About the area

Gullfoss was protected in 1979. The aim of the protection was to preserve the waterfall and the canyon below it and to allow people to enjoy these natural wonders. The ecosystems and vegetation in the area are also protected.

The Environment Agency of Iceland is responsible for the management of the reserve.

According to the methodology of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on the categorisation of nature reserves, Gullfoss falls into Category III. This category is for areas that are demarcated for the protection of special sites of natural interest, which may include landscape phenomena, guyots, underwater caves or geological formations. These areas are usually small and often depend on larger areas in order to thrive. This is especially true in the case of waterfalls that rely on a large ecosystem, since they are a part of large water catchments that are necessary to maintain their flow.

The following rules apply to the nature reserve:

Construction and disturbance of ground and other changes to the area are prohibited without permission from the Environment Agency of Iceland.

Pedestrians are allowed in the area provided that good conduct is observed.

Driving off-road and outside marked trails is prohibited.

It is prohibited to cut vegetation, disturb wildlife and damage geological formations.

Drone use is prohibited except with permission from the Environment Agency.