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.
Below is the location of Jarlhettur on the map of Iceland