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Hraun in Öxnadalur - 14 different hikes

In the valley Öxnadalur by the farm Hraun are many hiking options, that differ in length and how difficult they are.

All of the hikes described here, start by the farm Hraun except nr 14 (Hraundrangi.) 
Four of the hikes are relatively easy along the lowland and have been marked with poles in different colors according to the map (blue, red, yellow and green).  
Brochure with all the hikes and a map can be found here (in icelandic) (it is possible to get the brochur in the tourist information in Hof)

For each hike it is estimate how long it takes, height over sea level and range of difficulty, which is according to this: 
Range 1 EASY
Range 2 CHALLENGING 
Range 3 VERY CHALLENGING 

1. Heimalandið, hraunin og Öxnadalsá, green poles 
Hiking time 2 hours. 
Maximum height 280 m. 
Range of difficulty 0,5. 
Start from the farmhouse to the stables and from there go south into the lava and towards the river Öxnadalsá, down to the remains of the old bridge and the power plant, up to the old remains of the farm Háagerði, and back to the farm at Hraun. 


2. To Háls and up to the lake Hraunsvatni, yellow poles 
Hiking time 3,5 hours. 
Maximum height 505 m. 
Range of difficulty 2. 
Walk below the farm and towards south along the river Öxnadalsá, cross the river Hraunsá by Háls and from there up to the lake Hraunsvatni. Return through the lava field. 

3. Through Drangabolla to Hraunsvatn, red poles
Hiking time 4 hours. 
Maximum height 560 m. 
Range of difficulty 2. 
This is the most beautiful track to the lake Hraunsvatni. From the farm go up through a small "valley" Kisubrekku, along old sheep tracks. Close to the slopes of the mountain Drangafjall is a place called Drangabollar. From that area go south towards Hraunsvatn to a field called Drangagrund. Walk across stony ranges that reach into the lake, called Bríkarrima. Then entering an area called Vatnsgrund where the river Hraunsá flows out from the lake. The river disappears shortly after into the stones. From Vatnsgrund head down along the river and through the lava back to the farm Hraun. 

4. Through Hraunsstapa, blue poles 
Hiking time 3 hours. 
Maximum height 560 m. 
Range of difficulty 2. 
Walk up to Drangabolla, there you find some rocks and is the largest one called Arnstapi. Walk along these rocks to the south all the way to Brikarrima, there walk down into the canyon of the river Hraunsá and walk back to farm Hraun. 

5. Through Draugadal í Einbúaskál 
Hiking time 3 hours. 
Maximum height 630 m. 
Range of difficulty 1,5. 
Walk up from the farm, instead of going towards Kisubrekku, walk north of it and when walking up the steepest hill take the course to the south end of the mountain Einbúa and walk down into the valley Draugadal, which is beside the mountain Einbúa. Walk towards north along the valley Draugadal and down a steep hill Einbúaskál. Take a break and enjoy some time there. After resting continue back to farm Hraun, first to east and then turn south and head directly to the farm Hraun. 

6. Einbúi 
Hiking time 3 hours. 
Maximum height 684 m. 
Range of difficulty 2. 
Walk northwest towards a dell north of Kisubrekka and east of hill Einbúa until reaching a lush hallow, called Kúaskál (Cow-hallow). Continue up a steep landslide towards northwest from the hallow and north of the hill Einbúa. The hill Einbúa is accessed from north and south along the rigde with the valley  Draugadal to the right. Return back to the carpark along the eastside of hill Einbúa, be carefull as the route is rocky landslides with some cliffs. When down from the slopes of hill Einbúa the hike goes along less vegetated glacier remains and jökulurðum og fram af þeim heim að Hrauni. 

7. Mt Hallok 
Hiking time 4 hours. 
Maximum height 990 m. 
Range of difficulty 3. 
Walk northwest from the farmhouse up to the third dell north of Kisubrekka and head to the pass Auðnaháls by the end of the mountain Drangafjall
From the pass Auðnaháls start the ascend up to Hallok. The tail is mostly along sheep tracks, goes over three ridges and two cliffs. A head are some high and steep peaks called Klasar. These can be passed carefully by entering them on the west side where this route ends. Be careful as there are often snow by the Klasa peaks. Return along the same route - but the return route can be combined with a walk by Einbúaskál and Draugadal before coming back to the farm at Hraun. 

8. Mt Drangafjall (Háafjall) 
Hiking time 8,5 hours. 
Maximum height 1120 m. 
Range of difficulty 3. 
The Mountain between valleys Öxnadalur and Hörgárdalur is called Háafjall on the Hörgárdals valley side and Öxnadals side it is called Drangafjall. The Drangafjalls name is more used for the north part of the mountain and Háafjall about the south part. The walk starts at farm Hraun through Drangabolla in Drangagrund and continues along the Hraunsvatn lakes west side. Two small creeks fall from Sandskál, and down a small rocky belt. The best access up is to climb up these cliffs between those two creeks. When entering Sandskál continue up the north side of the hallow, which is quite steep and has some landslides. The easiest way is to follow the grassy area that reaches highest up the hill.  Well up, continue along the even mountain to the north, which first starts to lower a bit before ascend again. At the northernmost part it is at its highest point. Closer to Mt Hraundranga one can't come through this route. Return the same route. 

