This Instagram famous rock is not for the fate hearted, wedged between two cliffs, it sits about 1100m above Lysefjord. Kjeragbolten attracts base jumpers, paragliders and adrenaline fuelled hikers keen to stand on the boulder. Although a popular hike, it is considered one of the more challenging treks around the area because of the steep faces. Located about a 2-hour drive from Stavanger, there are tour buses (Tide Reiser) to take you there or alternatively, you can drive during the hiking season – when the roads are open.
Difficulty: 3.5/5 stars
Season: June – September
Area: Rogaland, West Norway
Admittedly, the journey to Kjeragbolten is not the easiest. There are 3 steep inclines throughout the hike, which involves the use of chains and your arms to pull yourself up. Nonetheless, it is a beautiful hike. The views over Lysefjord are stunning and if you head there early enough, you may have the entire trail to yourself and the morning mist over the mountains is a beauty. The overall hike varies between 4 to 6 hours return depending on your fitness so pack lunch and snacks. Despite it being summer, there may still be snow along some of the paths. Nothing overly challenging, it’s a great spot to have a quick snowball fight. Throughout the hike, you can find streams of fresh water where you can refill your water bottle. Have a special look out for the red T’s as some of them aren’t overly obvious, when in doubt you can always follow hikers ahead.
They don’t play around here! At the start of your hike, you’re met with the first incline, which in my opinion is the “medium” of the three. Once you get over this incline and down it, mountains will surround you. This would be a good spot to camp since it’s protected from the elements. Also a cool thing about this area is that you can see the path up the second incline. The key here is to pace yourself, getting knackered so early on in the hike isn’t going to help for the next two inclines! The third incline took a lot out of me but it’s not impossible to overcome. Like I said; pace yourself, take breaks and don’t push yourself too much, you can do it.
At the top of the third incline, give yourself a pat on the back because you’ve done the hard yards. All that is left now is a nice, leisure journey above the mountain towards Kjeragbolten itself. After (maybe) 30 – 45 mins, you’ll be greeted to a signpost pointing you to the right direction. Not long left and there you have it! Congratulations, you’ve arrived to Kjeragbolten. You’ve earned your reward of snapping that “Instagram worthy” photo! For you adrenalin junkies, why not make your way to the top of the rock? Be careful when stepping onto the boulder and try not to look down – although I didn’t listen to my own advice.
As I mentioned before, you’re able to drive here when the roads are open (during hiking season). Contrary to what Google maps informed me, it’s only about 2 – 2.5hrs from Stavanger. The roads are easy to drive on until you start driving the mountain roads that are winding, narrow and one lane width so take some motion sickness tablets if you’re prone to it. Parking will set you back 150 NOK for the entire day. Just be sure to use your hand brake! I saw a car roll into the ditch because the driver didn’t do this. Whoops.
Similarly to the Preikestolen hike (or most Norwegian hikes), there are no toilets along the hike so if you must go, try to relieve yourself at the car park or find a spot off the trail. I highly recommend sturdy hiking boots while doing this hike. I’ve seen people use their trainers/joggers (even flats!!) to do this but I just found it significantly easier using my hiking boots, providing more grip on the steep rock faces especially on the way down. It helped me achieve my dreams of being a mountain goat!
This hike has always been on my list ever since I got into hiking so I’m pretty chuffed I did it! For all you hikers out there, I highly recommend this. Not because of the main attraction but because it one of the most enjoyable hikes I’ve done. There’s always something special about getting outdoors and lost amongst the mountains. That said, this is a physically demanding hike but if you’re in reasonable physical shape, there’s nothing stopping you from doing this except well, you! Equip yourself with proper boots, motivation and pace yourself… You’ll soon be able to stand on this boulder 1100m above the fjords!
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Peace, love and good vibes.