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Pulpit Rock hike

How strenuous is the walk up to the top?
I heard the the first section is the steepest, but about how long is it steep, time wise?

I am 50 and do lots of hiking on rolling hills in the pacific northwest.
I am thinking of getting some hiking sticks/poles?
I appreciate any advice, thank you in advance.

Posted by
16893 posts

This is the general description from Rick's Scandinavia book:

Hiking up to the top of Pulpit Rock is a popular outing that will take the better part of a day; plan on at least four hours of hiking (two hours up, two hours down), plus time to linger at the top for photos, plus round-trip travel from Stavanger (about an hour each way by a ferry-and-bus combination)--eight hours minimum should do it. The trailhead is easily reached in summer by public transit or tour package. Then comes the hard part: the hike to the top. The total distance is 4.5 miles and the elevation gain is roughly 1,000 feet. Pack a lunch and plenty of water, and wear good shoes.

TripAdvisor has some reviews from hikers. Looking at random photos online, I see large rocks forming a sort of staircase, and people not using poles.

One opinion that we read said "There are two steep parts, but they are pretty short. The rest is almost like a walk in the park, but with some views out of this world."

It sounds like you don't use poles at home, so you probably don't need to buy and carry them specially for this route. If traveling in peak season, I'd also guess that you won't be hiking alone.

Posted by
5827 posts


The hike to the plateau will take about two hours. Your starting point will be the area around the mountain lodge Preikestolen Fjellstue, which offers accommodation and meals to the weary traveller. This area also has public toilets, ample parking, a kiosk, and other facilities available.
By ferry/bus
In the summer, you can take the ferry from Stavanger to Tau and a corresponding bus from there to Preikestolen. Ticket sales for both are available on board the ferry. Travel time from Stavanger is about an hour each way.

Posted by
326 posts

Just got back from our adventure!
Traveled with my husband and 15 year old son.
Both are tall and have no problems with climbing over rocks.
I on the other hand, am short, 5 feet tall exactly.
I took my walking sticks and was SO HAPPY that I did!
The poles helped me anchor going up and down. The path is up and down with some flat areas (meadow). Some areas are rocky, boardwalks, boulders.
My husband started to have some knee pain on the way down. No issues with the teenage.
I just kept a steady pace and made it up and down the trail. Easier to balance with the poles. It was an experience that I will never forget!
My husband asked me if it was worth taking the poles. I had carried them in my backpack thru Iceland, Norway, U.K., Portugal and Spain. My answer was a definite YES! To get to the Pulpit Rock, I would have had to use my hands to climb some of the areas. For me, I was glad I brought them and I would do I again!

Posted by
51 posts

Google "preikestolen trail map" to get an idea. I did it two weeks ago when it had just stopped raining, and therefore a lot of running water, and wet rocks. However, the trail is safe without hiking poles - they can't hurt either.

If you look at the map, trail begins as paved, then gravel, then more like cobble stones and then boulders - just as you start from the mountain lodge. After you reach the first climb, you see the map (and several places thereafter) - there are three more climbs - total four. Third one is the steepest and pretty long distance wise. Being made of boulders some steps are small and some pretty big (4" to 18" my guess), but you can find your way around it.

In between there are flat areas where you can catch your breath and take photos. In marshy areas, there are boardwalks - but watch your steps. In fact, watch your steps all the time - especially climbing down steep areas.

Every time a bus arrives, there are 50 people on the trail one after another. It can get pretty crowded. Good news - you can't get lost. Look for red arrows pointing in the right direction anytime you feel lost. Very well maintained.

We left the lodge at 6 am and reached the top at 8 am. There were only about 10 people at the top when we left around 9 am. On the way down, we ran into the busloads of hikers going up - causing traffic jams. It did take almost two hours to come down as well. Absolutely worth it though it is a tough hike. If you are bold enough, sit at the edge and dangle your feet! Enjoy!