Núpsstaðarskógar - Skaftafell - IMG41

Tour type: Backpacking trek with camping

Difficulty:

EASY

HARD

Price from:  

Adult: 125.000

  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

What's included: Guide, food for 5 days, transportation, tents and cooking gear.

Departures: July and August

Duration: 5 days

Accommodation: Tent

Meeting point: BSI bus terminal

Group size: 4-12 participants

Language: English

Walking per day: 6-8 hours

  • Tour Description

    Highlights of the Tour

    • Remarkable canyons and waterfalls
    • An unforgettable day of glacier crossing
    • A night in a unique area above the glacier

    Hike at the foothills of Vatnajökull Glacier 

    This Iceland backpacking tour is considered an Icelandic Mountain Guides great classic treks. The tour offers some of Iceland's most unique landscapes on a trail not frequented by many. The trail takes you on a remarkable journey along the canyons of Núpsá river, and up to the Grænalón glacier lagoon quietly nestled between mountains and glacier. Crossing the Skeiðarárjökull glacier is a challenge rewarded by a visit to the Norðurdalur valley which some consider to be one of the most unique places ever. On the last day the path takes us across the beautiful Skaftafell Mountains, over to Morsárdalur glacier valley and into Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park. Book this all inclusive trip now while spots are still available for this popular classic!

    *The tours “The Rivers and Glaciers of Vatnajökull” and “Núpsstaðarskógar- Skaftafell” can be linked at these dates. This nine-day combination trek is designed for the great hiking enthusiasts. A truly unforgettable experience! The trip code for the combined backpacking tour is IMG42.

    Total walking distance: 60 kilometers (38 miles).
    Altitude: 450-800 meters (1475  to 2625 feet).
    Maximum ascent: 450 meters (1475 feet).

    Included : Guide for 5 days, transport from Reykjavík to Núpsstaðarskógur, food for 5 days (from dinner on day 1 to lunch on day 5), cooking gear, tents and safety equipment for glacier crossing, transfer with public bus from Skaftafell to Reykjavík. 

    Pick up from hotel or guesthouse to bus station in Reykjavík and drop off at your accommodation at the end of the tour can be added for 5.000 ISK per person. 

    Close

  • Tour Itinerary

    Day 1: Meeting point is at BSI central bus station.  From there we take the Sterna bus number 12 at 7:30am. At the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur you will have time for lunch (not included) before we start our drive into Núpsstaðarskógar valley.There we change into the transport that will take us over the rivers and into the valley with its rich covering of Arctic birch. 

    Day 2: We start our hike from the valley bottom. After a short climb we come to the magnificent waterfalls of Tvílitihylur, we head up along the neatly sculpted canyons of the lower part of Núpsá river. A short climb leads us up to the deeper part of the canyons with walls up to 200 m high. Camping is on the Sléttur lava plains.
    Distance: 15-20km (9-12mi)    Walking time: 6-7hrs

    Day 3: Crossing plains pink with Arctic River Beauty flowers we start to climb the hills towards Grænalón glacier lagoon. After ascending the Eggjar hills, the view opens over the lagoon where it lies between the mountains with floating icebergs. Our campsite is north of the lake, with a spectacular view over the enormous glacier tongue of Skeiðarárjökull, streaming down towards the plains and covering almost 1600 km².
    Distance: 18-22km (11-14mi)    Walking time: 6-7hrs

    Day 4: This day is devoted to the crossing of Skeiðarárjökull, from Grænafjall Mountain to Norðurdalur valley, an area surrounded by ice and high mountain ridges. Almost a whole day is required to traverse the 15-km of ice, before standing again on solid ground in the hinterland of the Skaftafell area of Vatnajökull National Park. Waiting for us is magnificent camping with views over the several glacial lakes with floating icebergs and colored rhyolite mountains in the background.
    Distance: 18-22km (11-14mi)    Walking time: 7-8hrs

    Day 5: After some climbing to a narrow mountain ridge, one is able to admire the view to the yellowish rhyolite valley of Kjós at the other side as well as to Iceland’s highest mountain the Hvannadalshnúkur. Descending into the valley of Morsárdalur, the vegetation becomes progressively more abundant. The beautiful Arctic birch forest of Bæjarstaðarskógur welcomes us before we continue to the main camp site of the national park in Skaftafell. Here we catch a bus back to Reykjavík where the tour ends in the evening.  
    Distance: 20-25km (12-16mi)    Walking time: 7-8hrs

    Close

  • Equipment List

    Backpacking Tours

    -Equipment list for backpacking tours
    
For example these Backpacking Tours (except IMG49).

    For your own wellbeing and safety we strongly suggest following the advice of our equipment list, this includes having good quality rain-gear, tops and bottoms! Also respect that cotton clothing is not appropriate for any strenuous outdoor activity – this includes jeans and t-shirts. Modern outdoor clothing is by far more comfortable and will greatly improve your experience. 

