Rauðfeldsgjá – Iceland - Atlas Obscura


This mountain fissure hides a secret path to a secluded mossy grotto within the rock itself. 


Fantasy stories abound with tales of hidden passages leading to secret mountain chambers, but the Icelandic fissure known as Rauðfeldsgjá which allows access to a hidden stream source and damp green chamber may be one of the closest versions we’ll ever see in reality. 

Located on the Eastern side of the mountain known as Botnsfjall, this massive natural crack doesn’t immediately seem to be accessible from the ground. However, as visitors get closer to the base of the mount it becomes clear that the nearby stream is actually issuing from the fissure, and there is ample room for a human to get into the crack.  The gorge extends inside the Rauðfeldsgjá fissure for a ways until it narrows near to where the stream is issuing from. Within the split, the walls are covered with vibrant green moss and the imposing cliff walls looming on either side provide a truly unique sense of the sprawl and majesty of Iceland’s natural terrain. The hike to Rauðfeldsgjá can take about a half an hour from the road, but the trek is worth it to experience something people only usually see in fantasy movies.

Know Before You Go

You can get into the fist part of the canyon rather easily, for those who wish to go further it may take a bit more physical ability. Depending on the season you go , you may want to bring rubber boots and other waterproof gear! The farther you get into the canyon the less room there is for the water and you may find yourself having to trek through the water to continue. Also, you'll run into a waterfall with a rope hanging down it, depending on the season, if the waterfall is at full power, it can be a incredibly wet and awakening experience trying to climb it.

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