Our First Hike in Mývatn
To escape one of the most offensively smelling places on earth - Hverir, we hiked up Námafjall along a loop trail that affords an arial view of Hverir on one side and the town of Reykjahlíð on the other side. Overall it was a short hike, maybe an hour, and the views made it worth every step.
This is a steep hike. From the top there is an option to branch off towards Reykjahlíð or to continue back to Hverir. The trail is easy to follow with the exception of a section on the left where people went every which way and if you pick the wrong one it is very slippery on the volcanic granules that shift easily. This is where we met a couple coming down that we would see several other times in the area including the Lofthellir Ice Cave.
This was our first hike in the park. The target destiny was the mudpots at Hverir since we had never seen anything like it before, but when we saw the trail and saw other people enjoying it, we decided to give it a try. It gave us a first introduction to the varying landscapes that make Mývatn so unique. We saw volcanoes, snow capped mountains, a lake, and rock and sulfur formations up close. The diversity was amazing.
Near the top we saw some vents very close to the trail with hot steam coming out. The only thing missing was dinosaurs. It truly felt like an ancient planet. The contrast in view looking out towards the lake was a completely different landscape than looking at hardened lava in the opposite direction. It was an interesting contrast to feel like we were living in The Land of the Lost while looking down onto a pretty Icelandic Village. If it were not for the clouds with the occasional raindrops, the trail would have been safer and the views perhaps more outstanding, but even with these limitations, the hike was well worth it.