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Hiking to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), Rogaland Norway

Hiking to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), Rogaland Norway

Hiking to Preikestolen is one of the best things to do near Stavanger and even in all of Norway. The flat mountain rock face towers a massive 604 meters over the Lysefjord and seems to have been carved by Vikings in search of a scenic camp spot. It’s truly one of the most impressive viewpoints I’ve ever seen in my life.

How to Get to the Preikestolen Trail

Getting to the trail will depend on where you are staying and what means of transport is available. For those leaving form Stavanger, I would recommend leaving as early as possible to get the most time on the trail.

DIY Route – Public Transport from Stavanger

If you’re staying in Stavanger like we were, you will need to start by taking a ferry from Stavanger to Tau. This ferry leaves from Fiskepiren every 40 minutes daily. The cost of this ferry is 49 NOK or $5.70 USD per adult, one way. 

Once you reach Tau, you will need to jump on a local bus. These buses correspond with ferry times, so there will be one waiting when you depart. During hiking season, there are regular buses departing from the port in Tau all the way to Preikestolen Mountain Lodge, where you can begin the hiking to Preikestolen. A bus ticket will cost roughly 30 NOK or $3.50 USD. During off-season (October – March) the bus will only go as far as Jørpeland, where you will need to get a Taxi or Uber. This will be the most expensive fare.

The entire trip to the start of the trail will take approximately 1-2 hours, so make sure that you account for this.

Organised tours from Stavanger

If you don’t want to organise your own way to the hike, you can purchase a tour from several companies operating in Stavanger. This will be much more expensive and you will often need to hike in a group. Typically I choose the DIY option when I can because I prefer this type of independent travel.

If you’re looking to book only the transport through a tour company, you have two options. Keep in mind that they will simply arrange the same or similar bus and ferry options detailed above.  

frozen waterfall when hiking to preikestolen

Transport with:
Transport with:

Driving your own car

If you are fortunate enough to have your own car in Norway, the best place to start from Stavanger is to head to Lauvik Wharf (RV 13). Here, you can take the car ferry to Oanes.

Once you reach Oanes, continue on RV 13 towards Jøssang. There are several signs to Pulpit Rock so keep a lookout. You will also need to pay a parking ticket once you reach Preikestolen Mountain Lodge.

About the Hike

The hike itself is around 7.6 KM round trip from the Prekestolen Mountain Lodge (Preikestolen Fjellstue). The recommended time for this is 4-5 hours, however, we spent a little longer due to the icy trail in the Winter season.

Those hiking to Preikestolen will find that the trail is well marked, with trail heads dotted all the way to Pulpit Rock. The terrain is slightly hilly, and winds through forest, valleys and up rocky hills with flowing (or frozen) rivers. The last kilometer before reaching Preikestolen has incredible views of the Lysefjord.

Hiking to Preikestolen

Best Time for Hiking to Preikestolen

Hiking to Preikestolen has seasons. The hiking season is April to September when the weather is warmer, days are longer and there is no ice on the trail. During this time, buses and tours are catering to those hiking to Preikestolen.

Due to its popularity, I’ve heard that both the trail and Pulpit Rock viewpoint can get pretty crowded in peak season. Officially, the trail is closed in the Winter months. However, seeing the Lysefjord from 600+ meters up made me determined to reach Preikestolen in Januray.

Be prepared in off-season

The hike is definitely doable in the Winter months, however, is a little more sketchy. There is ice covering much of the path, meaning slippery crossings beside steep cliffs. It can also get pretty cold and windy. We were fortunate enough to have good weather, but temperatures will still below zero for most of the hike. It is important to monitor weather conditions as things can change quickly.

The days are also much shorter. You will need to account for this if you are hiking to Preikestolen in winter. Leave earlier and make sure you have enough daylight for the return hike back to the lodge.

After the hike, we returned to the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge to find it empty. Luckily we had a mobile with us to call for transport. It wouldn’t have been fun to walk an extra 9 KM through fjordland at night in minus 10 degrees. Make sure you plan ahead.

Icy Paths When Hiking to Preikestolen in Norway

No matter the season, the hiking to Preikestolen will demand some protection against the elements. During Summer and peak hiking season, the hike is fairly easy. Normal hiking attire with some protection from wind will suffice.

Bringing a water bottle is also recommended. There are several flowing streams on the trail when hiking to Preikestolen. Drinking Norwegian mountain water straight form the stream is about as fresh as it gets.

If you are adamant on Hiking to Preikestolen in the off-season, you will need some extra gear. Warm clothes, a waterproof jacket, and some food are highly recommended. You will also need some comfortable hiking boots. Although I didn’t have them, we met one other hiker on the trail that had crampons for the icy parts.

Icy Lakes on the Mountains when hiking to Preikestolen in Norway

Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) Viewpoint

Most people make the hiking to Preikestolen trip to see the famous flat Pulpit Rock viewpoint. Standing near the edge and looking down onto the seemingly endless drop into the frozen fjord is a wild experience.

Originally, the name of the ancient site was Hyvlatonnå, meaning “Planed Tooth” in English. However, Preikestolen got its new name around 100 years ago when tourism in the region was first kicking off. It is said that a local tourism organisation, Stavanger Turistforening wanted to establish the site for trekking.

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