Updated: Oct 17, 2019
This iconic granite rock is the emblem of Norway! East to reach from any large cities, a 2 hour hike to the rock, 604m ascend and you will be starring that magnificent view of Lysefjord and the Pulpit Rock.
We did this hike in June of 2014, and the children were 7 and 9, the hike was a breeze for them and a slow climb for us. In summer huge crowds throng the rock, the best way to avoid them is to start the hike early. In summer, by 5am it is bright and sunny and after a quick breakfast, and 2 hours plus you will be having your 2nd picnic breakfast up on the rock! The best way basically is to stay over the night before the hike.
Getting to Pulpit Rock
By Car, take the car ferry from Scavenger's Fiskespiren Quay to Tau. From Tau, to so 19km to Preikestolhytta Vandrerhjem
Where to stay
They provide a range of accommodation for every budget. We stayed in the lodge, it was a cozy family room duplex with a sun roof that slept 4. There is a cafe and a restaurant at the site, which you could chose according to your budget and both has a panoramic view over the Refsvatnet lake.
They offer a huge range of activities in summer, and it is also the place to get any information and routes map about Preikestolen Park.
The 2 hour, 3.8km trail up to the rock begins along a well marked route that starts out fairly gentle in a white birch and pine forest. It is rather shaded and flat.
After this gentle hike uphill, you hike through relatively flat and boggy section on the board walk. This part was a nice distraction for the children, it felt like the were walking through the marshes in the valley of the dead from the Lord of the Rings.
The steepest part of the hike starts at the middle part of the trail. The rock steps is a long, steep and tired ascend to the vantage point. Even the children felt the strain at this point! It will prove challenging for the unfit here as it is quite a long and tedious work out! We had a break here to catch out breathes!
After this tedious climb up the rock stairs, you will be able to see the views of the Lysefjord. This part of the hike is unshaded and you have unobstructed views of the fjord.
There is a short section where the trail hangs at the edge of the cliff, if you have fear for heights, just don't look down!! Keep your focus on the huge rock ahead, don't walk too close to the edge and you'll be fine!
We arrived at the rock around 10nish in the morning, had a picnic on the rock. At that time it was still rather empty. You could sit on the edge, do that INSTA shot, jump, and just linger around!
For the picture of the Pulpit Rock, you will need to hike up the little hill behind. It is also rather quiet here and strangely, not many hikers hike up all the way. It is a good place to just linger around and absorb the beauty of the magnificent view. Good to be away from the chatters and laughs from throngs of hikers, by 11- 12pm is gradually building up!
While looking down from here it feels rather daunting but there is a sense of accomplishment to be up here and to take in this magical view! There is a visibly huge crack on the rock where the rock joins the mountains, I hope the rock won't fall off anytime soon!
NOTE: If you have to do that INSTA shot just beware and never go too close to the cliff. Just like any mountain top or peak you climb on, there is always a risk of falling if you are stupid enough to pose on one toe or doing that silly suicidal pose! There was one Spanish tourist who ended on the other side when trying to take a shot! Unfortunately we live in days of 'DO IT FOR THE GRAMS' and people really risk their lives at all cost for the one photo! Honestly it is not WORTH IT!! The experience lives in you and you carry that memory in your heart!
Hiking Pulpit Rock with Children
The hike although relatively straight forward was rather tedious and at parts demanding, namely the long rock stairs section! We realized that breaking the hike into short sections with short water or snack breaks or simply, distracting them with other play helped a great deal.
That being said, the part of the stair rocks was rather uneven and some step were huge, it would be quite physically demanding if the child is below 6 years old. So if you asked me if it is advisable for a child below 5 year old to do this hike, I would say no! However it also depends on the agility and fitness of the child as well. My son was 6 years old when he did the hike. He did it with minimal complain and was really excited to see the magnificent rock and therefore hiked up quite fast!
The hike back was relative easy and we managed to arrive back at the hotel around 3.30pm just in time for tea snack!
This was a truly awesome and fantastic hike I think every tourist who comes to Norway should experience and see! Some hikes you will live to remember and this is definitely one of them!
Date of travel: June 2014