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Preikestolen ( Pulpit Rock ) - Norway, WW

no permit
106 3 0
Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List WW > Europe
5 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 936 feet
Elevation Gain 1,053 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,459 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.7
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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10  2016-09-13 rvcarter
66  2014-07-16
Preikestolen Backpack via Songesand
30  2014-07-16
Lysefjord - Norway
Author rvcarter
author avatar Guides 33
Routes 304
Photos 2,146
Trips 236 map ( 1,436 miles )
Age 73 Male Gender
Location tucson, az
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Jun, Jul, Sep → 9 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  10:06pm - 10:54am
Official Route
1 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
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Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Culture Nearby
Needs no Introduction
by rvcarter

Likely In-Season!
Introduction(even though none is needed)
There may be no more dramatic and signature Norway views than the ones of and from Preiskestolen, known in the English speaking world as Pulpit Rock. It’s a small flat plateau called in olden times Hyvlatanna (planed tooth), likely formed as the glaciers started melting in Norway some 10,000 years ago. The cleaving has left a precariously perched rock formation above the Lysefjord. Someday this remnant formation will fall also, but in the meantime, it is a must do hike for anyone visiting Norway. The best part is that it’s not that hard of a hike.

Get ready to hike with lots of your fellow mankind; this is a popular hike even in the off months (we visited in mid September). I can’t imagine what it’s like in summer. Starting at the parking lot, the hike is alternatively easy walking, mild scrambles up bouldery paths, and short periods crossing board walkways in the marshy areas. The scrambling may on the difficult side for some people, but there is nothing that a reasonably fit person can’t do. Just start early and take your time. We took it easy, stopped lots of times, and it still only took about 4 hours for the round trip. The trail is well marked and has several resting points along the way. There is a huge international presence, with people from all over the world. Good views from nearly any place once you reach the ridge and turn back along the cliff for the last 1000 feet or so. Lots of shade along the way.

Walking out onto the “platform”, which by the way involves stepping over a big crack (this thing will release some day just like the cliff rock on either side of it) you are rewarded with magnificent views of the surrounding terrain and the Lysebotn Fjord nearly 2,000 feet below. We had a blue bird day; sunny and warm, which is unusual for mid September.

The cruise ships and other boats in the fjord below look incredibly small. You feel slightly sorry for the cruise ship folks who see only a small (from their distance) rock jutting out over the fjord. It is much, much better to see it from above, up close and personal. This is an incredibly impressive natural treasure of Norway, and you owe it to yourself to see it. There is an alternative return from the Rock called the Hill Trail on most maps which affords additional views, making the trail more of a “lasso” shape. We didn’t take it back but it appears to involve more scrambling; I saw no one taking it in the half hour we were on the Rock. See Chumley’s track if you’re interested in this option.

You can actually see people on the Rock on Google Earth.

Some Trip Planning Tips
First, this is not a winter hike, and it would be much harder when the rock is wet. Summers months are likely to mean crushing hoards with some in flip flops but not enough water. August is when Europeans take vacations. So that leaves September and maybe part of October. Don’t know about spring.
Second, take plenty of money. Norway has to be one of the most expensive places to visit on earth. They have a very high tax rate on everything (e.g., 25% on paper towels, one beer is over $4.00 in the grocery store, 3x that in a bar, gasoline is nearly $6 per gallon). They are not on the Euro despite being in the EU, but their currency (the Norwegian Krone, or NOK) is “pegged” to the Euro.
Third, if you imbibe, make sure you max out your personal quota at the Duty Free store at the airport. Passengers arriving at Oslo walk through the stores to reach the baggage carousel. I paid $42 for ¾ liter of bourbon at the state owned Vinmonopolet (read monopoly) spirits outlet in downtown Stavanger.
Fourth, study Norway’s outstanding and informative website. It covers everything from soup to nuts about visiting Norway and has an interactive map.
Fifth, download Google Translate to your smart phone. Another very useful app is, which works via satellite links, even when the phone is in airplane mode.

Additional Resources
•Free (donations accepted) digital maps suitable for use with Garmin Basecamp and download to Garmin GPS: Download “Topo Summer” for the hiking and trail info.
•This is from Chumley’s triplog: “Since HAZ doesn't have topo map coverage of Norway, if you are interested in the detailed maps of my hike, you can visit this Norwegian site which I have also uploaded my GPS track to. Either use Google Translate or click "stort kart" to make the map full page. Includes elevation profile.”