    Boots and clothing:

    • Sturdy Hiking Boots – waterproof with good ankle support. 
    • Long sleeve shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic. 
    • T-shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic. 
    • Light wool or fleece sweater (2nd layer).
    • Trousers – Strong and light material that dries quickly e.g. soft-shell. 
    • Jacket with a good hood – windproof, waterproof and breathable. 
    • Rain trousers – windproof, waterproof and breathable. Please note that full raingear is mandatory in Iceland. 
    • Gloves 1 – 2 pairs – Wool or synthetic (polypropylene / polyester). 
    • Socks – Wool or synthetic. Two or three pairs. 
    • Warm hat – Wool or synthetic. 
    • Long Johns (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic.
    • Warm jacket/sweater – Wool or fleece (3rd layer).

    Other gear:

    • Backpack – (woman size: 50-60 litres - man size: 60-75 litres) – note that each guest will need about 15 – 20L of space free for food, tents and other communal gear. 
    • River shoes – Walking sandals or old running shoes with a good grip are a good choice, along with a pair of warm socks or neoprene socks. Open sandals or flip-flops will not do the job. 
    • Sleeping bag – Down or fibre. Light weight and warm. We recommend goose down with high “fill power” or top of the line synthetic bags. For IMGQ31 a light weight sleeping bag is sufficient. 
    • Insulation mattress. A mattress is not needed on IMGQ31.
    • Towel – light weight and packable. 
    • Sunglasses & sun protection. 
    • Change of clothes – e.g. long and short underwear.
    • Water container – thermos flask or water bottle 0,5 – 1L. 
    • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films.
    • Personal first aid kit – including blister care. 
    • Prescription medication and other personal health items.
    • Toiletries; Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap etc. 
    • Swim suit (depends on tour).

    Optional gear:

    • Walking pole(s).
    • Gaiters
    • Neoprene socks – highly recommended for river crossings. 
    • Pen knife. 
    • Sun/rain Hat or a Cap. Shorts
    • Thermal mat (for lunch breaks). 
    • Puffy jacket (e.g. Primaloft or down).
    • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films.
    • Dry-bags for electronics and extra clothing. 
    • Heart-warming spirits.

    Should you have any questions regarding this equipment list or the equipment on our tours feel free to contact incoming@mountainguides.is.

    Close

  • Gear Lexicon

    Backpacking Tours

    Backpacking tour - definition:

    Backpacking tour is a multi-day trip where all gear and food is carried on the back. The tour may at some point have support in the form of a food drop off or food supply in huts. Participants will need to be prepared to carry both their personal gear as well as a share of the team´s food and communal gear (tents, stoves, pots).  On most backpacking tours you will sleep in tents in the wilderness, on a couple of tours we use only huts.


    Hiking Boots:

    test

    Scarpa Hekla

    Sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support. Leather or synthetic with a waterproof membrane, e.g. Gore-Tex. Make sure they are a good fit, leaving some space for your toes – and wear them in, even if it is just by light hiking in the city.


    Long sleeve- / T-shirt (thermal underwear):

    test

    Bergans Merino

    A thin base layer (next to skin). The most popular is merino wool – comfortable to wear for multiple days without the smell of synthetic materials. Most people should be fine with the same merino shirt on for 2 – 3 days. Having short and long sleeve is great for adjusting to different weather conditions. A sleeveless shirt (merino wool) can also be a good addition for a base layer as well as a sports bra for the women.


    Light wool or fleece sweater:

    This is your regular insulation layer for hiking during the day. Options from Merino wool are available as well as the standard fleece jacket. Not too thick for summertime use, but consider layering with two jackets or a jacket and a vest – that way you will be prepared for any type of weather.


    Trousers – softshell:

    test

    Soft shell is strong and durable, wind resistant and quick drying. Perfect for hiking pants. Some might consider a thin base-layer for extra insulation on colder days. If you have a thinner trousers consider having long-johns handy for cold days.


    Jacket with a good hood (wind and waterproof):

    test

    ME Manaslu

    A good “hard-shell” jacket with a large protective hood. Gore-Tex membrane or similar to keep you dry. Make sure it is not too tight and that you can fit insulation underneath. Note that a soft-shell jacket is a great addition but will not replace a good waterproof hard-shell when you really, really need one! Good rain gear – tops and bottoms are mandatory on all our tours. 


    Rain trousers – wind and waterproof:

    test

    Good rain pants are absolutely compulsory in Iceland. They should be lightweight – as they are in the backpack most of the time. If they have zip-up legs to ease getting into it is a big bonus. Make sure they are breathable and strong enough to take some abuse from walking.  We often see cheap rain pants come apart on the seams. Gore-Tex or similar waterproof breathing membrane is appropriate. Good rain gear – tops and bottoms are mandatory on all our tours.


