Litli Hrútur Volcano: Visiting the Eruption Site 2023

On July 10th, a new eruption started in Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland, and many travelers want to visit the new Litli Hrútur volcano. While witnessing such a natural phenomenon can be awe-inspiring, it is crucial to prioritize safety and follow the guidelines provided by Safe travel. In this blog post, we will discuss the necessary precautions and preparations you should take before venturing near the eruption site.

photo  of a fresh lava field next to Department of Litli Hrútur Volcano taken from a helicopter
First day of the eruption of Litli Hrútur Volcano. Photo credit: Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management

Hiking to the Litli Hrútur Volcano Eruption Site

map showing the hiking trail to the eruption viewpoint

The shortest hiking route to the eruption site is a 20 km round trip, starting from Road 427 east of Grindavík. You can leave your happy camper in designated parking spots (Fagradalsfjall Parking P2 is the most convenient one). Do not leave your vehicle on the side of the road, and remember that any off-road driving is strictly prohibited. The hike itself takes approximately 6-8 hours, in addition to the time spent at the site. The terrain is difficult, with some hills to climb. The trail follows a dirt road most of the way, but the last part is through an open lava field and up onto a small mountain. Therefore, plan your trip accordingly and evaluate your fitness level before embarking on this adventure.

Essential Gear and Clothing

the weather in Iceland is unpredictable
The weather in Iceland is unpredictable. Dress appropriately

The key to a successful hike is getting the right gear. When it comes to clothing – good hiking shoes, warm clothing, wind and waterproof outerwear are essential. Even if the weather is nice in the parking lot, remember that you’re in Iceland. The weather can change suddenly; temperatures may drop even in summer. Additionally, pack enough food, sandwiches, and plenty of water to stay nourished and hydrated during your hike.

It is important to remember that the eruption site is in a very remote area where the phone signal is unreliable. Make sure to charge your devices fully before your trip, and consider bringing a power bank. Lastly, check out our blog post about last year’s eruption for a detailed list of things to pack on your trip.

Safety Precautions when visiting Litli Hrútur Volcano:

Stick to marked trails and avoid valleys or low-lying areas. Gas pollution, which is invisible and odorless, can disperse from the smoke cloud, leading to an increase in pollution levels. If you start feeling discomfort, immediately leave the area. Walk towards the eruption site with the wind at your back, and on the way back, face the wind to minimize gas exposure.

Additionally, it is crucial to understand that even when the eruption site is open to the public, it is still a dangerous place to visit. Various dangers can lurk around volcanic eruptions. Wildfires can start, and new fissures can open at short notice. Glowing lava can also fall from the lava rim, and new lava tongues can suddenly erupt from the lava rim at high speed.

map showing the danger zone of the Litli Hrútur Volcano

The above image shows the danger zone around the fissures. Authorities strongly recommend staying out of the danger zone to avoid any accidents.

Lastly, if you are traveling with children, before starting the hike, it’s crucial for parents to assess their child’s ability and consider a few things. Keep in mind that children are more vulnerable to gas pollution, so take precautions and ensure their safety.

Seek Information

Do not hesitate to approach ICE-SAR personnel, rangers, or the police for any information or guidance. Check safetravel.is for the most up-to-date information about the ongoing eruption at Litli Hrútur volcano. Soon there should be information about hiking conditions available on wet.is/volcano.

Exploring the wonders of a volcanic eruption is undoubtedly an exhilarating experience, but it is vital to prioritize safety throughout your journey. By following the guidelines provided by Safetravel and heeding the advice in this blog post, you can enjoy a memorable and secure adventure in the face of nature’s extraordinary power. Stay informed, be prepared, and make the most out of this unique opportunity.

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