Sitting right outside Reykjavík in the municipality of Mosfellsbær, you can find the small waterfall Tungufoss. The waterfall is roughly 13 ft (4m) and is the lower part of the Köldukvísl river. The water flow is gentle enough for summer water activities. There are two pools around Tungufoss. Kerið is the pool directly below Tungufoss, and Klapparhylur is a little further down the river.
Route 1, also known as the Ring Road, crosses the Köldukvísl river just above the waterfall. Many tourists pass right by Tungufoss without knowing it’s even there. You’re likely only to encounter locals at this waterfall. The area surrounding Tungufoss is a popular spot for outdoor activities for the residents who live nearby.
The Köldukvísl river originates from Grímmannsfell, making Tungufoss part of the same watershed as Helgufoss. The drive between the two waterfalls is only 12 minutes apart.
History of Tungufoss:
In 1930, a home power station was built at Tungufoss by Leirvogstunga, a local farmer, and his brothers. This station provided power to the town until 1958. The ruins of the power station are still visible today. Tungufoss was named after the farmer, as well as the town, which shares the name Leirvogstunga.
The area surrounding Tungufoss has been declared a nature reserve since April 25th, 2013, by the Icelandic Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. The goal of protecting the site was to provide the public with a safe recreational area and preserve the area’s natural and historical elements. It is highly encouraged to stay on the established paths when visiting the site.
hiking to Tungufoss:
There are several walking and bicycling paths in the area surrounding Tungufoss. The town of Leirvogstunga has a few access points to these paths, but parking may be an issue as this is a residential area.
The most straightforward access point is directly off of Route 1. When driving north on Route 1, you will pass the roundabout leading to Route 36. Shortly past the roundabout, there will be a small unmarked area on your right to pull over and hike to Tungufoss. This path is marked below on the map. The hike is less than 1 mile to the waterfall, and it should take you only 13 minutes.
Directions to Tungufoss:
Tungufoss is marked on Google Maps. However, you will not be able to view the waterfall from the road or find a marked parking lot for Tungufoss. A short walk will be required to view the waterfall. Please see the section above for the easiest way to access Tungufoss. The drive to the area around Tungufoss is within 25 minutes from the heart of Reykjavík.