The first scout hut at Lake Úlfljótsvatn was built in 1942. Before that scouts camped out there in tents for weeks at a time. Even though their acommodation and clothing were primitive compared to today’s standards, there are many things that have not changed since then, such as the easy access to nature, the midnight sun’s reflection on the lake and the good spirit that leaves every guest with the desire to visit again.

Úlfljóts-what?

Úlfljótsvatn Outdoor and Scout Center takes it name from Lake Úlfljótsvatn, that in return takes it name from one of the early settlers of Iceland. “Vatn” can mean both water and lake in Icelandic, while “Úlfljótur” (direct translation: “Wolf-ugly”) was one of the most influential founders of the Icelandic parliament (Alþingi) in the year 930. He had been sent to Norway to study law, and upon returning to Iceland had the biggest hand in writing the first common laws of Iceland. Úlfljóts-vatn is therefore “the lake of Úlfljótur”.

The scout connection

Úlfljótsvatn Outdoor and Scout Center is owned and run by scouts, although you don‘t have to be one to enjoy everything the place has to offer. Originally the scouts had the land on loan, then lease and in 2011 they joined up with the National forrestry Association and bought the land that surrounds the center, securing access and preservation for the future.

The center is a partnership between the Icelandic Boy and Girl Scout Association and the Reykjavík Scout District. The center is a run as non-profit business, allowing our guests to benefit from low, family friendly rates.

The Icelandic scout movement has a detailed nondiscrimination policy, allowing anyone the chance to take part. This is also true for Úlfljótsvatn and our guests. Today, our operations include a public campsite, summercamps, overnight school visits, group visits and reunions, a hostel, training courses, team-building, hut rentals and much, much more.

One of the things that makes ÚSÚ stand out from other destinations in Iceland is the fact that much of our work includes educating young people through methods of non-formal and informal education. We take our role very seriously and some of the learning aspects of these programs have found their way into our guest program as well. So don‘t be too surprised if you‘ll learn something during your stay. You might not even notice it right away!

A lake full of energy!

Lake Úlfljótsvatn’s water comes from Lake Þingvallavatn, being the first part of the river Sogið. Sogið (a springwater river) runs into Hvítá (a glacial water river from Langjökull glacier, the
second largest glacier in Iceland) and together they make up the river Ölfusá, who has the greatest volume of water of all Icelandic rivers.

In total there are three hydro powerplants connected to Lake Úlfljótsvatn. The one upstream is called Steingrímsstöð. It became operational in 1959 and produces 122 gigawatthours
annually. Downstream from ÚSÚ you will find Ljósafosstöð (operational from 1937, produces 105 GWh annually) and finally Írafossstöð (operational from 1953, produces 236 GWh
annually).

The combined energy output is about 11% of that of the Hoover Dam in Arizona, although the visual and environmental impact seems to be far less.

Naturally safe

One of the best things about Iceland is how safe it is. Experienced international campers might be surprised to learn that in Iceland there are no bears, wolfes or other big
predators. There are also no snakes or venomous insects, although ticks (Ixodes ricinus) have recently popped up in some vegetated areas.

During certain weather conditions in the summer, it might seem like mosquitos are everywhere! Don’t worry, there are no mosquitos in Iceland. What you might see are midges, small
flies that occasionally bite humans. Unless you are allergic, the bites are harmless.

We recommend a mosquite head net, and even insect repellent, if you don’t appreciate the company of midges. If you forget yours, both can be purchased at our Service Center.

Huts

Today, there are three accommodation huts at ÚSÚ.

  • JB-hut was named after Jónas B. Jónasson a former scout chief who was a great driving force in making ÚSÚ what it is today. In JB you will find our main kitchen, a dining room, our main office and beds for 24 guests.
  • Next to JB stands DSÚ-hut. The full name translates into “The boyscout-school at Úlfljótsvatn”. DSÚ-hut sleeps 34 guests.
  • Positioned a little further away from the lake, at the “Southarea” by the roots of the small Mt. Úlfljótsvatnsfjall, sits KSÚ-hut. The full name (The girlscout-school at Úlfljótsvatn) is evidence to the time boyscouts and girlscouts belonged to different associations. In 1946 both “scout-schools” at Úlfljótsvatn were merged into one. In KSÚ-hut you will find a group kitchen, a dining room, a big room for groups, and beds for 24 guests.
  • Other huts include the North-hall (a lecture-room or group room), Service-center for the campsite including a kitchenette and dining room, shower-house for the campsite, three staff huts, a workshop and a big multi-use house at the campsite, ideal for group events, parties and so on.
  • The oldest hut from 1942, Gilwell-hut, is still standing and is still being used on special occasions. Almost all huts, apart from KSÚ, are positioned at the “North-area”.