By the trail you will find signs with information about Gullfoll, as well as the area’s geology and history.
One says: “Welcome to the trail of Sigríður. The trail of Sigríður is dedicated to the memory of Sigríður Tómasdóttir in Brattholt and her heroic struggle for the conservation of Gullfoss.”
“Where does the name Gullfoss come from?
It is likely that the name Gullfoss was given because of the golden evening hue which often colours it’s glacial water.
Another theory is that the name was inspired by the rainbow which often appears when sunshine hits the water-spray thrown up by the waterfall.
Another theory about the name can be found in the Sveinn Palsson’s travel journal. Once upon a time a farmer namer Gygur lived at Gygjarholl. He has plenty of gold and could not bear the thought of someone else possessing it after his lifetime. To prevent this, he placed the gold in a coffer and threw it into the waterfall- which ever since has been named Gullfoss.
Welcome to Gullfoss. Gullfoss and it’s environs was designated as a nature reserve in 1979 to permanently protect the waterfall and allow the public to enjoy this unique area. The Environment Agency of Iceland is responsible for the management of the reserve.”
Wikipedia tells tells me: “A stone memorial to Sigriður, located above the falls, depicts her profile.Gullfoss is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. The wide Hvítá rushes southward. About a kilometre above the falls it turns sharply to the right and flows down into a wide curved three-step “staircase” and then abruptly plunges in two stages (11 m and 21 m) into a crevice 32 m (105 ft) deep. The crevice, about 20 m (66 ft) wide, and 2.5 km in length, extends perpendicular to the flow of the river. The average amount of water running over this waterfall is 140 m³/s in the summertime and 80 m³/s in the wintertime. The highest flood measured was 2000 m³/s.
As one first approaches the falls, the crevice is obscured from view, so that it appears that a mighty river simply vanishes into the earth.”
I find the winter face of the falls extremely photogenic and even though the wind is fierce and the cold is biting, I try and stand outside for as long as possible so that I can just get ” one extra photo”.