Hjalparfoss ; meaning the “helping falls” was a pretty unique double waterfall that joined at its base into a very large plunge pool surrounded by some rugged lava formations. This was one of several waterfalls in the Þjórsádalur Valley that we visited within the vicinity of the active Mt Hekla. But unlike many of the waterfalls we’ve visited in the Interior Highlands of Iceland, this one was actually relatively easy to access.
From the car park (see directions below), we took an easy descending walking path with long steps to the shore of the wide plunge pool where the waterfalls fell directly across from it. There were quite a few wildflowers sprouting or blooming during our visit, and they provided us with nice photo subjects to contrast the rugged scenery.
Apparently the falls got its name from the surrounding area (called Hjalp or “help”), which came about because people who came from the desolate and harsh Sprengisandur route through the Interior (now the 4wd F26 road) looked at this relatively lush area as being of great help for their horses to graze and recover from the gruelling crossing.
Approaching this waterfall from the Hrauneyjar, Highland Center, drive on Route 26 west for 32km then turn left on the signposted turnoff leading the last 600m to the car park for the falls.
Pictures from Rangárþing ytra and places nearby
Inhabitants in Rangárþing ytra (western Rangárþing) are 1518 (1st of January 2013). The borders of the district are by Ásahreppur district, from the river Þjórsá in the west, to the glacier Vatnajökull in the north. The south borders are from the glacier Mýrdaljökull to the river Eystri-Rangá. In Rangárþing ytra are extensive agricultural productions. In the area you can find many well known nature resources and historical places for example Hekla, Landmannalaugar and the sagatrail of Njáls saga.
The district’s most populated area is the village Hella with 784 inhabitants (1st of January 2013). Hella’s primary businesses are service for the agriculture, inhabitants and the tourism industry. At Hella you can find, a bank, a post office, a tourist information center, a hotel, guesthouses, camping sites, restaurants, shops, a pharmacy, a healthcare center, a sport center, a swimming pool, primary school, car services, rescue team, gas stations and other businesses and public services.
Rangárþing ytra is governed by a town council, which consists of seven elected officials.
The offices of town hall are located at:
Sudurlandsvegur 1, Hella. See map here.
Open from 9 am – 15 pm on Mondays to Thursdays.
Open from 9 am – 13 pm on Fridays.