You may have seen the iconic picture of a person standing on this boulder wedged between two cliffs, thousands of feet high, but where is it exactly? Well, it’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere in Norway. There aren’t too many places to stay close by, so most people have a long ride to the trailhead on the day they hike it. But it is well worth the effort to get there.

Kjeragbolten, Norway

 

How to Get There

If you have a car, you can drive from anywhere, but if you don’t, the Tide bus company offers a day trip there and back daily from June to September. This one is worth reserving in advance as there is only one trip per day and it is a popular trip. You can try your luck and show up at the bus station the day of to buy a ticket from the driver. If you take the bus, you will want to stay in Stavanger, Norway the night before since the bus leaves at 7:30 AM sharp. The bus ride takes a little over three hours each way and allows plenty of time for the hike. The entire day is 12.5 hours.

The ride to the trailhead is beautiful – Kjeragbolten, Norway

 

The Hike

The hike is 12 km round trip and only for those in reasonably good shape who like very steep hiking. There is a lot of rocky ledge, so shoes with good grips are a must. Ideally, wear hiking boots – waterproof is best as it rains a lot in Norway. They say allow 2.5-3 hours to hike each direction, and I say allow extra time at the top for pictures. Allow even more time if it is a very nice day out or is a weekend as I have heard there can be quite a long line to get your picture taken on these days.

The profile of the hike – Kjeragbolten, Norway

 

Like all other hikes in Norway, follow the red T’s and the labeled signs with the T’s.

Kjeragbolten, Norway

 

There are two buildings at the beginning of the hike; one with bathrooms, and the other with a nice restaurant with an excellent view of the valley and fjord. Once your gear is set, off you go.

 

The trail gets steep almost immediately. It is sheer rock, complete with chains to help you. I found the chains particularly helpful on the descent.

Kjeragbolten, Norway

 

It was wonderful looking back as I ascended the steep rock, seeing the building where I began getting further below and I could see more of the valley below. Even with a little bit of low clouds, it was still beautiful.

Kjeragbolten, Norway

 

Eventually there was a break, then there was a steep downhill, again with chains. But now I could see a pond with greenery all around it, and more ledgey rock going up. When I looked closer, I saw sheep.

Kjeragbolten, Norway

 

Kjeragbolten, Norway

There was some nice rock work in the low part.

Kjeragbolten, Norway

 

Another steep uphill before reaching the rounded top of Kjerag.

The top of Kjerag – Kjeragbolten, Norway

 

From here, the hike is easy. However, if the rocks are wet, be careful as they can be quite slippery. Lots of people slipped from time to time, and it’s important to walk in way that you can easily catch yourself.

 

There is an intersection just before Kjeragbolten (the boulder). I hear it isn’t typical, but when I got there, there was still snow. As in, a few feet deep. But just in the dip in the rocks before the boulder.

Kjeragbolten, Norway

At first, I was in awe of where I was, so I stood there, taking it in. I watched as other people got onto the boulder, then walked around to where you get on. Man oh man, the cliff drops off thousands of feet into the fjord! And there were people jumping from the cliffs a little ways away (bungee jumping I think), which looks terrifying. But the fjord is beautiful! Even though it wasn’t completely clear out, I was happy to have a view.

 

When I was ready to get my picture taken on the boulder, I handed my camera over to another hiker. When I got to the spot to get onto the rock, I started shaking. But no one has ever fallen off this boulder, so I told myself I needed to do it. Most people hopped onto Kjeragbolten, but it was a bit wet, so I didn’t dare. Instead, I sat down on the cliff I was on and essentially crawled on hands and feet onto the boulder and very carefully stood up, a little at a time. And I never looked down. I just looked at the woman taking my picture, then carefully turned around and looked out at the fjord. It was extremely scary, but I am happy that I did it – it’s a pretty fun picture.

Kjeragbolten, Norway

 

Since I still had plenty of time until the bus left, I decided to stay at the top and enjoy the views. Many people who came with me headed back, and when I saw them later, they were bored and cold. I enjoyed taking in the scene around me, feeling the fresh air and talking with other hikers.

The back of the boulder where you get onto it – Kjeragbolten, Norway

The hike back was much like the hike out, only in reverse. Although, no one was around when I got to the intersection close to the boulder, and I realized I didn’t pay close attention to which way I went. I looked all around, but it’s just rock everywhere. You see, where I hike at home, the trails are marked with different colors, so you follow the color on the trail you’re hiking. In Norway, ALL the markers are red. Given my experience at home, this seems like a terrible idea, especially when I second guessed myself on the return. After a few minutes, someone came along and I was able to confirm which way to go.

 

Close to the end of the hike, I was carefully walking down a steep section, holding the chain when I found myself upside down. If it weren’t for the chains, I may have hurt myself, but all I did was pull my stomach muscles a bit from the sudden stop. I did not hit the rocks – thank goodness the chains were there.

Low clouds came in on the hike back – Kjeragbolten, Norway

Once back at the trailhead, I still had a bit of time left, so I got a snack from the restaurant. Unfortunately, the low clouds had come in and obstructed the view of the valley below. But at least I had views while hiking.

 

Have you hiked to Kjeragbolten? What was your experience?

Hiking Kjeragbolten
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25 thoughts on “Hiking Kjeragbolten

  • November 16, 2017 at 6:24 PM
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    Wow–I am awed that you stood on that boulder! I would probably have just waited at the restaurant with the nice view of the fjord, but it looks well worth the trek.

