Useful Information

Location: Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Near the hamlet Arnarstapi. 10 minutes walk to the gorge entrance from the parking lot.
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Guided tours:
Address: Rauðfeldsgjá, Tel: +354-, Fax: +354-,
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.



Rauðfeldsgjá is located in the cliffs south of the glacier Snæfellsjökull. It is a narrow gorge in the basaltic lava flows with a small brook flowing on the ground. There is no development and no trail, but it is rather easy to visit, there is no need for climbing or neoprene. But surefootedness and good walking shoes are mandatory. Most people walk to the so-called main chamber, a widening of the gorge which forms a sort of roofless cavern. Following the gorge further you will reach a rope, where you can pull yourself up over a small waterfall. Those who overcome this challenge are rewarded by a very narrow path with cliffs all around you and a view high up to the open air.

Þorkell and his sons Rauðfeldur and Sölvi came to Iceland to live at Arnarstapi. Þorkell was the half brother of Bárður Snæfellsás who was half man and half troll. The boys often played with Bárðurs many beautiful daughters. One day they lured Helga to an iceberg and pushed her on the iceberg. Unfortunately high winds blew the iceberg quickly from shore and out to the open sea and she disappeared. At this time communication was slow and the news of her fate and journey on the ice never reached her father much later. Everyone thought she was lost and dead, but she reached Greenland seven days later and lived a good live with the family of Erik the Red for many years. She wrote a poem which was preserved in the Sagas, about how she missed her father, family, and country.
When Bárður Snæfellsás heard of the disappearance of his daughter he went completely mad. He grabbed the boys, one 11 years old, the other 12 years old. He threw Rauðfeldur into the ravine where he died and it was named Rauðfeldsgjá after him. Then he threw the other brother Sölvi off the cliff and it was named Sölvahamar after him. Bárður lost his mind and walked up to the glacier where he built an ice cave where he lived for many centuries. Some believe he still lives in his cave.
excerpt from the Bárðar saga Snæfellsáss.