Stigafoss is a beautiful, somewhat hidden waterfall that can be reached with a short hike. In a way, this waterfall is similar to Seljalandsfoss, even if smaller. This is mostly because there is a small cave behind it, where you can walk into.
The beautiful Stigafoss Waterfall
Located on road F249 in the south of Iceland, you will need a car suitable for the Icelandic F-roads to reach it. Also, there are at least three small rivers/streams to cross to get there. Possibly more if it recently rained.
So it isn’t the easiest place to reach, which is probably one of the reasons why this waterfall isn’t more popular. Still, if you can visit this off-the-beaten-path location, the time it takes to get there will be well spent. You’ll likely have the waterfall all to yourself!
I could not find any final data about its heigh, but it is likely around 20m.
Before getting into the details, here are a couple of fun facts:
- You may see this waterfall’s name spelled as Sticafoss. This appears to be the case for most other blogs. This appears to be incorrect since the Icelandic alphabet does not have the letter C. So the closes appear to be Stigafoss, but none of the topo maps I bought in Iceland have a name for this waterfall. This waterfall may actually be officially unnamed.
- This is not to be confused with the other Stigafoss waterfall in the Vatnajökull National Park. Although the other Stigafoss waterfall is a very beautiful one, make sure you are heading to the correct one :)!
The other, also very beautiful Stigafoss in the Vatnajökull National Park.
How to get to Stigafoss and Parking
This is a bit of a detour from Road One the drive will take about 30 minutes from Seljalandsfoss. Keep in mind this road is only for F-roads cars. Still, not all the rental companies will allow you to drive on road f-249, so check with them before heading there.
Also, there are at least three small river crossings when I was there. The first two are small, the third one a little bigger.
- Driving Directions: from Seljalandsfoss keep following the road until it turns into a gravel road, which will progressively get worse. Keep driving past the Nauthúsagil parking. Keep driving until you see the waterfall on your right. Shortly after you will see a dirt track on your right too. This is a rather right track with deep ruts in some areas, more suitable for a car with higher clearance.
- Parking: You’ll find a small parking area at the end of the dirt track. It’s rather small, but there is space for 2-3 cars. I’d recommend reversing the car before leaving for the trail, just in case anyone else comes after.
- Public Transport: no public transport options to this location. To my knowledge, there are no tours that include this waterfall either.
The very rough, dirt track along f-249leading to the small parking area by the trailhead. You can see the waterfall in the background.
The Stigafoss Waterfall Trail
As you leave the parking area, you will first have to cross a small stream, the same one as the waterfall. Unless the volume of water in the creek is particularly high, you should be able to cross it without getting your feet wet.
The small stream at the beginning of the trail.
There is a very visible trail you can follow all the way up to the waterfalls, so no chance you can miss it. Once you get to the waterfall, you can also walk behind it. It’s rather ‘rainy’ behind the waterfall, more than other similar ones in Iceland.
This is a relatively pristine location, so stay on the trail and leave no traces!
Behind the waterfall, which is where the trail ends.
The Stigafoss Hike Photos and Photography Tips
Stigafoss is located in a lush green valley and the whole environment is one of those typical Icelandic landscapes where you may expect elves or trolls to be around. So hold on you your lens caps just in case a troll is around :)!
Jokes aside, weather permitting I’d try to capture or reproduce that kind of mood or type of scene for this location. I hope I managed to capture it a bit.
Another Drone shot.
In summer, the wqter4fall will be surrounded by green lush vegetation.
Behind the waterfall, which is where the trail ends.
Panoramic image from behind the waterfall, four frames.
Viewpoint on a small ledge by the waterfall.
It’s also possible to capture the waterfall from behind, but it just barely fits a 14mm frame. Probably best to just go for a panorama in that case.
I didn’t go off trail to the riverbed to not leave off-trail traces. However, it is perhaps possible to get there too by walking the river upstream for a bit. I’m sure there are good compositions from there too.
Time flew taking photos here. It’s a very beautiful spot and I also spent some time just sitting there on a rock, just soaking it all in before hitting the road again.
Stigafoss Waterfall Drone Video
Here is a short drone video from this location.
Map of the Stigafoss Hike
Here is the map of the hike, you really don’t need a GPS track here, but it can be useful to get to the trailhead.
Where to stay
No real need to stay anywhere nearby; you can visit this location in less than half a day. There are however a few cabins and guest houses along Þórsmerkurvegur. Beware of booking with the Volcano huts though; that requires crossing the Krossa River.
Nothing wrong with the Volcano huts, I’ve stayed there myself but the Krossa River is a deep and notoriously dangerous river to cross, even for large 4X4 vehicles. I only mentioned this because if you look for a place to stay in the area on Booking.com, that location also comes up.
- Do not miss to visit Nauthúsagil and Nauthúsafoss either on the way to or from Stigafoss.
- Check out more Photo Hikes in Iceland here.
- Discover the best hiking books and guides on Iceland.
Car or Camper Van Rentals
I can definitely recommend two companies here:
- Cars: Blue Car Rental, which is the largest Car rental company in Iceland, and for good reasons. Free Cancellation, Unlimited mileage, 24-hour breakdown assistance, SCDW, CDW, TP, and GP insurance are included in the price. Blue Car Rental is also located within walking distance of the Keflavik Airport, so you can be on your way to explore Iceland right away. I’ve always been happy with my rentals there, which is why I’m happy to recommend their services here on my blog.
- Camper Vans: CampEasy. With CampEasy, you can rent 2WD or 4×4 campers alike. With a raised Chassis, larger tires, and extra insurance with reduced liability for river crossing, their 4X4 campers are the best choice for your trip into the Highlands. Their Website also provides extensive information about roads you can take and instructions on river crossings. Perfect choice for a hiking holiday in the highlands!
These are my two favorite companies in each respective rental area, which I why I am happy to recommend both here. If you also like this blog, booking through them is a great way to support it. I’ll get a small commission fee at no additional cost, so you can essentially support the running costs of this blog for free too.