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Visiting Hengifoss Waterfall, One of Iceland’s Coolest Waterfalls

  • Post last modified:May 15, 2024
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There are a ton of incredible waterfalls in Iceland, and Hengifoss waterfall was definitely one of our favorites of all of them.

Unlike Gulfoss or Skogafoss, it's one of the ones that's a bit more off-the-beaten-path, which makes it that more special.

In this guide we're going to go over all of the details for visiting Hengifoss waterfall in Iceland, so that you can experience it just like we did. 

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Where is Hengifoss Waterfall in Iceland?

Hengifoss Waterfall is located in the east of Iceland, nestled in Fljotsdalur Valley.

How Do You Get to Hengifoss Waterfall?

Hengifoss waterfall can be reached by a moderate hike. The trailhead is only reachable by driving, so we highly recommend renting a car while in Iceland.

How Long is the Hike to Hengifoss Waterfall?

For us, the hike to Hengifoss took about 35-40 minutes. However, we do keep a rather quick pace, so we would estimate most people should take closer to 45 minutes, or up to an hour if you take your time or are a slow walker.

hike to hengifoss waterfall

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The Hike to Hengifoss Waterfall

Now that you know where Hengifoss waterfall is, let's dive into the hike to get there.

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The Trail to Hengifoss Waterfall

As soon as you park, you'll need to cross a bridge to start the trail on the left side of the canyon.

Hengifoss waterfall trail
bridge on the Hengifoss hike

The trail starts right after the bridge, and goes along the right side of the canyon. The path goes gradually uphill, and is pretty well-marked.

Keep walking until you find another bridge which crosses the river over to the left side of the canyon. This first part took us about 30 minutes.

You'll then walk just a minute over to the platforms, which is a wooden walkway that leads to the viewpoint in front of Hengifoss waterfall.

platform at Hengifoss waterfall
Hengifoss boarded trail to the waterfall

Part of the wooden boards were flooded when we went, so we had to hop on some rocks around it, so make sure to have proper footwear.

The platform takes just 5-10 minutes to walk along, and then you'll be facing the waterfall! It won't bring you up close to the waterfall, as it is risky to go all the way inside the canyon. However, the view is still beautiful.

Hengifoss waterfall in Iceland
Hengifoss waterfall, the best waterfalls in Iceland

Hiking to the Top of Hengifoss Waterfall

We also saw that some people hiked along the top (in photos that we saw), but we didn't actually see the trail to get there. As it was 3 AM when we went, there was no one to ask, and due to the cold and wind we decided walking to the bottom was sufficient for us.

If you do want to hike to the top, we suggest going during the day time rather than the night, so that you can get advice from locals, or have some better weather to explore that area.

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Hengifoss Waterfall Amenities

Just like most waterfalls in Iceland, there really aren't any amenities around Hengifoss waterfall. The path itself is well kept, but you won't find any bathrooms or restaurants on site. There is a parking lot though that is open and free to use.

The parking lot has outhouse style bathrooms, as well as a food truck. As we visited in the middle of the night, it was of course closed. We also imagine that it is seasonal, and not open year-round due to the location.

parking lot at Hengifoss
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Price & Timetable for Visiting Hengifoss Waterfall, Iceland

The trail for Hengifoss Waterfall is open 24/7, and is completely free of charge to visit.

Hengifoss trail

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Safety at Hengifoss Waterfall

The hike to Hengifoss waterfall is very well marked, and not super dangeous. Do keep in mind though that the area was a bit flooded when we went, which made it a bit messier than we anticipated. 

It's important to stay on the path, as large rocks have fallen, and to watch your step due to unpredictable weather.

boarded path to Hengifoss waterfall
boarded path to Hengifoss waterfall
safety at to Hengifoss waterfall

Rocks have fallen, so stay on the path and be aware of your surroundings.

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Other Things to Keep in Mind for Visiting Hengifoss Waterfall in Iceland

Now you know almost everything you need to know for visiting Hengifoss waterfall in Iceland. Don't go anywhere though! We have a few final details to share with you.

Weather Conditions at Hengifoss

The weather can be really unpredictable in Iceland, even in the summer! We visited in June, and it was extremely windy and cold when we went. 

For this reason, it's important to be well prepared, as the weather tends to change quickly.

The Best Time to Hike Hengifoss Waterfall

The best time to hike Hengifoss is during golden hour, as this is when the lighting is ideal, and it isn't quite as crowded.

If you happen to be visiting in the summer, the sun doesn't actually set, so the best time to go is in the middle of the night, between 2 and 5 am.

Hiking to Hengifoss

To avoid the crowds and have great lighting you should go at night to Hengifoss.

How to Prepare for Visiting Hengifoss Waterfall in Iceland

Here are some of the things we suggest bringing on your hike to Hengifoss Waterfall:

  • Reusable Water Bottle (we use this water bottle from Cafago because it holds the temperature)
  • Sneakers
  • Water Shoes or Flip Flops in case it's very wet (we personally always get Havaiana flip flops, as they are comfy and long lasting)
  • Poncho or umbrella in case it may rain
  • Windbreaker jacket
  • Drone (We use the Mavic Mini Pro 3 because it's super light and doesn't sacrifice quality)
  • Action Camera (we use the Insta 360 X3 because it's small & waterproof)

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Tips for Hiking Hengifoss

  • Bring a waterproof poncho and an umbrella if it's cloudy out.
  • Wear waterproof shoes.
  • Bring a telephoto lens to be able to capture the waterfall from afar.
  • Use long exposure for a silky effect.
  • Bring something heavy to put on your tripod to keep the wind from blowing it down.
  • If you have a drone, fly it far away from the waterfall. We use the Mavic Mini Pro 3 as it can zoom in so we don't have to bring it too close to the water.
  • Bring an action camera (we use the Insta 360 X3 because it's small & waterproof. Also you can use the extra long selfie stick for drone-like shots) 
Hengifoss waterfall in Iceland
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There are so many amazing waterfalls in this country, so to see more, make sure to head to our guide of the best waterfalls in Iceland.

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