Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience!

Towering 604 metres above the stunning Lysefjord, the first time I saw the Pulpit Rock on Instagram, I knew I MUST get there. In fact, a huge part of my first Norwegian trip was centered around this hike in Preikestolen, other than visiting Bergen and doing Norway In A Nutshell (which I’ll definitely write about)!

Pulpit Rock in Norway – Everyone flocks to hike it

Pulpit Rock, also known as Preikestolen, draws 300,000 visitors each year. Even if you divide that number by 365 days, without considering that Preikestolen actually is not hiking season all year round, or when Tom Cruise needed to be there filming for a new Mission Impossible movie, it’s still a large number of people up on that mountain each day.

8.35am: Starting the hike!

trail guide | Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite WanderessFrom the map, you can see there’re 3 elevations from the beginning that will be more challenging, before the path becomes easier at the end.

beginning of trail | Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite Wanderess

Pulpit Rock is supposed to be a relatively easy hike..

I tried finding information online before going, but couldn’t find enough. My fit friend, Caroline (The Travelling Sloth), reassured me that the hike will be fine.

You can see it’s always these two people leading the way, while my other girlfriend and I struggled behind 😂

trail path | Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite Wanderess9.05am – reaching the first viewpoint!

After huffing and puffing and wondering what I’ve gotta all of us into, we conquered the first challenging elevation and reached the first viewpoint! By now, I’ve removed my winter jacket. Look at this lake view, our first reward!

Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite Wanderess

The hiking trail at Pulpit Rock was made possible by Nepalese sherpas.

For years, Nepalese sherpas have been helping to restore/rebuild the trail with giant rocks and slabs.  All thanks to them, even us, the unfit travelers, can hike up to Pulpit Rock. Have you ever thought about how they got the rocks there? Each piece of rock on your trail carries so much effort and skills.

To be sure you’re on the right trail, look out for the red “T” marked along the way. You’ll also see little signposts telling how far you’ve come, and how far away the summit is. The trail is 6km each way.

From hiking Pulpit Rock, I realized I don’t really have a problem hiking big steps upwards! It must be #thighpower from Warrior yoga poses 😄

rocky path | Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite WanderessHiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite WanderessHiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite Wanderess

Then this flat trail!

Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite Wanderess

More steps again.. You can see the snake-shaped flat path at the back! This is the steepest part of the hiking trail.steep steps | Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite Wanderess

You know what’s the most frustrating part about the hike? I’ll be hiking and congratulating myself silently that I’m going strong, stepping up huge stones continuously. Then I’ll look up and see Caroline sitting relaxedly on a huge rock, way up above where I was, waiting for the rest of us to reach.😠  Lol!

There’s a pool.. sometimes, people set up their tents over here, according to Caroline who’s hiked up Preikestolen many times.

Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite Wanderess

First peek at the stunning Lysefjord!

Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite WanderessHiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite Wanderess

I know the photo above looked quite like it, but nope, that’s NOT the popular spot you’re hoping to reach. The famous plateau is just a bit further up. Ps that girl with the backpack = Caroline, so far away ahead yet again 😠

Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite Wanderess

10:50am: Reached the peak at Pulpit Rock!

After 2 hours of hiking, here we are. I was delighted to finally be there in person! There wasn’t much of a crowd yet, thankfully!

Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite Wanderess

It’s a pretty flat plateau, which makes this an excellent location for photos. To get to the edge, I sat down, then inched my butt slowly towards the edge. Just be very careful.

I don’t have a phobia of heights, yet I found it pretty terrifying to be sitting so precariously at the edge! I did lean forward to see, just a little bit, before freezing in position so my friend can help me take photos from the opposite cliff.

Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite WanderessHiking Pulpit Rock in Norway – A Breathtaking Experience! • The Petite Wanderess

Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway • The Petite WanderessYou can go even higher

You can hike even higher up than this plateau. With the help of my friends (I have #ShortGirlProblems), we managed to pull our asses up! It was more quiet at the top. We sat and had snacks, enjoying the magnificent view. It was windy up there and soon enough, I had to put on my winter jacket again.

Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway • The Petite Wanderess

Is Pulpit Rock hard to hike?

Many articles defined Pulpit Rock as a “moderately easy” hike, but I would say it’s definitely not THAT EASY. I might have problems if I were hiking alone, because of my height (5ft tall). We were blessed with fine weather and dry ground all the time, so my wearing of Skechers shoes turned out fine. In wet weather, it would be more dangerous. Other than the rocks, there are also huge boulders, some which require you to slide down somehow.

During our trip, midway at one of the elevation spots, part of the trail was cordoned off because workers were actively doing restoration work to the trail. This resulted in us venturing away from the trail, hiking upwards over grass, soil and even having to hold onto tree-trunks to pull ourselves upwards. If it’s crowded, it would be quite an issue. You can search Google or even check TripAdvisor and learn that on peak seasons, the hike can get wayyyy too crowded. I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the hike if that’s the case!

With that said, I wouldn’t recommend young kids to follow along for this hike.


How to get to Preikestolen


The nearest city to get to Preikestolen is Stavanger.

My friends and I based ourselves in Stavanger, and made this hike a day trip. Check Booking.com for accommodation options in Stavanger!

Method 1: By ferry + bus.

In hiking season (between April and October – check before going), you can purchase two-way combo tickets online. These tickets are valid within the day, and will cover your ferry trip between Stavanger and Tau, as well as the buses taking you from Tau to the foot of Pulpit Rock.

Don’t forget to check the schedule for the return bus!

