Litlanesfoss is a waterfall in east Iceland renowned for its surrounding geology.
Visit this waterfall on a self drive tour in Iceland.
Photo by Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir
Litlanesfoss is a two-tier waterfall that, overall, stands at 30 metres tall. This feature is also called Stuðlabergsfoss, which translates to Basalt Column Falls due to the impressive hexagonal basalt columns that the waterfall pours over. These columns are rare features around the world, and those located here are some of the tallest in the country: up to twenty metres each.
Litlanesfoss can be found on a trail that leads to Hengifoss, the third-tallest waterfall in Iceland at 128 metres (420 feet). This route is a relatively easy hike, going over two and a half kilometres, and Litlanesfoss is approximately halfway along it.
As the route is circular, it is well worth it to continue to Hengifoss, which is also geologically fascinating. Rather than basalt columns, it cascades down a cliff where clear layers of strata can be seen. This allows you to look upon red layers of clay interrupted by strips of ash, evidence of volcanic eruptions that occurred centuries ago.
Litlanesfoss is close to Egilsstaðir, the largest town in East Iceland; it can be reached by driving for about half-an-hour to the settlement’s south-west. Though it is not visible from the road, Hengifoss is, and here you will find a car park and the beginning of the trail to Litlanesfoss.
The waterfall and Egilsstaðir are on opposite sides of Lake Lagarfljót. This lake is one of the region’s most beautiful features, renowned for its fishing and folklore. In terms of the latter, it is said to hold terrible wyrm-like creatures, sightings of which have occurred for nearly a millennium.
Also on the far side of Lagarfljót is the largest forest in Iceland, Hallormsstaðaskógur.