Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hiking to the Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen Hike), Norway

       The Pulpit Rock was high on our must-do list and in my humble opinion, it should be on every hiker's list. Not only that it is Rogaland country's most visited attraction, it is a viewing point even CNN and Lonely Planet speak highly about. Apart from that, this 25m x 25m platform is a famed photo op among dare devils.  

Difficulty: Moderate

       While the hike itself is not as difficult as the Kjerag hike, honestly, I wouldn’t rate it “easy” either. As told by my travel buddy, Suan:"If small dogs can do it, we can do it". True enough, we’ve seen too many hikers with their small dogs (as in Chihuahua, poodles and such, not puppies.)

       If you decided to do the hike too, I highly recommend you to read my tips to hike Preikestolen.

The Starting Point

       After we canceled our Trolltunga hike the day before due to bad weather condition, I prayed fervently for the sun to shine brightly. Still, it doesn’t look good the night before, so despite the possibility to beat the crowd at sunrise, we decided to start the hike only after 7 am.

       We departed from Raddison Blu Royal Hotel at 5.45am so that we wouldn’t miss the Ferry at 6 am. The drive from our hotel to the Stavanger port takes less than 5 minutes and we are on the Stavanger-Tau Car Ferry in no time.

       The Ferry journeyed across the 14.7km waterway in about 40 minutes. We were on a Norled AS car ferry and the ferry tickets for 3 (1 driver, 2 passengers) cost 279 NOK (Experience might vary). On the ferry, we managed to catch the beautiful sunrise however, I missed a large part of the scenery simply because… I fell asleep.  
Norway car ferry

       As soon as we arrived in Tau, there were clear signboards directing us to the trailhead of Preikestolen. It was a 30 minutes drive via via Ryfylkevegen/Rv13 and Preikestolvegen.

       We arrived at the paid car park at the end of the drive. Parking your car will cost 200 NOK, but let me ensure you that it’s worth the money because 1. It’s legal 2. lower your risk (hit and run, stolen car, etc). Along the road to the carpark, you’ll see some chains or signs to prevent hikers from parking illegally. Nevertheless, people will still be people and for these group of hikers, rules are meant to be broken. Don’t be one of them.
Hiking to the Pulpit Rock
notice the metal chain trampled on the ground. 

Now, The Climb

       We finally started our hike at around 8 am. We greeted some hikers who are hiking down after the sunrise tour and I secretly (in my heart) regretted our decision to miss the chance after their vivid description about the incredible view. Anyhow, I believe our experience will be nothing less amazing.

       The temperature during early morning was pretty low with a lot of fog but it got a lot sunnier after 30 minutes we started our hike. Knowing this beforehand, we dressed up in layers so that we could adjust accordingly.
Hiking to the Pulpit Rock

       We are in for a 3.8km uphill hike. Some experienced hikers might be able to do it under 1.5 hours but for average people like us, we hope to get to the peak in 2 hours.

(Part 1)

       At the start of the trail, we went through a rather steep dirt ground and then some nicely laid-out steps-like terrains. The hike will be rather easy until you’ve passed the 30-40 minutes mark— the wooden bridge across an open field.
Hiking to the Pulpit Rock
Preikestolen Hike

(Part 2)

(didn't have photos of the part due to the following reasons)
       The next stretch of the route consists of some uneven stony inclines where it could be difficult to walk during peak hiking hours. Also, as I’ve told you earlier, the weather wasn’t good the day before so the rain might have made the stones extra slippery and this part of the hike is the exact reason why I rated this hike “Moderate” instead of “Easy”. Also, some of these path are narrow so its difficult when there is a lot of traffic.
Preikestolen Hike
Just follow the T sign. 

(Part 3)

       Fortunately, after we went past the steep inclines, we felt very much relieved at the sight of flat grounds. This was where we finally slowed down our pace and started taking our photo apparatus out. This part of the hike is also the only choice available which is safe to pitch a tent.

       Here we passed by some beautiful swimming holes, cliffs, and stone-stacks… Yes there are still some huge rocks where you might need a helping hand, but that is the fun of hiking with your friends, isn’t it so?
Preikestolen camping
Preikestolen Hike
Preikestolen Hike

       During the last part of the hike, we spent way too much time taking photos of the breathtaking Fjord, guilty as charged. We ended up reaching the top later than expected. We’ve spent 2 hours 30 minutes but our sore feet couldn’t match our excitement once we saw the Pulpit Rock right in front of our eyes.  
A post shared by Vivian Dominique Lee (@littlemisshappyfeet) on

Here we are! 

