The area
Kerlingarfjöll are a true pearl to all nature lovers and outdoor people. It is accessible all year round on 4 WD cars and with good conditions accessible in all types of cars.
in the Highlands of Iceland.
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A few little facts
You can see the 3 big Icelandic glaciers from the peaks in Kerlingarfjöll The highest peak in Kerlingarfjöll is 1477m There are endless marked an unmarked hiking routes in Kerlingarfjöll
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What does the name mean?

What does the name mean?? The name Kerlingarfjöll is a combination of two words, Kerling, meaning a old lady and Fjöll meaning mountains, The latter is easy to understand, the word Kerling refers to a 25 M high Columnar Rock residing on the east side of mt. Tindur, one of the mountains in the cluster.website.

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Visibility

The view from the peaks of Kerlingarfjöll is among the best you can see in Iceland.From Snækollur and some of the other peaks one can see the Ocean to the south and north of Iceland, from the same spot, just turning 180°.

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Filming location

Kerlingarfjoll have been used as a filming location several times. The surroundings and the scenery are great and the facilities for the cast and crew are good. The restaurant serves good food and after a busy day of filming you can grab a beer or relax with a glass of red or white wine. 

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History

During centuries Kerlingarfjoll were viewed as remote and not so friendly place, named as Bad Weather Mountains. Kerlingarfjöll were neither visited nor explored, although the nearby Kjölur area or rather the Old Kjölur Road served as one of the main connections between North and South Iceland. The road or rather the track was on the western side of the Kjölur Area Passing Hvítárnes hut and from there to Hveravellir.

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Geology

Kerlingarfjöll area is a 70.000 to 320.000 years old rhyolite mountain cluster, residing on the main Kjölur plateau in the western part of the Central highlands of Iceland. Due to its young age and origin, the mountains, with their sharp and un-eroded lines and endless variety in colors,  are probably one of the most picturesque areas of the highlands.

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Where are Kerlingarfjöll

Kerlingarfjöll are located on the Kjölur area in the Highaldns of Iceland, between the glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull.  The Kjölur area is the western central part of the highlands, with several known landmarks, from Gullfoss in the south to the Blanda Hydro power Plant in the north.

INFORMATION

Kerlingarfjöll are a true pearl to all nature lovers and outdoor people. It is accessible all year round on 4 WD cars and with good conditions accessible in all types of cars.


Filming location

Kerlingarfjoll have been used as a filming location several times. The surroundings and the scenery are great and the facilities for the cast and crew are good. The restaurant serves good food and after a busy day of filming you can grab a beer or relax with a glass of red or white wine. The last project that was filmed in Kerlingarfjoll is a part of survival series - Dude, you're screwed - which is broadcasted on Discovery Channel. The project was filmed during late winter 2012

Here you will find futher information (pdf).


Geology

Iceland is located on the tectonic plate boundary, between the EurAsian and the North American plate. Roughly speaking, this separation goes along a line that could be drawn from the SW corner of Reykjanes Peninsula, towards north east, through Þingvellir and then towards and under the glacier Langjökull, where it disappears if one could say so. This boundary line becomes clearly visible again under the ocean north of Siglufjörður. Another line, roughly parallel to this lies from Myrdalsjökull in curved line north east and then north, towards Öxarfjörður in the north. These two main boundary lines are connected three with E-W lying fraction lines, one lying in south Iceland close to Hveragerði, another from the northern part of Langjökull eastward under Hofsjökull and beyond.

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The area within these lines, the southern part of the central Highlands can therefore be considered as a Island between the two main Tectonic Plates, Kerlingarfjoll are located close to the northern edge of this Island. The bedrock of this Island is mainly younger than 3 million years of age, whereas larger parts of the surface are less than one million years.

The area around the Kerlingarfjöll mountain cluster, the Central Highlands Plateau is at an altitude of 600 – 700 Meters, whereas the mountain summits themselves reach some 500 – 800 Meters above the surroundings, making the mountain cluster well visible both from the South and the North. 

