Laugevagur hike Iceland – day 0 AGAIN

Stuck in Landmannalaugar

Though it had rained all night off and on, it hadn’t rained hard. I was optimistic poking my head outside the tent in the morning.

No go. 

Recommendation from the information office was that we should stay in camp another night. Forecast for the following day was “improving“.

Sigh …

A hiker recently died on this section during a big storm.

I did grab a cancellation for a spot in the 110 bed tourist hut operated by Ferdafelag Islands. (Others had booked at least 6 months in advance.)

In fact, I got in early and had my pick. Farthest from the door, against the wall. It cost $90 – no meals. The most expensive bunkbed of my life. Tenting is $20 / person.

Landmannalaugar tent city was packed.

Many — including me — heeded the advice that we should stay. As day hikers rolled in it got more and more crowded.

At the time I trusted the advice. They know a lot about alpine rescue here.

So … a lazy day to read my book. Take a nap. And, of course, do the rest of the local day hikes.

I made my own routes including parts of the Sulphur Wave trail (towards Brennisteinsalda). Wandered the Laugahraun lava fields. I climbed part way up Blue Peak (Bláhnjúkur).

The weather never really got any worse.

In fact, this was some of my best hiking of the trip.

I enjoyed another hot springs soak, of course.

And hung out in the cook tent as late as possible. Before climbing into my warm, comfortable bunkbed. Those out in tents were getting soaked.

If you want to know more, check out HOW TO VISIT AND WHERE TO HIKE IN LANDMANNALAUGAR, ICELAND.

Laugevagur hike Iceland – day 0

Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar

Years ago I tried and failed to do this hike. Roads and rivers were impassable in June of that season.

Since then it’s been near the top of my bucket list.

Click PLAY or watch on YouTube to see why.

I bought my fuel at Iceland Camping Equipment in Reykjavík. It’s VERY expensive.

Later I learned that every hostel and campsite has plenty of free fuel canisters left behind by foreign hikers who will soon fly out.

I enjoyed my last restaurant meal – traditional Icelandic meat soup.

There are a number of ways to get to Landmannalaugar. Reykavik Expeditions and TREX are the two biggest bus services.

I went early to catch the 4pm bus. … Last bus leaves at 1pm. Never believe anything you read on the internet.

click for bigger map

click for bigger map

Next morning I was surprised to see young people from Alaska loading bikes. I’d not heard of people cycling Laugevagur. Turns out it’s a bad idea.

Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar is about 4 hours … if you don’t get stuck.

It would be FUN to drive your own rental monster truck.

Landmannalaugar is a sprawling mess of a campsite.

While the rest of the world was suffering a heat wave, Iceland has had the worst summer weather in recorded history (100 years).

Forecast was not good. We worried whether or not we’d be able to attempt the hike.

I put my Hubba up on a platform in case of flood during the night.

At the information office you can buy a crappy day hiking map for about $3.

Most recommended is the Suournamur loop (about 9km). I first took a detour up the Ljiotipollur ‘Ugly Puddle’ trail and found myself this lookout for lunch. Ljiotipollur is an explosion crater lake.

If you find any trail crowded in Iceland, you only need walk a few minutes on any side trail to feel like you have the island to yourself.

Suournamur trail is gorgeous. It climbs up above the campsite.

I left a Summit Stone atop one of the cairns.

Not much can live up here.

I really liked this ridge walk section.

I got my feet wet on the river crossing after coming down. Situation normal hiking Iceland.

The highlight of Landmannalaugar for many are the natural hot springs.

FIRST you need to get there down a long boardwalk without freezing.

Having had hernia surgery just a week prior, I wasn’t suppose to soak the wound … but couldn’t resist.

When weather is bad, everyone crowds into the warm, bright cook tent.

After having dinner with a lovely couple from Austria, I hit the tent early hoping for good weather next morning. Forecast was for a BIG STORM. ☹️

great Hot Springs in the USA

Guest content contributed by Keilah Keiser.

The United States is home to over 1,661 known thermal springs across the country. Some are far too hot to soak, others have been turned into weekend wellness resorts that will melt your worries away while others have been left “au natural” — tucked away in nature.

Because hot springs are a product of geothermal heat, they are often found in areas with unique geological locations. Most hot springs in the U.S. are found west of the Colorado Rockies. Tucked away at the base of snow-capped mountains, among acres of protected forest, perched above whitewater rivers or set in the middle of grassy plains, hot springs are defined by the landscapes that surround them.

So how do hikers go about finding these hot springs?

While locations that have been turned into weekend resort getaways are easy to locate with a local director GPS on your phone, more remote locations are not. From California to Colorado and even farther north, hikers can use this guide to help plan their road trip and scout out some of the best and off-the-beaten-path-soaks in the Western U.S.

Click over to this page for Google map links for each destination.

Laugavegur trek, Iceland

I’m starting Iceland’s most famous walk July 24, 2018. Wish me luck.

My first attempt a few years ago failed. Wanting to hike in June, the trails were far too muddy.

One of the best hikes in the world is the Laugavegur

 (Landmannalaugar to Skógar route)

by clesenne

by clesenne

AT A GLANCE

  • IcelandIceland‘s best hike
  • weird and wonderful landscapes
  • best route is Skógar – Landmannalaugar 77km (48mi) in 4-6 days in either direction
  • shorter options 55km (34mi) or 22km (13.6mi)
  • tent or sleep in huts
  • permits not required
  • steep rough, rocky and slippery slopes
  • in good weather, this trek is only moderately difficult
  • up to 100 hikers starting each day during high season July and August
  • it can be dangerous in bad weather. About every second year someone dies.

