Breiðavík Big Loop
ElevationAscent: 2,817' 859 m
Descent: -2,799' -853 m
High: 1,569' 478 m
Low: 11' 3 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 28% (16°)
“A complete experience of the amazing landscape and profound silence of the deserted inlets of Borgarfjörður eystri.”— Fjord Bikes
Electric Mountain Bikes Allowed
After descending into the historical deserted Breiðavík inlet, you can go to the black sand beach littered with rhyolite pebbles. Then you ride up Chasing Waterfalls, a trail in an ancient glacial valley surrounded by waterfalls, to top out at the twin lakes of Gæsavötn in the inner Borgarfjörður eystri highland.
The descent is on Whiteshirt, down towards the inner Borgarfjörður eystri valley. If so inclined, you could take a detour up Mr. Sandman, or continue north on Borgarfjörður Valley Access Road through pastoral fields until you get back to the Borgarfjörður eystri village.
Starting from Borgarfjörður eystri village, take the road east out of town until you get to Apex Ridge (marked by a sign showing "Breiðavík"). At first there are some steep inclines, until you get to a wide plateau where you can catch a glimpse into the Brúnavík valley to the north. As you climb, you'll have more extensive views to the southwest and west as well. The climb tops out at the top of Gagnheiði, with astounding panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Then begins a 500 meter descent down to the Breiðavík wilderness cabin through switchbacks and moderately steep sections. The surface can be loose, so caution is recommended for this section. As you pass by the cabin, be sure to take the path indicated by yellow wooden markers until you come to a small bridge to your left, which allows you to cross the big river. Then you can keep following the doubletrack up Chasing Waterfalls.
This is a relatively easy climb until you come into the waterfall valley, where you must cross the river again, and carrying your bike may be necessary. From there is a moderately steep climb to the twin lakes in Gæsavötn, where you take a right onto Whiteshirt. It's all downhill from there on a very fast, but possibly loose, course.
As you descend, you'll have views over the inner Borgarfjörður valley and the incredible rhyolite hills of the eastern mountains. To your west you'll see Mt. Dyrfjöll. Keep going on the trail to the bottom, where you'll turn north by the trailhead of Mr. Sandman, and keep going through the pastoral countryside all the way back to the village.
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, History & Background
Local Club: Fjord Bikes