Visiting Skógafoss Waterfall in Iceland: What to Expect + Review

Note to my fellow wanderers: This guide was written from my first-hand experiences. I try my best not to over-glamorize any location I travel to because I want HappyWander’s content to be as authentic as possible. My goal is to provide you real information so that you can have the best possible adventures wandering the world. Enjoy!

Skógafoss: The most epic waterfall in iceland? If it’s not, I’d like to see which waterfall is! At nearly 200 feet tall and 82 feet wide, Skógafoss is a sight you have to see if you find yourself in Southern Iceland. In this mini guide, I’ll review everything you need to know about visiting Skógafoss Waterfall in Iceland.

Essentials For Visiting Skógafoss Waterfall in Iceland

In this section I highlight everything you need to know about visiting Skógafoss Waterfall.

Why Visit Skógafoss Waterfall?

Why visit Skógafoss Waterfall, anyway? The sheer power of the cascading water makes Skógafoss one of Iceland’s largest and most picturesque waterfalls. It’s no wonder moves and tv shows such as Thor, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Game of Thrones. Combine this beauty with being easily accessible, having amazing photo opportunities, and a wonderful hiking opportunity at Waterfall Way, Skógafoss Waterfall is an exfiltrating scene to experience for yourself.

When is the Best Time to Visit?

You can visit Skógafoss Waterfall at any time during the year. I visited in May, and I was lucky to have the sun peak out and create a rainbow while I was near the base. Because of the great location, easy parking situation, and short, flat walk to the waterfall, you can go see Skógafoss any time of the year. 

How Far is Skógafoss Waterfall from Reykjavik?

Skógafoss Waterfall is slightly more than a 2 hour drive from downtown Reykjavik (approximately 156 kilometers). The close proximity, combined with the jaw-dropping beauty of this waterfall makes Skógafoss one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls.

What Clothing Should I Wear?

I would recommend wearing layers, with your outer layer being waterproof. You can expect to get wet when walking towards Skógafoss Waterfall. The closer you get, the more wet you’ll get. I saw a couple 50 feet closer than anyone else with full waterproof ponchos on, getting soaked.

I’d also recommend waterproof hiking shoes with good traction if you decide to hike waterfall way, which starts right next to Skógafoss Waterfall at the stairs.

Where to Park?

Parking for Skógafoss Waterfall is conveniently located off of Route 1. Skógafoss Waterfall has some of the best parking I experienced in all of Iceland, and best of all, it’s 100% free. On top of being free, the parking lot is huge and can accommodate tons of cars. That’s a good thing because this place is one of the most iconic spots in all of Iceland.

Here is the address: Skógafoss, Iceland

Cost to Visit

There is no cost to visit Skógafoss Waterfall. Yippee! This is one of the very few free parking lots that I found at main attractions in Iceland.

How Long Do I Need Here?

If you’re stopping just at Skógafoss Waterfall, you may want to spend an hour or so here. However, if you’re hiking waterfall way, you’ll need 2-5 more hours depending how far you go.

How Long is the Hike to Skógafoss Waterfall?

There is not really a “hike” to Skógafoss Waterfall, more like a short walk from the parking lot. It will probably take you 5 minutes to park and walk over. The hike happens after you view the waterfall, if you choose to ascend the million stairs to the right of the falls.

How Long to Climb to the Top of Skogafoss?

If you’re wanting to get a different perspective of Skógafoss Waterfall, you can climb to the top via the million stairs. To reach the top, it should take you 10 to 20 minutes depending on your level of physical fitness and how busy the stairs are.

My Experience at Skógafoss Waterfall

In this section, I will review my experience visiting Skógafoss Waterfall and what you can expect.

Driving to Skógafoss Waterfall

Driving to Skógafoss Waterfall is as simple as it gets. As you approach Skógar (from the West), you will see signs for Skógafoss. Turn left off Route 1 onto Skógafoss Road (Route 249). Follow Route 249 for a short distance (about 1 km or less than a mile) until you reach the parking area for Skógafoss Waterfall. The waterfall will be visible from the road, and there is ample parking available.

