Skaftá River in Iceland: Length, Width, Fishes, Location, and Environment

Skaftá River in Iceland

The Skaftá River is located primarily in South Iceland. It is about 71.5 miles (115 km) long. The Skaftá River has a widely varying depth and width because of the landscape it moves through. Its width also depends on recent weather patterns and glacial melt each year since the width increases as more water pours into the river. 

The Skaftá River is one of the larger glacial rivers in southern Iceland. It runs from a primarily glacial source to an estuary, getting mixed glacier run-off and spring-fed. The primary glacier that feeds into this river is the Vatnajökull Glacier. Because of the meltwater from this glacier, the river is muddy and deep during the summer and almost crystal clear during the winter.

What to do in the Skaftá River in Iceland?

This river is dangerous because of its unpredictability. It floods about every two years and can create quite a few problems for bridges and anything built along its banks. Glacier bursts are also quite common, which can cause surges in the river. Because of a volcanic eruption in 1783, the river’s course was destroyed. It widens into many branches along the entire lava field before meeting again on the southern end of the plain.

Is it dangerous to swim in the Skaftá River?

As a general rule, this isn’t one of the better rivers to swim in within Iceland. However, it is better to avoid this river because of its unpredictability and how dirty it gets during the summers.

Is it possible to use a boat in the Skaftá River?

It is not recommended to use a boat on the river. This is because of the volcanic field mentioned earlier in which the river almost flattens out over the plain and becomes very unpredictable. 

Which fishes can be caught in the Skaftá River of Iceland?

There is a possibility that you can catch fish such as sea trout in the Skafta River. However, it is not one of the rivers in Iceland well-known for the sport. Instead, the Grenlaekur river is better for fishing for trout and char.

How is the Environment of the Skaftá River?

The environment around the Skaftá river varies throughout its flow area. However, the minerals filter the porous lava in the lava field over which Skaftá flows, and it creates crystal-clear water that supports a wide variety of lush vegetation.

What Canyon is the Skaftá River Located in?

The primary canyons that the Skaftá river used to flow through were ‌filled with lava during Laki’s eruption. This has ‌weakened the lower flow area of the river.

What are the Hotels and Roads for Skaftá River?

The Ring Road runs right over two branches of the Skaftá river that mark its origin point. Because this river frequently floods, the bridges have been heavily fortified in this area. The closest hotels to this river include the Hotel Klaustur and Klausterhof Guesthouse along the Ring Road and the Magma Hotel off the main track on Road 204.

Is there a Fishing Lodge around the Skaftá River?

There is no specific fishing lodge to serve the Skaftá river since it is not very popular for fishing.

Is there a Bridge for the Skaftá River in Iceland?

Two bridges cross over the Skafta River. The most well-known is the Eldvatn network arch bridge, Iceland’s first network steel arch bridge in Iceland. It was built after dangerous floods nearly collapsed the old bridge that spanned the river.

What are the closest cities to the Skaftá River of Iceland?

The closest towns to the Skaftá river include Kirkjubaejarklaustur and Skaftarhreppur.