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Hiking to Iceland’s DC-3 Plane Wreck with Baby

November 2, 2016


In the middle of the Sólheimasandur black sand beach in Southern Iceland lies a crashed United States Navy Douglas Super DC-3 airplane that crashed in the 1970s. No one was hurt and the fuselage was left on the beach where it still remains.

It’s safe to say that my husband and I are pretty ambitious when it comes to traveling with our 1.5-year-old. That said, I was a bit nervous to make the trek to the DC-3 Plane Wreck in Iceland. Several years ago, the driving path to the wreck was closed due to unruly tourists ruining it for everyone. (Seriously, don’t be “that guy.”) Now the journey involves a 1.5 hour roundtrip walk to the famed site. 

When we visited Iceland in early October the wind reached speeds of 30 mph with a slight drizzle in the air. We had planned on letting Fox get some energy out and walk along the path with us, but the frequent gusts were literally blowing him over!

Luckily we had planned ahead with a couple tools that helped us make a successful trip there and back.

  • Sturdy child carrier – This was our first time using this particular child carrier and it was uh-mazing. Fox could see everything we saw without being stuffed down low, there was a storage compartment that fit a bunch of camera gear and snacks, and the wind shields were total lifesavers.
  • Blanket scarf – I wore this blanket scarf until I started sweating along the walk. Turns out Fox liked it more than I did! I wrapped it around the carrier and he had to option to poke his head out to see, or hang out in his little carrier fort.
  • Toddler snowsuit with covered hands – Not only does the suit keep baby warm, but the hand coverings help to keep those mittens on. We can probably all agree that those gets lost pretty easy.

Fox loved the walk — looking around the beach and the movement had him asleep in no time. He actually missed the plane itself because he was out cold. He woke up smiley about 10 minutes before we got to the car — there’s a photo below of the “aftermath.”

You could probably bring a stroller along the route — it’s relatively flat and there’s no climbing involved, but there are small rocks that would make it rather bumpy and I personally think the stroller would be annoying for everyone involved. The carrier I mentioned was a lifesaver at almost every place we ventured to in Iceland and I highly suggest it.

Some adult tips once you arrive at the plane:

  1. Don’t ruin the plane – Stop climbing on it, writing on it, lighting your cigarettes in and around it. Be respectful so people who visit Iceland at a later date will still have something to look at.
  2. Wait around a bit – As you can see in one of my photos below, the wreck was crawling with tourists. We opted to sleep in a bit which didn’t help to avoid the crowds, but upon waiting for several minutes I was able to get shots sans people.
  3. Stop and breathe – Right before I headed back I realized I hadn’t actually looked at the plane outside of my camera lens. When I stopped for a second I was totally struck at the eerie peace of the scene. The weirdest part? The whole world looks black and white! Between the white/grey plane, black sand, and nearly colorless sky, it was hard to believe I was standing in the middle of it all.

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