its characteristic basalt columns, offers a prelude to the grandeur of Hengifoss. This sight enhances the trek with yet another facet of Iceland's diverse landscape.


The Mystical Waters of Lagarfljót


The narrative of Hengifoss is inextricably linked with the lore of the Lagarfljot River, enhancing the region's mystical ambiance. Renowned for the legend of the Lagarfljot Worm, the river's mythic depths add a layer of intrigue to the already captivating landscape. This storied river, which carves through the valley below Hengifoss, not only enriches the local folklore but also shapes the region's biodiversity, contributing to the lushness of the surrounding area.


Preserving the Splendor


The conservation of Hengifoss and its environs is paramount. This ensures that. This ensures that this natural wonder remains accessible and intact for future generations to cherish. The efforts to maintain the trail and protect the landscape underscore the balance between welcoming visitors and preserving the natural integrity of this unique site.


The Allure of Eastern Iceland


Eastern Iceland, with its heart in Egilsstadir, offers a realm of natural wonders beyond Hengifoss. From the serene beauty of the East Fjords to the rugged wilderness of the highlands, the region is a treasure trove of natural wonders, each contributing to the tapestry of Icelandic natural heritage.


In Conclusion, A Symphony of Natural Wonders


Hengifoss, with its towering cascade and geological wonders, stands as a monument to the elemental forces that have sculpted Iceland. This journey to Hengifoss, enriched by the tales of the Lagarfljot Worm and the hospitality of Egilsstadir, offers a profound connection to the natural world, showcasing the enduring beauty and mystery of Eastern Iceland. In the presence of Hengifoss, one cannot help but feel a deep sense of awe and appreciation for the power and majesty of nature—a reminder of the timeless beauty that awaits in the heart of Iceland.