Hjálparfoss or the “Help’s Falls” is located in Þjórsárdalur valley, just north of one of the most active volcanos is Iceland, Hekla. The waterfall runs from the river Fossá that merges with Þjórsá, Iceland’s longest river, not far from the waterfall.
Hjálparfoss is a beautiful, two stepped waterfall that cascades down into a large plunge pool that is surrounded by very unique basalt rock formations. The waterfall is located about 30 km from the town Flúðir and it takes about 2 hours drive from Reykjavik. Þjófafoss and Háifoss are not far from Hjálparfoss.
The surrounding area is called Hjálp or “help” because when people had to travel from the north to the south over the highlands of Iceland they had to travel through the harsh and desolated Sprengisandur route. It was usually very hard to find a place in this desert route to feed the horses and when arriving to the the lush area near Hjálparfoss people thought of it as a help, because finally there was grass for the horses to bite after this long journey.
The waterfall is easily accessible from Reykjavik and the drive takes about 1 hour and 30 minues (116 km). Head on to Ring Road nr 1 towards the town Selfoss and then take road nr 30 northbound. After about 18 km turn east on road nr 32. After 20 minutes drive there is a sign next to the road that says Hjalparfoss. From the parking lot the hike to the waterfall is easy and the trip should take about 30-60 minutes back and forth.
Read more about Driving in Iceland.