#sigalda

Sigöldugljúfur canyon is a fascinating small canyon deep in the Icelandic highlands. It is quite exceptional with its many small waterfalls, blue river, and colorful vegetation.  A beautiful canyon that is almost magical and could easily be a scene in an adventure story or a Sci-Fi movie. It has all the ingredients to become a popular destination as it looks like something in a fairytale. For years it has been a hidden gem as access has been a bit tricky.  Stopping by Sigöldugljúfur is a very good idea for photographers and most visitors planning to take the Sigalda track to Landmannalaugar. The canyon is quite photogenic a requires a bit of a time if you seek to find a new and surprising motive.  

Although fascinating there is a drawback

One of the reasons the canyon has not been popular among visitors in addition to hard access is the fact that the canyon is surrounded by significant changes in the landscape. Changes made by the power plant project and reservoir for the Sigalda power plant. It is a gem kept within power plant project and man-made interference in nature. But apart from all that it is a fascinating place and a beautiful canyon.

The best access is when you come down the Sigalda small hill

Located at Sigalda by the mountain road F208 a few minutes after you turn from the F26 highland road that leads to Sprengisandur mountain road. The mountain road, or dirt road, F208 is part of Nyrðri Fjallabaksleið track and is one of two entrances that will lead you to Landmannalaugar from the west side. Sigöldugljúfur is easily accessible when you drive down the slope at the small hill Sigalda and turn left immediately when you come down the slope.  It is a good idea to park the car near the interception and walk the short distance to the canyon.

Below is the location of Sigöldugljúfur on the map of Iceland

Sigöldugljúfur canyon

Sigöldugljúfur canyon is one of the many places in Iceland that is still to be discovered as a major tourist attraction. A beautiful canyon with a connection that is almost magical between vegetation, creeks, waterfalls, and cliffs. It has all the ingredients to become a popular destination as it looks like something in a fairytale. Located at Sigalda by the mountain road F208 a few minutes after you turn from the F26 Highland road and drive to the geological wonderland Landmannalaugar. It is easily accessible when you drive down the slope at the small hill Sigalda.

Sigöldugljúfur canyon

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.

Below is the location of Sigöldufoss on the map of Iceland

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.