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Hrutfjallstindar Mountain Rejseguide

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Skatafell, Iceland
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The Hrutfjallstindar mountain in South Iceland, with a glacier tongue in the foreground.Hrutfjallstindar is a mountain with four peaks in Vatnajokull National Park. 

The Hrutfjallstindar mountain (spelled Hrútfjallstindar in Icelandic) stands tall between the Svinafellsjokull and Skaftafellsjokull glaciers. Though it isn’t as tall as Hvannadalshnukur — Iceland’s highest mountain — it’s one of Iceland’s most scenic mountain destinations.

The majestic peaks and rugged beauty of Hrutfjallstindar make it a must-visit destination for those seeking outdoor thrills and breathtaking views. Its four peaks range in height from 5,760 feet (1,756 meters) to 6,150 feet (1,875 meters) above sea level.

You can see the Hrutfjallstindar mountain on an eight-hour glacier hiking tour of Vatnajokull. You could also visit the mountain on a self-drive tour of Iceland. This seven-day self-drive tour lets you spend time in Vatnajokull National Park and travel to the Hrutfjallstindar mountain at your own pace.

Image from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Berserkur. No edits made.

Why Visit the Hrutfjallstindar Mountain?

The Hrutfjallstindar mountain is worth visiting if you enjoy breathtaking views of towering peaks, dramatic glaciers, and the Oraefajokull volcano. It’s also located right next to Iceland’s tallest mountain, Hvannadalshnukur, meaning visitors can enjoy gorgeous vistas of both.

Climbing the Hrutfjallstindar mountain offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in Iceland’s untamed wilderness. It’s a challenging ascent, but the route doesn’t involve any technical climbing or require mountaineering skills, meaning it’s accessible to those with a good fitness level.

That said, it’s highly recommended that you take an organized tour to visit the Hrutfjallstindar peak. Ascending and descending the peak takes a full day (usually between 14 and 16 hours), and it’s easy to get lost or disoriented if you aren’t familiar with the area. Snow and ice cover the mountaintop, so you’ll need good ice gear like crampons to reach the top.

A row of hikers walking on the snow and ice on the Hrutfjallstindar mountain.

Image from Flickr, Creative Commons, by Glacier Guides. No edits made.

Many companies offer guided climbs — do your research and plan carefully before you set out.

Where Is the Hrutfjallstindar Mountain?

The Hrutfjallstindar mountain is in South Iceland, on the southern edge of Vatnajokull National Park. This area sits within the Highlands, a vast expanse of wilderness covering most of Iceland’s land mass.

How To Reach the Hrutfjallstindar Mountain

Given its remote Highland location, the Hrutfjallstindar mountain can be hard to reach. If you’re traveling from Kirkjubaejarklaustur town, follow the Ring Road counterclockwise (heading northeast) for about 42 miles (68 kilometers). 

After crossing a river, you’ll see an F-road called Svinafellajokulsvegur on your left. Follow it to the end — this is the closest you can get to the mountain in a vehicle. To get a closer look, you’ll need to hike over another (smaller) mountain first.

If you’re joining a mountain tour to climb it, they’ll send you information about the meeting point for your hike.

The Hrutfjallstindar and Hvannadalshnjukur mountains, with the Svinafellsjokull glacier flowing between them.

Image from Flickr, Creative Commons, by Hjalmar Gislason. No edits made.

What Other Attractions Are Near the Hrutfjallstindar Mountain?

Thanks to its location in Vatnajokull National Park, several other attractions are close to the Hrutfjallstindar mountain. 

Skaftafell Nature Reserve is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers hiking trails with various difficulty levels, glacier tours, and stunning viewpoints. The Hrutfjallstindar mountain sits within the nature reserve. It used to be a national park in its own right but was absorbed into Vatnajokull National Park in 2008.

Other sights within Skaftafell include the iconic Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and the Diamond Beach. These magnificent natural attractions are among the most famous in Iceland. Large chunks of ice break off the tongue of the Breidamerkurjokull glacier and float in the Jokulsarlon lake. Many of these icebergs float ashore onto the Diamond Beach, standing tall and proud like enormous gemstones. 

The Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon at sunset.The Svartifoss waterfall is also located close to the Hrutfjallstindar mountain. This beautiful cascade is known for the hexagonal basalt columns surrounding it. It’s really quite a striking view and well worth visiting while you’re in the area.

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