Many Visitors Miss the Rock Formations and Gorge of Brúarhlöð in Iceland

The mighty river — which is known as Hvitá — carved its way through the solid rock over the centuries to form the rock formations and the intricately entwined gorge known as Brúarhlöð, which is not all that far from the popular Golden Circle area of Iceland; but it is hidden and therefore its existence is unknown by tourists.

Many Visitors Miss the Rock Formations and Gorge of Brúarhlöð in Iceland

Brúarhlöð Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

With its origin directly underneath Langjökull glacier, the powerful Hvitá — which means white river in Icelandic — may be best known for feeding into the popular Gullfoss waterfall; but then, the stunning beauty of which Iceland is comprised is not just about waterfalls.

Brúarhlöð Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Breccia is rock composed of broken fragments of minerals or rock cemented together by a fine-grained matrix which can be similar to or different from the composition of the fragments; and at Brúarhlöð, it was formed by tectonic and volcanic forces, which gives the gorge its unique look.

Brúarhlöð Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

From the entrance to Brúarhlöð, simply hike up a short path towards the left until you reach the natural observation point in order to enjoy a breathtaking view over the canyon and Hvitá river…

Brúarhlöð Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…but as you can see by the photographs, no barriers exist between you and the gorge — meaning that you should not get too close to the edge, as the winds can be quite powerful at times. If you are not careful, the strong winds will not be the only thing at Brúarhlöð which moves you.

Brúarhlöð Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

You can also choose to walk to the shores of the river itself and still look over most of the gorge.

Brúarhlöð Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The original bridge which crossed over the river at Brúarhlöð was built in 1906, but it was destroyed in the winter of 1929. The second bridge was washed away in 1930. The bridge which currently carries traffic on Highway 30 over the river was built 1959 — and many of the people crossing it have no idea that Brúarhlöð even exists.

Brúarhlöð Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Rafting is a popular sport by visitors on the Hvitá river. Moreover, rumor has it that two of the big rock stacks in the gorge are actually two trolls called Karl and Kerling, who watch over the area.

Brúarhlöð Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Having basically had Brúarhlöð all to myself up to this point, visitors arrived to hike up the aforementioned short path to access the observation point…

Brúarhlöð Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…and as I already seen all that I needed to see, the arrival of the visitors signaled my time to leave.

Brúarhlöð Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Summary

Brúarhlöð is located off of highway 30 approximately 114 kilometers east and slightly north of the city center of Reykjavík. Driving time is approximately one hour and 35 minutes each way.

There are no facilities and no admission or parking fees to enjoy Brúarhlöð; so you can stay as long as you like, as it is technically open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Give yourself a minimum of 30 minutes to enjoy the natural beauty of Brúarhlöð.

All photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

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