Andy and Tom on the Upper Eystri Jokulsa

River:  Eystri Jokulsa

Grid Reference: 65deg3′N; 18 deg 30′W

Grade: II-IV

Length: 65Km

Date Run: 10.08.91 and 11.08.91

Weather Conditions: Warm and sunny

River Level: Medium

Significant portages: One

Access arrangements

Get in  just above the new bridge on the F72.


After the canyon section the river opens out and becomes braided. Go to the end of the F754 and leave your vehicle on the west side of the river somewhere along this braided section.


Tom on the lower Eystri Jokulsa canyon

The first few kilometres are almost flat and the river doubles back on itself a few times after which the river speeds up and enters a very wide valley. The following 35 Kms is continious grade III-IV. Very little needs inspecting but it is all hard canoeing with loads of rocks a big pourovers. It is possible to get out along most of the bank. A swim would be very cold and rocky. We camped next to the church on the right hand bank just before the river enters the main canyon.

In this canyon the river hots up a bit. It narrows and bigger waves and stoppers form. There is quite a large rapid as the river passes under a wire cradle device. The river passes under a large bridge and the canyon becomes very narrow and the river more furious. There is a large drop with nothing to serious in it except some very large boils at the bottom. There is nothing else significant until a river wide pourover. This has been run on far left down the big boily mess at low water. It is a difficult portage. Catch the last eddy on the right and then seal launch back in. A very easy way to trash your boat. There follow a few more big rapids after which the river widens out a little and there is a big two stage drop. Go down the centre of the first drop which has a big stopper at the bottom and then head sharp left to avoid the big rock. This second drop has a large stopper at the bottom which at medium levels has a tounge down the right and at lower levels has a high trashing potential.

The river then widens and there area few more big drops all of which can be run without inspection. Be careful of all the jutting out rocks on the bank as many look undercut. Get out wherever you parked the vehicle.