The Skálatindar Loop

Hike the Skálatindar above Hornafjörður

The mountains above the town of Höfn offer magnificent views over the fjords and all of Vatnajökull. On this round-trip hike, we traverse the ridge line between Bergárdalur and Almannaskarð – an area that is rarely visited except by reindeer and arctic foxes.

Starting directly form our farm Dynjandi, we begin our hike along the base of the mountain for the first half hour. We then follow the old road up the mountain pass Almannaskarð, which gives us a good warm-up for the steeper section that comes next. After circling around Skarðstindur, we begin the climb up Færidalur and towards Skálatindur.

As we gain elevation, the panorama below us unfolds and gives us great views of the fjords and all of Vatnajökull in the distance. Climbing the peak itself is optional and depends on conditions; another option is to just stay in the slopes underneath the peak, which form a large bowl called Ytri-Skál. After passing over the western ridge, we cross over into Innri-Skál which lies directly above our farm. A careful approach of the edge allows those of us who are not prone to vertigo a view almost straight down towards our starting point.

Now we need to climb up once more to reach the final ridge, which lies between Innri-Skál and Efri-Botnar. From there we follow the gentle slopes towards Sléttidalur and Bergárfoss, before coming back down to sea level and covering the final leg back to our farm.

While not technically very difficult, some sections of the hike are steeper and require both good footwear and fitness. In fall, winter and spring the peaks are often covered in snow and ice. This makes the upper slopes a bit more challenging and we may need to use microspikes or crampons.

In a Nutshell

  • A day hike that starts and ends at our Farm Dynjandi
  • Unique views over the fjords and Vatnajökull
  • Possible year round
  • Moderately difficult terrain
  • Takes 5-6 hours in summer
  • More strenuous and up to 7 hours in winter

From: 18.000 kr.

Add a donation to the Icelandic Association for Search & Rescue. I will match your donation with the same amount – so if you select ISK 2.500, I will add another 2.500 for a total donation of ISK 5.000 (see here for details).

WHAT TO BRING

  • Good outdoor clothing (always bring a rain layer!)
  • Hiking boots strongly preferred (B1 or B2 class boots in winter)
  • Mid-cut trail shoes may be acceptable in summer
  • Snacks to keep you fuelled throughout the tour
  • Some fluids (bring a thermos in winter; we can refill water bottles on various waterfalls in summer)
  • Hiking poles can be great for navigating loose scree
  • A camera or phone for pictures 🙂