Parking Lot

One often overlooked factor for any adventure is the parking situation. Fortunately, Skógafoss Waterfall has one of the best parking lots at any attraction in Iceland due to its large size, accessibility off Route 1, and the free price tag. I managed to take a photo as I was climbing the endless stairs to the starting point of the hiking trail:

Waterfall Way in Iceland Parking Lot

Despite arriving at perhaps the busiest time of the day (around 1 PM), there were plenty of spots still available.

Walk to Skógafoss Waterfall

The walk from the parking lot to Skógafoss Waterfall is between 5 and 10 minutes on a well-maintained, easy to walk trail that opens up along the river.

Skógafoss Waterfall in Iceland from a Distance

As you can see in the above photo, the walking area up to the waterfall is quite vast along the river. I don’t remember a waterfall walking area like this one, so vast and open at eye level with the bottom of the falls. This creates a special sense of the sheer size and wonder of our beautiful planet. Walking up to the waterfall is quite exhilerating:

Enjoying The Beauty of Skógafoss Waterfall

You’ll want to make sure you spend enough time basking in the beauty of what Skógafoss Waterfall. I took a shot of the waterfall up close and captured a man and woman standing close to the falls with a rain poncho on. If you get close like they did, you can expect to get drenched, so prepare accordingly!

A Couple Standing Next to Skógafoss Waterfall in Iceland in Rain Ponchos

You’ll want to take a few (hundred) photos here, it’s a once in a lifetime view.

Skógafoss Waterfall in Iceland

Viewing Spot From Above

If you do decide to climb up the million stairs, you can get a different view from above the falls:

There appeared to be a very narrow, sketchy path around the side of the hill closer to the waterfall, but it looks like that was not accessible (probably due to how dangerous it was?)

Is Skógafoss Waterfall Worth Visiting?

Personally, this was my favorite waterfall in Iceland. But that’s not an original opinion, it’s one of the most famous waterfalls on social media. Some of the major selling points of Skógafoss Waterfall for me were:

  • The Sheer Size: Skógafoss Waterfall’s sheer size at almost 200 feet tall and over 80 feet wide will certainly drop your jaw.
  • Walking Towards It Head On: One of my favorite things about this waterfall is large flat basin next to the river that leads you all the way to the waterfall, at eye level with the crashing water at the bottom. There aren’t too many waterfalls like this that I’ve seen.
  • The Surrounding Landscape: The picturesque landscape surrounding the waterfall add to Skógafoss’ beauty. If you choose to do the Waterfall Way hike, you’ll see the amazing surrounding mountains and epic waterfall system along the Skógá River.

Here are some of the things I didn’t love:

  • Lots of People: I mean, this is a super nitpick. Of course there will be lots of people at Skógafoss, it’s easily one of the most beautiful, famous spots in all of Iceland.

Overall Score

So is visiting Skógafoss Waterfall worth it? Absolutely! This mini adventure takes less than an hour or so, so why not check it off your list?

I give this adventure an 9.3 / 10.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Skógafoss Waterfall in Iceland

Thank you for joining me on my adventure at Skógafoss Waterfall! I hope you found this information helpful for planning your Iceland itinerary. Skógafoss Waterfall is perhaps the most spectacular waterfall in all of Iceland. If you enjoy hiking, Skógafoss also has a great hike you can do after viewing the waterfall. If not, this waterfall is still definitely worth visiting.

Happy wandering!

Anthony Bart
Author: Anthony Bart

Hello! Welcome to HappyWanders! My name is Anthony, I'm on a mission to live a life full of adventure and to help you to do the same. As an ex-corporate worker and current entrepreneur, I've been working to design a life with more time for adventure and less time for the 9-5 grind. If you're ready for an adventure, you're my type of person!

Was this resource helpful?

Scroll to Top