Grábrók Pathway

Photo Credit Icon Júlía Brekkan

Grábrók Pathway

  • Icon for path Path

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

    Cities and towns

  • national_parks

    National parks

  • unesco_sites

    UNESCO sites

  • unesco_global_geoparks

    UNESCO global geoparks

  • main_roads

    Main roads

  • airports


  • cruise_ports

    Cruise ports

  • infrastructure_zoomed_out


  • infrastructure


  • paved_road

    Paved road

  • walking_path

    Walking path

  • sand___gravel

    Sand / Gravel

  • rocks___cliffs

    Rocks / Cliffs

  • lava


  • moss___vegetation

    Moss / Vegetation

  • grass


  • trees___forest

    Trees / Forest

Graphic map, large.Graphic map, detail.Architecture illustration.

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.

Key facts

  • Location

    Grábrók Crater, Borgarbyggð municipality, W Iceland

  • GPS points

    N64° 46' 17.614" W21° 32' 23.370"

  • Project Owner

    Borgarbyggð Municipality on behalf of the Environment Agency of Iceland

  • Protection Framework

    National Monument

  • Estimated number of visitors a year

    About 76,000 per year

  • High season

    Around 530 guests per day (2018-2019)

  • Low season

    Around 20 guests per day (2018-2019)

  • Materials

    Imported pine, iron bars and ropes

  • Designer

    Eiríkur J. Ingólfsson ehf, commissioned by the landowners and the Environment Agency of Iceland

  • Year of construction

    Completed in 2015

  • Grants

    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