Preikestolen was the most-popular and the least-strenuous amongst the major hikes we did in Norway. Despite the crowds and the rain, the view at the top of the hike was spectatcular, and well-worth the fame and hassle.
Preikestolen (aka Pulpit Rock) is located close to Stavanger and provides a breath-taking panoramic sight of Lysefjord with no barriers. The climax of the latest Mission Impossible movie was also shot here, if you want to look it up!
We camped at Preikestolen Camping the night before, and started early the next day.
Related: Check out a day-to-day Norway Itinerary for 2 weeks
There's plenty of space to park the car at the trail-head, along with a cafe and some restrooms. There are couple of minor uphill stretches at the start of the hike; but since I was doing this hike immediately after hiking Kjeragbolten, it didn't feel like uphill at all :)
The early part of the hike is in the midst of pine forests, so there is plenty of shade. After reaching about half-way; we got to a spot with a viewpoint of a lake, so we stopped to relax and took some pictures.
Immediately after this, we came across the biggest ascent of the hike, which was hard. Again, it's nothing compared to Kjerag, but if you've not exercised or been active, it will show. We saw a lot of older people doing this hike, and some of them had trouble with this uphill stretch.
After this ascent, the terrain becomes less green and more rocky. The altitude at this stage prevents growth of trees and since we're close to the top of the mountain, we can see a lot more granite. We walked through a gentle uphill after this, and came across a water-body (Tjodnane) about 2.5 kms into the hike. We saw a few folks in the water here, so this is safe for swimming, should you be interested.
Next was another uphill, but by this time I was excited and high on adrenaline so I hardly felt it. We soon got our first glimpse of Lysefjord from the trail. Despite a dull grey sky, the fjord look beautiful.
As we continued along the trail, we passed through some narrow ledges along the edge of the mountain. Finally, we saw THE pulpit rock. Calling it a rock wouldn't do it justice, it seemed more like a rectangle-shaped plateau from here.
The panorama looks incredible from here. The twisting and turning fjord, the calm water, the green and rocky mountains and the fact that there are no barriers for this incredible sight. It is literally a 180-degree view.
We went on a dreary day with inclement skies and still thought that the view was outstanding, so I can only imagine how it might be if you go on a bright and sunny day.
From anywhere on the top, the view of Lysefjord looks the same, but in a particular angle, you can get a good shot of the cliff and the water. There was a line of people waiting for this and I joined them, and after about 15 minutes got my picture. When I was waiting to shoot Chakri's picture, seeing other people's poses on the edge of the cliff did cause me some vertigo. Be careful, and try to not go for dangerous poses :)
The trail continues upward, but we chose to turnaround at this point because it started raining. Despite the rain, our downhill descent was pretty quick. A big part of the trail is paved by Nepalese Sherpas using boulders and large rocks. Walking on rocks is harder than walking on regular paved trail, and this is common to all the hikes we did in Norway. At least some part of all trails are rocky, and therefore more strenuous on the feet.
After we finished the hike, we went to a restaurant in Jorpeland called Preikestolen Kebab and Pizza and had some good food there! Highly recommend as a post-hike meal, and it wasn't super-expensive either. Win-win :)
We didn't need the whole day to finish this hike, so we ended up driving north on National Tourist Road Ryfylke and went all the way till Sand which was where we camped that night. Unfortunately, it rained the rest of the day, so we didn't get to explore much else.
Related: Check out our day-to-day itinerary for 14 Days in Norway
Preikestolen ended up being a I'm glad I did this hiking experience, but it wasn't my most favorite hike in Norway. Maybe because it wasn't challenging enough, or probably because it was dull, grey and rainy on the day that I went. I still recommend doing it though, because you can see the incredible beauty Norway has to offer for a fraction of the effort.
- Total hike time - 4.5 hours
- Total distance - 6 kms
- Total elevation gain - 334 metres
- Follow T signs to stay on trail
- There are no restrooms on the trail, closest restrooms are on the parking lot at the trailhead.
This link provides some details on other things to do in this area.
So that was my experience on the Preikestolen Hike in Norway. What was your I'm glad I did this hiking experience?