9. Auðnaháls pass to Hörgárdal valley
Hiking time 3 hours. 
Maximum height 550 m. 
Range of difficulty 2. 
Walk the same route from the farm Hraun as described in route 7. When arriving the pass Auðnaháls the valley Hörgárdalur unfoalds and one can even see into Myrkárdalur valley. To be able to climb down the belt of cliffs head a bit out the valley with the direction to the abadonned farm Bás. 

10. Through Kiðlingsdal valley to Hörgárdal valley
Hiking time 9 hours. 
Maximum height 1060 m. 
Range of difficulty 3. 
Walk through Drangabolla from the farm Hraun, as described in route 3, and walk along the lake Hraunsvatn on its west side. The rout goes along sheep tracks beneath the slopes of Mt Sandskálarhnjúkur. When about to approach the river Kiðlingsá start walking sideways up the slops to the opening of the valley. When arriving higher up the valley starts to open up, at its bottom in the southwest you can see Mt. Háafjall. It is easy accessible and it is also quite easy to walk north to Mt Sandskálarhnjúkur. But on this tour we head more to the west to the pass north of a rather distinguish peak. The route continues  down into the valley Grjótárdalur, north of this special peak. The easiest rout is to walk is a bit along the plateau in the valley Grjótárdal to avoid the steep  slopes further out.  Continuing down and out the valley Grjótárdalur. Further out in the valley Hörgárdalur at farm Staðarbakki , a bridge can be found on the river. 

11. Through the pass Bessahlaðaskarð over to Öxnadal valley
Hiking time 8 hours. 
Maximum height 1000 m. 
Range of difficulty 3. 
The shortest route is to walk from farm Hraun, through the lava to Vatnsgrund and from the further along the lake Hraunsvatn on the east side along nice sheep tracks. The walk continues into the valley on the rivers east side, below the Mt Þverbrekkuhnjúk. The bottom of the valley gradually gets higher and when reaching further in to it, turn towards the east and head for the pass Bessahlaðaskarð. which is south of the southernmost part of the mountain  Grjótskálarknjúk, which devides the pass. Try to avoid to enter the Grjótskálina which is quit difficult to cross. Continue down into the valley Öxnadal from the pass Bessahlaðaskarði, but note that it is quite steep. Head for the main road in the valley Öxnadal but try to stay south of the creek which soon turns to be a small river, called Skarðsá. Avoid though to go too much to the south due to high cliffs.  If the intentions is to go to Háls or Hraun, which is quite far, one would need to go on the north side of the river Skarðsá, and would have to go quite into lower terrain in order to avoid some difficult gorge on the route. 

12. Mt Þverbrekkuhnjúkur
Hiking time 9 hours.
Maximum height 1206 m. 
Range of difficulty 3. 
Walk from farm Hraun across the lava and further into the valley Vatnsdal as described in hike 11. When entering pass Bessahlaðaskarð we head to the northeast of an notable mountain on the pass north side called Grjótskálarhnjúk, this mountain is quite rocky.  When arriving up on the flat plateau the walk is easy. This are is called Bessahlaðahnjúkur. To access the mountain it needs to be done in two steps, when arriving the one on the north part you have arrived to Mt Þverbrekkuhnjúk, which is north of the pass Bessahlaðagil in valley Öxnadalur. On the return one should look down the gorge Bessahlaðagil. Then continue from the pass Bessahlaðaskarð as described in route 11. 

13. Through valley Vatnsdal over corge Gilsgil to valley Öxnadalur
Hiking time 11 hours. 
Maximum height 1170 m. 
Range of difficulty 3. 
Walk from farm Hraun further into the valley Vatnsdal as described in hike 11. When aproaching the area by pass Bessahlaðaskarð the direction is taken towards the east part of the Vatnsdalsbotn. In that area are glacial snow and if one prefers to avoid those, one can especially during late summer walk upp the landslide on the slops of mountain Varmavatnshólafjall. When arriving up on the plateau one heads on down to the Grjótárdalsdrög and then further down the gorge Gilsgil in Öxnadal valley. From Grjótárdalsdrög one could access Öxnadalsheiði, and further one could continue from there over to  Víkingsskarð and over to Hörgárdalsheiði. 

14. Mt Hraundrangi 
Climbing time 7 hours. 
Maximum height 1075 m. 
Range of difficulty 3,5. 

The mountain Hraundrangi rises to an unusually sharp point, less than half a square metre at the peak. It is a lava spire that remains with the rest of the ridge after much of the original mountain, Háafjall, fell in a large rockslide many centuries ago.
The route to the top of the mountain consist of more climbing rather then walking. Usually one accesses Hraundrangi from valley Hörgárdal rather than valley Öxnadal. From valley Hörgárdal the route is more easy, starting by a walk up some grassy dell. The walk begins by the deserted farm Nýjibær. The slops are well vegetated and easily walkable.  When entering the biggest pass the view of the valley Öxnadal appears, with a stunning drop of 700 m. There the climb begins and begins on the north side of the peak. The cliff wall is quite loose so one needs to take precaution of falling stones. The peak it self is 4x1,50 m and on top of it are three huge stones each about 1 square meter. One could therefore say that the peak is about 3 square meters. After reaching the top one returns back the same route back down to the Hörgárdal valley.