    Gloves:

    A light pair of fleece or wool gloves or mittens does the job. You can also take a pair of ski-gloves or other wind and waterproof shell gloves. Having an extra pair is recommended, and then of different thickness.


    Socks:

    Wool is definitely the preferred material for hiking socks. Different blends are available. If you are prone to blisters or have new boots you might consider wearing a thin liner sock underneath your hiking socks. Make sure you have a few pairs of socks to keep your feet dry and in good conditions.


    Warm hat:

    test

    ME Knitted beanie

    A normal ski-hat/beanie is perfect. You could also use a thick buff. As an extra a buff is also nice to have, you can use it to protect your neck and face when needed or as a thinner option for a hat.


    Backpack:

    test

    Love Alpine Kongur ND 65:75

    You will need a large backpack for most of our trips, make sure that you have space for your personal gear, including extra clothes and a sleepingbag inside the pack. Most of your gear should fit into the main compartment of your pack and should be packed into one or more drybags. Idealy pack all overnight gear into one dry bag and all gear that you might need access to into anouther one that can be kept accesseble during the day. Sleepingmat, rivershoes and items that are light and bulky or packed wet can be packed on the outside of the pack given there are good straps availible – but getting the weight as close to your centre of gravity as possible will make carrying the pack more comfortable. Pack raingear and cold weather gear so that it can be accessed quickly during the day.  The size of the pack depends largely on your personal needs and the pack size of your sleeping bag.  Women generally should get away with a 50 – 60L pack and mean 60 – 75L. This size should leave enough space, about 20L, for communal gear and food.  A modern pack has good padding, a stiff adjustable frame system (internal frame) and a few different compartments for storing smaller items and items that you will need to access during the day.


    River shoes:

    test

    Keen Newport Sandal

    An old pair of running shoes will do just fine. Closed hiking sandals or neoprene kayaking shoes will also work great.  Any quick drying shoe with a good sole that can be securely attached to the foot will do. Loose slippers, flip-flops etc. are not acceptable.
    A good addition to your river crossing shoes are neoprene socks – see Neoprene socks.


    Neoprene Socks:

    test

    Neoprene socks

    A good addition to your river crossing shoes are neoprene socks – they should go well above the ankles and the best once have welded seams. You will be able to do most of your river crossings without them, but it is just so much nicer with them. They should be a tight fit, but not too tight to get one when wet.


    Sleeping bag:

    The mountain-huts during the summer are usually warm, although not heated during the night. Any old sleeping bag will therefore do, unless you get cold easily. For temperature control having a full length zipper is great. A liner bag is also a very nice addition and will improve your ability to regulate your head during the night.  If you are doing a winter trip or summer camping a 3 season sleeping bag would be sufficient. All the huts we use have mattresses on the beds so no need to bring your own for hut trips.


    Sleeping mattress:

    Most will use a self-inflating mattress.  A modern model is amazingly light and comfortable and will pack down to the size of a water bottle. A classical foam mattress is also a good option – but bulky and less comfortable. If you choose to store the mattress on the outside of your pack it will need to be in a separate waterproof bag.


    Towel:

    To save weight and bulk, a light weight microfiber towel is ideal. You might like a big one for drying off after a swim and a small one for drying your feet after river crossings.


    Sunglasses and sun protection:

    Believe it or not, you will need those things in Iceland. There are no big issues with sun, so a high SPF rating for sun block is not an issue unless you plan to be on a glacier or on snow. You should have a small bottle to save weight in your pack. Likewise; any pair if sunglasses would be sufficient – but make sure you pack them. If you plan to be in snow or on ice a pair of glasses with a high UV (close to 100%) and/or cat (3 – 4) rating and side shields will be appropriate.


    Changes of clothes:

    On a backpacking trip weight is everything so you should limit very much the amount of extra clothes your carry. You should still have a change of clothes so that at least a set of long underwear stays dry in your pack during the day. But there is no need for more than one pair of pants or a fresh t-shirt for every day.


    Water container / thermos flask:

    In Iceland you can drink from the stream, no filters, not iodine or chlorine! It is good to have a small water bottle at hand. For most days a 0,5 – 1L bottle should be plenty as water is easily found all over. If you are a warm drinker we will be happy to fill up your thermos in the morning and a selection of teas will be available (very dedicated tea drinkers often bring an emergency stash of their favourite brand).


    Head-lamp:

    test

    Even though the summer night is bright the inside of the hut might not be. A headlamp is also useful for a bit of reading. There are plenty of options available for LED head lamps that are just perfect for reading and getting around the hut. A small flash-light will also do the job. Most LED headlamps have more than enough light for our purposes and the battery life is so good that one set will do for your Iceland trip.


