The Grundarfoss Hike, yet another Snæfellsnes Gem, Iceland

Grundarfoss (70m) is yet another beautiful waterfall in the Snæfellsnes peninsula that you can hike to. It’s that huge-looking waterfall you can see from the road if you are driving to or from Grundarfjordur.

Grundarfoss, a waterfall you can only hike to


However, it is on private lands and in a gated area, but it is still possible to visit it. The out-and-back hike to Grindarfoss takes about 40-50 minutes, and it is an easy one as it is.

If you have planned to visit Kirkjufellsfoss and are wondering what else to do around Grundarfjörður, you should put Grundarfoss on your list. After all, it’s just a 10-minute drive from Kirkjufellsfoss.

Detail of a powerful waterfall in Iceland



Table of Contents


Overview of the Grundarfoss Hike & Map

The hike is essentially flat and follows the Grundará River upstream up to the waterfall. You can get close to it, though beware of the water spray next to it; it is rather intense. This also means it’s wet and slippery, so practice caution.

Max Altitude  81 m
Distance  3.39 KM
Elevation gain  90 m ↑ / 90 m ↓
Hike time  00:40/ 00:50  Hours
Hike Difficulty  Easy

Here is the map of the Hike to Grundarfoss:

How to get to Grundarfoss and Parking

So, how do you get to Grundarfoss? I think most people skip it and I did too a few times. The trail is behind a closed gate and it feels a bit like trespassing, which may be hindering the popularity of this waterfall a bit.

  • Driving Directions: located directly on Road 54, the only way to get there is either going to or away from
  • Parking: there is a relatively big parking area right by the side of Road 54 You can’t miss it. Parking is free.
  • Public Transport: Bus 82, stop Grundarfjörður. Essentially you’d have to walk from Grundarfjörður to the trailhead, which is an additional 20-minute walk. Check for the bus schedule.
Hiking trail leading to the waterfall Grundarfoss which can be seen in the background.

The last part of the hiking trail to Grundarfoss

The Grundarfoss Hiking Trail

First of you will have to cross the gate, make sure you close it properly behind you, as there may be animals in the pasture.

The trail isn’t marked, but it is very visible and easy to follow. Keep going in the general direction of the waterfall, until you reach a fenced-off area. You should see the only sign you’ll find on this hike, telling you to run left to reach the waterfall.

Grundara river and Grundarfoss waterfall in the background

Crossing the river is needed, but it should be easily doable without getting wet.

You can follow the fence for maybe 50 meters until you meet the Grundará River. You’d need to follow it upstream for a bit until you have to cross it. The river is rather wide and isn’t very deep, and you should be able to hop your way onto the other side without getting wet, though check the water levels before doing so.

Once you’re on the other side, follow the river upstream again. As you get closer to it, the sound of the waterfall will become louder and louder and the small gorge the waterfall falls into amplifies its sound.

As you approach the waterfall, the trail will become rockier and you may need to help yourself up using your hands. You can get very close to the waterfall, but it would be like standing in the rain

As an alternative, if you are staying at the Kirkjufell Guesthouse, you can hike to the waterfall directly from there.

A person dressed in black standing below a waterfall in Iceland.

The Grundarfoss Hike Photos and Photography Tips

While Grundarfoss is a beautiful waterfall, there aren’t that many vantage points or angles to photograph this waterfall. Still, quite fun to look for different compositions and perspectives.

There are a couple of places you can get close to the Grundara River too. However, there isn’t a very good view of the waterfall from there.

Grundarfoss waterfall in the Snaefellsness peninsula

Grundarfoss, panoramic image made with four frames.

It’s kind of hard to properly capture the real size of the waterfall, even adding a human element. Somehow it always ends up looking smaller than it is.

I can’t get my head around why that is exactly, but perhaps the size of the huge basalt columns around it contributes to that.

You’d need an ultra-wide lens to capture it all in one frame; the waterfall is big and barely fits a 14mm frame up close.

Also, due to its position it does not catch much light, some in mid-late afternoon depending on the season.

Vertical photo of Grundarfoss, a waterfall framed by black basalt columns in Iceland.

A somewhat small-looking waterfall – keep in mind the waterfall is 70m high!

Grundarfoss waterfall at the end of the Hiking trail

Waterfall in Iceland seen form below with clouds in the sky in the background.

Detail of a powerful waterfall in Iceland

man watching a waterfall in iceland

Where to stay

The Kirkjufell Guesthouse is by far the closest option; within walking distance! Otherwise, there are plenty of options around; this corner of the Snaefellsness peninsula has no shortage of hotels, guesthouses, and the like. The closest campsite is in Grundarfjörður and there’s another one in Olafsvik.

Additional Resources