Last year this fantastic canyon was closed for the public for several months. As almost all of the Icelandic nature, the area is very sensitive. When rain falls, the soil becomes soft and the plants are in high danger of getting thread down when (lots of) people walk over the grass. Also the soil itself: without plants, the rain will wash the soil away.
Unfortunately, many tourists seem to have stored their brain in a locker at the departure airport or even at home, instead of bringing it with them and use it during their trip. Many of them don’t care about walking beside the paths, destroying plants or throwing their tase simply in the nature. I’m not a fan of regulations, watchmen, tourists taxes or something like that, but it seems without this these people will have destroyed the beauty of nature in a wink.
While the closing last year was prolonged several times until June 1st, the Icelandic government decided this year to close it ’til June 1st at once. Surviving winter is hard enough for the plants, even the well adapted plants of Iceland.