Ásbyrgi- the Horseshoe Canyon

F1000020asbyrgiAbout 50 miles east of Húsavík in northern Iceland is a magnificent horseshoe-shaped canyon filled with small willow and birch trees. It is located inside the enourmous Vatnajökull National Park. When we were there in late June, the forest floor was covered with purple and yellow flowers. It’s no wonder legend considers this the capital of the “hidden folk” (huldufólk). An even older legend says that the unique shape of the canyon was created when the Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse of the the Norse god Odin, set one of his hooves down onto the ground on his way somewhere important. F1000023asbyrgiYou can get to the canyon on paved road by going all the way up to Húsavík and around the peninsula on 85. However, if you have an SUV and are feeling adventurous (check and check for us), you can take the beautiful and bumpy gravel road that continues beyond Dettifoss. I don’t think it took much longer than an hour.
F1000022asbyrgiWe just wandered about the serene canyon, enjoying the trees (not a lot of those in Iceland) nestled in between canyon walls reaching as high as 100 meters (328 feet). However, if you’re feeling up to it, you can hike up the rock in the middle of the horseshoe, Eyjan (the island). I’m guessing the view from there would be spectacular. Speaking of which, shooting only from inside the canyon, I didn’t get any shots that really show you how incredible it is as a whole, so click here to see “the view.”F1000007asbyrgi [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click this link to see more pictures from this trip up to northern Iceland. ]

One thought on “Ásbyrgi- the Horseshoe Canyon

  1. I hope you got a chance to talk to the ravens. This is my favourite spot in the whole world, and the ravens are great talkers.

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