The challenging Road 917 to the summit of Hellisheiði Eystri

Hellisheiði Eystri is a mountain pass at an elevation of 644m (2,112ft) above sea level, located in Northeast Iceland. The road is very steep, with some parts reaching gradients of up to 15%. Even though driving the road is a bit intimidating, the view from the top is stunning.

Hellisheiði Eystri-Road 917

How Challenging is the Road to Hellisheiði Eystri?

The road to the summit is mostly unpaved, called Hlíðarvegur (917). It’s a very challenging drive with 15 hairpin turns. The road is steep and high, narrow in parts, and can be slippery when wet. It offers a great driving experience, with numerous tight hairpin turns and curves, high drop-offs (not for the faint-hearted), and amazing views from the top.

Is Road 917 to Hellisheiði Eystri Open in Winters?

At this elevation, it’s one of the highest roads in the country. It's one of the country's first roads to close each autumn due to heavy snowfall.

Where Does Road 917 to Hellisheiði Eystri Start and End?

The road is 70.7km (43.93 miles) long, running north-south from Vopnafjörður on Norðausturvegur (Road 85) to Þjóðvegur (Road 1),

How Steep is the Road to Hellisheiði Eystri?

Considered the steepest mountain road in the country, some sections have gradients up to 15%. The road is passable for all cars and vehicles when conditions are good. However, a motorhome with "front wheel drive" might find it challenging on the steepest parts, especially in wet weather.

Is the Drive to Hellisheiði Eystri Worth It?

At the summit, there's a former weather station with great views over Héraðsflói Bay. Along the way, you’ll have stunning views of the coastal cliffs at Drangsnes and the abandoned farm Krummsholt, where Viking ruins are located. There are at least two or three small parking lots at the top where you can stop to take photos.
Pic: L M