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Saxhóll

Snæfellsjökull National Park

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Saxhóll

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  • Saxhóll can be seen from the road.- Saxhóll
  • The dirt road to the parking area.- Saxhóll
  • Information sign at the trailhead.- Saxhóll
  • Stairs leading up the crater.- Saxhóll
  • Looking back down the stairs.- Saxhóll
  • A second crater that was mined.- Saxhóll
  • Reaching the top of the steps.- Saxhóll
  • Looking inside the crater.- Saxhóll
  • Visitors reaching the top of the stairs.- Saxhóll
  • Enjoying the view from the summit.- Saxhóll
  • The entire crater of Saxhóll.- Saxhóll
  • Information about the surrounding landscape.- Saxhóll
  • Inside the rim of the crater.- Saxhóll
  • Looking out to the ocean.- Saxhóll
  • The hardened landscape.- Saxhóll
  • Snæfellsjökull is behind the clouds.- Saxhóll
  • - Saxhóll
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Interesting geology. Fantastic vistas.
Cons: 
Very popular. Busy destination.
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Region:
Other,
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
193.57 ft (59.00 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
0.62 mi (1.00 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
196.85 ft (60.00 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

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Saxhóll is a beautiful volcanic crater that was formed between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago. It’s located in Snæfellsjökull National Park on the Snæfells Peninsula and rises 109 meters (358 feet) above sea level. There is a parking area off of Útnesvegur, the highway along the coast, where the crater stands prominently above the horizon. A walking path with steps to the summit was constructed to help preserve this precious natural formation.  From the top there is excellent visibility of the Snæfellsjökull Glacier to the east and the tip of the peninsula in the North Atlantic to the west. The magma that once spewed from here covers the landscape as far as the eyes can see. The crater and surrounding area are very delicate, so please remain on the marked paths and do not make stone piles.

The region around Saxhóll has always been a remote and isolated place.  Throughout the centuries, there were farms and fishing stations along the shore, and communication was difficult. The main purpose for establishing the park was to protect the unique plant and animal life as well as the landscape. A second crater sits below Saxhóll, but much of it was quarried for minerals. Nearby, the Eldborg Crater offers a longer hike and an even more impressive experience. 

Snæfellsjökull became world famous following the publication of Jules Verne’s book, “A Journey to the Center of the Earth,” which identified the volcano as the starting point of the journey. Its peak reaches 1,446 meters (4,745 feet), and on a clear day it can be seen all the way from Reykjavik (about 200 kilometers away). It was first climbed in 1754 and, like many other volcanoes in Iceland, it is still active. Nearby, you can also enjoy Djúpalónssandur (a beach), Lóndrangar (two massive lava formations), Sönghellir (the singing cave), and Rauðfeldargjá (the hidden waterfall).

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