Click PLAY or watch Alastair Humphrey’s highlights on Vimeo.

Check our Laugavegur information page on how to organize this adventure for yourself.

Stingy Nomads do Fish River Canyon, Namibia

We updated our Fish River information page based on Stingy Nomad’s recent trip report:

Some guide books says this is the toughest hike in Africa …

Fish River is definitely a hike to add to your must do hiking list.

Total distance of Fish River canyon hike 86km, the river itself is longer but due to many shortcuts your walking distance is about 14km less. …

Fish River canyon hike, Namibia. Itinerary, tips, map

Ausangate Trek, Peru

Drew posted the best Ausangate page we’ve yet seen.

Ausangate is one of our top 10 hikes in the world.

Distance: 42.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 9406 ft
Minimum Elevation: 12498 ft
Maximum Elevation: 16,828 ft
Time: 5 days
Permits: No
Visa: Single entry tourist visa to Peru for US citizens
Trail Condition: Wide fired road on the start which narrows to single track and alpaca trails
Cell Phone Reception: None

Trail to Peak – A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE AUSANGATE TREK

If you are considering this amazing adventure, that page is MUST READ.

3 beautiful places for Hiking in Japan

guest post by Louise Brown

Japan offers many beautiful hiking trails. After all, the land is full of mountains, volcanic peaks, valleys, and many other landscapes.

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What’s more is that most of these places have some significant religious and cultural influence that will make your journey even richer.

#1 Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trails

Kumano Kodo is a network of pilgrimage routes in South Kansai Region, particularly in the mountainous Kii Peninsula. The trails on each course vary in difficulty level and will lead you to any of the Kumano shrines.

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Though the intention is to reach these shrines, the trails in themselves are quite a religious experience.

There are five different routes: Nakahechi, Ohechi, Iseji, Kohechi, and Omine Okugake.

• Nakahechi is somewhat an easy hike that ends an extraordinary view of the shine and the torii gate. The trail goes through hills, forested landscapes, and some local villages. It starts from Tanabe and is about 35 kilometers to Hong.

• Ohechi is an entirely different view because it follows the coast of the Kii Peninsula. However, parts of the original route no longer exist because of modern roads being built. Still, it offers quite an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. It starts from Tanabe and ends in Nachi Taisha.

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• The Iseji trails start from the east coast of Ki Peninsula. It connects Ise shrine to the Kumano. Like Ohechi, parts of the original trail were replaced with modern roads, but you will still encounter many scenic views. It will bring you through a bamboo forest, rice fields, and some beaches.

• Kohechi is a trail that connects Kumano with Mount Koya. This trail is 70 kilometers long and is quite challenging because of the many steep slopes. There are hardly any lodging or villages along the way, so better not do it alone.

• The Omine Okugake trail is another challenging and dangerous, even to the most experienced hikers. It connects Kumano to Mount Omine and Yoshina, which is in the Nara Prefecture. Like Kohechi, this trail barely passes any towns or villages.

#2 Mt. Fuji

One of Japan’s most famous places is an almost perfectly shaped volcano, Mt. Fuji.

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It’s also the highest peak of the country, rising to 3776 meters. Many people climb this active volcano each year, especially during July and August (hiking season). Outside of these months are not a safe time to hike up the volcano, but there are some shorter trails around the area. Of course, it’s nothing like reaching the summit of Mt. Fuji, but they’re still pretty amazing trails.

The climb to the summit doesn’t require any particular skill. It has some steep and rocky points, as well as areas where there may be falling rocks and sudden gusts of wind. However, the most challenging part of the climb is that it is exhausting. Also, the air gets thinner as you get higher up, which doesn’t help with the exhaustion.

Other than that, the ascent will be relatively manageable. You may not need to hire a guide because you’ll probably be hiking with many other people. There are four different trails up to the summit and with ten different stations. Overall, it takes roughly about 5-10 hours to ascend, and about 2-6 hours to descend, depending on your route. For more information, you can go here.

#3 Yakushima

Japan is full of beautiful places, but Yakushima has got to be one of the best ones. After all, it isn’t a UNESCO World Heritage site for nothing. On the coast are beautiful beaches and onsens (hot springs), while the deeper parts of the island are mountainous. With the diversity it offers, it’s got to be one of the best places to hike in Japan.

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There are many trails all throughout the island. One of the most popular ones is the one that takes you to the oldest cedar tree in the Isle, Jomonsugi. It’s only 25 meters tall, but the trunk is huge – 5 meters in diameter! On your way to Jomonsugi, you will see other famous trees, including the Meotosugi, which looks like a couple embracing. Then there’s Diosugi, one of the largest ones on the island, and Wilson’s Stump, which is a hollow remains of a giant cedar.

Aside from hiking, the island also offers other activities and attractions. To name a few, there’s snorkeling, waterfalls, hot springs, and scuba diving. Around the months of June and July, you might be able to see some sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs. But you will need to make special arrangements or guided tours to see them.

Conclusion

Now, most of these trails are not for the faint-of-heart. It will require some levels of fitness and preparation. You will need a backpack and comfortable footwear fit for the hike and the weather. You will also need proper protective clothes, especially for rain and for the cold.

So, there you have it – three of the most beautiful places in Japan for hiking. There is so much more, but this is what we’ve got. We’d love to hear about your experiences and your favorite trails too. So, let us know by commenting below.

Author Bio

image012Louise is the founder of TheAdventureLand.com, where she and her associates blog about Outdoor experiences, tips & tricks that will help you have an exciting adventure. She is also a tour guide of travel company where she learned many things about wilderness. “Let’s pack our bags and explore the world!”. Follow me on Twitter and on Google+.