F-Roads
In Iceland

The Ultimate Guide

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Your Highland Adventure in Iceland

Exploring the highlands’ F-roads in a 4×4 camper is a brilliant way to experience some real adventure. Moon-like landscapes, vast river plains, and foreboding mountain ranges. Perfect for hiking, with incredible views and the occasional hot streams that dot the landscape. The good news is that CampEasy has excellent 4×4 campers for such a trip, the tools you need to do it safely, and the information to help you plan. Here is what you need to know before you embark on your journey.

What kind of vehicle can tackle the F-Roads?

Mountain/highland roads in Iceland are quite foreign to most; many are less than a faint track or have been washed away entirely by mud in the spring. The conditions can be quite dangerous, and in some cases, you may need to reconsider your need to travel a particular F-road, if it becomes too challenging or there are deep rivers to cross. Getting stuck on a remote F-Road can spell serious trouble, as you often have no cell service, and you MUST not try and walk for help. And if you drown your vehicle in a river, well… Below, we will discuss what to do in worst-case scenarios, how badly you are liable for damages when crossing rivers (and why the liability is entirely yours), and what CampEasy has done to make a highland journey more accessible (and relatively safe). The upside is that traversing the highland tundra in a camper is one of the safer options, as you can comfortably wait for assistance.

In the word “F-Roads,” the F stands for “Fjallvegur” in Icelandic, which means Mountain Road. You’ll see these F labels on the road signs themselves, with an F before the numerical label (F35). But many remote roads that do have a numerical label, and no F before the name, wouldn’t commonly be considered roads at all, merely a 2-lane dirtbike path. Also, an F-Road can be in top shape one week, and dreadful the next. Only 4wd rental vehicles, most often with a raised chassis, are allowed on F-Roads. 2wd vehicles are neither suited nor allowed. CampEasy offers the Easy Clever X, Easy Clever, and the Easy Viking 4×4, all of which have undergone substantial modification to handle the rough conditions you’ll face. The entire VW van line also has an excellent 4×4 drive. And yes, that varies a lot between car manufacturers.

We have both New and eXperienced Campervans suited for the F-Roads of Iceland

F-Road Campers

River crossing in Iceland

Our list below contains roads with river crossings that are not marked as banned, as it could mean the water clearance is low, or you can attempt crossing during low flow (early in the morning). If you arrive at high tide or high flow, you may have to turn back or reattempt early in the morning when the ice melt is at its lowest point. Taking chances here could cost you tens of thousands of Euros/Dollars.

River depth can change rapidly throughout the day with rain or an increase in temperature, which speeds up snowmelt. It is advised not to cross rivers alone- keep watch to see how and where other vehicles are crossing and make sure the water level is lower than the chassis of the vehicle. We equip our 4×4 campers with a “hidden” snorkel, located in the top of the hood, so the engine’s air intake can’t be easily flooded if the water level reaches above the base of the chassis/front grille. But this air intake adjustment is only half the story. The flooded electronic equipment in your hood can result in a stalled engine. You can quickly lose traction as the vehicle gets lighter in the river and get stuck (or start floating down the river).

No insurance company in Iceland offers river crossing insurance. Or water damage insurance, for that matter. So, CampEasy can not buy insurance for the vehicle against such damages. And if you flood the camper, it’s totaled. It can never be used again as a rental vehicle, and the damage to the electronics alone means we get almost nothing in re-sale. Our 4×4 vehicles (with modifications and the camper build) cost between 6 and 8 million Icelandic Kronas. That is the bill you will receive if you drown a camper in a river. We understand that this amount is quite scary, so we now offer the adventurous options to lower that amount to 700.000 ISK, via the Zero Risk Insurance, or 1.400.000 ISK with the Premium. But that’s still one hell of a bill. And all that is aside from the immense risk to your own life as you float helplessly down a raging glacier river. We don’t even have any good advice on what to do in that situation. Please keep all this in mind as you venture into the next river.

Courtesy of Iceland Magazine

Þórsmörk – Where Campers go to die.

How to cross rivers

We trust you’ve read the chapter above, before getting into this one.

Let’s start with the three types of rivers:

Glacier rivers.
They are the largest during spring and early summer. They are also sensitive to the time of day as they grow during the daylight’s heat and shrink during the cold of the night. They are melted glaciers, in short.
Spring rivers.
As the name suggests, their source is a spring you can find and their source is known. They flow constant throughout the year, and during all temperatures.
Rivers with unknown origins.
These rivers have no clear spring or source, and it’s likely that they form at the Earth’s surface. They are sensitive to rain and heat and freeze in the winter.

Rules/Guides for crossing a river in a camper:

1. If at all possible, don’t go at it alone.

Most of the highlands will see some traffic at one point or another. Crossing a river on a camper by yourself can spell disaster. You want to have some super jeep come and take the first dive. Talk to them, ask them to wait and advise.

