Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) Hiking
“So magical that it almost does not seem real”
- Destination: Ryfylke
- Season: April–October
- Difficulty: Medium
- Distance: 7.9 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
- Elevation Gain: 450 meters
- Duration: 2–4 hours
About Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock)
Easily one of Norway’s most famous hikes, Preikestolen is a steep cliff rising over 600 meters above the Lysefjord below. On top is a large plateau, perfect for a picnic and enjoying the views.
The hike to the top consists of slightly hilly terrain with an elevation gain of 350 meters. If the weather is nice, there are possibilities for a quick dip, as well as enjoyable rest areas along the path.
Hiking to Preikestolen when there is snow in the mountains is not recommended without a guide. and you should always check the weather report before hiking. Bring sturdy footwear, warm clothing, food, and water. Check our packing list for day hikes in Norway to make sure you have everything you need. Good physical fitness is recommended and you should start early to make sure you can get up and back in plenty of daylight (and possibly avoid the crowds).
Fjord cruise & hike
If you want to experience both the fjord and the hike in the same day, there is a combined 8 hour tour for 800 NOK (adults) and 500 NOK (children aged 4–15). The tour runs from May to September.
The fjord cruise departs Stavanger at 10:00 and sails into Lysefjorden, directly below Preikestolen. At 12.15 there is a 25 minute bus ride from Oanes to the start of the trail. The hike is self-guided. After completing the hike, there are several scheduled buses to Tau to meet the ferry back to Stavanger (this ferry isn't included in the price, buy the ticket onboard for 60/30 NOK). There is an extra daily departure from Stavanger at 12:00 in July and August.
Ferry & bus
From late March to late October, there is a daily boat and bus tour between Stavanger and the Preikestolen trailhead. The cost for a one-way journey is 350 NOK for adults and 175 NOK for children (aged 0 to 15). The hike is self-guided.
The departure times vary depending on the month, so check the website for the most up-to-date information. In October, the tour only operates on Saturdays and Sundays.
From Stavanger, drive onto the Tau ferry (35–40 minutes) and then take road 13 through Jørpeland. Alternatively, drive to Lauvvik and take a ferry to Oanes (8 minutes) before taking road 13 north. Either trip will take around an hour and a half.
To & from Trolltunga
If you're also planning to visit Trolltunga on the same trip, there are daily buses in July and August between Tau and Tyssedal. The cost is 695 NOK. From Tau, there are ferries to Stavanger or buses to Preikestolen Mountain Lodge.
Starting from the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge, a steep climb awaits you, but it won’t take long before you are scrambling up boulders amidst pine forests. If you are moving fast, you'll soon be stripping off layers to stay cool. This is where you’ll be climbing up over rocky boulders and feel the thigh burn and will be most out of breath. Bring plenty of water and a backpack with sandwiches and snacks for a little picnic at the top.
The route is well signposted with lots of red-painted markers. Follow these and you should be fine. Along the path, you will walk on well-groomed trails, boardwalks, gravel pathways and natural terrain. About halfway you will find flat terrain and this is where the views will start appearing. After the last push, all that’s left is step out on rock that looks like it has been hand-carved by the gods.
There are two possible routes when you get towards the top. One will take you over the hilltop and the other one will take you down onto the ledge. It’s worth trying one on the way down and the other one back. No barriers are present along the trail and some might find this a bit odd, but this is done to preserve the natural beauty of the cliff. Fear not, when hiking to the top, you follow a wide path. The plateau itself is 25 by 25 meters, providing a perfect rest stop and a view that must be added to your photo album. Be extremely careful getting close to the edge.
The mountain itself has a large crack, separating the plateau from the rest. The legend says that if seven sisters marry seven brothers from the Lysefjord area, the cliff will fall into the fjord creating a tsunami to destroy all life around the area. So be sure to check out this hike before it is too late!
- The hike is a very popular one and can be busy. To avoid the crowds consider one of the guided sunrise hikes in summer or a colorful autumn trek
- For an even more unique experience head off the beaten track for rarely-seen views of Preikestolen
- You shouldn’t attempt this hike in winter on your own as it can be dangerous. Instead, it's best to go with a guide who has all the necessary equipment and knowledge to make it a safe trip.
- Preikestolen Mountain Lodge has a café and restaurant
- Toilets at the café
- Mobile phone coverage is unreliable
Where to stay
There is a base camp at the parking lot for Preikestolen with three accommodation options. All accommodation options have awesome views of Lake Refsvatnet and include breakfast.
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