Natural Wonders
28 July 2020

Stuðlagil: The hidden canyon in East Iceland

Did you know that more than 85% of Iceland's energy is 100% clean and renewable? That is because in Iceland, we use geothermal and hydropower plants for all our electricity. What does that have to do with Stuðlagil, you ask? Well, now that you know the basics, we can tell you about the recently discovered canyon, Stuðlagil! Stuðlagil wasn’t “found” until 2009 when the Kárahnjúkar hydro plant was activated. When it did, the river drained a bit, and the beautiful canyon was discovered.

Stuðlagil Canyon in Iceland
Photo: east.is

What's so special about Stuðlagil?

We're glad you asked! Stuðlagil is a canyon unlike anything else on Earth. It has hundreds of basalt rock columns like the ones in Reynisfjara and Skógafoss. The canyon is stunning with all the untouched nature around it and the East's wildlife; in spring, the surrounding area is filled with bird nests. It's absolutely fantastic to walk to Stuðlagil and see what mother nature is capable of.

Stuðlagil Cayon in Iceland
Photo: east.is

Stuðlagil Canyon - How to get there

There are only two ways to get to Stuðlagil. One is pretty straight forward and only requires a short walk. Just drive to the farm called Grund and take the short path to the canyon. Please beware that the slope can be very steep, so be careful. By taking this quick route, you can view the canyon from above and see the rock columns. But you won’t get to see it in all its glory like it’s usually presented in photographs.

Stuðlagil Canyon hike

The proper way down into the canyon is a lot harder to walk. It requires a three-hour hike, but do not be discouraged! The trail is relatively easy, and there are a lot of things to see along the way. For example, you can stop by the Stuðlafoss waterfall, which is among the most beautiful basalt rock column waterfalls in the world. If you have the time for the long walk, we highly encourage you to try it. If only to see the canyon from a new point of view. But either way, if you choose to go and see Stuðlagil take a moment and appreciate seeing a "new" natural wonder not many travelers (even Icelanders) have seen.