Stuðlagil Canyon is a marvelous natural site that almost nobody knew about until recently. In fact it was hidden under water until the hydroelectric plant Kárahnjúkavirkjun was built and the waterflow in the glacier river Jökla, was extremely reduced. Stuðlagil has the largest number of basalt rock columns in Iceland and it contrasts beautifully with the blue glacier river – it is definitely a hidden gem worth the visit.
Parking & Hiking: There are two options to access Stuðlagil Canyon.
West site: Turn from the Ring Road nr. 1 to road nr. 923. Then drive about 19 kilometers to the farm Grund where you will find a parking lot and a very steep path to the riverbank (the walk is about 250 meters, or 5 minutes). Here you’ll get a view down to the canyon. To get into the canyon, and down to the river, you have to access it from the
East site: Drive to the bridge by the farm Klaustursel (also road nr. 923 about 14 kilometers from the Ring Road nr. 1). From there you cross the bridge and hike (5 km) to a place where you can get down into the canyon. Be careful, the rocks can be slippery. On the way, about 2 kilometers from the bridge, there is an impressive waterfall called Stuðlafoss. All in all this hike is just over 10 kilometers and could take about 3 hours, when including stops by the waterfall and Stuðlagil Canyon.