Fimmvörðuháls (Five Cairns Pass) hike

From the very first moment that we saw photos from Fimmvorduhals trek in Iceland, we knew that we have to do it. It is roughly 23 kilometers long with 1000 m of ascent. Trail lies between Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull glaciers in southern Iceland. The hike starts at Skogar and ends in the beautiful Porsmork Nature Reserve.

Since at the beginning of our trip to Iceland the weather was just horrible, we had to skip our plans for trekking and kept our fingers crossed that it will get better at the end of our stay. And it did.  At least as per weather forecast that was showing two day window of clear, sunny weather.

This trek really is something. You start to walk along the river Skoga and pass several beautiful waterfalls and in no time landscape changes and you end up in almost surreal lunar rocky and lava landscape. We indeed started in sunny weather, but within hour or two everything changed. Just before we reached the highest point of our hike, fog rolled in and we almost couldn’t see from one trail pole to the next. And just when we started our descent from the pass to Porsmork, winter storm with heavy shower of freezing rain hit us and soaked our clothes in no time. And for a cherry on the top, freezing rain turned into snow with strong winds.

But, as we learned so many times in Iceland, half an hour later, sun came out with a stunning rainbow. This was a great chance to dry our clothes over black volcanic rocks and cook a hot meal to replenish the lost energy and fill up for easy descent to Porsmork.

Even though we were physically prepared, weather conditions and versatile terrain made this trek very challenging. So in certain moments, we were really just too tired to appreciate the wild beauty  of the surroundings and spectacular views over the south coast of Iceland and the Porsmork Nature Reserve. But I guess this is Iceland,  notoriously unpredictable, rough and majestic.


3 thoughts on “Fimmvörðuháls (Five Cairns Pass) hike

  1. I really LOVE your pictures. They are “so” Iceland.
    I have been there a few years ago and loved it and really want to go back. Even more so, looking at your pictures.

    Thank you for sharing.


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