#hagavatn

 

The mountain ridge Jarlhettur, “The Earls Cap" is easily visible from many places and many angles in southern Iceland. The ridge is 15 kilometers and consists of 20 mountains where each peak is similar to the next, although the height and diameter differ. It is a spectacular sight seen by most visitors driving the Golden Circle with the ice cap Langjökull glacier in the background. The direction of the ridge is the same as most geological fissures in the area, from southwest to the northeast. The visibility is on the east side, and most of the west side is attached to the glacier. It is almost odd to find the name Earl in the Icelandic landscape since Iceland hardly ever had any real Earls governing the land or the people. On the other hand, Icelandic Viking traveled a lot to Europe and was acquainted with Earls and Kings. Unfortunately not alway not always in a polite manner.

Jarlhettur mountain ridge is in contrast with many natural wonders in Iceland

The mountains are of palagonite nature and almost entirely lack vegetation. The lakes and small rivers at the bottom of the mountains are all glacial waters, so everything is gray and somewhat from another planet.  This contrast with many of the magnificent natural beauties in the Icelandic nature makes Jarlhettur ridge, also interesting. Most of the mountains are around eight hundred to nine hundred meters high but the highest one Tröllhetta or Troll Cap, little less than eleven hundred meters.  Most of the mountains are barely climbable as the surface of the steep palagonite mountains is made of small rocks and hard to climb. But those who prepare and dare will enjoy a spectacular view.

Access by car to enjoy the view to Jarlhettur requires a good 4WD car

There are mainly two roads to see Jarlhettur in proximity.  One is to drive from Þingvellir north on the Road Uxahryggjavegur Nr. 550 and take a turn on the rugged mountain road Skjaldbreiðarvegur F338.  On the second part, a few kilometers before you reach Kjalvegur you will have a good view to Jarlhettur in the north.  The second one that will bring you to a proximity of Tröllhetta is to visit Nýifoss waterfall.  

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Jarlhettur on the map of Iceland

The mountain ridge Jarlhettur, “The Earls Cap" is easily visible from many places and many angles in southern Iceland.

 

The waterfall Nýifoss or “New waterfall” is actually quite new.  Sometimes referred to as Leynifoss or  The Confidential Waterfall. According to geologists, the waterfall was formed in 1939 when the lake Hagavatna decreased substantially due to the glacial flood coming from under the glacier Langjokull. In the period between 1929 and 1939, the lake Hagavatn changed dramatically, and a part of its eastern side collapsed, burst in the glacial flood and gave way to the water.  Consequently, the water level lowered in the lake and the waterfall Nýifoss was born.  Although Nýifoss is hardly one of our most beautiful waterfalls, it is an interesting one.  Probably because it is quite different than most waterfalls people like to visit.

Different things about Nýifoss compared to many other waterfalls

In addition to being quite, new Nýifoss is located in a sandy gray landscape. A large area around the waterfall and lake Hagavatn is almost without any vegetation.  On the northern side is the southern edge of the glacier Langjökull.  On all other sides is either sand or raw lava.  Because the water is 100% glacial water it is colored with mud, clay, dirt and all kinds of soil that the melting ice carries from under the glacier.  The whole surrounding is like being in a desert or on the moon, but with a lot of water. 

Access is not easy and requires a 4WD of the larger kind

Nýifoss is not far away from Gullfoss, sometimes referred to as Iceland's most spectacular waterfall.  If you continue north on Kjalvegur Nr. 35 from Gullfoss you drive 10 kilometers and you will come to a left turn (west) to Hagavatnsvegur Nr. F35. This road like many F roads in Iceland, mountain roads, require a well equipped 4X4 vehicle. We recommend that you stop in the parking lot in front of the waterfall and walk the last few hundred meters up the track by the waterfall.  There is no point in driving up the steep and difficult part of the track up to the lake.

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Nýifoss or Leynifoss on the map of Iceland

The waterfall Nýifoss or “New waterfall” is actually quite new.