    Personal first-aid-kit:

    The guides on our tours will have a first aid kit available. It is still nice to have some small items to be self-sufficient with minor things. Band-Aid, Compeed for blisters, pain killers and/or anti-inflammatory drugs.


    Personal items:

    test

    Make sure to have all your prescription medication with you, if you have any medical condition that could in any way affect you during the trip make sure to let your guide know. For those suffering from allergies having antihistamine is advisable – or any other medication that works for your conditions. Items for personal hygiene should also be included, having a small bar of soap handy or some liquid hand soap is a good idea. Toothbrush, toothpaste and dental-floss should be packed. Pack shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in small plastic bottles that close tight. Avoid liquid antiperspirant and glass containers due to risks of spilling. Feminine products like pads, tampons etc. should also be packed if needed. If you take vitamins or other supplements you should continue to do so during your holiday.
    A bit of toilet-paper in a plastic bag along with a lighter to burn it after use is the way to go in Iceland. In most cases you are sharing a room with a few fellow travellers – so a pair of good ear-plugs can ensure a good night sleep. Those not used to the bright summer might also like to bring an eye mask.  Contact lenses, lens liquid etc.


    Swim suit:

    Bathing in the natural hot-pools will be one of the highlights of your trip in Iceland. Make sure you come dressed for the occasion. There are no specific rules, written or unwritten on how to dress or not to dress; board shorts, speedos, bikinis or bathing suits – anything goes. Quick drying is good.


    Trekking pole(s):

    test

    Black Diamond Trekking / hiking poles

    One or two poles are nice to have. Some trekkers like to use them all the time, other use them only during river crossings or on steep ups and downs. If you like them, make sure that they are foldable and light weight. A small basket is also nice.


    Gaiters:

    For summer time use you should normally not need gaiters as they are designed to keep snow from getting into your boots. Some like them also for scree slopes. Keep in mind that the volcanic soil in Iceland is very abrasive so you will want to be able to remove the strap that goes under your boot sole to keep it from getting trashed.


    Sun/rain hat or Cap:

    A baseball cap or a comfortable hat with brim is great to have. If it is a bite water and weather proof that is a great addition. It will keep the rain from running down your face and into your layering.  Be prepared to take it off if the wind picks up.


    Shorts:

    It does get warm enough in Iceland to wear shorts. They are also nice for sleeping in, in case you need to get out in the night. For hiking it is nice to have some pockets, for the items that other ways would be in the pockets of you pants. But any old pair of shorts will do.


    Puffy Jacket:

    test

    ME Compressor Hooded Jacket PrimaLoft

    A nice light puffy is great during brakes. The insulation could be down or synthetics (Primaloft). It should not be very big or bulky – Iceland is not that cold. Synthetic insulation is preferred in Iceland as it keeps most of its insulating properties also when wet. A puffy vest would also be a good option.


    Dry-bags:

    There are plenty of different products available for storing your equipment inside your pack and keeping it dry. A rain cover over your pack often has limited use in Iceland due to the wind – a safer option is to pack whatever needs to be kept dry into dry-bags inside your back-pack. It is also a great way to organize the inside of your pack. One bag for electronics (camera and phone) and one bag for extra clothing, as an example.


    Aperitif of other heart-warming spirits:

    Liquor laws in Iceland prohibit the sale of alcohol in most places you come by on your trip in the highlands and limited opening hours stop you from buying any most other places. So having a flask (preferably plastic or metal) to share with your fellow travels in front of the camp fire (gas heater) can be the crowning of a good day. You can take care of this in the duty-free up on arrival in Iceland if you like. Just follow all the Icelanders on your flight – they will take you straight to duty-free!


    Other cool things to have when backpacking:

    Book – to read during the evenings.
    Music - and head phones. Some of our guides also have speakers with them to share Icelandic music.
    Diary or note-book – to write down your good memories from Iceland. Also a pen or pencil.
    Power-bank / extra battery for you electronics – small solar cells usually do not work that well in Iceland so a pre charged power bank is a better option.  Charging your electronics in the highlands often is not an option or will cost you extra. Having converters adapters for 220 V and/or USB will help.


    Close

  • Map
  • Video
  • Departure Dates
    Tour Dates Availability
    26.06.2017 Available Select
    10.07.2017 Available Select
    17.07.2017 Available Select
    24.07.2017 Available Select
    07.08.2017 Available Select
    14.08.2017 Confirmed Departure Select
    21.08.2017 Available Select

Select the number of passengers and departure date.

Total price for all passengers:

0ISK

Optional extra services - These items can be purchased later

    1. Just a tip - You can convert the currency here!