Sigöldufoss waterfall is one of those strange beasts in the Icelandic landscape that has been transformed by an enormous engineering project in the process of building a hydroelectric power plant. For hundreds and thousands of years, it was part of the glacial river Tungná where a large volume of glacial water forced its way downstream with all its mud, ashes, dirt, small rocks and load of other substances being transported to the shore by the river. When Sigalda Powerplant was built some decades ago, the glacial water was moved from the river into a tunnel to drive the hydroelectric turbines for the production of electricity. What was left, was a small river (compared to the enormous force from the glacial river) of spring water and this part of the river became a spring water stream.
Changes that altered the waterfall
Although the former waterfall was quite impressive as the huge volume fell the 6 meters, it could be argued that it is much more beautiful today. There is less water and clear water. After probably thousands of years of a powerful glacial river falling off the cliffs a deep place formed in front of the waterfall. Today this translates into the turquoise blue color that gives the waterfall and its environment an extra charming look. And with the green vegetation and the cliffs and the canyon it became quite a beautiful little natural wonder. Almost like the power plant took it through a natural wonder cosmetic remake. Consequently, in the process, we got a wonderful waterfall that is a joy to view. For those who like to see the former waterfall, every 20 years or so the power plant needs maintenance. At that time the glacial river is reunited with the waterfall, and it changes dramatically. The last maintenance was in 2009.
Although in the Highland Sigödufoss is quite accessible
An asphalt road that goes farthest into the Icelandic Highland to Hrauneyjar and Sigölduvirkjun Power Plant is right next door to the waterfall. This makes access to Sigöldufoss quite simple. On the Ring Road number 1 you take a turn north on Landvegur Nr. 26. After about 63 kilometers you take a left turn on the F26 mountain road Sprengisandsleið. 22 kilometers farther you take a right turn on the F208 mountain road Nyrðri Fjallabaksleið and stop a few kilometers farther between the bridges and you will not miss the waterfall.