With its magnificent views, the 170 m high Grábrók crater is a popular destination for hiking. Footpaths have been marked out and wooden steps have been installed, leading visitors safely up to the crater and at the same time protecting the delicate moss cover of the area.
Cities and towns
UNESCO global geoparks
Sand / Gravel
Rocks / Cliffs
Moss / Vegetation
Trees / Forest
Popular and historic path in fragile nature
The area has sensitive geological formations and vegetation. A large influx of visitors has formed new paths and caused damage to the area, requiring costly efforts to stabilise and restore vegetation. Visitors tended to walk off the marked paths, thereby damaging the delicate moss cover, which led to the need to intervene. The wooden steps were carefully measured on-site and manufactured off-site, and then assembled at the Grábrók crater.
Removable platforms built by local craftsmen
The pathways and steps at the Grábrók crater were built to protect the natural landscape and react to the increasing pressure from tourism. To minimise disturbance, the wooden steps were built in units at a local carpentry workshop and then assembled on-site. The platform construction was kept simple, and the structure has been designed with the aim of minimising disturbance to the site. Iron poles were carefully drilled into the lava at different depths, and the platform’s steps were carefully laid on top of the soil. As visitors still tended to go off path, ropes and iron poles were installed for guidance. No concrete or similar materials were used in the construction. The infrastructure can therefore be removed again without leaving a trace.
Grábrók Crater, Borgarbyggð municipality, W Iceland
N64° 46' 17.614" W21° 32' 23.370"
Borgarbyggð Municipality on behalf of the Environment Agency of Iceland
About 76,000 per year
Around 530 guests per day (2018-2019)
Around 20 guests per day (2018-2019)
Imported pine, iron bars and ropes
Eiríkur J. Ingólfsson ehf, commissioned by the landowners and the Environment Agency of Iceland
Completed in 2015
ISK 34,000,000 in the period 2014-2017 from the Tourist Site Protection Fund ISK 13,800,000 in the period 2018-2019 from the National Plan