Haifoss Waterfall: How To Do The Háifoss Hike In West Iceland

by David & Intan

The Haifoss Waterfall hike was easily one of my favorite falls in the whole country of Iceland, but I almost skipped it completely!

Háifoss is one of the harder waterfalls to reach, and I only had a 2 wheel drive vehicle on my trip, which limited my ability to get through the bad roads there, but thankfully it’s possible to reach on foot.

This page will explain how to get to Haifoss with OR without a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Read on!

Visiting Haifoss Waterfall

The main waterfall at Háifoss is 120 meters (400 feet) tall, making it one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland.

There’s also a second (huge) waterfall running into the same canyon, which is a pretty impressive canyon in itself.

The resulting panoramic views you can get here are mind blowing!

Haifoss Waterfall and cliffs in Iceland
Visiting the Háifoss falls generally requires a 4WD vehicle (which I didn’t have), so I decided to park and hike to the falls, despite the lack of info on this back when I visited.
I almost had to turn back halfway through my hike because a big storm was coming in, but then it went away (Icelandic weather is random like that), and I was able to continue.
As of 2019, the road to Háifoss is still very rough and full of huge potholes, so it requires a 4WD vehicle with a lot of clearance, or else a bit of hiking.
Don’t let this hold you back. Haifoss is without a doubt one of the best waterfalls in Iceland.
The full hiking directions can be found below.

How To Get To Haifoss (4WD Vehicle)

Haifoss is located in west Iceland, near the highlands.

With a 4WD vehicle and high clearance, you can drive directly to the waterfall parking area and no hiking is needed.

Still, the drive takes 2.5 to 3 hours from Reykjavik because of the spotty road conditions.


How To Get To Haifoss (2WD Vehicle)

With a 2WD vehicle it’s still possible to visit Haifoss, but it’s a bit more complicated.

You will need to drive to Gljásteinn Hólaskógur Hostel, park your vehicle there, and hike the rest of the way to the waterfall. This hostel is the closest you can safely park to the waterfall with a 2WD vehicle.

I would NOT recommend driving past the hostel with a 2WD vehicle. The road becomes extremely rough and there’s a good chance you might damage your 2WD rental car if you keep going. I saw fresh vehicle parts scattered along the road.

From the hostel parking lot, the one way distance is about 5.7 kilometers (3.5 miles) on the mostly flat road, and with a decent pace it will take about 1 to 1.5 hours to hike to the waterfall.

It’s not too bad doing this as a hike, but you’ll want to get an early start. I stayed overnight in the hostel parking lot (with their permission), and then hiked to Haifoss the next morning. Just check with the hostel to see if that’s still okay.


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