Information from Safe Travel (www.safetravel.is):
Weather and conditions on the main roads:
Very strong windgusts in the forescast for Thursday night until Friday – up to 40 m/s ( 90 mph / 145 km/h) near mountains in the north – from Blönduós to Mývatn and in the Westfjords. Will most likely go down towards the afternoon (Friday). Drivers on motorhomes or with trailers should plan their travels accordingly.
Tourists often mistake 4x4 for a vehicle that can take on all terrain, which is of course not the case and this must be explained as damages can cost thousands of dollars.
Drivers who get stuck in rivers or in snow have to get themselves out at own expense – there‘s no insurance in the world that covers damage linked to crossing a river. Illegal to drive off-road!!
Conditions in the highlands:
Highland roads are most closed/closing due to bad conditions! It doesn’t take a lot of snow to make it difficult staying on these roads! Conditions in the highlands are a lot different than on lowlands these days! Most areas are getting freezing night temperatures and even snow so it‘s important that travelers are equipped and ready for that – especially those heading for hikes and camping!
Fjallabak: Fjallabak is closed/impassible for those NOT in a modified vehicle! Companies need to inform drivers that roads are very wet and to go around puddles is considered off-road and is illegal!
Sprengisandur: Closed/impassible for non-modified vehicles!
Kjölur: Changes a lot according to the weather – No snow but very rough - only for 4x4.
Kaldidalur: Very rough after the summer, no snow now – drivers should drive slowly!
Conditions in popular tourist sites:
This time of the year, changes are frequent and conditions vary on the weather. When the weather has calmed it‘s very possible that trails and roads in some areas will still be icy in the mornings from the night frost. We recommend bringing minor crampons along.
Reykjanes: The roads to Reykjanestá and Gunnuhver is quite rough (due to pot holes).
Þingvellir: Nothing unusual about the conditions.
Geysir og Gullfoss: Nothing unusual about the conditions.
Hraunfossar og Deildartunguhver: Nothing unusual about the conditions.
Snæfellsjökull: Nothing unusual about the conditions. Road over Jökulháls is closed (no. 570 and 571).
Rauðisandur: Narrow road that threads the side of the mountain without protective rails. Many have found this road uncomfortable especially when weather is bad!
Látrabjarg: The cliffs are quite loose, avoid going too close! Due to how vulnerable the area is to wind it‘s not recommended to walk there when winds are blowing heavily!
Dynjandi Waterfall: Construction going on so people must be careful of heavy machinery.
Hvítserkur: Nothing unusual about the conditions.
Goðafoss: Nothing unusual about the conditions.
Dettifoss og Selfoss: 864 closed. 862 only open from Ring Road no. 1 to Dettifoss (paved road). Early in the morning (before 10 o‘clock) the area by the waterfall is icy due to spray from the falls falling on the night frost!
Hengifoss: Nothing unusual about the conditions – construction going on to widen the path.
Reynisfjara: The beach can always be dangerous due to the unpredictability of the waves. It‘s not every wave – it‘s every 7th or 10th or 12th wave that goes a lot further up the beach than the rest making it difficult to assess danger upon arrival. There are no rocks in the ocean that break the waves and only a few meters of shore there‘s an underwater cliff so the pulling factor of these already powerful waves becomes even greater. On top of this the sand is very fine ash which makes it extra difficult to get away from these waves.
Same applies to Kirkjufjara beach, it‘s CLOSED due to this fact and also Djúpalónssandur in Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
Skógafoss: Nothing unusual about conditions.
Seljalandsfoss: Nothing unusual about conditions
Þórsmörk/Goðaland: Closed/impassible for those not in a modified vehicle! Not much water in the rivers but rivers should not be crossed without experience! Trails are without ice now and without snow. Staff have left Langidalur and Básar. Húsadalur will be staffed throughout the winter. Bridges from Langidalur to Básar have been removed!
Vestmannaeyjar: Nothing unusual about conditions. Information on whether Herjólfur sails to/from Landeyjahöfn or Þorlákshöfn can be found on www.seatours.is (top of website).
Landmannalaugar: Roads closed/impassible. Roads are very wet and those who disrespect closures have been driving around puddles: driving off road! This is illegal and damages the nature a lot!
Conditions on hiking trails:
Hiking during winter time requires proper equipment even on shorter hikes. Please study our equipment list as preparation is key for successful travel in Iceland. Before the sun comes up, icy conditions can be expected on hiking trails all around Iceland so we recommend having minor crampons with you at all time.
Esjan: Must not be underestimated! Considerably colder up top than by the roots. Warm clothing is a must!
Skaftafell: Trails ok and all are passable – S4 (Kristínartindar) must be evaluated each time as the conditions depend on the snow (and wind).
Reykjadalur: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions.
Ásbyrgi: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions.
Kerlingarfjöll: Trails are wet but not icy (early morning they can be icy) – ok but requires proper winter equipment for the longer hikes in the area!
Glymur: Log over the river Botnsá has been removed so now hikers must either cross the river on foot or take a longer hike over the old bridge along the hiking route “Leggjabrjótur”.