I want to hike to places like Myrdasjokull, etc. on my own without a guide in winter. Is this allowed?

  • 1
    Is this really that broad? Iceland does not have that many places with really different rules regarding hiking, does it? If there is any such rule in the first place.
    – Vince
    Jan 24, 2015 at 23:07
  • Myrdasjokull was an example but I meant hiking in Icelandic trails in general.
    – epiclapser
    Jan 25, 2015 at 6:00

2 Answers 2


I don't know when you are plannig to go to Iceland. Winter in Iceland is 6 month wide from November to May and is not the same you go in January (really cold to camp outside and almost no light) than you go in April (14 hours of light and very cold, but possible to camp with proper camp material). But these are safety reasons to do the trek or not and you ask about regulations.

A group of five people stayed last year in April in Iceland (still winter). Basically we did treks and visited public places arround the island on our own. Before to go we asked about this to the icelanic official tourism website people without response. When we were on site, we asked the same in the airport Tourist Information Center and they stated that there is no regulations about wild camping, trekking or other nature activities other than clean everything and don't enter private properties. Of course, anything you do is at your own risk and if you don't have an insurance you may end paying a lot of money for your adventure.

Anyway, if you dare to do it on your own, you will find nobody on your way except in some touristic places. We were almost alone trekking in Glymur, Krafla, Dimmuborgir, Svartifoss, Skaftafell.... The picture is when we walked on the glacier, we happen to meet the official guides and nobody of them try us to abandon our walk (sorry for the logo, I don't have the original image here).

If you look very close, you can see my friends in the photo

  • Thanks for the great reply, at present I am still in school, but I am planing years ahead, I plan on taking mountaineering, and hiking classes, and I do plan on bringing crampons. I want to go sometime around December.
    – epiclapser
    Jan 26, 2015 at 16:26
  • Take into account that in December you'll have only 4 hours daylight: timeanddate.com/sun/iceland/reykjavik?month=12
    – Ivan
    Jan 26, 2015 at 16:29
  • Well yes but then again you can only go into the glaciers during the winter months, would you please tell me if there is a more suitable winter month, I chose winter because the arifare seemed super low, plus the araura boreallis
    – epiclapser
    Jan 26, 2015 at 16:30
  • 1
    We walked on the glacier in April and I believe you can do all year long. Check daylight times, medium temperatures and airfares and decide yourself. We choose April having all these variables into account.
    – Ivan
    Jan 26, 2015 at 18:35
  • Did I say glaciers, I meant Ice Caves , and yes though it is preferable to go in April, I think Iceland is another world during the winter solstice, and once again I've got many years to learn the essential skills
    – epiclapser
    Jan 26, 2015 at 20:48

I don't know of any rule that forbids hiking in winter. However, since Iceland is dark, cold and wet during winter months, there aren't many tourists around. You may have some difficulties getting around, not only because there are less people around but also because roads can be closed down due to heavy snow fall.

Also, finding a place to stay is harder during winter months. Again: Not too many tourists around, so some places just close down during winter and open up again in summer.

But to keep things short: Yes, it is possible to go hiking, even in winter. But it will be harder to get around.

  • I know that plenty of people get into plenty of trouble hiking on their own or in groups around what they call mountains in the UK. Hiking on your own in the winter in Iceland sounds like a recipe for disaster.
    – gnasher729
    Jan 26, 2015 at 11:38
  • If you stay near the Ring Road there shouldn't be too much trouble (except for closed down roads, attractions, hostels... of course). Hiking in the highlands of Iceland sounds like a really stupid idea, no matter what time of the year it is.
    – waka
    Jan 26, 2015 at 12:13
  • I mainly want to Hike to places like Myrdasjokull, and Skaftafell, and Reydsingar and I start like 5 years from now so.... ya
    – epiclapser
    Jan 26, 2015 at 13:28
  • @gnasher729: surprisingly, my couchsurfers reported even in winter, that hitching a ride to get from A to B was relatively easy. However, if you get off the main roads it will get nearly impossible. May 18, 2015 at 8:49

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