Driving the wild Svínaskarð Pass

Svínaskarð Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 485m (1,591ft) above the sea level, located in southwestern Iceland. It’s said to be one of the most dangerous roads in the country.

Svínaskarð pass

The route to the pass (‘The pass of pigs’) has humbled many egos. It’s not for the sissies and shouldn’t be attempted by novice drivers. This is a brutal trail. A 4WD vehicle and an experienced driver are required. This is definitely not a Sunday drive. Drive with care as this is a mountain road with dangerous dropoffs. Descending from the pass (N), the trail goes in a steep zig-zag pattern down a steep mountainside, into and through a cliff-edged ravine. The road in this part is extremely steep, narrow and with sharp turns.

With drops that appear to be hundreds, if not a thousand feet to the side, experienced drivers are the only ones who should attempt this route. This old road links the countryside of Mosfellssveit with Kjós in Hvalfjörður fjord. It’s very difficult.The ride is rather remote, so you need to be prepared. In case of a breakdown, there is very little in the way of passing traffic or inhabitants around, and no cell phone service in parts. The road gets so steep in places, that the car can slide down on the loose rocks under its own weight. Be prepared, this road is not for the faint of heart or ill prepared. One mistake can have serious consequences. The pass was first accessed by car in 1930 but has hardly received any maintenance for a very long time.