       The view of the sweeping mountains surrounding the Fjord swept us off our feet. The flat rectangular rock jutting out high above Lysefjorden looks like a huge slice of wedding cake from the side. I eventually gathered enough courage to crawled to the edge for the first time and my heart shrunk a bit when I caught sight of the drop. I retreated and my every single embarrassing move was caught on tape.

       My second attempt was a success and I manage to record the drop in another video (which will be released on my Facebook page soon.)

A post shared by Vivian Dominique Lee (@littlemisshappyfeet) on

       For those who are afraid of height but still want an epic photo, I recommend laying head first near the edge and get someone to photograph you from the top. Although Suan said I looked like a fish getting air/sun-dried, I feel like it's a good option for those safety-conscious folks to document their experience.
Preikestolen Hike
Photo credit: Lee Siew Suan
       Walking on that plateau, I noticed an alarming crack across it and I did googled about it right after the hike. It's true that this natural wonder isn't guaranteed to be around forever... Experts said that the Pulpit Rock will one day free itself from the cliff and plunge into the Fjord where tidal waves can be formed. However, this will not happen in the foreseeable future.
Pulpit rock crack
With a crack this deep all across... I wonder how long will it hold on.... 

Go further 

       At 11 am, crowd started pouring in.... and by 12 pm, this place was 85% fully loaded (as described by Suan) We finally decided to hike up to the ledge above the Pulpit Rock after a good 5 minutes “If you go I go/ why not, we are already here” discussion. We enjoyed our picnic lunch on the ledge while people-watching, and stayed another 30 minutes before we decided that it was time for us to bid goodbye to the Pulpit Rock.
Pulpit rock

The Descent

       On our way down, one of the funniest episodes was that I got my shoe stuck deep in the mud, and I, unfortunately, had to hike down with a soaked shoe. In our case, the descent was much more difficult than the hike up because we were making our way against the worst of crowds and the stones were still slippery. "Expect to stress more on your ankle than your knees on your way down”, explained my travel buddy Sabina, and true enough, I felt my ankles screaming for help as we struggled to balance ourselves walking on slippery paths (in addition to trying to avoid collisions.)

The End

       We rushed to the Tau Port in full speed but to no avail, we’ve just missed the ferry back to Stavanger (it left right in front of our eyes)… and so we had to wait another 40 minutes. This ferry was a bigger one compared to the morning ferry with a huge cafeteria onboard. However, the cost and time taken for the journey remained the same.

The Verdict

       The hike is worth it. For those who are traveling with kids or elderly, do not be discouraged by the Part2 of the hike. We’ve seen children, elderlies and even small dogs on the trail, they were doing just fine. However, I recommend getting a pair of hiking poles for your parents and take your time on the trail, making sure they get as much rest time they need.

       Also, please read up these tips before you hike Preikestolen. These practical tips were written right after my hiking experience and I am sure it will help you to prepare well for your trip. Feel free to share your photos with me HERE!
Pulpit Rock Norway
Photo credit: Lee Siew Suan
       Last but not least, please be a responsible hiker. We've seen too many Banana peels along the trail and thought these hikers should be ashamed of their inconsiderate action.
Preikestolen Hike


       Some people like to stay as close as possible to the trail head. Even though I think Stavanger is a perfect base for this hike, these are a few other options. The properties listed below are all within 20 minutes drive to the start of the trail. I’ve included links to booking.com so that you can easily check their reviews and make the best decision for your trip. Please note that some options are only suitable for groups of 6-14 person.

1. Verkshotellet Jørpeland >>
Situated in Jørpeland town center, Verkshotellet is 9km away from the Pulpit Rock. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served daily except on Sunday.

2. Holiday home in Jørpeland >>
This holiday home has 3 bedrooms, and its 8 km from the Pulpit Rock.

3. Bregnevegen 10 >>
This vacation home has a spa tub and it can accommodate a larger group up to 14 people.

4. Selemork Hus >>
This property has the highest review point on booking.com. Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area. It features a garden with a sun terrace. Activities like biking and fishing are also available in that area.

5. Holiday home Jørpeland Jøssangvegen >>
This holiday home features nice views of the sea.

6. Pulpit Rock Cabin >>
Pulpit Rock Cabin is one of the closest vacation homes to the Pulpit Rock, featuring a garden with a terrace. A variety of activities are available in the area, such as golfing, fishing and hiking.

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Thank You for Reading! Miss Happy Feet was hosted by Visit Stavanger but all photos and opinion are as always my own. 
If you too have hiked the Pulpit Rock, feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below!

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