2. Never drive upstream.

When you reach the river, try and aim for a route that’s with the flow of the river. You get increased traction, and you reduce the chances of you losing control of the vehicle. Going upstream increases your chances of flooding your engine (which destroys it).

3. Drive as slowly as you can, without ever stopping.

As you increase your speed in the water, the force of the vehicle lifts the water above your hood, which is where your engine air intake is located. You also lose visibility as the water rises above the hood, and spotting obstacles and rocks in your path is a big part of the process. (Extremely) slow and steady is key, but without ever stopping. If you stop, your camper starts to sink slightly, and you significantly increase your chances of getting stuck. 

4. Make a plan, and have redundancies.

You want to imagine an entry point into the river, a route to cross, and an exit location out of the river. But you also want to have a plan B, and even a plan C. Your plan B is for when you notice that pool in front of you, and you must adjust. You don’t want to have to think much, but rather switch to plan B. Your plan C is for when everything else fails and you need damage control. DO NOT STOP, DO NOT SPEED UP.

5. Calm spots are the deepest spots.

When looking at the river, the general rule is that where the river looks the calmest, it’s the deepest. You want to take your time and read the river, making sure you have a plan based on the rules above.

6. Cross rivers early morning.

Most rivers, and especially glacier rivers, have a lower flow during the early morning before the sun has melted any of the snow.

Camper and river

7. If in doubt, do not cross.

Going into a river unsure whether you’ll reach the other side is just dumb. Your life, your adventure, our camper, and the time of the Search and Rescue teams is much more valuable than a missed chance to see a specific location in the highlands.

8. Do not drive off-road.

You must be sure that your entry point and your exit location is on a legal road. Driving up a riverbank and onto moss/sensitive land is strictly forbidden. And the Icelandic government has upped the fines substantially (hundreds of thousands). And that is only right.

Which F-Roads are not allowed?

These routes are closed to any CampEasy camper. For a good reason. Some roads are not marked as F-Roads but are interior mountain roads, and can be considered F-Roads. Forbidden roads to avoid (even in a 4×4 camper) are the following:

  • Road 622 in the Westfjords
  • Road 337 to Þjófahraun
  • Road F578 to Arnavatsheidi 
  • Road F210 around Mýrdalsjökull
  • Road F26 through the highlands
  • Road F910 Öskjuvatnsvegur
  • Road F980 Kollmúluvegur
  • Road F249 to Þórsmörk

Every F-Road In Iceland (almost) and a Map of Each

For CampEasy customers, titles are labeled according to permissions.
Red: Forbidden
Orange: At your own discretion
Green: Allowed (with some common sense)

WESTFJORDS

F66 – Kollafjarðarheiði

Kollafjarðarheiði between Kollafjörður bay, in the South, and Ísafjörður bay in the North of the Westfjords. 25 kms long, drive time about 3 hours. A very challenging road, with a few streams to cross. Epic lunar views along the way.


F586 – Haukadalsskarðsvegur

Haukadalsskarðsvegur takes you between Haukadalsvegur in Snæfellsnes and Staður in the North West. 35kms long, drive time of about 4 hours. This road is remote, with limited cell reception, and in poor shape with many potholes and ruts to navigate.


622 – Westfjords

A dangerous passage between Þingeyri and Fossdalur.

SNÆFELLSNES

F570 – Jökulshálsvegur

Jökulshálsvegur runs between Ólafsvík and Arnarstapi, north and south of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. This road is 18kms long with a roughly 2 hour drive time. A challenging and steep drive which will take you up one of the highest routes in Iceland- to 658m (2,158ft) above sea level through Snæfellsjökull National Park, with some incredible scenery from the top.


F575 – Eysteinsdalsleið

Eysteinsdalsleið is barely mentioned online or marked by signage, but begins as a gravel road leading from Utnesvegur to Eyvindarhola Lava Cave and into Snæfellsjökull National Park behind Snæfellsjökull, a 700,000-year-old glacier-topped volcano. Klukkufoss and Snukkjufoss waterfalls are visible on this route. Bad cell coverage and little to no traffic along this route- caution advised.

CENTER WEST

F578 – Arnarvatnsvegur

A dangerous passage with deep river crossings. Do not use.


550 – Kaldidalur

Kaldidalur is not marked as an F-Road but most definitely should be. This is a 40km unpaved road which can be completed in about 4 hours. Stretching between Þingvellir and Husafell, this road continues to F578 towards the north of Iceland.


F338 – Skjaldbreiðarvegur

Skjaldbreiðarvegur is a 50km road from F550 toward F35 near Gullfoss. There are 2 river crossings on this route- they are usually shallow, but it is important to check the depth.


Road 337 – Hlöðuvallavegur – Þjófahraun

Deep river crossings. Do not use.