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  • November 16, 2017 at 6:46 PM
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    Wow! These pictures look amazing. My husband and I love hiking together. So far we have only done US destinations together but Norway is definitely on my list. What hike would you say compares to this? I will have to check out some of your other posts and learn!

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    • November 17, 2017 at 4:38 PM
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      I would compare the hike itself to Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. Getting onto the boulder – well, that was unique, so I have to comparison!

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  • November 16, 2017 at 8:53 PM
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    I love that you are above the clouds! It’s beautiful! But, not going to lie – you standing on the boulder makes me so nervous!

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  • November 16, 2017 at 9:36 PM
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    Wow! This is so beautiful! What an amazing hike. I am pretty sure I would never survive it though. I would definitely have been a bit nervous standing on that boulder too :).

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  • November 16, 2017 at 10:34 PM
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    That looks like an amazing experience! I would be nervous about the boulder, too. I don’t blame you for crawling onto it. I agree, the pictures are worth it!

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  • November 17, 2017 at 4:55 AM
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    Looks like an amazing hike! I don’t know if I could have done it but your pictures are great!

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  • November 17, 2017 at 10:54 PM
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    You are brave! I don’t think I can survive. Just reading your experience made me nervous already.

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  • November 18, 2017 at 11:48 AM
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    I’m actually amazed that no one has fallen off that boulder before. Awesome picture, but totally freaky 😉 I’d have a hard time taking up most of a day for one thing though if I was only in the area for a short time. How do you choose??

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  • November 18, 2017 at 7:21 PM
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    I don’t know that I’d be brave enough to stand on the boulder, even knowing no one has ever fallen off. Bravo! Glad you are ok after the tumble on the way down, too!

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  • November 19, 2017 at 12:07 PM
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    Interestingly this is the second time I’ve read a post about here recently, I have to admit I would be that guy that would stand on the boulder between the cliffs. I actually have friends from Norway that have told me about Kjeragbolten in the past, they’ve not actually been there yet but I would love to experience it, and the views along the hike look incredible too.

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  • November 19, 2017 at 12:57 PM
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    So beautiful! You’re braver than I am, I’d enjoy the hike but don’t think I’d make it onto the boulder lol!

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  • November 22, 2017 at 12:04 AM
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    Awesome. I definitely have Norway on my Bucket list and the rock in Kjeragbolten is one of those iconic shots I would love to add to my Bucket List Completed List!!
    That steep hike though looks crazy but the reward of all those amazing views throughout the Kjeragbolten region seem very worth it!

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  • November 22, 2017 at 5:35 AM
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    This is incredible!!! I’m quite scared of heights though, so not sure if I could make this picture, but I’d like to! I’m a complete beginner to hiking, but this one looks doable!

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  • November 22, 2017 at 4:13 PM
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    Good for you for having the courage to get onto that rock, even with it being wet! Definitely not for the faint of heart! I hope to return to Norway one day and do that 12-mile hike to Kjeragbolten myself! It sounds like a hearty workout, but with rewarding views!

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    • November 23, 2017 at 10:12 PM
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      Thanks! You will love the hike. It’s actually 12 kilometers, which is just shy of 7 1/2 miles round trip.

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  • November 22, 2017 at 5:11 PM
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    I’ve seen that picture many times on Instagram and would love to go there. That’s a long day 12.5 hours but well worth it for those stunning views. I don’t know if I’m in the best shape to do the hike but would give it a go! Was it safe standing on the rock? Definitely add this to the list!

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    • November 23, 2017 at 10:09 PM
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      I will admit that getting onto the rock was scary, even knowing no one has ever fallen off, but once I was on, it felt safe.

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  • November 23, 2017 at 6:04 AM
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    This was the hike we were contemplating to attempt but didn’t because we did Trolltunga and Bessegen instead, both were absolutely brilliant. But I always regretted not doing this one, because of the amazing views. Thanks for a detailed post about this hike, it is very useful for someone who plans to do it. Like most hikes, this one also is far away from anything else and isn’t easy to get to, as I understand.

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  • November 24, 2017 at 6:40 AM
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    A massive trek to get somewhere remote for the perfect photo is not unheard of for me! Last year, in January I travelled to Prague for a few days, then took a couple of trains 4.5 hours from the hotel in Prague to a remote village called Dolni Morava, where I missioned up a cliff to the Skywalk. It was breathtaking, and such an experience, i would definitely recommend it, as it sounds like the sort of adventure you’d love. Check out my post if you’re interested: https://alwayscarryon.com/2016/02/11/czech-republic-skywalk-dolni-morava/ in the meantime, I’m bookmarking your post and adding Kjeragbolten to my bucket list! Maybe next year 😉 x

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  • November 24, 2017 at 10:11 AM
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    WOW quiet a detailed post on Kjeragbolten, Norway. Being a outdoors person this certainly interests me, now with Norwegian airlines offering flight from Texas another trip to Norway is overdue.

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  • November 24, 2017 at 3:52 PM
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    So cool! I’m not so sure I would have been as brave or agile, but I just lived it vicariously through you. So, thank you!

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  • December 2, 2017 at 6:55 PM
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    WOW, that is insane!! What an intense hike, you are basically climbing uphill in the beginning! also proud of you for standing on that boulder! was it wet and slippery? what is underneath it?

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  • January 11, 2018 at 2:36 AM
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    Looks like a beautiful place to hike! I’d be so scared to climb on that boulder, and I’ll probably be the first to fall thanks to my clumsiness

    Reply

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