Hekla Mountain in Iceland: Peak, Height, History, Geography

Hekla Mountain in Iceland

Hekla Mountain in Iceland is a volcanic mountain or, better said, a stratovolcano. It is one of the country’s most active volcanoes. Because of the frequent eruptions, Europeans used to call Hekla “The Gateway to Hell.” When not active, Hekla is covered with ice and several glaciers with their outlets. Hekla has a huge impact on Icelandic Culture as it is mentioned in several famous books, including “To Lie With Lions” by Dorothy Dunnett, “Moby Dick” by  Herman Melville, and “Bronze Winter” by Stephen Baxter. 

What is the Location of Hekla Mountain?

Hekla Mountain is situated in the south of iceland with geographic coordinates 63.9923° N, 19.6658° W. Hekla Mountain stands on a diverging plate boundary or the place where the Eastern volcanic zone and the southern Icelandic seismic zone meet. 

What is the height of the Hekla Mountain?

Hekla Mountain is 1.491 m (4.892 ft) tall. Compared to other volcanic mountains in Iceland, Hekla is not particularly tall. However, it is part of a sizeable volcanic ridge and is notorious for its volcanic activity.  

Is there an access to Hekla Mountain?

Yes, there is access to Hekla Mountain. Visitors can get to Hekla’s base using four-wheel-drive trucks. For hikers with more adventurous spirits, the actual trail starts a couple of kilometers before the base. 

How to Get to Hekla Mountain

Hekla is easily visible from most parts of South Iceland. There are tours and tour guides to Hekla Mountains from most larger towns in the country. Travelers can take Ring Road 1 for 90 kilometers and then Road Number 26 and F225 to get to Hekla Mountain.  

Is It Possible to Camp in Hekla Mountain?

Yes, Camping in Iceland is possible in several locations and the base of Hekla Mountain is no exception. In fact, many visitors decide to camp at the base of the mountain before hiking and exploring the surroundings.  

Images of Hekla Mountain

What are the Facts about Hekla Mountain?

Hekla Mountains is part of a volcanic ridge that is 40 kilometers long. In terms of morphology, Hekla is something between a stratovolcano and a fissure vent. It has a unique form shared with only a handful of volcanic mountains in the world. Interestingly, when inactive, Hekla is covered with ice, glaciers and their outlets. Another intriguing fact about Hekla is its unusually low seismic activity. Namely, earthquakes only start between 30 and 80 minutes before eruptions. 

Is There an Active Volcano in Hekla Mountain?

There are many Volcanoes in Iceland but Hekla is the most active one. Namely, Hekla has had more than 20 massive eruptions in recorded history, since 874. Interestingly, Hekla has produced 10% of the Icelandic tephra or around 5 cubic meters. Cumulatively, throughout history, Hekla has produced 8 cubic kilometers of lava which is more than any other volcano in the world. 

What are the similar mountains to Hekla Mountain in Iceland?

Mountains in Iceland similar to Hekla Mountain are:

  • Hvannadalshnúkur Mountain
  • Snæfellsjökull Mountain
  • Kirkjufell Mountain
  • Bárðarbunga Mountain
  • Keilir Mountain. 

Are there any National Park in Hekla Mountain?

Of the three national parks in Iceland, Thingvellir is the closest one to Hekla Mountain. Hekla is also close to Fjallabak Nature Reserve. Both sites captivate the raw Icelandic landscape and are worth visiting. 

Are there Glaciers around Hekla Mountain in Iceland?

Glaciers in Iceland that are near Hekla are Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. It is worth mentioning that when Hekla is not volcanically active, it is covered with several glaciers. 

Which city is closest to Hekla Mountain in Iceland?

Towns and cities in Iceland close to Hekla Mountain are Hella, Asolfsstadhir, and Hvolsvöllur. However, although listed as nearby localities they are not particularly close, and reaching them requires several hours of driving through rough terrain.