F735 – Þjófadalavegur

Þjófadalavegur runs east to west between Hveradallir hot springs to Þjófadalir. There is one river crossing that is usually shallow, but it is important to check the depth. The views along this route are beautiful and take you past mountains, glaciers, and rivers. At Hveradallir there are some facilities including a café and parking.


F347 – Kerlingafjallavegur

Kerlingarfjallavegur connects F35 to the famous Kerlingarfjöll mountains, through the center of Iceland. The lunar surroundings are worth the challenging drive which will take you to Gýgjarfoss waterfall nestled between two glaciers. There are two river crossings on this route, with one being quite shallow and the other one quite deep, especially after heavy rain. This route is most often ok, must use caution.

SOUTH

F249 – Þórsmerkurvegur

Deep river crossings. Do not use.


F261 – Emstruleið

Emstruleið is a very rugged road that is 37kms long through Þórsmörk toward South Fjallabak Nature reserve (Fjallabaksleið syðri) There are a few river crossings on this road, so it may not be possible to complete the entire route.


F210 – Fjallabaksleið syðri

Deep river crossings. Do not use.


F225 – Landmannaleið

Landmannaleið is a beautiful road to explore which is 41kms long and takes you from Landvegur toward North Fjallabak Nature reserve (Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri) in the South of Iceland. This road does have a few river crossings, which may mean you must turn back if the depth is higher than the creek level.


F228 – Veiðivatnaleið

Veiðivatnaleið is a Martian-like road that connects road F26 to Skalavatn Lake. This road is deserted most of the time and there are a few river crossings, which may mean you must turn back if the depth is higher than creek level.


F208 – Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri

Even though this route is labeled Green, it’s still a tricky route that can be in a very bad condition. It is, however, stunning in a lot of ways.


F233 – Álftavatnskrókur

Álftavatnskrókur is a 20kms long road that connects the North and South of Fjallabak Nature reserve in the South of Iceland. However, it does contain a serious river, so it’s not possible to complete the entire road. But driving up towards the river, and back, is well worth the trip in our opinion.


F206 – Lakavegur – Lakagígar

Lakagígar is 41kms long and takes around 3-4 hours to complete. An absolutely fantastic landscape, this road leads to Laki Crater in the Vatnajökull national park. The road does contain multiple rivers, which may mean you must turn back if the depth is higher than creek level.

NORTH

F839 – Leirdalsheiðarvegur

Leirdalsheiðarvegur runs 27kms from Hvalvatnsfjörður to Grenivík in the north of Iceland. The road is rough and contains a few low-level streams/rivers, so it is important to check the depth. This road is completely deserted most of the time and cell networks can be patchy, so it is advised to travel in a convoy if possible.


F899 – Flateyjardalsvegur

Flateyjardalsvegur is a 34km long serious drive through Austurádalur valley. There are a few smell low-level streams/rivers, so it is important to check the depth. Steep in some parts.


F862 – Dettifoss

Dettifoss From Ring Road 1 to Dettifoss West Parking Lot is paved, but continuing north this road turns into an F-Road and requires a 4×4. No river crossings to worry about and this leads you toward Asbyrgi Canyon.

CENTRAL

F35 – Kjölur

Kjölur is the most popular mountain route that takes you from Geysir on the Golden Circle, right through the middle of Iceland to the north.


F26 – Sprengisandsleið

Sprengisandsleið takes you through the center of Iceland, running 232kms between Hofsjökull and Vatnajökull glaciers via Sprengisandur. Parts of this road are covered by deep rivers, so it is important to check the depth. A long and challenging road, we advise against taking the full route. This road is extremely remote and in terrible shape, it is believed to be haunted and is subject to severe highland weather. No gas stations along this route.


F752 – Skagafjarðarleið

Skagafjarðarleið is 120kms long and links route F26 to Varmahlíð, in northern Iceland. There are some creeks and low-level rivers across this route, so it is important to check the depth. A rough and challenging road with almost no cell network. The road itself has large potholes and ruts, and the surrounding landscape is very harsh and remote.


F821 – Eyjafjarðarleið

Eyjafjarðarleið runs for 40kms from Laugarfell toward Akureyri. The drive is long and bumpy (40kms) but there are no rivers to cross. Driving through a lush green country valley, it makes for a very beautiful drive.


F881 – Dragaleið

Dragaleið is an 18km journey linking F26 with F821. This is the highest road in Iceland, reaching 944m (3,097ft) elevation. This is a road less traveled and with minimal cell coverage. No rivers to worry about, but the road is very bumpy and lunar.

EAST

F910 – Austurleið

Very deep river crossings. Do not use.


