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Exploring the Askja Hiking Trail: A Guide to Camping and Shelters

Nestled in the heart of Iceland's rugged wilderness, the Askja hiking trail offers an unforgettable adventure for nature enthusiasts. This trail, stretching across the Ódáðahraun lava field, is not just a journey through Iceland's dramatic landscapes but also a testament to the island's volcanic activity.

Askja Hiking Trail

Starting Point: Herðubreiðarlindir Oasis

The journey begins by driving through F-Roads at the oasis of Herðubreiðarlindir, accessible via the mountain road F88. This starting point sets the stage for the scenic beauty that awaits. The trail ends at Svartárkot farm in the Bárðardalur valley, encompassing a variety of terrains and elevations, reaching up to 1300 meters at the Dyngjufjöll massif.

Camping and Shelters Along the Trail

The Touring Club of Akureyri (FFA) has established several huts across the trail, providing shelter in this remote landscape. These huts are essential for hikers, as they offer a place to rest and protection from the unpredictable weather, which can include sudden storms and blizzards, even in the summer months.

  • Bræðrafell Hut: The first day's hike from Herðubreiðarlindir leads to the Bræðrafell hut. This shelter is a welcome respite after traversing the rough lava and witnessing the awe-inspiring Herðubreið, known as the "Queen of Icelandic Mountains."

  • Dreki Hut: The second day takes hikers to the Dreki hut, located near the eastern slopes of the Dyngjufjöll massif. This part of the trail offers a glimpse into the volcanic origins of the landscape.

  • Dyngjufell Hut: The third day's hike is the most challenging, leading across the Askja caldera to the Dyngjufell hut. This segment offers an unparalleled view of the caldera and the opportunity to swim in the crater Víti.

  • Botni Hut: The fourth day is a descent to the Botni hut, offering beautiful views of the surrounding volcanoes.

  • Svartárkot Farm: The final day leads to Svartárkot farm, where the trail concludes. This section passes through lush vegetation, a stark contrast to the barren wilderness of Ódáðahraun.

Askja Hiking Trail huts

Preparation and Safety

Hikers need to be well-prepared for this trek. Drinking water is scarce except at the huts, so carrying sufficient water is crucial. Sturdy walking boots with robust soles are mandatory due to the rough terrain. It's also advisable to book hut accommodations in advance and consider guided tours for a safer experience.

The Askja hiking trail is more than a trek; it's an exploration of Iceland's heart. With its challenging terrain, breathtaking landscapes, and the solace of strategically placed huts, it promises an adventure that resonates with the spirit of every hiker.

Whether you're seeking solitude when visiting Askja, scenic beauty, or a test of endurance, the Askja trail delivers an experience that is as unforgettable as it is challenging.

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