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Pets allowed
Yes-restrictions
Elevation Gain
30.00 m (98.43 ft)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
7.40 km (4.60 mi)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Plane crash sites are surreal and odd hiking destinations. Such is the case in South Iceland, where the wreckage of a U.S. Navy DC-3 aircraft typically draws crowds willing to hike the 4 kilometers on an unextraordinary and stony path to view the remains. At the whims of the area's extreme weather and volcanic glacier conditions, a holed-up fuselage remains, and there is very good chance that the flooding from a future eruption beneath Mýrdalsjökull will wash the plane away permanently. Until then, the eerie, wrecked aircraft sitting on Iceland's black sand plain persists as a popular photography subject. Over time, heavy traffic to view the wreck forced authorities to close vehicle access, leaving those wanting to visit the site with an unremarkable hike to reach it.

Large numbers of visitors remain undeterred. The parking area tends to have a large number of cars, which at first seems out of place considering there's nearly nothing around. There are no structures in the surrounding area due to the risk of violent flood conditions in the event of a volcanic eruption. The hiking route is wide and well-marked. With the expectation that the plane will eventually wash away, there is no etiquette aiming to preserve the wreckage. It's typical to see people climbing inside and upon it, but beware of the perforated and weathered state of the metal and exercise caution. There are no amenities of any kind at the parking area or anywhere along the hike.

On November 21, 1973, the U.S. Navy plane with a crew of seven was on a routine flight across Iceland en route to an American base when it crash-landed. All onboard survived without injury, and to this day it has not been determined exactly what caused the crash. The wrecked body was left abandoned on Sölheimasandur, a barren glacial outcrop of the nearby Mýrdalsjökull glacier.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Unique and interesting destination.

Cons

The hike is a little bland.

Trailhead Elevation

147.64 ft (45.00 m)

Highest point

147.64 ft (45.00 m)

Net Elevation Gain

98.43 ft (30.00 m)

Address

Path to Wrecked DC-3 Plane on Sólheimasandur
Iceland

Features

Big vistas
Family friendly

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

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