Hverfjall Iceland is one of the best preserved circular volcanic craters in the world! Also known as Hverfell, it is an icon of the Lake Myvatn area, the result of a volcanic eruption, a bare bump in the landscape. The Hverfjall hike takes you up to the rim of the crater and offers magnificent views alla round.
About the Hverfjall Crater
Hverfjall is an explosion crater near lake Myvatn in North Iceland
- Hverfjall is thought to be 2800 – 2900 years old
- The crater is bare, circular and almost symetrical
- It is about 140 meters deep and 1km in diameter which makes it one of the largest of its kind in the world.
- It is not perfectly round (probably because of a landslide in the south part during the eruption) but it is still stunning!
- It is part of the 90km long Krafla Fissure area
Some prefer the Viti crater, with its lake and colors but the scale of Hverfjall is definitively more impressive. And I really enjoyed seeing the bottom of it.
How to get to Hverfjall Iceland
Road to Hverfjall
- On the road along the South of Myvatn lake, you will find a turn away from the lake towards the crater, where Hverfjall is indicated.
- It is just 5 min drive on a gravel road and you will reach a parking at its foot.
- On the picture below, taken from the climb on can spot the parking with the cars and the end of the gravel roads that leads to it (to the left):
Tips for the Hverfjall Hike
Considering completing the Hverfjall hike on its rim, here are information to consider and tips to facilitate your visit :
- The rim is only accessible by two paths. It is strictly forbidden to use other routes in ascent or descent
- From the parking – it is a steady climb on a gravel path, 10 to 20 min depending on your level of fitness
- From Dimmuborgir, it is an even steeper climb (and it requires first an extra 45min flat walk to the base of the crater before starting the climb)
- To tour the crater's rim, it took me 1h30 at a slow pace taking lots of pictures
- If you don’t want to tour it, the best views are at one fifth counterclockwise from the parking climb
- Don't go up when it is very windy
- Wear good footwear and bring layers to protect yourself of the changing weather. Check out my guide on what to pack for Iceland.
- Walking poles would be helpful especially in winter.
Hverfjall, along with many other beautiful places, is included in my eBook: The Road Trip Guide - Iceland.
It is a practical tool to plan your trip with maps, photos, planning tips, GPS coordinates...
Hverfjall volcanic crater from the distance
Hverfjall can be seen from many roads around Lake Myvatn. From far away it does not look like much of a climb but it is. And you can see on the pictures below how bare it is.
Here is a view from the lava field of Dimmuborgir:
For those wondering if they will be able to climb Hverfjall, how difficult it is, here is my take: It is definitely a challenging walk to the top. The path from the parking is the easiest one. I was overweight and not in shape but I managed to climb it in 15 min. I just took my time, let the others pass me and stopped whenever I needed. The path is wide enough to stop and let others continue. And think of the reward: the incredible scenery at the top and the bonus: less flies!
Here are pictures to show you the path to climb Hverfjall from the foot and on the path.
Below is the views of the hiking path from the parking when looking back:
Inside Hverfjall volcano
And here is the reward, once you reach the rim and walk around you get incredible views of this crater. I walked slowly all the way around it and it took me 1h30. Some sections go up and down but the rim is large and if the wind is not too strong you feel safe.
If you don't want to tour the whole rim, I recommend to walk one fifth counterclockwise to one of the highest points (but of course that means more climbing...)
I was amazed by the huge rocks that are still lying around. Rocks that were shot from the inside of the crater 2 500 years ago!
Let's talk proportions.
In photos things often look smaller. So have a look at the pictures below and see the size of people compared to the crater.
The views from the rim of Hverfjall
Seeing the inside of the volcano is not the only reason you should climb on the rim.
From up there, you have nice views of Lake Myvatn and the area.
It is not easy to capture well but here are still a few shots. See the lake behind:
And the colorful mountains:
Want to see more of Iceland's beauty?
Discover more things to do and places to see in Iceland in my online Iceland Destination Guide.
Have you ever climbed a volcanic crater?
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