How hard is it to hike Mt. Esjan and how to I get there? I wish to go to the location “stone” on the mountain and have good running shoes.
HI! I actually did exactly this on August 2016!
I am a couch potato and do not consider myself anywhere near fit but I actually managed getting to “stone” on Mt. Esjan ha!
I am not sure about running shoes because I took the hike with proper hiking shoes(did not really want to get injured halfway up the mountain) and I believe I made the right decision because even though the hike up to the flat part of the mountain was relatively easy, the journey up to the “stone” was rather difficult as the plains are covered with jagged rocks. It really depends on how experienced you are on hiking, but as a complete beginner I kind of also regretted not having the trekking pole with me, especially when going down the rocky part of the mountain. It could be very unstable and to be honest I did not really know how to best set my footing
The mountain itself is about 40 minutes drive from Reykjavik through Mosfellsbaer but I remember also seeing a bus stop right at the foot of the mountain! I would personally recommend taking the car there though! Another recommendation is to pop by the town pool in Mosfellsbaer to rest your tired muscles in the hot pool, and then get some hearty burger at Ruby Tuesdays haha
I tried to get up there some when in the fall and I did not succeed… partly because I am super unathletic and partly because the sun was going down and we started too late to return in daylight!
I thought that the beginning was quite tough and rather steep, and if you are in a bad shape like me you will be out of breath quickly.
We also had heavy wind which was making it harder. The view from the point where we returned was super lovely however
You can take a bus from down town, change to number 57 and get off at Esjurætur - Hiking Center. It takes about 40 minutes on the bus, including transfer.
Mt. Esjan seems to be very popular so I met quite a few people both going up and down including children. Trails are not difficult but very steep, so you just need to keep going
You can take a bus there from Reykjavík, the bus system is called Strætó. Buses number 29 and 57 go to Esjurætur which is the stop you want to get off at.
The hike to Esjan is possible for every level, but it is rather tiring and steep - so don’t underestimate how out of breath you’ll get!
Bring a bottle of water, you can refill it on the way.
The first bit is an easy track, but almost continually going up, but at the top you’ll need to do a bit of (accessible) rock climbing. There are some chains there to assist you.
The hike up is 1,5-2 hours and the hike down is 1-1,5 hours.
The hike becomes considerably harder during wintertime when the mountain is covered with snow and/or ice. Avalanches have taken place in Esjan in wintertime and experienced hikers have been killed. Therefore I’d recommend hiking it in spring, summer or autumn, or between April and October. Enjoy