How to Visit Háifoss With a Small Car
Háifoss was one of my favorite sights in all of Iceland. Between its dual waterfalls, sheer cliffs and majestic valley, it’s hard not to like such a magnificent place! After my post about driving the Iceland Ring Road, a lot of people asked me about how to visit Háifoss. The truth is, it’s not the most accessible place in Iceland, but thankfully it’s not located on an AWD-only F road, which means that any vehicle is fair game. Read more to find out how to visit Háifoss!
All About Háifoss
At a height of 122 meters. Háifoss is Iceland’s third largest waterfall, and up until a few years ago it was thought to be the second largest! Háifoss is actually two waterfalls for the price of one, both coming from the river Fossá. It is possible to hike down to the bottom of the falls, but if you are traveling the entire Golden Circle that day then it might be too large of a time commitment. Regardless, the view from the top is worth the detour on its own, and I took some of my best pictures of my whole trip from the top of Háifoss.
How To Visit Háifoss
It’s located near the Golden Circle, so it incorporates nicely into a day tour of that area. Alternatively, if you’d like to make a full day of your visit, it’s only a 2 hour drive from Reykjavik.
How To Visit Háifoss From The Golden Circle
Driving along the Golden Circle, Háifoss should be your next stop after visiting Geysir. Head south on Highway 35 until you reach a turnoff for Highway 359 for Flúðir. Turn left on Highway 359 and continue south through Flúðir. Highway 359 will soon turn into Highway 30, where you’ll stay until you’re roughly 7 miles past Flúðir. When you reach the first left turn after clearing civilization, you’ll turn on to Highway 32. If you feel lost at this point, don’t worry, there’s a very clearly marked and easy to read sign at this turnoff to help you out.
After turning on to Highway 32, stay the course for 25 miles before turning left on to a gravel road towards Háifoss. This will be the road that takes you all the way to the waterfalls. Drive down the road for 4 miles (it will take longer than you think) and turn left into the parking lot for Háifoss.
How To Visit Háifoss From Reykjavik
The directions for visiting Háifoss from Reykjavik are mostly the same, except you’ll take the Ring Road (highway 1) south until you reach Highway 30, where you’ll turn left. From there, stay on Highway 30 for 11 miles until turning right on Highway 32, where you’ll continue along the same path listed above.
The Road To Háifoss
I wouldn’t be writing an article about how to visit Háifoss with a small car if it didn’t have its challenges! When you first turn onto the gravel road leading to Háifoss, you’ll notice the ride is fairly bumpy. It will only get worse from here. The gravel starts out rough but manageable, nothing that should give anybody any pause no matter what vehicle you’re driving. There’s even a small cafe a short ways down the road as the pitch begins to incline.
Once you pass the cafe, you’ll soon reach a sharp uphill section that will be your first big test. The rocks here resemble stair steps and, if you don’t exercise caution, could dent your oil pan or damage suspension. The best thing you can do here is go slowly and do your best to read the road. Unlocking Kiki has a great image of this section on her site, and, like she mentions, it’s quite a bit rougher than it looks.
If you’ve made it past the stair steps, you can make it the rest of the way with ease. The road will continue to be bumpy and you will have to drive slowly, read the road, and regularly pull over to let 4x4s pass you, but you’ll be able to make it. Maybe you can even give a ride to other travelers who decided to park their car at the stair steps and try to walk to Háifoss!
It will be obvious once you reach the left turn for the Háifoss parking lot. You’ll already be able to see the top of the waterfall from the road, and there will be a sign marking the turnoff. When I visited, my car was the only one in the parking lot without huge ground clearance, illustrating an added bonus that the rough road deters huge crowds!
Taking In The Scenery
Congratulations, you’ve made it! Enjoy one of my favorite waterfalls in all of Iceland. I was extremely fortunate to have incredible weather when I visited Háifoss, resulting in some of the best photos I had taken on my entire month long journey! I ended up spending about an hour there (hey, I had a busy schedule!), but could have easily spent the entire day hiking around.
I thoroughly enjoyed walking along the southern edge of the canyon, taking in the incredible size and scale of these falls. Even though there were other people visiting Háifoss while I was there, the area has so many spectacular viewpoints that you won’t have any problems getting a great shot. Everyone who was there while I was had no problems rotating through the photo spots, and people were also more than happy to take photos of us as well.
If Háifoss is one stop along a busy day on the Iceland Ring Road, then head on over to your next stop! If you’ve made a day trip of Háifoss on its own, then I would love to hear about your adventures hiking around the area and experiencing this incredible place!
Disclosure: Some (not all) of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I will get a commission if you purchase the products they link to. The accommodations listed are the ones I actually stayed in, and I only suggest other places that I think my readers will find helpful.