Preikestolen, also known as Pulpit Rock, is, undoubtedly, one of Norway's most famous hikes. It is a steep cliff offering a world-renowned, spectacular view over the majestic Lysefjord. This incredible mountain plateau is one of Norway’s best travel locations, with over 300,000 visitors per year.
The hike to Preikestolen guides you to a breathtaking viewpoint, towering over the beautiful natural scenery below. Sounds like something you’d like to see for yourself? Let’s dive into our complete guide to Pulpit Rock. We'll include where Preikestolen is, how high it is, how long the Pulpit Rock hike takes, what to wear and important points to remember.
What is the Pulpit Rock in Norway (or Preikestolen)?
Commonly Known as Pulpit Rock, you may have also heard about it as Preikestolen and even ‘the Preacher’s Chair’. It is a towering mountain plateau in southern Norway is a steep cliff offering amazing fjord views.
The Preacher Rock in Norway was first discovered in 1896 by a bank manager who loved to hike in his free time. Pulpit Rock slowly became a tourist destination as more and more people came to know about this monolithic beauty.
Where is Pulpit Rock?
You may be wondering, ‘where is Pulpit Rock?’. Well, Norway’s Pulpit Rock is located in Rogaland county in the municipality of Strand in the south of the country.
Popular with visitors in the Norway fjord region, hiking Pulpit Rock is an unforgettable day trip that many travelers choose to take.
Pulpit Rock is south of both Bergen and Oslo and can be reached from the nearby city of Stavanger, which is the fourth-largest city in Norway.
Pulpit Rock Height
Standing at over 600 meters, the mighty Pulpit Rock height makes this rock an amazing viewpoint over Lysefjord. See the flowing waters and majestic, green mountains from an incredible vantage point at the top of Preikestolen.
The Pulpit Rock hike reaches an altitude of just over 500 meters. The trail levels out on the last kilometer, giving you breathtaking views of the fjord below.
How Long Does it Take to Hike Pulpit Rock?
The eight-kilometer hike to Preikestolen takes around four hours. You’ll start at the mountain cabin Preikestolen fjellstue, which you can reach by car, bus or boat from Stavanger.
Reaching the summit of this spectacular cliff in Norway is classified as a moderate difficulty hike, with a few steep areas along the route.
What to Wear When You Hike to Preikestolen
If you plan on taking the impressive hike to Pulpit Rock, make sure to dress appropriately so you can fully enjoy your time on this amazing Norway cliff. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Sturdy mountain boots. Strong and durable mountain boots are essential for hiking Pulpit Rock.
- Windproof and waterproof jacket. With variable weather atop Pulpit Rock, a windproof and waterproof jacket is key to protecting yourself from the elements.
- Warm jumper. When it gets a little chilly at higher altitudes, you’ll be grateful you’ve brought a warm jumper along.
- Breathable shirt. When hiking, it’s a good idea to wear a breathable shirt for maximum comfort.
- Comfortable trousers. Forget the jeans and bring some sweatpants or proper walking trousers to ensure you can walk in comfort.
- An extra set of dry clothes. Extra clothes will come in handy if you’re unlucky enough to come across a rain shower.
- Hat, scarf and gloves. These items are perfect to bring during the colder months. Even if you keep them in your bag at the start of the hike, you’ll probably be very happy you brought them when you start nearing the colder summit.
Packing List For Hiking Pulpit Rock
You’ll also need a handful of other important items for your hike to Preikestolen. We recommend bringing:
- A map and compass – A paper map is always good to bring for a hike, even in the world of Google Maps. When there’s no signal, you’ll be very glad you went old school and brought along your paper and compass.
- A small first aid kit – Bringing a portable first aid kit with you will ensure you’re prepared for any cuts or scrapes you might get along the route.
- A fully charged mobile phone – You’ll need a fully charged mobile phone to make sure you can take any photos you like and contact people if needed.
- A headlamp – Especially useful if you’ll be descending Pulpit Rock in the night, a headlamp is another crucial item to pack.
- A water bottle – Essential to keep hydrated on your Pulpit Rock adventure. We recommend bringing one or two reusable water bottles with you to make sure you have enough water for the whole trip.
Important Points For Hiking Preikestolen
- Check the weather forecast beforehand. Be aware that weather conditions in Norway may change rapidly. In the summer in Norway, the weather is often mild, with conditions good enough to hike Pulpit Rock. However, it can be windy and rainy. We recommend checking the weather forecast from the Preikestolen Foundation staff. They are located in the parking lot before embarking on your hike. Don’t hike if there are strong winds, heavy rain or fog.
- Start early in the day. When hiking Preikestolen, it’s important to start early enough in the day to enjoy the beautiful sights. You’ll need daylight to hike Pulpit Rock safely.
- Pack enough food and water. Bring along enough water and snacks for your whole day to make sure you don’t go hungry at Pulpit Rock. You can enjoy a picnic with amazing views at the top of Preikestolen. Make sure to bring enough for your way back down this Norway cliff, too.
- Take a guided tour if you like. You may like to hike Pulpit Rock in your own time, or you might prefer to go with a group and tour guide who can tell you more about Preikestolen. Daily tours run from April to October, weather permitting.
- Enjoy Pulpit Rock on a boat cruise if you fancy. You can take a fjord cruise to enjoy the spectacular views of Preikestolen from the water. Combined hike and fjord tours are also available.
- Hiking season is May to October. Hiking season runs from May to October, meaning you can reach the summit of Preikestolen by yourself during these months. While Pulpit Rock is accessible year-round, there’s a greater risk of bad weather conditions in Norway from November to April. You’ll need specialist equipment, plus a guide (preferably).
- Equipment can be rented in the Preikestolen area. Hiking equipment, including torches, crampons and a guide can all be rented in the Preikestolen area.
- Dispose of your rubbish in the car park trash cans. Respect the environment by carrying any rubbish back down Pulpit Rock to dispose of in the trash cans in the car park. This way, the beautiful scenery of Pulpit Rock can remain clean.
- Use the bathrooms in the car park before you start. We’ve all been there: needing the bathroom during a hike and there's nowhere to go! Make sure to use the bathroom facilities in the car park before starting your hike up Preikestolen and afterwards as well if needed.
Reach the Summit of Pulpit Rock on Your Norway Adventure
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Traveling by campervan allows you the greatest flexibility of all. Meaning you’re free to explore Preikestolen to your heart’s content, knowing your home is there waiting for you when you descend triumphant from the summit. Let’s go explore!