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July 2006: ┴sbyrgi and points south in J÷kulsßrglj˙fur National Park

Iceland Forest
┴sbyrgi is a horseshoe-shaped canyon in the north of Iceland. Geologists tell us the canyon was formed by a giant glacial flood, but the Viking legend is more interesting - that the god Odin's horse touched the ground there. The canyon shelters a small forest within its walls.
In the Belly of ┴sbyrgi
There is a small pond at the "head" of the canyon. Above the pond the towering cliffs make a great nesting area for a variety of seabirds. The ocean is about 10 miles to the north.
Patterns in the Pond
Another view of the pond at the head of the canyon.
Hljˇ­arklettar Rocks
South of ┴sbyrgi, the jumbled rock formation of Hljˇ­arklettar is a fascinating place to explore. Giant heaps and folds of columnar basalt make interesting natural sculptures.
Hljˇ­arklettar Cave
This cave was one of the many intriguing features at Hljˇ­arklettar.

Where is it?

┴sbyrgi canyon is located in the north part of J÷kulsßrglj˙fur National Park, in the north part of Iceland. A visitor's center is located just off the main road. A drivable (by most passenger cars) dirt road leads south to Hljˇ­arklettar. South of Hljˇ­arklettar, the road is 4wd only.

Before you go...
The campground at ┴sbyrgi is decent. If you stay there it's definitely worth doing a long hike along the canyon rim, then south to where the river J÷kulsß ß Fj÷llum carves an impressive canyon through the national park.

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