According to a statement issued by the Environment Agency of Iceland, a recent evaluation of the Reykjadalur Valley has deemed the area too damaged to be open to the public.
The Agency had already decided to close the valley at the end of March because of extensive damage due to a combination of muddy paths and a high foot traffic. “Where a path had been constructed not so long ago, the situation is quite bad, with mold and a lot of ice in the soil,” said the director of the Agency Ólafur A. Jónsson at the time, taking to RÚV.
To avoid the mud, tourists have apparently started to steer away from the path, walking through the surrounding grass and moss. Not only is the moss quite sensitive to damage, but this happens to be a very vulnerable time of year for the soil and vegetation. “As people have started walking outside the path, the damaged area has naturally become much larger,” Ólafur added. “The environment is under persistent damage, so we decided to close the area to the traffic.”
When the Agency made their decision, they expected to open the area again two weeks later. The recent evaluation, however, did not prove to be satisfying enough. Thus, the Agency announced on their Facebook page that the Reykjadalur Valley will be closed for at least another four weeks. It will be only be opened once the area is recovered and ready to receive guests without any further damage to the soil and vegetation.