The narrow canyon of Rauðfeldsgjá

  1. Iceland
  2. West Iceland
  3. The narrow canyon of Rauðfeldsgjá
Written by SandrinePublished on 03/05/17

Located on route 574 at the end of the Snaefellsnes peninsula, this place was still secret a few years ago. But today, the media coverage of the small canyon has made it famous. From now on, you will not be able to miss the small crevasse which is well indicated and whose car park is visible from the road.

1Approach walk to Rauðfeldsgjá

From the car park, a wide path climbs for 500 meters to reach the entrance of the canyon. Approximately 10 to 15 minutes walk to the site. It all depends on the wind and your physical condition because the climb is rather steep, especially with headwinds, and can be slippery in wet weather.

The trail climbs up to the entrance of the Rauðfeldsgjá canyon.

After these efforts, you will reach the entrance to the canyon from where a small river exits. You'll have to step on your side and step over it to get into the canyon. Be careful not to step into the water;)

2Inside the narrow gorge of Rauðfeldsgjá

You are now in the heart of the canyon, whose high black walls are only a few meters apart. It's like being in some kind of secret room! It is dark but the light penetrates through the small slit at the top several tens of meters above our heads.

In the den of Rauðfeldsgjá, the small earth platform.

Inside the cavity, a strip of land allows a few people to stand there, the river passing right next to it. If there are too many people, you will have to wait your turn before entering the den.

The area is very humid and large puddles of water may restrict your access to it in bad weather.

The visit stops here for most of the visitors, from where only our 3 stars, but if like us, you are more reckless, you will be able to continue the discovery of the gorge for some acrobatics.

To continue, you have to go up the river.

The small river Sleggjubeina flows into the canyon, making its way through the narrow walls and large stones. To discover the rest of the canyon, you will have to climb it up by climbing large rocks, sometimes quite high.

The first part is quite simple, but soon you will have to climb a higher rock which will need the help of your hands. So, having not taken a backpack to place my camera, I had to stop here, letting Flo explore the rest of the canyon.

Be careful because the rocks are very slippery and the water more or less abundant depending on the weather. Feet can get wet.

It is advisable to have waterproof shoes to go up the river.

After a few tens of meters, you will probably be stopped by a bigger obstacle. A large rock blocks the passage, the river flows on both sides. A knotted rope was installed to cross the obstacle. The only problem is that if the river isn't dry, you will probably have to get wet to continue the adventure. Finally, you'll need to be agile enough to climb the rope!

Facing the end of the throat obstacle. You can see the little green rope in the back.

So we had to stop our exploration there, even though we were well motivated to continue.

Our opinion
We like

The impressive cavity.

The possibility of walking up the canyon upriver.

The adventure side of exploration.

We don't like

The place has become very busy.

About us

We are Sandrine and Flo, French thirty-somethings. In 2019 we quit everything to live our dream, become nomads and travel around the world. We left with our baby, Lena, who was only 5 months old at the time. After a first trip around the Pacific Ocean by plane and a long 3 months stay in Hawaii, we left to discover Iceland for 3 months on board our 4WD pickup truck and truck camper. Then we continued our adventure in North America.

Today, if we can continue this adventure, it is above all thanks to our blog, Smartrippers! We created it one day in 2016, with the desire to share our good travel tips, without thinking that it would lead us there! We have developed it a lot over the years and have become experts on our 3 favorite destinations: Hawaii, Iceland and the American West. We now guide you to these destinations to help you plan the trip of your dreams!

Follow our adventures!