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2016-09-15 rvcarter
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Preikestolen ( Pulpit Rock ) - Norway
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Preikestolen (otherwise known as Pulpit Rock) is about as good as it gets. Karen and I drove from Stavanger and was still on top by lunch time, one ferry. This is a special place, but not one to enjoy time by yourself. Doesn't matter, still a fantastic hike to a fantastic overlook with stupendous views. It is not a difficult climb but it will take a few hours. We had a bluebird day with sun, nice temps and no wind. If you are lucky enough to visit Norway, this is a must do hike. My pictures say it all.
    Preikestolen ( Pulpit Rock ) - Norway
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Lysefjord - Norway
    Getting to and from and in between my two hikes in Lysefjord (Preikestolen and Kjerag) involved three ferries, two busses, and several hours of driving a car.

    All in all though, there was some spectacular scenery along the way. Since anybody who visits either of these hikes is nearly certain to take the ferry to Lysebotn, I decided to link this trip to both those hikes.
    Preikestolen ( Pulpit Rock ) - Norway
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Preikestolen Backpack via Songesand
    While I've seen Preikestolen from the ferry in Lysefjord before, I had never been to the top. I made it a mandatory part of this summers trip to make sure that got fixed.

    As normal, I try to avoid crowds, so instead of the relatively easy 2.5 mile hike that gains 1000 feet, I opted for a much longer, more scenic hike from the fjord below. This gave me a solid day, only a handful of people -- all backpackers -- and a much better sense of accomplishment.

    I took the ferry to Songesand, which is nothing more than a dock and a building with a bathroom. The first mile or so is a difficult traverse just above the fjord, with lots of granite scree and steep terrain. From there it heads uphill and passes some beautiful farms, crosses a good sized river, and then goes right through the back yards of some summer cabins converted from historic farms.

    The route climbs up from the fjord, but offers amazing views all along the way. It tops out at about 1800 feet before heading inland a bit, losing the views of the fjord. Here there are several lakes and streams, with ample spots to camp. The next 3 miles is a steady up and down in pristine Norwegian birch and fir forest before the trail begins its final ascent toward the top of the mountain. A very steep 700 feet in half a mile brings you to the junction of the popular (and much shorter/easier) tourist trail to Preikestolen.

    I didn't get started until after 2pm, so by the time I go to the junction, it was almost 7:30pm. This is not a problem in summer in Norway. With sunset after 10:30, I knew I had until about 11:30 for headlamp free hiking. And at this point, it was less than an hour to get there.

    In fact, it only too half an hour. I took a couple of photos, but quickly set out to find a spot to set up camp for the night and get out of my shoes! After I chose a spot, set up camp, put on flip flops, and enjoyed a beer, I headed off to enjoy the views of this amazing place and capture some photos.

    The moon rose just before I went to sleep, and in the early hours of morning it began to rain. After an exhausting hike the day before, I was happy to just stay in my tent and sleep for a while. The rain let up and I got up to pack my things. It didn't take long for the rain to begin again, but I just put on my gear and headed down the trail. I had a bus to catch.

    Despite the weather there were a good number of people who were making their way up. I was the only one heading down at that time of day. It wasn't long before the rain stopped and the clouds began to break. I got to the TH, enjoyed an ice cream cone and made the final arrangements to catch the correct bus to the ferry for my next night's adventure at the other end of the Lysefjord.

    I really can't explain what a great hike this is. If you put Preikestolen on your to-do list, I really think it makes sense to make it an overnight. It really helps avoid the crowds of people and lets you enjoy this wonder in more solitude. The hike up from Songesand is so much more peaceful and enjoyable than the main tourist trail.

    Of course, if you have the time you can hike around the entire fjord, not just do a little 12 mile hike from the bottom to the top!

    Since HAZ doesn't have topo map coverage of Norway, if you are interested in the detailed maps of my hike, you can visit this Norwegian site which I have also uploaded my GPS track to. Either use Google Translate or click "stort kart" to make the map full page. Includes elevation profile.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Most people will approach Preikestolen from Stavanger. There are bus shuttles to choose from, but if you have a car, drive to Lauvik, cross the ferry to Oanes, follow Rt 13 up to the signs for Preikestolen. It’s only a few miles from the Rt 13 to the parking area. If you take the ferry from Stavanger to Tau, follow Rt 13 south to the same turn.
    page created by chumley on Sep 15 2016 1:04 am
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