The Kerlingarfjöll area shows all the characters of a matured caldera. Those characters comprise variety of volcanic formations, high energy geothermal spots, rhyolite domes and remains of calderas. The mountains were created by eruptions from a large caldera lying under the mountains, the caldera still considered as active, although it has been silent for tens of thousands of years. Age analysis of the summits, done in 2005 indicates that the oldest mountain is the 336.000 years old Draugafell on the SA side of the area, but the youngest is the 79.000 years old Fannborg. The youngest remains of volcanic activity are the lava field Illahraun or Seturhraun, which lies to the east of Kerlingarfjöll and is as young as 10.000 – 15.000 years old.

Most of the mountains in the area, are created by sub glacial volcanic activity, with only two summits showing signs of having reached above the surface of the ice age glacier at the time of eruption, those are Mt. Loðmundur and Mt Höttur. Loðmundur which stands almost as a separate mountain to the east of the main cluster is a typical plate mountain with a flat well shaped top rocky upper slopes but Höttur being more irregular, but with clear rock formations at the top. Loðmundur, is a combination of two words, “loðinn” meaning hairy and “mundur” which as a second part of a name means guardian, whereas the word Höttur means headgear. 

The cluster is usually divided into two main sections, Eastern and Western mountains. The main summits of the eastern mountains are Mt Fannborg, Mt Snækollur, Mt Loðmundar. Mt Snækollur, which is the highest peak in Kerlingarfjöll is also counted as one of five best known stratovolcanoes in Iceland (others being Snælfellsjökull, Snæfell, Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull). Largest summits in the western mountains are Ögmundur and Höttur.

In Kerlingarfjöll there are three separate geothermal areas, Upper Hveradalir, Lower Hveradalir and Hverabotn. Hveradalir means a valley of hotsprings. Lower Hveradalir valley is the main attraction of Kerlingarfjöll, located approx. 5 Km from the Resort, and can either be reached by walking the hiking trail from the resort, or by driving towards Mt. Keis from where there is only few hundred meters walking into the valley.

Hveradalir are most picturesque and with its variety in colours and landscape formation, it offers a very special mixture of geological formations, glaciers, arctic formations and steam springs. As this is an area with retreating glaciers, the landscape also includes hills that are thawing and gliding downhill, offering unique opportunity to see landscape being formed.    


History

During centuries Kerlingarfjoll were viewed as remote and not so friendly place, named as Bad Weather Mountains. Kerlingarfjöll were neither visited nor explored, although the nearby Kjölur area or rather the Old Kjölur Road served as one of the main connections between North and South Iceland. The road or rather the track was on the western side of the Kjölur Area Passing Hvítárnes hut and from there to Hveravellir.

The first sources of information on the area came around 1890, when scientists, both Icelandic and foreign started to visit the mountain area. In the 1930ies the Kjölur road was developed, primarily to transport fence material to lay fences used to separate sheep’s from crossing the area between the north and the south. In 1933 a major step was taken when the bridge over Hvita River was constructed, but the river had always been the most challenging obstacle on the Kjölur road. Three years later or in 1936, it is believed that the first vehicle came to Ásgarður.

Soon after or in 1938, the first hut in Ásgarður was constructed, where the Icelandic Trekking Association built the first half of what we today call the FI house, the first hut on the right when arriving into the valley.  

A most important moment came on the 15th of July 1961, when a group of tourists came to Kerlingarfjöll to practice Skiing. This group, which stayed in Kerlingarfjöll for one week, was headed by three gentlemen, Mr. Valdimar Örnólfsson, Mr. Eiríkur Haraldsson and Mr. Sigurður Guðmundsson. Soon after Valdimar, Eiríkur and Sigurður decided to move forward with the idea of establishing a summer ski school in Kerlingarfjöll, which they did in a very successful way. It is the spirit and enthusiasm of these three gentlemen, together with their five other business partners and rapidly growing number of friends and well-wishers that did build Kerlingarfjoll as a popular recreational site during the latter part of the 20th century.  

From 1964 to 1990 almost all of the buildings in the valley were built, apart from the FI house as previously mentioned. 

By the year 2000, global warming had though destroyed the commercial backbone of the Ski School, the snow was gone, left was and is landscape that compares in beauty, structural variety and colours with most other tourist destination in the Highlands of Iceland. 


Where are Kerlingarfjöll

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