Weather and conditions on the main roads:
Increased snowshowers and SW-winds after noon so poor visibility and blowing snow is expected in W and SW Iceland in the afternoon and night until morning on mountain roads Hellisheiði, Mosfellsheiði and Holtavörðuheiði as well as on Snæfellsnes peninsula. Snowshowers expected to continue tomorrow, less wind but wind expected to pick up again in the aternoon, especially in Reykjanes and Faxaflói. Limited visibility due to blowing snow on headlands in the north expected on Friday.
Attention! Forecasts for Saturday worth following as there is uncertainty about a storm coming in from SW. Precipitation will fall as snow and stormy conditions expected in all areas in Iceland. Good chance that this will have some effect on traffic.
Tourists often mistake 4×4 for a vehicle that can take on all terrain, which is of course not the case and this must be explained as damages can cost thousands of dollars.
Drivers who get stuck in rivers or in snow have to get themselves out at own expense – there‘s no insurance in the world that covers damage linked to crossing a river. GPS devices also tend to lead drivers on to closed roads. For this reason, it’s very important they know where to access information about road conditions/closures. Illegal to drive off-road!!
Conditions in the highlands:
Highland roads are now all closed/impassible for unmodified vehicles! It’s important to be properly equipped for winter – especially those heading for hikes and camping!
Conditions in popular tourist sites:
This time of the year the conditions vary a lot on the weather. Trails are now icy/snowy in most parts of Iceland, even on lowlands so we recommend bringing crampons along ALWAYS, regardless of location! These essentials shouldn’t cost more than 2.000-4.000 ISK and make all the difference when exploring Icelandic sites during winter.
Reykjanes: Conditions on roads and trails by Gunnuhver are not good. Road 42 to Krýsuvík is often in worse conditions than others in the area.
Þingvellir: Trails covered in snow – important to bring crampons! Snow blowing over the mountain roads Mosfellsheiði and Lyngdalsheiði with limited visibility at times.
Geysir og Gullfoss: Lower trail towards Gullfoss will remain closed this winter due to ice. A lot of snow in the area but important to bring crampons as conditions change quickly. The flagstones around Geysir are in bad shape and can cause accidents when out of the snow.
Hraunfossar og Deildartunguhver: Snow and ice. Conditions change quickly so bring crampons.
Snæfellsjökull National Park: Snow and ice on trails! Roads 570 and 571 over the glacier are closed!
South Westfjords: Road to Látrarbjarg is not winter serviced so it has not been plowed – impassible for regular cars! Road to Rauðisandur beach is in very difficult condition. Many mountain roads are impassible – Dynjandi cannot be accessed as roads are closed from both directions.
Hvítserkur: The road to Hvítserkur from the road 711 is closed and will remain so until spring. Weather dependent as to view the rock you’ll have to walk for 10 minutes, one way.
Goðafoss: Spots of ice and crampons recommended!
Dettifoss og Selfoss: Trail to Selfoss is very dangerous – a sheet of ice all the way to the edge! Trail to Dettifoss is snowy but ok – conditions change quickly though so bring crampons!
Hengifoss: Nothing unusual about conditions.
Reynisfjara: Waves are big today and expected to be so for the next few days. The beach can always be dangerous due to the unpredictability of the waves. It‘s not every wave – it‘s every 7th or 10th or 12th wave that goes a lot further up the beach than the rest making it difficult to assess danger upon arrival. There are no rocks in the ocean that break the waves and only a few meters of shore there‘s an underwater cliff so the pulling factor of these already powerful waves becomes even greater. On top of this the sand is very fine ash which makes it extra difficult to get away from these waves.
Same applies to Djúpalónssandur in Snæfellsnes Peninsula and Kirkjufjara beach but it‘s CLOSED for this reason.
Skógafoss: Snow and ice – crampons recommended.
Seljalandsfoss: The walking path behind the waterfall is closed due to ice! Other trails are ok but crampons recommended!
Þórsmörk/Goðaland: Closed/Impassible for those not in a modified vehicle. Staff will remain in Húsadalur throughout the winter. The river is lower than usual yet full of ice. Snow banks reduced quite a bit but snow is now very hard.
Vestmannaeyjar: The ferry will depart from Þorlákshöfn until further notice on www.seatours.is (top of website).
Landmannalaugar: Roads are only passible for those with experience in a well modified vehicle!
Conditions on hiking trails:
Hiking during winter time requires proper equipment even on shorter hikes. Please study our equipment list as preparation is key for successful travel in Iceland. Winter has arrived in most areas in Iceland so we recommend having minor crampons with you at all time.
Esjan: Crampons are essential! Mountain crampons needed to go beyond Steinn as snow and ice are along that climb. Must not be underestimated! Considerably colder up top than by the roots and wind often increases after 250 m. Warm clothing is essential!
Skaftafell: S1 towards the glacier is clear. Slippery up S2 to Svartifoss waterfall. Other trails in Skaftafell are closed due to extreme ice – proper mountain crampons and equipment needed! Trail to Morsárjökull (M2) is dangerously slippery!
Reykjadalur: Good snow now but important to bring crampons along as conditions can change quickly and if snow melts and then freezes again everything becomes VERY slippery! Important to stay on the trail as it’s surrounded by dangerous hot springs and very vulnerable nature! NO sneakers!
Ásbyrgi: Ice and snow on all the trails! The road to Ásbyrgi is not recommended for non-4x4s.
Glymur: Ice on the trail and snow increases with elevation gain. Log over the river Botnsá will not return until spring so now hikers must either cross the river on foot, go up on the west side (not a good angle to see the waterfall) or take a longer route over the old bridge along the hiking route “Leggjabrjótur”.
Those heading into the backcountry have to keep the following in mind!
Moderate danger (level 2/5) in Tröllaskagi peninsula and Eastfjörds. Considerable danger (3/5) in N-Westfjords. Sudden changes in the weather over last few days, especially in SW-Iceland. A few avalanches have fallen in W and SW sides of e.g. Hengill – important to do a test before venturing outside trodden trails.