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2017 Laugevegur Trail and Fimmvorduhals Trail - Iceland


What is it:



The Laugevegur Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Iceland. The Fimmvorduhals Trail extends the hike an extra day or so, and you definitely should do it. Both trails together are around 48 miles (77 km), and there are also optional side trails. The route traverses Iceland's rugged, barren, and beautiful landscape, passing by ice caves, glaciers, hot springs, steam vents, and volcanoes. If that isn't enough for you there are 26 pretty spectacular waterfalls in the last day.

When:



There are daily shuttle busses to and from the trail starting late spring from Reykjavik. We hiked from June 15th to June 20th 2017. The busses had just started running a few days prior to our arrival and the snow pack was still very deep up high. There are huts that you can reserve, or camp at, but they are only open when the busses are running. I am glad that we hiked early in the year because the snow pack added to the stunning landscape. We did have to spend a couple days walking on top of packed, slushy snow and that did add to the challenge. The lower elevation areas were free of snow. The weather was cool during the day and stayed above freezing at night. We had a mix of drizzle, clouds, rain, wind, and sunshine. Overall the weather was pretty decent.

In Iceland in June the sun barely sets. In the middle of the night the sky is as bright as an overcast day. You could hike at any time of day if you want, and sleeping can be hard. At camp, there were people up and about most of the night which was kind of weird. A sleep mask is helpful.

Planning:



We flew in and out of Reykjavik. There is a shuttle bus that runs from the airport to a station outside Reykjavik, and then there is another daily shuttle bus from there a few hours to Landmannalaugar, which is the start of the hike.

The bus station has a small outdoor store right in it where you can buy fuel canisters and a variety of gear items that you might have forgotten. There is also a restaurant in the station, and a gas station-convenience store next door with limited re-supply. There was a Subway restaurant at the gas station. We flew with some of our dried food items, and supplemented from the convenience store.

Landmannalaugar (where the bus drops you off) is a just a "base camp" with camping, and bunks that you can reserve. There is a small camp store run out of a converted bus that had pre-made sandwiches, snacks, coffee, and odds and ends that hikers might need. You might miss the bus-store if you aren't looking for it because it just looks like a parked bus in the parking lot.

Everything is expensive in Iceland. Whatever you think something would cost in the US, double it or more. The currency is the Icelandic Króna, which is currently about 1:1 with the USD. Want a beer? $12. Camping is about $20 per person, per night and is only allowed outside the huts. You can reserve a bunk for more, however we stayed outside every night. If you want to go inside a hut to warm up or get out of the wind or rain, that will be $5 for an hour, if there is space.

The huts are relatively small. They have bunks and you can cook inside but they don't serve meals. Some sell candy bars or sodas. For the most part you will need to carry your food for the whole trip.

There is one restaurant on route at Volcano Hut in Thórsmörk. It is maybe a mile off the main route, but totally worth it if you are hungry and willing to spend an exorbitant amount of money on a hot meal after a few days of walking. You can reconnect with the route without backtracking much.

There is also a restaurant and hotel at the end at Skogar. The shuttle busses pick hikers up daily from Thórsmörk (by Volcano Hut), or Skogar. You can book round-trip in advance.

Difficulty



The trail was pretty easy to follow, and the cross-country snow sections had plenty of footsteps to follow. This hike had a few climbs but most of it wasn't that steep or strenuous. The hardest part was slogging through melting snow pack for the better part of a couple days. It is like hiking in beach sand. We didn't post-hole and we didn't need snow shoes or anything it just added some effort. There are a couple knee to thigh deep river fords, which were not bad.

Laugevegur Trail - Iceland Gear List:



This is the gear list that I would take if I were to do any three-season thru-hike today.
OuncesPacking System
21 Arc Blast Backpack
1Pair Shoulder Pouches
1.5Pair Belt Pouches
OuncesShelter System
14.8Plexamid Tent
2.18x Carbon Tent Stakes w/ stake sack
OuncesSleeping System
18.7Zpacks 20F Slim, Long Classic Sleeping Bag
1.7Medium Pillow Dry Bag
8Neoair Xlite Pad, size small
OuncesCooking System
3.3.6L Evernew Pot
.2Titanium short handle spoon
.5Lightload Towel
.4Mini-Bic Lighter
2.3Soto Windmaster Stove
1.4Roll top Food Bag
OuncesWater Storage
1.51 Quart Powerade Bottle
1.51 Quart Powerade Bottle
0No water treatment.
OuncesMiscellaneous Items
6Galaxy S9 Smartphone / Camera
6Anchor 10,000 mAh PowerCore battery
1.5Pak-Light w/ homemade headband
.7Victorinox Classic Pocket Knife
.5Silva Compass / Thermometer
.7Zpacks Travel Toothbrush
1Passport, Credit Card, License, Cash in Travel Zip
1.750ft 2 mm Z-Line cord
.44x Mini-D Carabiners
.3Chap Stick
.01Ear plugs
.8Sunglasses
.1Ibuprofen
OuncesGear Repair
.63x strips of DCF Repair Tape
.16x Large safety pins
.35Sewing repair kit
OuncesCarried Clothing
6.2Vertice Rain Jacket
3.6Vertice Rain Pants (Optionally substitute Rain Kilt in warmer weather).
1.0Vertice Rain Mitts
.9Zpacks Fleece Hat
2Zpacks Wind Shell Jacket
8.9Zpacks Climashield insulated Jacket
1Medium-Plus Dry Bag
OuncesOptional clothing to add for colder weather
1.4Possum Down Gloves
2.5Possum Down Socks
OuncesWorn Items (Not part of base weight)
10.2Columbia Silver Ridge II Zip off pants
7.3Long sleeve, breathable shirt w/ hood
.9Ultamax Triathlete low cut socks
3.5Patagonia boxers
2.4Zpacks Trucker Hat
23Teva Grecko Sandals (discontinued model)
7.3Zpacks Carbon Fiber Staff
OuncesTotal Base Weight
1247 lbs 12 ounces (3.5 kg)