Hiking Kjeragbolten in Lysefjord, Norway

by Thomas Sorheim | Last Updated: September 27, 2020
Hiking to the Kjeragbolten stone which is stuck between 2 mountains in Lysefjorden Norway.
Starting point:Stavanger (usually)
Difficulty :Intermediate/experienced 
Type :Day hike 
Hiking distance:10,1 km / 6.3 mi 
Hiking time:About 7 hours in total 
Season:June – Sept/Oct.
Elevation gain:570 meters / 1870 feet

This is a hike and a view you will not forget!

Kjerag and Kjeragbolten, often referenced as the majesty of the Lysefjord, hoovers 1084 meters / 3556 feet above the fjord.

Kjeragbolten is a large rock of about 5 sqm / 54 sq feet jammed in between a large crack in the mountain with nothing by air all the way down.

If you are a daredevil, you may go out on the rock itself, get that Instagram shot of a lifetime, taste the fear and feel the adrenaline rushing around your veins like never before.

This article is a part of the Ultimate Guide to Hiking in Norway.

How to get to Kjerag

Map of Stavanger

The starting point for hiking to Kjerag and Kjeragbolten is about 2.5 hour’s drive from the city of Stavanger. 

There are bus tours or organised tours to Kjerag from Stavanger.

But if you drive yourself (most people do), the very short of it, is that you would drive towards Ålgård, then towards Oltedal, further on Gilja Byrkjedal, Hundedalen and to Sirdal. Drive north in Sirdal until you get to the sign to Lysebotn and Øygardstøl.

It is a very scenic drive that you will enjoy and get a taste of the beautiful nature of Norway.

At Øygardstøl you will park your car for the day (parking fee is around $20-25/Kr 200 in 2020).

There is a kiosk, toilet, and some other facilities at the parking (in season).

Make sure you have all supplies, food and drinks, and proper hiking gear and hiking clothing for hiking in the Norwegian mountains!

How to hike to Kjeragbolten

Once you got your hiking backpack filled up with the necessary supplies, your boots tighten, and your excitement level at 100, it is time to start the hike.

The hike is almost like a rollercoaster. Up, and down. Up, and down. And up and down again.

This hike will instantly challenge you. From the get-go, you have to climb a steep hill/mountain. It is actually so steep that it has chain railings build into the rock to help you get up. In some areas, it is great to have these, as they serve as good support upwards.

You will find chains like these several places along the route. After overcoming the first peak, you will continue down into a valley, where you can find a nice little creek.

The paths towards Kjerag has been greatly upgraded in 2015 and 2016. 

At the end of the valley you will reach the second climb of the day. This will be the shortest climb, but also the steepest. The chains are a great help.

If you are hiking with kids, you may need to give them a small push here.

Now you will descend down to the second small valley until you have the face the longest uphill of the day.

But don’t despair, the views are stunning.

Take it all in!

It is not a shame to have a break.

To be honest, I would even recommend a break. This is where we Norwegians will take out our seat pads, have a breather, pour some coffee into a cup, possibly peel an orange, and least not forget our “hiking chocolate” Kvikk lunsj (it’s like KitKat, only better!).

Once you have climbed the largest hill/mountain, you are “on top of the world”. The mountain will flatten out and the hike from here is easy breezy.

If you are hiking at the beginning of the season, there is a chance you may actually see some snow up here.

From here on in, you will be hiking on a very easy terrain towards the Kjeragbolten.

Once you reach the big cairn with signs on top of it, you are only about 5 min away.

Continue the walk and very soon you will see the big rock you came for!

Stepping on to the Kjeragbolten is not for the faint-hearted. It is after all an 1110 m / 3640 feet drop into the ocean.

But if you want to experience standing on it, and get that all awe-inspiring photo to bring home, then line up and wait your turn.

There will most certainly be a line to get out on the rock itself.

Don’t forget to explore the amazing views around Kjeragbolten itself.

You will now understand why Kjerag and Kjeragbolten have been dubbed the majesty of the Lysefjord.

If you look along the fjord, you may also be able to spot the amazing Preikestolen – The Pulpit Rock in the distance.

Enjoy the views, eat your food, drink your hot drink, hydrate, and enjoy one more Kvikk Lunsj!

You made it!

Be proud of yourself!

Snap your photos, chill for a while, and then beging going back down again.

A hiker standing on top of the Kjeragbolten stone between two mountains in Lysefjorden Norway

Is Kjeragbolten safe?

Although this hike is not really for the beginner, many people will still attempt the hike, especially if they are in good physical shape.

If you are not in the best of shapes, I would not recommend trying this hike. It is steep and it is a long days hike. A fit and experienced hikes may do this hike in 5-6 hours up and down.

If you are not physically fit, you may need a lot of breaks and not even be fit for the climbs.

Norway is full of other amazing beginner and low-intensity hikes. Kjerag is NOT one of them! 

But is Kjeragbolten safe?

Well, to the extent that you can say balancing on a rock with a vertical drop of 1110 meter / 3640 feet drop below you is safe – I suppose you can say it is somewhat safe.

The rock is not going to come loose, but if you are scared of heights and suffer from anxiety and more, I will strongly suggest that you observe the rock from afar and not enter it.

Close up of Kjeragbolten stone in Lysefjorden Norway

Has anyone died hiking Kjeragbolten?

Nobody has yet fallen off the Kjeragbolten and died.

Knock on wood!

And there is no need for you to be the first one!

If you do not feel confident in yourself, that you are not scared of heights and you got your nerves under control, don’t do it!

It is not mandatory to stand on the rock and do not push yourself!

Enjoy the view and be proud of yourself!

You just climbed a challenging mountain and celebrate that!

Final words about hiking in Norway

When hiking, in Norway (or elsewhere), please check the weather!

But despite the forecast says sunny and blue sky all day long, the weather can change.

That is especially true for Norway, and even more so for this part of Norway.

Just because the weather is nice in Stavanger, does not mean that the weather in Kjerag is the same.

You do not want to be stuck in the fog, rain, wind without having clothes for such conditions.

We strongly advise you to have woolen clothes, even in summer.

At least have some woolen underwear and a long sleeve shirt in your bag!

And a jacket!

Do not hike wearing only shorts and a t-shirt, thinking it is a great day and you will be good!

Shit happens, things change!

Be prepared!

And should you get to the parking lot in Øygardstøl and it is foggy and conditions are not looking good, turn around and don’t attempt the hike!

Every year people get lost in the fog and then needing to be rescued.

Don’t be one of those people! Enjoy the mountain safely and responsibly!