Highlands South, Iceland
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Depending on whether you take the newly discovered Morsárfoss waterfall into account, Háifoss waterfall is the third or fourth highest waterfall in Iceland, cascading impressively down 122 metres in one drop. Even if it is not the highest waterfall, it is surely one of the most spectacular. Háifoss falls down a steep rock cliff at the end of a deep and narrow canyon in the Þjórsárdalur area. Two hundred metres further is a smaller waterfall called Granni (Neighbour). Both waterfalls together create a breathtaking display of nature’s power and are easy to photograph both from above and down at the pools. The cliffs, over hundred metres high, are covered in picturesque basalt rock formations, with layers of colourful pyroclastic rocks in between. The rock formations create a stunning contrast against the deep blue water. The surrounding landscape is colourful and dramatic, with Fossá River winding through it.

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    Accessibility, services and permits

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  • Visitors and risk factors

    Visitors and risk factors

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The road leading to the waterfalls is a rough 7.5 km gravel road. From the parking lot, there is an easy walk of 340 metres to the first viewpoint, the second viewpoint is 610 metres away and the furthest viewpoint 800 meters away. With a special permission you could use a 6-wheeler to carry equipment along the majority of the path. If you want to hike down into the canyon, the hike is 2.2 km long and moderately difficult. The hiking path to the canyon is steep, narrow and slippery.
Public transportation unavailable
There is no public transportation available in this area
Car recommended
Unchallenging terrain accessible by car
Good phone coverage
Generally good phone coverage without any major interruptions
Not needed
Guide is not needed

Services nearby

There are many hotels and lodgings options within 50 kilometres from this location. The nearest hospital is in Selfoss, 85 kilometres away, there you can also find shops and other services.
< 30 km
Gas station
< 30 km
Hospital or emergency room
More than 50 km away
< 1 km
< 30 km
More than 50 km away


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The area is owned by the government, so a government permit is needed.
Shooting permits are issued by the local government
Háifoss is a natural reserve area and protected by law.
Shooting permits are issued by the local government

Basecamp and facilities

The parking lot at Háifoss is medium/large and well suitable for a basecamp. There are no facilities at this location and phone coverage is excellent at the top but bad at the base of the waterfall inside the canyon.

Risk factors

The cliffs are very steep and droopy. The basalt rock on the edge is unstable and very eroded, and dangerous. The waterfall has great and powerful volumes of water. The area is wet and slippery because of the spray from the waterfalls, and the hike to the base of the canyon is steep and also slippery.


The area is a medium tourist attraction. Most visitors stay for a short while and look at the waterfalls from the top, few, however, wander down the path to the canyon and to the base of the waterfalls.

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