Grábrók crater Iceland – all you need to know

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This majestic volcanic crater is part of Ljósufjöll- one of Iceland’s most extended volcanic complexes. The 170-meter crater is located on the seven km-long volcanic fissure in the Grábrókarhraun lava field and is the largest crater in this area. The other two craters there, Grábrókarfell and Litla Grábrók, are slightly smaller than Grábrók itself.

Is it possible to climb to the top of the Grábrók crater?

All three craters, Grábrók, Rauðbrók and Smábrók, are easily accessible and have excellent hiking trails for advanced and less advanced hikers. The trail is quite steep, but with steps installed, the walk is much easier than it used to be.

How long does it take to get to the top of the Grábrók crater?

The hike takes about 30 minutes and once you reach the crater, you can admire the moss-covered lava fields in the Borgarfjörður area. 

History of the Grábrók crater

The Grábrók crater was formed about 3,400 years ago, and as previously mentioned – it belongs to Ljósufjöll volcanic system. This area extends from the Berserkjahraun lava field on the northern peninsula of Snaefellsnes, through the Ljósufjöll mountains to the Grábrók crater. Stretched at a distance of 90 km, Ljósufjöll is one of the largest volcanic systems in Iceland. This volcanic area’s last known eruption occurred about 1,000 years ago and lava from this eruption has dammed the river Norðurá, pushing the original river to the east. Lake Hreðavatn also was formed by the lava that dammed the nearby valley.

How to get to the Grábrók crater?

Grabrok is located on the west coast of Iceland, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes from the capital city (Reykjavik). The best route from the capital:

  • take ring road number 1 towards Borgarnes,
  • near the village of Bifröst, turn at the sign Hreðavatn,
  • there, you can park your car on the side of the road, but you can also drive a bit further. Take ring road number 1 and you will see the crater on the left. If you’re looking for parking, it’s best to go to Grábrók bílastæði (Grábrók car park). This car park is near a petrol station and it takes only a few minutes to walk to the Grábrók crater.
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