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Today we took the bus to Thorsmork. The morning weather was rough, raining, and chilly, and we didn't know what we were in for. Since we were taking the bus, we didn't have many options for what to bring or when we could come back, so it was a little risky going out there with the potential for both of us to be wet, tired, and wanting to be back (but not having means to get back). Our bus ticket to get back was for 7:15 pm, which would get us back to Hella where we would stay the night at 10:15. We knew this was pretty late, but I don't think we fully thought it through when we booked it. The only other time the bus left was at 4 which didn't feel like enough time.

We have a car, but to get to Thorsmork requires multiple water crossings, at least one of which we absolutely could not do in our rental car. The bus left Hella at 8:30 am and got to Thorsmork at 10:30 am. By the time we got to Thorsmork, the weather was clearing up with almost no rain anymore. We think a lot of people must have canceled their bus bookings because of the weather since there were only a handful of people on the bus.

Our planned hike was about a 4.5 mile loop around some of the trails that start at the volcano huts. This area has many trails that all interconnect, so we were constantly checking the map to make sure we were on the right trail. About halfway through, we decided to make our loop about twice as long to go around Tindfjoll Mountain. Before making this fork the views were pretty good but nothing spectacular. Once we decided to extend our loop, the views got incredibly better. We got fantastic views of Rjupnafell Mountain which had incredibly steep switchbacks leading up to it. We joked that we would hike up it but we both knew we wouldn't since we were tired from a killer hike the day before. But as we reached the furthest point of the hike we got amazing views of the glacier. Truly incredible. We were both completely exhausted but we were so grateful that we did this loop because without it, this area wouldn't have been that cool.

We didn't encounter a ton of people on this hike. Not encountering many people makes any hike nicer, even when compared to the beautiful landscape we hiked yesterday in the Landmannalaugar area which was busy (but not packed) with people. There were just a handful of other like-minded people who went out of their way to hike the cool inaccessible stuff. We met 2 groups of Icelandic people who were all very nice, one of whom offered us some cashews and Brazilian nuts. These were the first nice native people we encountered here, not that everyone else was mean or rude, but a lot of who we’ve been interacting with were in touristy areas. But when you're out in the middle of nowhere having a shared experience with like-minded people it brings out the niceness in everyone.

Our hike ended at 3:50 pm, and we went to the bathroom very quickly and went over to the bus, even though we didn't have tickets for the 4:00 pm departure. Once everyone was on the bus, the bus driver confirmed that they would switch our tickets for us, which was very nice of them. If we couldn't have done that, we would have had to wait 3 hours at the small restaurant at the volcano huts before having a 3-hour bus ride back in the middle of the night. That was our original plan, but we're glad they were able to fit us in on the 4 o'clock departure. The 4 o'clock departure was an hour shorter because the route was more direct. All of those things made the day a little bit nicer.

The weather on this hike was nearly perfect. It was about 50-60 degrees the entire time, and not really that windy. There was one point a few hours into the hike when we got some misting and strong winds that were very cold and made the views hazy, but that only lasted for about 15 minutes. Otherwise, we had mostly cloudy skies which made for the best lighting conditions for the time of day we were there. Conditions towards Landmannalaugar where we were the past two days looked very rainy the entire time, which meant we didn't have good views looking in that direction, but we were grateful to have been there the day before with sunny weather instead of being there today with bad weather. We really lucked out with the weather today. It was forecasted to be raining all day but it hardly rained at all.

One of the unexpected things on this hike was that we came across a tröllkirkja which translates to troll church. It was in a cave on a particularly outcropping rock that I was photographing quite a bit, unknowing that there was a "church" up there. It was cute to find some troll stuff while at Thorsmork.

Trailhead Location
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8.4 mi 4.9 hrs 1,780 ft 1,759 ft
View Graph
Elf Offering
Tufted Vetch
On the Edge
Two Places We
Moss Campion
In teh Brush
Colorful Valley
Little Mushroom
Black Riverbed
Lunch in the Mountains
Picturesque Alcove
Selfie on the Hike
Perfect Mushroom
The Fork
"Summit" Panorama
Rock Climbing In Iceland
Green with Trees
Artic River Beauty
Fully Descended