People have been marking their trails by stacking rock into piles for thousands of years. The reason is simple: it’s the easiest accessible material and it can last for ages, literally. Even now you can meet rock cairns all over the world from Himalayas to Iceland, and they genuinely can help people with navigation through wilderness.
Snæfellsjökull National Park is a great place to go hiking in Iceland. It’s very close to Reykjavík, at the far end of Snæfellsnes peninsula, and it’s an area which definitely deserves a detailed exploration and there are many hikes you can do. Of course, the most prominent one is to the top of Snæfellsjökull, the 700,000 year old stratovolcano where Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne takes place.
Sometimes, when I hike, I experience true happiness in its simplest, plainest form. It’s not in the past with somebody else or in the future in a different place. It’s there, with me, my old hiking boots, a cool breeze, an oak’s shadow, a rusty wooden knife and a ripe avocado.
This last stage is purely a volcanic experience with a gradually increasing amount of a black sand. Marking is relatively good. There is no water in Reykjanesviti.
The shortest stage of the trail is still very dry and volcanic but gets a bit busier thanks to a nearby main road. At the end of the stage it’s possible to make a detour to the famous hot pools, Blue Lagoon, or the city of Grindavík with a supermarket. There isn’t any water on the trail itself. Very vaguely marked.
The fifth stage starts by crossing a colorful volcanic range. An easy grassy part is followed by an extensive mossy lava field. Only vaguely marked overall, and the initial range not marked at all(!). There are tiny streams in the grassy part but no water at the end(!).
First part is forested but after the quarry it gets volcanic again. Marking is sometimes confusing, especially around the quarry. Water only at the start (a small river flowing out of the reservoir) and the end (a tiny stream going to the lake Djúpavatn).
Most of the section goes through lava fields. Well marked. The only water is at the start (ask for it in one of the private lodges) and the end (river flowing from the reservoir).
Rough from the start, flat and industrial in the middle with a long gradual ascent and sharp descent at the end. Some parts are vaguely marked or not at all. There isn’t any water between the Exhibition centre in Hellisheiði and the ski resort in Bláfjallaskáli.
This stage is hilly with lots of waterfalls and plenty of streams to drink from. It’s very well marked but you need to know where to go since the signs don’t say ‘Reykjavegur’ but only local names (follow signs to: Dyravegur / Dyradalur, then Sleggjubeinsdalur). There is a free hut, Múlasel, at the end of the stage.