Kerid - crater and lake. Access, parking, sightseeing, points of interest

Kerid - view of the lake from the crater rim

Where's that Kerid?

Kerid Crater lies 70 km east of Reykjavik and is one of the attractions on the popular Golden Circle tourist route. I have marked its approximate location on the map below. When planning a trip around Iceland, such illustrated location of each attraction is very useful to be able to plan the route quickly and logically. Maps with the location of attractions will appear with all subsequent entries about Iceland.

Kerid crater location on the Iceland map

The name Kerid hides not only the crater, but also the lake located at its bottom, and perhaps most of all the lake. It is what attracts most tourists here.

First there was the crater

In fact, it was the volcano first. It all happened roughly 6 years ago. To this day, however, it is not certain what type of explosion led to the formation of the crater and then the lake. Currently, a quiet lava eruption is considered the most likely, where the lava simply flows out of the earth and spills around, slowly forming a crater cone. After the lava flowed underground, an empty field was created and the central part of the volcano collapsed into it. The rest of the space in the collapsed lava chamber was filled with groundwater, which also flowed into the sinkhole. A lake was created in the sinkhole, which we can admire here today.
The crater has an elliptical shape. It is 270 m long, 170 m wide and 55 m deep.
There are interesting information boards placed next to the crater, which nicely illustrate the process of creating the crater and the lake. I present their excerpt below:

Eruption in the form of a lava flow and the formation of an empty underground field chamber
The ground will collapse into the empty chamber
Filling the free space in the chamber with gunwaters
Filling the bottom of the sinkhole with water to the groundwater level

Lake

Why does the lake attract people? Because it has a beautiful color that changes depending on the angle of the sunlight. Of course, the color of the lake comes from the minerals contained in its waters, washed out of the volcanic soil. And of course ... it does not always overwhelm with color.

The color of the lake is the prettier the better the weather. It is best when the sky is blue.

It all depends on the time of day and the weather. On a cloudy day, it will not look as attractive as in the advertising photos, although the circumstances in which it is located will remain extraordinary.
Anyway, the red crater and the colorful lake make a fantastic impression and you must see this place live.

As an encouragement, below is a short video (just over 30 seconds) showing the panorama of the crater and the lake:

The lake never dries up, but its depth varies from 7 to 14 meters. As the lake is powered by groundwater, the water level reflects their height. The surface of the lake shows, therefore, what level the groundwater is currently at.
The local tradition says something else. According to her, there is a connection between Lake Kerid and Lake Burfell. As the water level in Kerid drops, Lake Burfell rises and vice versa.

Visiting the crater and the lake

There is a walking path along the top edge of the crater, which you can walk around the crater. You can also take comfortable steps down to the lake itself.

Stairs to Kerid Lake

A narrow path leads right by the lake shore, which allows you to go around the entire lake. There is also a bench at the bottom, where it is extremely pleasant to sit down and look at the calm waters of the lake in peace.
The walk along the top of the crater, descend and walk around the lake will take you no more than an hour in total.

A lonely bench at the bottom of the crater, on the shores of Lake Kerid

Entrance tickets and parking

Kerid is one of the few natural attractions in Iceland that are paid to visit. The admission ticket costs ISK 500 (500 Icelandic kroner, or the equivalent of PLN 15 - as of 2021).
The parking lot is right at the entrance to the volcano's crown.

Parking at the crater and Lake Kerid, GPS coordinates:
64°02’30.2″N 20°53’12.6″W
64.041721, -20.886840 - click and route


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