KerlingarfjöllKerlingarfjöll: The Smoky Mountain Range’s History

Many centuries ago these dear mountain range, Kerlingarfjöll, were known to be Bad Weather Mountains and people look at it as a remote area. Kerlingarfjöll, was formed during a huge volcanic eruption 10,000 years ago, that is why it was neither visited nor explored. No one even dared to settle in and it was left to be one of the unrecognized beauties of the highlands. Although Kjölur area, where in the Old Kjölur Road is located was the service road connections between the North part and the Southern part of Iceland, Kerlingarfjöll was not really the favorite spot.

Icelandic and foreign scientists came to know Kerlingarfjöll around 1890 and brought in information that the area was indeed a gem. But it was long after that it was developed, 1930’s was the time the people converted the area from remote to primarily to transport fence material to lay fences used to block the sheep of the north from the south and vice versa. A bridge was even built in 1933 over Hvita River, it was a challenging work but after three long years, it was done and the first ever vehicle to cross it came from Ásgarður.

In 1961, a group of tourists noticed that Kerlingarfjöll was a wonderful place to practice Skiing. This group was guided by some locals. After the tourists left, the locals then decided to establish summer ski school in Kerlingarfjöll. The success of the ski school built up spirit and enthusiasm for the locals and that was the start of Kerlingarfjöll’s developmental project for tourism. The area turned from unvisited to the most popular recreational site of the 20th century.

From the year 1964 and 1990, there were buildings being build and the valley grew. But in the year 2000, global warming struck and destroyed the commercial backbone of the Ski School. Though after the snow was gone, the mountain range have changed into more alluring landscape! The structural variety and colors were seen. The earth shades to shimmering red as the mountain range is primarily composed of volcanic rhyolite stone. Numerous hot springs and rivulets are discovered setting evidence that Kerlingarfjöll has a volcanic origin.


Kerlingarfjöll: The valley of trolls

Kerlingarfjöll means the”Old Woman’s Mountain”. This name was inspired by some ancient folk tales that was said that there was once an old lady night troll that was caught out in the morning by the sunrise as she was about to get home from hunting, and turned into stone. You can get a glimpse of her silhouette carved in a tuff stone pillar 25 meters high at Kerlingartindur peak.


Kerlingarfjöll: From Fire to Ice to Fire

As we all know, Kerlingarfjöll is formed by a volcanic eruption causing some boiling mud puddles, steams from the ground, hot springs and the like. But Kerlingarfjöll is also situated between two glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull and microglaciers as well as snowdrifts are found on the plateau. These made up a unique landscape as the small caves carved snow flow by the warm streams. And when driving from Gullfoss to Kerlingarfjöll, you can see the dramatic change of the scenery! It creates a fascinating flow of colors due to the diverse geology of the mountain crates. The mountain shimmers with red vivid color as the minerals emerging from the hot springs brings out wonderful colors of yellow and green.
The spectacular landscape of Kerlingarfjöll and its unique dramatic effect won film makers heart from around the world. Discovery Channel just filmed their recent movie here and many more big names in the filming industry considered Kerlingarfjöll to be a great location for future filming.


Kerlingarfjöll: As an addition to your adventure

There are lots of tour offers for you to experience the wonderful scenery at Kerlingarfjöll. When you want to visit the Golden Circle you might want to also go a little further to Kerlingarfjöll . A truly wonderful adventure to Kerlingarfjöll is waiting just for you for sure.

Map to Kerlingarfjöll