With its challenging untamed appeal, many people are attracted to this last true wilderness of Europe and drive via Kjalvegur or Kjolur during the restricted travel season, which falls somewhere between June and August – depending on the weather and be wary, for the weather in can change very quickly. But even in this period, travellers must be vigilant and prepared for sudden extreme weather conditions – including snow storms.
Travelling from either end of Kjolur or sometimes called Kjalvegur (road no. 35), the connecting 165 km (103 miles) stretch of mountain track suits those with appropriate 4WD transport and good suspension. From the northern end, you reach Kjolur via a turnoff halfway between Varmahlíð and Blönduós on road 731. It exits in the southwest region at Gullfoss waterfall. It lies in an altitude of approx. 600-700 meters and winds between the glaciers, Langjokull and Hofsjokull.
There are many stories of outlaws and others who have ended up in snow-driven tombs on Kjolur; one of the tales tells of two brothers named Bjarni and Einar Halldórsson, who in the autumn of 1780, together with their travel companions, traversed the highlands to buy some sheep and horses in South Iceland. On their return, a blizzard caught them northeast of Mt. Kjalfell and tragically perished, together with their livestock. Someone found their bones 65 years later in a place subsequently dubbed ‘Bone-hill’ (Beinahóll).
Visitors camping in the area often witness mysterious shadows, and animal bones still turn up there regularly.