A super fun scramble set in the western peninsula of Iceland, Kirkjufell rises ~1500 ft from sea level and the trail length is probably a mile (~1.6 km). It gets steep past 300 meters into the hike. The view from 1290 ft (above).
You need to traverse three stretches of rocky outcrops with help of ropes fixed into the trail by apparently the locals (Icelandic park rangers?). The first of which is a 10-12 ft vertical climb. Carry gloves for better grip.
Also remember that roughly 30-40 mins into the hike past a couple of scrambles (first of which is a 20+ ft rocky patch of the mountain facing south-east on the trail), the trail splits into two – one going left and the other going right. Take the trail to the left. Else prepare to waste 10 mins like me.
Kirkjufell mountain (above) as seen from the Kirkjufellsfoss (waterfalls). The trail follows a fence at the beginning (details below).
The trail is quite steep and avoid dancing, limping or simply hiking under a hang over. 🙂 The top half of the picture below is heavily skewed, but picture the bottom half as exactly what you would face getting down the mountain.
Took me 55-60 mins to pass the first of the ropes, and roughly 30 mins to run down the mountain. The entire stretch to the top should not take more than 80-90 mins.
People with long legs and a solid heart, this is totally your hike. Always “safety first”!
Skeleton Point Hike starts from the South Kaibab trailhead accessible along the South Rim trail. Alternately you can catch the park shuttle to the trailhead. The trail descends very quickly along a 3 mile stretch to the aforementioned point passing other markers viz Ooh-aah point (don’t think) and Cedar Ridge on the way.
The elevation loss up to Skeleton Point is around 2100 feet and although not steep, I rate it steep enough when in doubt over shoe grip on dry arid soil.
It should take a little over 60 mins to descend and may be 120 mins to gain all that elevation on your way back. Remember to carry plenty of water on the trail as there are no sources of spring water and the canyon can get very dry and hot. It is a lot hotter at Skeleton Point and apparently there is a 7-10 F temperature difference for every 1000 feet you lose in elevation.
The trail continues further from Skeleton point all the way down to the Colorado River (~4200 feet overall loss from trail head). But knock knock, remember the temperature difference and plan to carry water and electrolytes accordingly.
The view from Skeleton Point makes you realize how grand the canyon truly is. Majestic is another word that comes to mind…
One of the more exciting day hikes close to Portland (other is Elk Mountain on OR 6), Munra Point hike is no walk in the park. The trail gains an elevation of around 1800-2000 ft in a little more than a mile. Average times (times may vary) hover around 2 hrs to the summit, extra time needed to carefully hike down the mountain. The hike begins at around 1.5-2 miles from the John B Yeon trail head. Take the CG bicycle path all the way up to Moffet Creek and turn right on to a narrow trail past signs to Trail # 400. At around 50 feet through the sign board, take the narrow steep trail to your right. The hike is a near scramble with a lot of exposure. Do not attempt should you fear your way down the mountain.The narrow chimney that leads to the summit is a 15 ft scramble to the top. Stay safe!