Get a photo-op of a lifetime
- Destination: Ryfylke
- Season: May–September
- Difficulty: Medium
- Distance: 4.5 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
- Elevation Gain: 540 meters
- Duration: 3.5–5 hours
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The Kjerag boulder is wedged between two massive mountains called Kjerag. For the less faint-hearted hikers, one can stand on the five cubic meters large boulder which is about 1000 meters above Lysefjorden. This hike is a good alternative to the popular Preikestolen, and it should definitely be added to your bucket list.
The hike itself covers over 9 km of diverse trails and is suited for semi-experienced hikers since it requires some steep chain guided climbs and some easy descents. The route is well marked. No technical climbing skills are necessary, just a sense of adventure. Start the day early, as there might be a queue of tourists also wanting snaps of Kjeragbolten added to their feed. Plan an entire day for the hike, pack a lunch and remember to bring proper mountain clothing with you. Be prepared for all types of weather.
When glaciers in Norway melted during the last ice age in around 50,000 B.C., the Kjerag boulder, as well as many other rock formations were created. The rebound of rocks occurred faster than the rising sea level, which is how the boulder became wedged into its current position at 984 meters above sea level (3,228 ft). The boulder has increased in popularity, especially after it was featured in “Where the hell is Matt (2006)” on YouTube, showing Matt dancing on the wedged boulder, crazy
Tide offers a round-trip bus tickets from Stavanger. The buses run June until September and take 3.15 hours each way.
From either Road 468 and Road 45 converge to form Fv986 which later turns into Fv500. The only noticeable man-made landmark is the parking lot, which requires a fee to park.
The hike starts at Kjerag Restaurant (Øygardstøl), with a viewpoint overlooking the fjord. The beginning of the hike is steep and rocky, but there chains to help guide you up the mountain and give you some security in the steep elevation climb. After about 20-30 minutes you reach a plateau, from there you’ll go along a level rocky path for about 10 minutes, before descending into a beautiful deep valley with a river running through it. The trail is very maintained and accessible for all levels of hiking.
Once you make it to the bottom of the valley, you’ll walk along a groomed trail to the other side of the valley, where you’ll then ascend back up the other side. Take it easy, as this part is a little trickier, with many boulders, but overall it is very well maintained. Continue to follow the red markers on the Cairns to stay on route—you’re now about half-way.
After the halfway point, there is another steep climb. There are chains to assist you again. Once you reach the top here, carefully head out to the edge to get stunning views down to the fjord.
Continue along the top ledge for while continuing to follow the trail. This section is flat and the easiest section of the hike. Eventually, you will come to a large cairn with a sign to Kjeragbolten.
The adventurous wait to take their turn on the boulder for a photo-op. There are no handrails or safety guards so please be extremely careful making your way onto and off the boulder. Even if you are not the daredevil type to take the photo, the hike itself is worth doing.
- Water is available from larger streams along the route
- Food can be bought at Kjerag Restaurant (Øygardstøl)
- Toilets are also available at Øygardstølen
- Mobile phone coverage is unreliable and poor with an occasional signal through the Telenor network
- Parking (paid)
Where to stay
Although there are no accommodation options at the base of the mountain, there are plenty of places to stay only 7.5 km away in the town of Lysebotn. Lysefjorden Turisthytte is a DNT tourist cabin that also has a cafe and restaurant. Another Lysefjorden Vandrerhjem, a Hosteling International hostel open May through September. If you have an RV or prefer to camp check out the Lysebotn Camping Resort.