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Oxi Pass vs Ring Road?

Lake Oswego, Oregon
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96 posts
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2 helpful votes
Oxi Pass vs Ring Road?

Hello! I will be visiting Iceland for the first time for a full 14 days this month, arriving May 21. Going clockwise, I will be staying in Seydisfjordur one night (May 29) and then driving to Hofn from there.

With a full two weeks/not crunched for time, is there any reason to choose the Oxi Pass route instead of driving along the coast line on the Ring Road? I love coastal drives and scenery, so I'm inclined to go that route, but open to any feedback.

I've searched all the posts on Oxi Pass but didn't find any discussion that seemed quite along the same lines as my itinerary.

I of course will check the weather daily and also ask locals for any insight/advice that specific day.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions/advice!

17 replies to this topic
Reykjavik, Iceland
Destination Expert
for Iceland
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15,632 posts
60 reviews
63 helpful votes
1. Re: Oxi Pass vs Ring Road?

Skip Öxi by all means, whenever possible.

Boston...
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29,519 posts
951 reviews
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2. Re: Oxi Pass vs Ring Road?

Öxi is exciting, but I wouldn't do it without a vehicle with a little extra ground clearance and nerves of steel

Lake Oswego, Oregon
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96 posts
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3. Re: Oxi Pass vs Ring Road?

Excellent - thank you! That was my hunch but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything.

Lake Oswego, Oregon
Level Contributor
96 posts
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2 helpful votes
4. Re: Oxi Pass vs Ring Road?

I'll be in a small suv and I always bring my nerves of steel along, but I'd maybe rather save them up for something else! :p

Thank you!

Calgary, Canada
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203 reviews
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5. Re: Oxi Pass vs Ring Road?

We did the Oxi pass back in early/mid-April - I checked the weather and road reports and agree that if you don't have confidence driving on crazy roads with crazy drops, then don't.

Even so, it would only make sense to drive through the pass going from north to south (clockwise). There are some very steep sections, and those sections were downhill for us going south, but would be uphill for those going north. Due to the condition (potholes, uneven), tight corners and narrowness of the road, with the added FOG and limited visibility we encountered - the max speed we were going was about 40 km/h. It would be painful trying to go slowly up this.

I loved driving this road - it was challenging and I would imagine that had it not been for the fog, would have some great views. But I definitely would not recommend it for the average or inexperienced driver, or if your goal is to save time (it saves a little, but not worth the risk). I drive a fair amount for work in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Canada and deal with challenging conditions. I'm not sure of nerves of steel alone are appropriate for driving this road; you should also be a safe and confident driver as well.

And this road is most definitely not those with a low sedan or a camper. We saw a few people exit the pass as we were entering and they looked horrified. When exiting the pass, the car in front of us was stopped and was talking to the vehicle about to enter the pass... pretty sure based on the gestures he was making, he was suggesting the individuals to turn around.

Edited: 6:11 pm, May 04, 2018
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
254 posts
203 reviews
127 helpful votes
6. Re: Oxi Pass vs Ring Road?

Here is a video I watched before driving the pass: https://www.youtube.com/watch… When we drove it, it was foggy with limited visibility almost the entire way. If it didn't feel safer to keep going rather than doing a U to turn around, or if my friend was driving, I'm pretty sure we would have turned around.

Lake Oswego, Oregon
Level Contributor
96 posts
1 review
2 helpful votes
7. Re: Oxi Pass vs Ring Road?

Thank you - that's great thorough feedback!

I've watched a couple of youtubes of people driving the pass and I don't think I'd have any issue (I've driven up down and around the mountains and passes in the Pacific NW, gravel forest roads at elevation with just drop offs, driven down Pikes Peak, up and down the crazy 101 from Washington all the way to Mexico, etc).

*However*, if there is really no scenic reason to choose the Oxi Pass I'd rather spare the nerves and meander around the coast line. Ha!

Thanks again, good food for thought!

Edited: 7:17 pm, May 04, 2018
Reykjavik, Iceland
Level Contributor
431 posts
8. Re: Oxi Pass vs Ring Road?

Here´s a video from a few days ago. Conditions are described as challenging

icelandmag.is/article/video-conditions-oxi-m…

Lake Oswego, Oregon
Level Contributor
96 posts
1 review
2 helpful votes
9. Re: Oxi Pass vs Ring Road?

Thank you for that link, Elastic Man! I'm definitely planning to stay on the ring road.

Nashville, Tennessee
1 post
2 reviews
1 helpful vote
10. Re: Oxi Pass vs Ring Road?

definitely skip oxi, even the bypass back to the coastal road is not fantastic and is dirt in parts

there is way to get to the coastal highway out of seydisfjordur/egilstadur prior to the oxi turnoff which is actually better paved than the section of the ring road that takes you to oxo

Edited: 1:07 pm, May 28, 2018
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