The day after photo touring southeast Iceland we headed inland to Landmannalaugar for some hiking. The landscape was amazing! Not only was the sun shining, but lingering blankets of snow partially covered the rugged mountains. Add the Laugahraun lava field and colourful ryholite peaks to the mix and I felt like I was in a photographer’s paradise!
Our hiking objective was the summit of Mt. Bláhnjúkur (Blue Peak), a black-blue coloured volcano. As day hikes go, this one was pretty easy, ascending just under 300 meters over 1.8 km of trail connecting the parking lot to the summit marker. We made it to the top in 45 minutes (and that included 15 minutes of photography stops along the way).
Views from the summit included the colourful volcano Brennisteinsalda, the Laugahraun lava field, range after range of rhyolite mountains and a few lakes in the distance.
The wind picked up when we were at the summit and it started raining as we descended. By the time we reached the Laugahraun lava field, it was raining quite heavily, so we stowed our cameras and turned our attention to keeping upright on the slick (and sharp) lava rocks.
Total elapsed time was 2.5 hours to cover 6.5 km, with about 45 minutes for photo stops along the way. Since we expect our next trip to Iceland will be planned for October/November some year, hiking Mt. Bláhnjúkur probably won’t be on our itinerary. But if you are in Iceland in the summertime, you should really consider stopping at Landmannalaugur – for photography, a horseback ride, a hike and/or a soak in the geothermal hot pool!