In the second half of September, I am travelling from Kerlingarfjöll (Iceland) back to civilisation. Two taxi companies have quoted a price of ISK 125000 (€1052) by road and €1650 by air respectively, so I have decided it's cheaper to hitch-hike even if it means missing my flight and having to book a new last-minute flight to the UK (I have also considered the costs of car rental or of bringing a bike, which all (far) exceed the likely cost of missing a flight).

How many cars pass per day over Kjölur Route F35? I'd be hitch-hiking from here.

Walking to the nearest bus-stop is around 90 km so should be 3 days.


The Icelandic Road And Coastal Administration operates several weather and traffic counting stations and publish the data on their web site. The nearest station is in Kolka, close to Blöndulón a bit further north from where you are going. As you can see from the published data, there is not exactly heavy traffic on the road, only some 120-140 vehicles/day and this includes traffic in both directions. I would not expect there to be substantially more traffic further south near Kerlingarfjöll.

What you also may take into consideration, though unlikely, is that the road is closed. The road is only open during the summer months and will at some point be permanently closed for the winter. I can't find the closing dates for the last years, but I would guess that the road is usually closed around the beginning of October, if winter comes early, the road will also be closed earlier. It may also be closed on short notice due to bad weather.

  • 120-140 vehicles/day is today, though. How about historical data from say, last September? I expect it will be much less in September than in July. 120–140 would be about 100× more than anecdotal evidence from a person cycling it in the early 1990s, and more than where I hitchhiked the Ring Road two years ago. I expect the road will not yet be closed for winter.
    – gerrit
    Jul 7 '17 at 10:27
  • Of course we should expect traffic to have increased dramatically since the early 1990s, considering how much tourism in Iceland has grown explosively in recent years. The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration likely has historical data on traffic numbers at such stations, so if Iceland has anything like the Freedom of Information Act it should be possible to obtain such information if I ask them.
    – gerrit
    Jul 7 '17 at 10:38
  • @gerrit Yes, it is not unlikely that most of the current traffic is from tourists and that there will be much less going on in September. It does not seem to be possible to query historical data online, but you could of course write the Road Administration a mail and see if they can help you with data from last year. Jul 7 '17 at 10:59
  • I've send them an e-mail asking if they can tell me how many cars passed at Kolka 24 September 2016.
    – gerrit
    Jul 7 '17 at 11:15

I checked the website Tor-Einar linked frequently throughout summer and autumn, and (from memory) found:

  • July-mid August: 100–150 per day
  • Late August, early September: 60–120 per day
  • mid-late September: 30–60 per day
  • October: 10–40 per day
  • Early November: 1–10 per day (either the road is still open, or those are all superjeeps who travel whether the road is open or not)
  • 13 November onward: 0, road closed

This is in both directions.

In the event, the very first car that passed me offered me a ride, even without me raising my thumb.

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