Skogafoss (officially written as Skógafoss) is a big waterfall located in the south of Iceland at the cliffs of the former coastline.
Skogafoss is an easy to reach waterfall located between Selfoss (100 km) and Kirkjubæjarklaustur (also 100 km). Already from ring road 1 you can see the majestic Skogafoss in the distance. The waterfall lies just 500 meter off road 1 near Skógá and is very easy to access.
Follow the signs Skógá or Skogafoss from ring road 1. The signs leads to a big parking close to the base of the waterfall. Here the view on Skogafoss is already amazing.
Viewpoints and photography
From the parking (gps 63.529364, -19.513138) it is a short walk, along the river, over the black sand to the base of the powerful Skogafoss. There are several angles from which you can take pictures. I like the view in front of the waterfall with a lot of black sand and a part of the river in the foreground. Try to place a person near the waterfall with a striking colored jacket on. Now you see the power of the waterfall. You also can try to keep your camera or mobile close to the ground to get perspective.
It is also possible to walk up along Skogafoss. On the east side of the waterfall you can climb up a path crossing some amazing viewpoints.The rock formations are covered with moss and the shapes are bizarre. A perfect setting for taking artistic and unique pictures. Not many tourists do this.
Skogafoss is one of my favorite waterfalls in Iceland. Although the height is only 62 meter, it is 25 wide and the power of the waterfall is enormous. The surrounding is beautiful and the black sand makes this waterfall very special.
After the coastline had receded seaward (it is now at a distance of about 5 kilometer (3.1 miles) from Skógar), the former sea cliffs remained, parallel to the coast over hundreds of kilometer, creating together with some mountains a clear border between the coastal lowlands and the Highlands of Iceland.
Due to the amount of spray the waterfall consistently produces, a single or double rainbow is normally visible on sunny days. According to legend, the first Viking settler in the area, Þrasi Þórólfsson, buried a treasure in a cave behind the waterfall. The legend continues that locals found the chest years later, but were only able to grasp the ring on the side of the chest before it disappeared again. The ring was allegedly given to the local church. The old church door ring is now in a museum, though whether it gives any credence to the folklore is debatable.
Hiking at Skogafoss
At the eastern side of the waterfall, a hiking and trekking trail leads up to the pass Fimmvörðuháls between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. It goes down to Þórsmörk on the other side and continues as the famous Laugavegur to Landmannalaugar. This walk is very high on my wish list to do. The track follows the river Skógá passing numerous great (unknown) waterfalls. More information of the track can be found on the website of Wikiloc.
In the hamlet you can visit Skogar Museum, a place with three museums from which I liked the open museum most with several old houses.
Other waterfalls near Skogafoss
The river Skógá is famous because of the many waterfalls short after each other. The first named waterfalls in the river (near the top of the Skogafoss) is the Hestavaðsfoss. Then the Fossturfufoss, Steinbogafoss, Fremri-Felssfoss, Innri-Felssfoss, Rollutorfufoss, Skálabrekkufoss, Kæfufoss, Gluggafoss, Króksfoss, Neðstifoss, Miðfoss, Efstifoss and the Slaedufoss.
Beside the many waterfalls you meet if you hike upstream along the river Skógá there is one (forgotten) waterfall, that also can be reached from Skógar, that is located in the river Kvernu: Kvernufoss. A great single drop waterfall of 40 meter where you can walk behind. It is also possible to walk upstream along the river Kvernu where you meet some other great waterfalls: Sellfoss and Selvaðsfoss.
A little east of the Kvernufoss there is also another 30 meter high waterfall called Dalárfoss . There is a road heading to Eystri-Skógar.