The Pulpit Rock hike is the most popular hike in Norway. The mountain scenery and the view from the rock plateau is simply breathtaking and unparalleled. Almost everyone who is traveling beautiful Norway also does the hike to the steep rock plateau with views of the Lysefjord and the surrounding mountains. The Preikestolen hike is also for us one of the top hikes in Norway. How to get to the Preikestolen, what the best parking lot is and how to avoid the crowds we will tell you now.
We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.
Sabrina & Andreas Globetrotters, Travelers, Adventurers
The Pulpit Rock Norway
The Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) is in addition to Trolltunga and the hike to the Besseggen ridge one of the most popular hikes in Norway. And not without reason. It is relatively easy to climb, is easily accessible in southern Norway and offers a spectacular panorama from its naturally formed rock plateau. And, of course, Tom Cruise, with the last part of Mission Impossible, also played his part in the popularity of the Preikestolen hike.
The Preikestolen was probably formed over 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age by frost blasting in the course of the melting of the ice in the Lysefjord. Today, the plateau is almost 30 meters away from the rock face and then drops steeply 600 meters into the fjord.
This is unique in Norway and also in the world, so it is not surprising that hundreds of thousands of sts want to come here every year. By the way, it is also interesting that the path up to the Preikestolen was newly created in 2013/2014 by Nepalese Sherpas to make the path easier and more accessible. By the way, the same Sherpas have also created the 1500 steps to Reinebringen in the Lofoten.
Pulpit Rock Norway | How to Get There
The Pulpit Rock is located in the south of Norway in the province of Rogaland. The next biggest city is Stavanger in the southwest. To get there, take road 523 until you reach Preikestolvegen. Here you just follow the road to one of the two parking lots.
If you don’t travel by car or don’t want to do the hike on your own you can also book a guided tour to the Pulpit Rock*.
Guided Tour to the famous Pulpit Rock | Book Now*
Due to the great popularity, there are now two parking lots at Preikestolen with a total of about 1000 parking spaces. On Google Maps these are listed as Upper Parking and Lower Parking. Lower Parking is located at the very end of the road, where the campsite and the official starting point of the hike is. From here you walk the first meters up to Preikestolen.
Upper Parking is a bit higher, so you save a few meters of altitude, but you have to walk about 200 meters further. From here you walk along the road and then into a forest. At the junction you have to keep left. After a few meters you will come to the place where the paths of both parking lots meet.
Park at the Upper Parking to save a few meters of altitude on the hike.
How much does parking cost for the Pulpit Rock hike?
Parking for the Preikestolen hike costs 250 NOK, but you are not allowed to stay overnight at the parking lots. You can get the parking ticket after your hike. There is a vending machine where you pay the parking fee. After payment, you will receive a ticket with a QR code, which you must scan at the exit barrier.
Parking lot closed although hardly occupied
When we arrived at the Upper Parking lot in the afternoon, there was a sign in front of the barriers that the parking lot was closed and you should use the other parking lot. However, it was clearly visible that there were still quite a few spaces available.
So we just drove to the barrier, which then opened automatically. So if you see that there are still enough parking spaces just ignore the sign. These are probably put up at noon when the parking lot is full.
Accommodation close to the Pulpit Rock
Preikestolen Base Camp
– perfect starting point for hikes in the area
– tasty breakfast and dinner
– cozy rooms with lake view
Hiking Pulpit Rock
Best time for the Pulpit Rock Hike
During the main season from June to August, it is recommended to start the hike in the early morning or only in the afternoon to avoid the crowds. If you still want to see the rocky peak in the sunlight, you should not start too late. We did the hike at the end of August and started around 3 pm.
On the way up whole tour groups came in our direction, so we couldn’t really enjoy the hike although the path is really nice. Around 16.30 we arrived at Preikestolen and could take pictures for about 45 minutes before the sun behind the hill in the back of the Preikestolen had disappeared.
In addition to this there were only 20-25 other people there besides us when we reached the rock pulpit.
We could thus enjoy the view in peace, take photos and let the unique atmosphere work on us.
The Hiking Trail to Pulpit Rock Norway
The hiking trail to Preikestolen is really totally beautiful. You should not miss it. You first walk through a small forest area, which is repeatedly interspersed with large rocks you have to climb over. This can be a little bit exhausting.
At the same time you make the first meters of altitude over the partly very high rock steps. A walking stick is quite helpful both on the way there and on the way back. The path through the forest is interrupted several times by smaller bogs over which wide wooden paths are laid out.
After some time you pass a small mountain lake and hike over a larger rock plateau. Here slowly begins the exciting part of the hike, because you sometimes get a first small view of the fjord. The path now runs along the edge of the rocks and is secured there with railings and wooden paths. From here it is not far to the actual goal of the hike.
The last meters before the Pulpit Rock are no longer secured to the side. Here it goes several hundred meters steeply downhill. So you should not go too close to the rock edge and especially watch out for your children or dogs. On the rock plateau you have the opportunity to take photos, take a rest from the hike and just enjoy the great view.
If you still want to climb a little you can also climb the hill behind the Preikestolen to get a bird’s eye view of the rock pulpit.
Hiking Pulpit Rock with Dogs
The Preikestolen hike can be done very easily with a dog. Your four-legged friend will have to scramble a bit over rocks, but this is usually not a problem. Rather, your dog must be able to cope with the fact that sometimes many people will pass you, even in narrow passages of the trail.
Water on the Preikestolen Hike
You don’t have to take water or just a little for your dog.
On the whole way there are always small water points or even a small mountain lake where your dog can drink. Only on the rocky peak itself there is no water for your dog.
Is Hiking Pulpit Rock strenuous?
Compared to the other popular hikes in Norway like Kjeragbolten, Besseggen or Reinebringenin Lofoten, we find the Preikestolen rather easy to hike. Although it goes up a few hundred meters in altitude, the path is very well developed, runs through a shady forest in the beginning and has no too stark gradients.
In our opinion, the Pulpit Rock hike is therefore also doable by inexperienced hikers or even small children.
Our Experience on the Preikestolen Hike
We were totally looking forward to the Preikestolen hike, as we didn’t manage to do it on our first Norway trip through the south due to time constraints.
When we started the Preikestolen hike, we could see the large tour buses at the lower parking lot from the trail.
We already had the fear that it will be very crowded at the top of the Preikestolen. Fortunately, most people came to meet us during our ascent. We just thought to ourselves: Everyone who comes to meet us on the way up is one less on the rock pulpit 😀
But we could not really enjoy the way there because of this.
After 2/3 of the way, however, less and less people were coming towards us and so we slowly became more relaxed. We could enjoy the path more and became more excited about the Preikestolen.
Arriving at the rock plateau we were positively surprised how few people were still up here. Except us there were maybe 20-25 people.
We first looked for a small place away from the Preikestolen to take a break before we made the first photos. Especially the sight of the steeply falling rock walls has impressed us totally.
You don’t see something like that every day. In addition, the water in the Lysefjord shimmered in the most beautiful colors and every now and then small boats drove along the fjord.
What a great view!
It was even more beautiful than we had imagined and we could hardly tear ourselves away from the sight after our break and the obligatory photos to start the way back.
On the way back to the parking lot we met only a few people and so we could walk back more relaxed and enjoy the beautiful landscape.