Ásbyrgi is a glacial canyon and forest in the north of Iceland, located approximately 38 kilometers (24 mi) east of Húsavík on the Diamond Circle road. The horseshoe-shaped depression is part of the Vatnajökull National Park and measures approximately 3.5 km in length and over 1 km wide. For more than half of its length, the canyon is divided through the middle by a distinctive rock formation 25 meters high called Eyjan ("the Island"), from which a vast landscape is seen.
This Canyon on the northside is a fantastic place to see with the high cliff walls surrounding the valley it really gives you an idea of the power of a glacier. Through its force and pressure ice and water carved this fantastic Canyon out of the landscape.
So a funny thing happened on the way to the canyon, which I will try to type all out and do it the justice it deserves. After leaving Hafragilfoss (pictures coming), I turned north alone 862, heading towards the canyon. This should be a fairly easy 30 minute drive as it is only 30 Kilometers between the two.
As I am heading north along this beautifully paved road, it suddenly became a gravel road. This being Iceland that is actually not a big deal as many roads are gravel and not paved as we in the United States would expect. I prepared for this renting a 4x4 Suzuki Jimney, will talk about that thing at some point.
I continued along the road and it continued to get rougher and rougher and I am bouncing this Jimney all over the place. I definitely was not breaking any land speed records along the road traveling around 15-20 miles an hour. I did on occasion during this part start thinking of turning around and taking the long way which would have taken hours, so I just bared down and hoped my teeth would not bounce out of my mouth as I drove this.
Then suddenly about halfway along the route I came across a group doing construction on the road. Well more like building the road, there was several large CAT trucks, bulldozers, and Asphalt equipment. Here I am in this little truck weaving around this heavy equipment that could just drive over me and not even slow down. Just hoping that I would not get stuck in the hot, loose asphalt I was plowing through and feeling bad if I was screwing up any of their work. Finally after a kilometer or 2 I got past all of them building this road in the middle of nowhere and kept heading north.
Of course the road has not improved at this point as it was still a potholed gravel road, and this description is being nice. So I continued to bounce my little truck all over the road, know there is no turning back now as I was not driving through that mess of construction equipment again. Finally after another 5-10 kilometer the road just returned to a smooth pavement and I was able to see this beautiful canyon.