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Blahnukur Trail in Landmannalaugar - Hiking Guide

Nestled in the heart of Iceland's Landmannalaugar region, the Blahnukur Trail offers one of the most unforgettable hiking experiences in the country. Known for its breathtaking landscapes, vibrant colors, and unique geological formations, this trail is a must-visit for any outdoor enthusiast. This comprehensive guide aims to equip you with all the necessary information to embark on this remarkable adventure.

 the Blahnukur Trail

Introduction to Blahnukur Trail

Blahnukur, also known as the "Blue Peak," is a striking mountain that dominates the Landmannalaugar region with its vivid hues and imposing stature. Standing at an altitude of 943 meters, Blahnukur is not only a visual marvel but also a geological wonder, formed during the ice age and part of the extensive Torfajökull volcanic system.

The mountain's unique color palette, ranging from shades of blue to green, is attributed to its volcanic rock and soil composition, particularly resinite (rhyolite rock), which is a result of subglacial eruptions.

Preparing for Your Hike

When to Go

The best time to hike Blahnukur is between June and September when the roads are accessible. Outside this window, the area can be reached through group excursions with tour companies.

Getting There

Access to Landmannalaugar, the starting point for the Blahnukur Trail, requires a 4x4 or SUV vehicle due to the rugged terrain. The most straightforward route is via the 208 from the north.

 the Blahnukur Trail driving

What to Bring

Given the trail's challenging nature and the rapidly changing weather conditions, it's crucial to be well-prepared. Essential items include:

  • Sturdy hiking boots for steep and sometimes slippery paths.

  • Weather-appropriate clothing, including layers for sudden temperature changes.

  • Water and snacks, as there are no facilities along the trail.

  • A camera to capture the stunning landscapes.

The Trail Experience

Starting Point

The hike begins at the Landmannalaugar car park, where you'll be immediately greeted by the awe-inspiring sight of Blahnukur. The trail is well-marked, leading hikers through a variety of terrains and offering an ever-changing backdrop of breathtaking scenery.

The Ascent

Opting for the eastern path towards Blahnukur, you'll encounter steep inclines that demand a good level of fitness. The climb offers spectacular views, particularly of the Laugahraun lava fields and the Barmur Range, which resemble scenes from another planet.

Summit and Views

Reaching the summit of Blahnukur is a rewarding experience, offering a 360° panorama of the surrounding landscapes. On a clear day, you can see up to six glaciers, with the red mountains of Brennisteinsalda providing a striking contrast.

Hiking in Landmannalaugar


The descent towards Brennisteinsalda is easier, though caution is advised on slippery sections. This part of the hike showcases the diverse beauty of the area, from snow patches to vibrant green slopes.

Completing the Loop

The official Blahnukur hike is a 6.5 km loop that takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete. For those seeking a longer adventure, an extension to include the Brennisteinsalda loop adds another 2 hours and 3.2 km to the journey.

Enhancing Your Hiking Experience

To make the most of your Blahnukur Trail adventure, consider timing your visit for late afternoon during the long summer days. This allows you to experience the magical silvery light of the midnight sun, casting an ethereal glow over the already stunning landscape.

People Also Ask

What is the most popular hiking trail in Iceland?

While Iceland boasts numerous popular hiking trails, the Blahnukur Trail in Landmannalaugar is often cited as one of the best due to its unique geological features, breathtaking landscapes, and the overall hiking experience it offers.

 Iceland's Blahnukur Trail

Can you hike freely in Iceland?

Yes, Iceland is known for its open access to nature, allowing hikers to explore its landscapes freely. However, it's important to respect private property, adhere to marked trails, and follow local regulations to protect the environment.

Can you walk anywhere in Iceland?

While Iceland offers extensive freedom to roam, there are restrictions in place to protect sensitive environments. Hikers are encouraged to stay on marked trails, especially in protected areas, and to follow guidelines set by local authorities.

How many hiking trails are in Iceland?

Iceland is home to hundreds of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks suitable for families to challenging treks for experienced hikers. These trails traverse a variety of landscapes, including glaciers, mountains, and coastal paths, offering something for everyone.

Embarking on the Blahnukur Trail is an adventure that promises not only a physical challenge but also an unforgettable journey through some of Iceland's most spectacular natural beauty. Whether you're an avid hiker or simply someone who appreciates the great outdoors, this trail offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with the raw and rugged essence of Iceland.


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