From Iceland — Popular Icelandic Canyon Temporarily Closed Due To Thaw And Foot Traffic

Popular Icelandic Canyon Temporarily Closed Due To Thaw And Foot Traffic

Published February 27, 2019

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Environment Agency of Iceland

Part of the southeast Icelandic canyon of Fjaðrárgljúfur is temporarily closed, for at least the next two weeks, while repairs are underway.

Fjaðrárgljúfur, a canyon near Kirkjubæjarklaustur in southeast Iceland, is much beloved by locals and tourists alike. So beloved, it seems, that increased foot traffic in the area has contributed to eroding its structural integrity.

The Environment Agency of Iceland has announced that “[d]ue to thawing conditions the area has been damaged greatly by traffic and is prone to further damage”, an area of the canyon is now closed. This decision will be up for re-evaluation within two weeks.

This is not the first time the canyon has been shut down. As RÚV reports, this decision was also taken last January, and for the same reasons. This prompted local authorities to call for the presence of a park ranger in the area; at the time, there was no ranger at Fjaðrárgljúfur between the beginning of January and the summer.

Action was therefore taken, with the announcement that year-round ranger service would be made available for the region. All the same, the ever-increasing foot traffic has proven a challenge for the maintenance of the area, which may prompt more temporary closings.

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