Hikes in Iceland
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Aug 5, 2013 4:32 AM Last Post By: kiwibongaz
Oct 11, 2012 3:27 AM
Hikes in IcelandHi!
We are going to ride the Laugavegur-trail with mountainbikes, but since this is a 2-3 day ride only we want to add some extra trails to it.
Our basic plan is to start at Hvolsvöllur and go to the Haifoss Waterfall near Hekla Vulcano and from there to Landmannalaugar to start the Laugavegur-trail to Skogar.
Unfortunatly i can not find any trails going from Hvolsvöllur to somewhere near the Haifoss Waterfall. Does anyone know where to find gps tracks or hiking maps for those destinations?
Since this is our first trip to iceland (and also our first severel-day bike traveling through the wilderness) I would also like to hear some experiences from fellow mountainbikes who traveld through iceland before.
Thanks everyone for reading and sorry for awfull english :-)
Oct 12, 2012 4:25 AM
You can find some descriptions on the web of people cycling "Laugavegur" on mountain bikes, and also tour operators offering such an experience. But on closer examination you discover it is not Laugavegur, it is "Laugavegur", a different route designed by the tour operator in which you visit some of the highlights of Laugavegur on the way, but mostly by different routes from the path itself, after all quite a few such locations are accessible by other routes including roads.
If you read my notes on cycling in Iceland, you will read about the "Gourmet Route to Landmannalaugar" (which is entirely on 4wd tracks and other roads) this is certainly a large part of what the tour companies mean when they talk about "Laugavegur" on a bicycle. In fact I have argued that the cyclist gets the best of the deal, especially if you include some side-walks. However some of the tour companies also include some off-the-real-path single-track in such a deal. Information on MTB single track is very difficult to come by in Iceland, as so few people do it, so it may be difficult to find out about it without employing a local guide. Also some of the 4wd-track riding is quite challenging enough. If you really want a challenge, try Gaesavatnaleid. We once joined up the Gourmet Route with Gaesavatnaleid, proceeding to Myvatn from Askja, which was 10 days in the wilderness.
Edited by: iviehoff
Oct 12, 2012 5:25 AM
2I don't see the difference between Laugavegur and Laugavegur but maybe i just don't get you.
There are many videos about biking the trail where you can clearly see the trail markers and i doubt those were made by the tourguides.
And besides your post i haevn't seen a single word about bikes being forbidden on the trail.
But i will check with some of those people if they rode the actual hikingtrail or a designated biketrail.
I will just ignore what you said about attaching bikes to rucksacks and carrying them down steps at railwaystations ;-) Don't get me wrong but we know how to get up (and down) steep mountains over rough terrain.
Thanks a lot you took the time to give us some feeback!
Oct 12, 2012 7:43 AM
Certain sections of Laugavegur are in fact legal to cycle, because not all of the path is in a nature reserve. The yellow posts are a clear identifier, very few walking trails have that level of marking, and there are no designated off-road bicycle routes anywhere in the country outside urban areas. But even if you saw a video of people riding on the stake-marked official path in a location identifiably within the nature reserve, this is not sufficient to say it is legal or responsible. Sadly laws on things like off road driving are frequently broken in Iceland. For chapter and verse, I suggest you contact Umhverfisstofnun, www.ust.is who are the ones who say which footpaths are the ones that are not permitted to cycle according to the regs I pointed you to. You could also try asking these people, the Icelandic Mountain Bike Club, http://www.fjallahjolaklubburinn.is/ they have some English pages and a message board where they do reply to such questions - details here http://fjallahjolaklubburinn.is/content/view/639/104/
If you can get easily get bicycles together with heavy luggage over extended sections of terrain too rough to wheel a bicycle, I'm impressed and you are unusual people. The people I know who tied their bikes to their rucksacks have been along Via Ferratas in the Alps and ascended 7000m peaks, so this was perhaps some deliberate exaggeration to discourage those not having this rare skill and strength.
As I said above, you will find some remarkably challenging and scenic cycling routes in Iceland without leaving the road network. In general, paths visibly beaten into the ground are rather rare in the country, because of the low passage of foot traffic. And off road (and sometimes even on road), ground conditions, frequently loose and sandy or pebbly, or lavafield, are frequently challenging for bicycles, even on what looks like nice flat level ground.
Edited by: iviehoff
Aug 5, 2013 4:32 AM
4Just to clarify for those who want to ride the trail with bikes and see this thread:
It is in no way forbidden to cycle the Laugavegur. There are about 20 people every year who do it.
It sure is not your usual mountainbike tour, more of a bike-hike, if you are not used to carrying and climbing with you bike over large sections and riding steep downhills over rough terrain then this is not for you.
If this is ok for you, then have fun on the Laugavegur, you will love it :-)
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