The rhyolite twins of Móskarðshnjúkar are sometimes jokingly referred to as “the peaks where the sun always shines” due to the sharp contrast between the rhyolite peaks and their darker surroundings.
Rhyolite is a type of volcanic rock which is relatively rare. Mountains made of this rock are especially colorful and bright. In Iceland, the most famous rhyolite areas are Landmannalaugar and Kerlingarfjöll, both located deep within the deserted interior of the country. The sight of a rhyolite mountain so close to the capital is absolutely scenic.
Móskarðshnjúkar is located 18.6 mi. (30 km) from Reykjavík. The mountain can even be spotted from the city when visibility is good. As part of the Esja mountain range, the warm yellow cone-shaped peak is one of the furthest from Reykjavík in the mountain range. Moskardshnjukar mountain is an outdoor heaven for natives as it lies right in the city’s backyard. It is, however, significantly less traveled than the classic Esja region.
After we have picked you up in Reykjavík, we’ll drive to the trailhead. From there, we’ll continue on foot. The hiking trail is quite steep but the terrain isn’t challenging. The first leg of the trail leads up a hillside where there is only very thin flora which includes moss and lichen. As we reach the bottom of the main peak, the flora disappears entirely leaving only bare rock to surround us.
As we walk over the sharp and colorful rhyolite rocks, you’ll soon understand why the peak looks so bright from the distance. From the top, we’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the surroundings. The landscape looks like a remote wilderness area, even though we are only a 30-minute drive from the capital.
The distinct shape of the peak, the sharp mountain ridges, and the deep, green valleys with Reykjavík city in the distance make this an awe-inspiring 360-degree panorama that is a truly valuable reward for completing this hike.
Hiking to the top of Móskarðshnjúkar is a worthwhile half-day hike and a surprisingly adventurous experience. Join us!