Method 2: By car

My friend who was living in Stavanger at that time, picked us up at Fiskepiren ferry terminal in Stavanger in her car. We then took the car ferry across to Tau and continued driving to Preikestolen’s carpark.


Tips before you go hike Pulpit Rock!


1. Check if the trail is open for hiking before you plan the trip.

It’s actually open all year round, with the exception of special events such as Tom Cruise needing to film a new Mission Impossible on the plateau. However, the hiking season are certain months, beyond which it will be too cold and you’ll need special equipment such as crampons to hike safely.

2. There are no entrance fees.

The only fees you’ll be paying would be the parking fee (if you drove) or the transport methods you took to Pulpit Rock.

3. Check weather conditions and plan your hike according to the forecast.

The location that you should be checking for Pulpit Rock’s weather isn’t “Stavanger”, but “Forsand”. The weather can also change drastically, so make sure you’re prepared! We had referenced closely to the hourly weather forecast, and were keeping track along, knowing rain will arrive at a certain time. By the time we were on the car ferry from Tau back to Stavanger, it was already raining.

4. The edge of the cliff is a straight drop down to the bottom.

Be smart, mindful, and don’t lean over too much if you really must sit at the edge for photos.

5. There are NO toilets along the hike.

The closest toilets you get are at the base of the mountain, near the carpark, so use them before you start the hike. Don’t drink too much water during your hike too, lest you need the loo. The hiking trail is also pretty exposed a hike all around (as in everyone can see you), so I’m not sure how people settle their businesses!

6. Bring food and water (but also watch your water intake).

After hiking for 2-3 hours, you’ll be very hungry at the summit. We had breakfast right before leaving Stavanger and were already famished when we reached the top. I ate a few small cookies before we descended. By the time we reached Stavanger for very late lunch, my gastric was in hell.

7. Wear layers & non-skid shoes

You might feel cold before hiking, but once you start ascending, you’ll feel warm fast enough. At the top, you might feel too cold again, before hiking down and feeling hot again.

As for shoes, I hiked it in Skechers track shoes and had no problems. However, it was wonderfully sunny weather, so the ground was dry. I have to mention that Norway’s weather can switch really fast; we were really blessed for that day.

8. Tip: Beat the crowds

We reached the carpark early, before the first bus even arrived from Tau. This helped us gain some headstart away from crowds. Only just a few foreigners were starting the hike at the same time as us. However, I’d also read about crowds very early in the morning (especially in summer). Manage your expectations and you’ll be happy 🙂

9. You won’t be hiking all 604m of elevation.

Although Pulpit Rock is 604m above sea level, you’ll be 270m above sea level already when you start your hike, so don’t be too afraid it’s too much of an ascent.

10. Plan about 2 hours-ish each way, and 1 hour to hang out at the top.

Are you intending to hike Pulpit Rock when you head to Norway?

More posts to read!
• (Norway) How we underestimated Bergen’s highest mountain: Mt Ulriken
• (Norway) 12 photos to inspire you to go hike in Norway
• (Norway) 6 days in Norway: How much did it cost?
• (Tokyo) Hiking Mt Takao in Japan, solo!
• (Bali)  Hiking the gorgeous Campuhan Ridge Walk in Bali


Visited: May 2017
Disclosure: This blogpost contains affiliate link(s). If you make a booking/purchase through the link(s), my travel blog receives a tiny commission at no extra costs to you. The commission helps me offset costs to maintain this website, I’ll be very grateful for your support! Full disclosure terms are available on this page.

 

Photos of me at the plateau were taken by my friend, Beng.
Follow my footsteps on social media!

Hiking Pulpit Rock in Norway • The Petite Wanderess

Join The Petite Wanderess Mailing List

Subscribe today!

14 comments

    1. Oops sorry I missed out replying to your comment, Jenn! O.O Thanks for coming by! Norway’s been on my bucket list forever and I’m so glad I finally went there! Hope you can have your wish come true soon for this gorgeoussss country! =D

  1. The rock’s edge is amazing – and a little scary just to look at the pictures! Congratulations that you challenged yourself to such a beautiful hike. The photos are just amazing.

  2. This is something I totally want to do and thank you for be honest about the difficulty. I love simple/easy hikes but what avid hikers call ‘easy’ is often difficult for me (I’m an asthmatic which never helps in the thin/cold mountain air. Also good to know if you go early you beat most of the crowds!

    1. Yeah I know! What’s easy to others may not be always easy to the rest of us. Always do a reality check and also take precautionary measures =)

  3. You’ve provided wonderful tips for anyone planning to do this hike. Going early is always the best at popular locations. Good to know about the toilet situation and no cover along the trail.

    1. Thanks Jamie! Being a city person who never hiked much in the past, I’m especially sensitive to the what-if situations where toilets are required, lol!

  4. You’re brave for sitting out to the edge, Kristine. I wouldn’t have done that. But I’d love to hike to it and take in the view! Thanks for this great info. As a short person it’s nice to get hiking advice from fellow “vertically challenged” ladies!

    1. Thanks Lynne! Vertically-challenged ladies unite! I’m just glad to have friends hiking with me who could give me a helping hand / shove when needed, haha!

  5. I’m not a morning person at all and hiking at 8:35 in the morning just sounds absurd to me. That view, however… Oh my goodness!!!!! Totally worth sacrificing that beauty sleep for hahahaa. Definitely adding this to my bucket list!

    1. Hiking at 8.35am indeed sounds crazy, lol. But we had only one chance (one day available to hike on our trip), and we wanted to beat the crowds & the rain forecast 😉 Totally worth it indeed! =D

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

90 Shares
Share66
Pin3
Tweet21
+1
Flip
WhatsApp