Although Stórurð is one of this country’s most spectacular sights, it was relatively unknown, even amongst Icelanders, until a few decades ago. Since then, it has rapidly grown in popularity among hikers, who find the long walk worthwhile so they can explore this special site under the spectacular Dyrfjöll peaks. At their foot, remnants can still be seen of the cirque glacier onto which the gigantic blocks of hyaloclastite tuff and volcanic breccia now lying in Stórurð originally collapsed. Sliding due to its own mass, the glacier moved the blocks considerable distances down the valley. Today’s Stórurð landscape was mainly shaped by the most recent Ice Age glaciation, which ended about 10,000 years ago.  When the glacier retreated, these gigantic stone blocks were left lying on the valley floor where we view them today. The expansive surroundings offer plenty to see and experience. You can find shelter in caves under the rocks or pick your way through narrow passages between them. Blue-green ponds  contrast with flat, vegetated meadows. Altogether, this adventurous environment deeply impresses every visitor. 

In all, five marked trails lead to and from Stórurð. While the trail starting at Vatnsskarð pass is the one most frequently used, you will not only experience more but also help distribute visitors by choosing a different way down. Since Urðardalur valley is located over 400 m above sea level, snow often remains far into summer, so the best season for exploring the area is generally from about mid-July until the first appreciable snows of autumn. As mobile phone coverage is patchy, it is wise to use the marked trails and to inform others of your plans before leaving. Take special care in Stórurð, where deep holes are often concealed between the rocks. The safest route is the marked Stórurð circuit.