Preikestolen, or Pulpit Rock, is one of Norway’s most popular and easy to get to hikes. If you have a car, you have lots of options for where to stay, but Stavanger, Norway is a great option if you are using public transportation. There are lots of options for when to go and when to return, and the hike is fairly short (the average person takes about four hours round trip to hike a total of five miles), so you are likely to get a spot on the ferry the day you want to go.

 

The Hike

Once you get off the bus, there is a bathroom for a last pit stop before hiking, as well as a visitor center with limited hours. Look for the Preikestolen sign to find the trailhead.

Preikestolen trailhead, Norway

 

As you can see below, this hike has many steep parts, with breaks in between. It is steep, but by Norwegian standards, this is an easier hike.

Preikestolen hike, Norway

 

I completed the hike on a Saturday, and man were there a lot of people on the trail! I am guessing there aren’t quite as many people during the week, but I’m not sure. I had a hard time hiking the pace I wanted to as I would quickly catch up to slower hikers who, mostly, didn’t step aside so I could pass.

Lots of people on a steep section on the Preikestolen hike, Norway

The trail is easy to follow and well marked. Like all hiking trails in Norway, you follow the red T’s.

The red T’s mark the trails in Norway

 

You will see signs like this in some places on the Preikestolen hike, Norway

 

Different red T’s marking the trail and counting down the distance

 

Since it rains a lot on Norway, it is a good idea to have waterproof shoes and a rain jacket. The trail was muddy in places, and there were rock steps or ledge in a lot of other places, both of which can be slippery. Being a hiker, I found this hike to not be very hard. Don’t get me wrong, there was definitely a lot of uphill that got my heart pumping, but these spots were relatively short with flat sections in between. If you don’t hike, you may still be able to do this hike, but you will find it much more challenging.

Almost to the end of the Preikestolen hike, Norway

The day I went was fairly nice with a decent forecast…for western Norway. I quickly warmed up hiking the steeper sections, and tried to pass the slower hikers. About halfway into the hike, it started to rain a bit. I put on my rain jacket as it was getting colder out and I had reached the top of a steep section. It didn’t last, luckily.

 

I got to the top of the last steep section and got my first glimpse of the fjord. I got excited!

First glimpse of the fjord on the Preikestolen hike, Norway

 

I hiked on and, with only about five minutes to go, the clouds descended on me. I got to Pulpit Rock and was greeted by views of the cloud I was in. I cannot describe how disappointed I was at that time. You see, I was supposed to do this hike the following day, but someone at my hostel talked me into going that day due to the relatively better forecast. It made sense, but once I got there in time to be inside a cloud, all I could think was, “Should I have just waited until tomorrow?” The other thing that bummed me out was that I was looking forward to hiking the fjords of Norway for over eight months, yet I couldn’t see a thing.

My view when I got to the end of the Preikestolen hike, Norway

I decided to wait awhile to see if the clouds would clear. I stayed up there for over an hour, getting ready to give up when the clouds began to thin just a little bit, revealing the water below. I was amazed at the sheer dropoff down to the water! I was getting excited when I realized that I could see a little across the fjord. Now other people were becoming aware of the clearing conditions and heading toward the edge of the rock where I had already staked out my spot.

The clouds started to break up on the Preikestolen hike, Norway

Over the next 15-20 minutes, the clouds cleared for fantastic views up the fjord and I was amazed! The clouds lifted, but never fully left. I was so happy to at least get some sort of a view, and a beautiful one at that, that I didn’t really care. I am so happy that I decided to wait it out in the cold, wet cloud as the views were definitely worth it. I took a lot of pictures, and had to wait for others several times when I wanted a picture from a certain spot or with me in it. I probably spent another hour taking in the view before hiking down.

Preikestolen hike, Norway

 

Preikestolen hike, Norway

 

Preikestolen hike, Norway

How to Get There

Since this is such a short hike, and there are so many departure times, you can buy your ticket at the ferry terminal. The advantage of this is that you can go when the weather is best during your stay in Stavanger. You can also pre-book on the Tide website. You don’t have to pick your time as your ticket is good for any ferry/bus on the date of your hike.

 

Head down to the Fiskepiren ferry terminal and hop on the ferry to Tau, which is a commuter ferry, so it departs frequently. When you get off the ferry in Tau, look for the Tide bus, which will take you to the trailhead. It is easy to find as you get dropped off in a small parking lot surrounded by woods. Be sure to have a schedule of bus departures so you don’t get stuck. There are no seat reservations; you just take the next available bus. Keep in mind that the bus runs from April to October, so be sure to check the Tide website for specific information.

 

When you are done hiking, you just hop on the next bus, take it to the ferry, then get right on the ferry. Just be aware of when the last bus of the day departs, and be at the bus stop well in advance.

Hiking Preikestolen in Norway
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11 thoughts on “Hiking Preikestolen in Norway

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  • November 7, 2017 at 8:24 PM
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    What a beautiful hike! Although, I feel nervous just looking at that picture of people sitting on the edge of that cliff. Yikes! Too bad it was too foggy to see the view when you first reached the top. I’m glad the clouds dissipated enough for you to enjoy some pretty views before you left. We had an experience like that the one time we went to the Grand Canyon… except that, in our case, the clouds never dissipated. Maybe we will make it out there again someday to see the view…

    Reply
    • November 9, 2017 at 6:41 PM
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      Ah, that’s too bad about your trip to the Grand Canyon. I was very happy the clouds lifted enough for great views!

      Reply
  • November 7, 2017 at 10:39 PM
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    Wow, this looks like something we’d love to do. We love hiking and Norway it high on our to-do list. The only issue I have with this is I’d probably have a heart attack being on that cliff edge with my children. They’re old enough to know to stay away from the edge but it would still bother me immensely that there are no walls. I’m a worry wart, what can I say? Looks amazing though and will keep it on my list! 🙂

    Reply
    • November 9, 2017 at 6:40 PM
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      There are so many beautiful fjord hikes in Norway! I completely understand your nervousness with kids – I probably would be nervous, too. I’ll post about a couple other fjord hikes very soon if you’re interested in checking them out.

      Reply
  • November 10, 2017 at 8:13 AM
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    What a gorgeous hike! Like you, my favorite hikes are ones where you “get there” at the end and are rewarded with a fantastic view. Glad you waited it out! Being from the northwest, I know how frustrating clouds can be sometimes.

    Also, what the heck about the slow hikers?? Is that just standard trail etiquette there, or just bad manners from visitors?

    Reply
    • November 10, 2017 at 8:22 AM
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      I love the beautiful views, too! At home, if I know it’s going to be a cloudy day with no views, I won’t go hiking.

      I think the inconsiderate hikers aren’t people who normally hike, so they don’t realize. And there were just SO many people! I just passed when the trail would get wider.

      Reply
  • November 10, 2017 at 2:57 PM
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    I havent been hiking in so long! Those pics of the people on the edge of the rock is making me so nervous! Looks steep but a nice challenge.

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  • November 11, 2017 at 7:49 PM
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    This looks like a incredible hike and the views look stunning. I would love to do this hike when I get out to Norway. I have a few friends in Norway, I’ll be sure to pass on this post to them. I could literally sit on the edge of that cliff edge and dream the day away glaring out and taking in the view with the biggest smile on my face.

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    • November 11, 2017 at 8:20 PM
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      I spent a lot of time just admiring the view! If it wasn’t for my friend being frozen, I would have stayed longer.

      Reply

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