Þjórsárver was protected as a nature reserve in 1981. The protection was reviewed in 1987 and again in 2017. The area now covers an area of 1,563 square kilometres and includes all of Þjórsárver and surroundings, as well as Hofsjökull.

The aim of the protection is to ensure the extensive and systematic protection of Þjórsárver’s vegetation as a whole, the ecosystems of Þjórsárver, the palsa mires habitat, pink-footed goose nesting sites, wilderness, the special landscape and cultural heritage, as well as to educate the general public about the protection value of the area.