F88 – Öskjuleið

Öskjuleið, also known as Askja Road, is an 80km stretch toward Askja caldera. This is probably the most awe-inspiring F-Road in Iceland, and the landscape is like another planet. Peppered with volcanoes and mountains, volcanic crater lakes that you can swim in (Víti Crater Lake is 30c and safe for swimming) small rivers (passable at low tide) and an eerily black terrain covered in wildflowers. The Askja region is very special.


F905 – Arnardalsleið

Arnardalsleið is 60kms long and has some wide and shallow river crossings, taking you from F910 toward Möðrudalsleið in the East through ancient lava fields. The track is very bumpy, very muddy during rain, and has deep potholes and wide, shallow rivers to cross. – cell network is also minimal and it’s not a busy route.


F894 – Öskjuvatnsvegur

Öskjuvatnsvegur is only a short 8km drive but is in a terrible condition. The drive takes you from the car park at Vikraborgir to Dreki Mountain Huts on F910. Black lava landscapes dominate here, making the short drive very otherworldly.


F902 – Kverkfjallaleið

Kverkfjallaleið runs for 84kms between Kverkfjöll mountain and F905 in southeast Iceland. A very challenging and bumpy road, it takes you into a very remote and seldom visited part of Iceland, therefore cell network is non-existent. It is a long and twisting track between brown slopes, very reminiscent of being on Mars.


F903 – Hvannalindavegur

Hvannalindavegur is a challenging mostly soft-sand track located in the Eastern Region of Iceland. It links Vatnajökull Glacier from F910. This route is remote with no cell service and rarely passing traffic. It does have two significant river crossings over river Lindá and is littered with potholes and fords. It’s so remote, Google doesn’t even recognize it as a road.


F909 – Snæfellsleið

Snæfellsleið is an extremely challenging trail that leads 32kms from Vatnajökull glacier toward road 910. Considered one of the most extreme roads in Iceland. With deep potholes and ruts, as well as several deep river crossings, it means this road may not be possible to complete entirely, even for modified super jeeps.


F946 – Loðmundarfjarðarvegur

Loðmundarfjarðarvegur is just under 38kms long and leads from Borgarfjörður Eystri to Klyppsstaðir, via Húsavík in the east (N.B. there are two places named Húsavík in Iceland, the other located in the north) An incredibly scenic drive with incredible geologic formations to look out for. Extreme heights in some locations. The road ends, so account for the 2-hour drive back when you head out. One of the more famous routes, and one of the most deserted.


F980 – Kollmúluvegur

Very deep rivers. Do not use.


F985 – Jökulvegur

Jökulvegur is a beautiful 17km track alongside Skálafellsjökull. It offers amazing views and no river crossings; however, the road is quite bumpy and extremely steep in places. This glacier is a popular film location with many Hollywood movies such as James Bond and Game Of Thrones being filmed here.

What to know
Before you go


The weather in the highlands can change quickly, so you must be prepared for every season. Make sure you are prepared with enough water, fuel, and supplies to last you a few days are there are no shops or gas stations, and you will be on your own. Whichever F-Road you are thinking of trying, always have water, food, and extra fuel with you. We can supply you with an extra fuel cannister that you mount on the roof.
We strongly recommend that you fill out this form before you head out of cell service, and ask a friend to check in with you in 2-3 days.
Keep updated on the weather conditions predicted by the Icelandic Met Office at www.vedur.is, accessible in your tablet (where there is cell service)
And you should check the status of the road conditions by visiting www.road.is, also accessible in your tablet.
The F-Roads in Iceland are open during the summer months, and you can check the dates here.
Remember that river crossings are at your own risk; we would deem any body of water taller than your boots to be a river. Damages that occur due to river crossings are only covered with our most extensive insurance, and even with that, the cost can easily exceed €10,000.

Camping in Iceland

Maps of Campsites in The Highlands

Highland Campsites are in limited supply, but there are still a few that you can use.

More on Winter CampingMore Maps

F-Road Campers

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All CampEasy 4x4 Vehicles come with a 220V charging option, 220V wall outlets, a built-in charging port for Electric Toys on the back, plus a roof rack and a roof box.

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“I'm Icelandic, and we are quite used to seeing modified cars, but even for me these CampEasy campers are becoming a sight to behold.”
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0-2 Years Old
0-2 year old

All CampEasy 4x4 Vehicles come with a 220V charging option, 220V wall outlets, a built-in charging port for Electric Toys on the back, plus a roof rack and a roof box.

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“I'm Icelandic, and we are quite used to seeing modified cars, but even for me these CampEasy campers are becoming a sight to behold.”
- Gaui H
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All CampEasy 4x4 Vehicles come with a 220V charging option, 220V wall outlets, a built-in charging port for Electric Toys on the back, plus a roof rack and a roof box.

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icon of a mounted spare
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“I'm Icelandic, and we are quite used to seeing modified cars, but even for me these CampEasy campers are becoming a sight to behold.”
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