Julie Rivenbark Kjeragbolten

The Kjeragbolten Hike: A Complete Guide

Julie Norway 4 Comments

The Kjeragbolten hike is one of the most spectacular hikes in the world. We have hiked on some amazing trails around the globe, in countries like Australia, South Africa, China, and Nepal. The four of us agree that the Kjeragbolten hike is still our favorite in the world.

To read about our 10 favorite hikes in the world, read this post: 10 Best Day Hikes in the World.

If you are traveling to Norway and enjoy hiking, put Kjeragbolten at the top of your list!

This post was updated February 2017.

Kjeragbolten Hiking Guide

I have previously written a post about Kjerabolten that has gotten a lot of traffic (Kjeragbolten: Our Favorite Hike in Norway) so why am I writing a second post? We get emails and questions from travelers every week asking about the difficulty level of the trail and whether or not their kids could handle the hike. I wanted to post a more informative article containing travel tips and what to expect while hiking Kjeragbolten. And yes, kids can do this hike!

For those of you wanting to know if you or your children can handle the hike, this post contains photos from the entire trail. Check out the climbs and descents, what it looks like hiking with the chains, and of course, views of Kjeragbolten.

The Kjeragbolten Hike: What You Should Know

Where is Kjeragbolten?

Kjeragbolten is located in southern Norway. The closest town is Lysebotn, just 15 minutes away by car. Stavanger is two and a half hours away. From Oslo, you can fly to Stavanger and then drive to the start of the Kjeragbolten hike. From Oslo, you can also drive to Lysebotn, a 500 km journey that takes 7.5 hours.

Øygardstøl is the starting point of the hike. There is a car park (the fee is 100 NOK), bathrooms, and a restaurant here. To find the start of the hike, put “Kjerag parking” into Google maps.

For those without a car, you can take a bus from Stavanger to the start of Kjeragbolten hike. The entire round trip journey takes 13.5 hours. See the Visit Norway site for more information.

Best Time to do the Kjeragbolten Hike

The hike should be attempted only during the summer months, between June and September. During the winter months the road is closed due to snow and the hike can be dangerous.

How Long Does it take?

The distance of the Kjeragbolten hike is 12 km with 500 meters of climbing.

Kjeragbolten Hike Elevation Map

Allow 6 to 8 hours to make the entire journey, round trip. If you are a fast hiker, it is possible to beat that 6 hour time estimate. It took us six and a half hours to complete the hike and this includes the wait time to take our photos of Kjerag.

Who Can Do This Hike?

Any person with “reasonable fitness.” It’s not a long hike but there are three rather steep, strenuous climbs. No technical climbing skills are necessary, just a sense of adventure. There are chains in the steeper sections (see the photos below) to assist hikers. Beware, when it is wet, the climbs and descents can be slippery!

Hiking to Kjeragbolten with Kids

Yes, kids can do this hike! When we hiked to Kjeragbolten Tyler was 10 years old and Kara was 8 years old.  They loved this hike. This was their first hike using chains and they thought it was pure fun. Slipping and sliding on wet, rocky surfaces had them laughing, and they loved it when we had to climb using the chains. There was one very steep section where we had to give them a boost but other than that they did the hike without assistance.

Any adventurous child 8 years and older should be able to do this hike. We did not allow Tyler and Kara to step out onto the boulder, that was for crazy parents only!

The Kjeragbolten Hike in Photos

And now here are those photos I promised you. The Kjeragbolten hike is gorgeous. In fact, it is worth doing this hike even if you have no plans to step out onto Kjerag.

From the carpark, you immediately start your first climb. This is one of the most difficult sections, so if you can get to the top of the first section you should have no trouble completing the hike. It was raining when we arrived but luckily the clouds moved out just before we started the hike. The ground was wet and very slippery! This hike would be very difficult, if not dangerous, to do in rainy, foggy conditions.

First Climb Kjeragbolten Hike

 

This is the view from the top of the first climb. You can see the Øygardstøl carpark down below and clouds that were slowly dissipating.

Kjeragbolten Carpark Oygardstol

 

Continue the journey a little farther. This is the view of the first climb down and the green, wide valley.

Entering the Valley

 

Another view descending down into the valley. You can see the trail snaking across the valley and then up the hill for the second climb of the hike.

Kjeragbolten Hike Kids

 

Now we are down in the valley with the second climb in front of us. We saw some sheep here, munching on the grass, their bells clanging as they walked around. This place is awesome!

In the valley

 

The second climb of the hike is the shortest but the steepest. This is the section where you will have to do some rock scrambling and use more chains. We had to give Tyler and Kara a boost up here but on the return journey they scrambled down on their own.

Steep Section Kjeragbolten

 

A closer view of the steepest section of the Kjeragbolten hike.

Kjeragbolten rock scrambling

 

From the top of the second climb, this is the view back down into the valley. The trail climbs up the small ridge in the center of the photo and then disappears down the other side, where the carpark is. Now that most of the clouds have cleared away you can see the real beauty of this place.

Another View Kjerag Hike

 

And then, here it is, the final climb of the Kjeragbolten hike. If you look closely, you can see tiny people on the trail. This is the longest climb of the hike but once you are at the top the views are unbelievable!

Final Climb to Kjerag

 

From the bottom, this is a look up at the final, long climb. Yes, those tiny specks are hikers.

Looking Up at the Final Climb

 

Once you get to the top, the terrain levels out, and it is like you are walking on the top of the world. Now it is series of smaller climbs and descents until you get to Kjeragbolten.

Beautiful View on Kjeragbolten Hike

 

Another view from the top of the world. It’s worth doing this hike just to see this!

Kjerag Hike View

 

Along the way are signs posted, pointing hikers in the direction of Kjeragbolten. You can also follow the red T’s on the ground.

Kjeragbolten Sign

 

And then, there it is, Kjeragbolten. This is looking down on the boulder and the “waiting area.”

Aerial View Kjerag

 

Here is a closer view. You can see a person stepping out onto Kjerag.

Kjeragbolten Hike

 

Here is Kjerag…do you dare?

Kjeragbolten

 

This is a view looking at the back of Kjerag, another crazy person posing for a photo, a lady waiting her turn, and Tim taking video of 1000 meters of empty space below the boulder. There is a chain lying on the ground to help you step out onto Kjerag but it almost seemed more dangerous bending over to grab it than just stepping out onto the boulder unassisted. The top of Kjerag seemed larger in real life than how it looks in photos.

What was it like stepping out onto Kjeragbolten? It was scary, knowing that one misstep could send me plunging into Lysefjord far below. Yes, it’s crazy, but isn’t that the appeal of Kjeragbolten?

Back of Kjerag

 

While you are waiting, this is your view looking down at Lysefjord.

Looking Down at Lysefjord

 

After you smile for the camera, getting those photos that you will cherish forever, it’s time to hike back to the carpark. You will follow the same route that got you to Kjerag. This is a view down the first descent, the same spot as the final climb to Kjeragbolten. Lysebotn is in the valley far, far below.

Kjerag chains

 

By the time we got back to the carpark, our legs were exhausted from the constant descending. But we had two happy kiddos who were amazing on the trail. The restaurant is a convenient spot to grab a bite to eat or get some ice cream…well-deserved after this hike!

Kjerag Sign

What Else to do in the Area

If you have your own car, it is worth driving down to Lysefjord. This is a crazy road!! It rapidly descends 1000 meters and the road is a constant series of hairpin turns. It doesn’t take long to drive it and it was something we thought was cool to do.

Hike to Pulpit Rock. Preikestolen, also known as Pulpit Rock, sits across from Kjeragbolten on Lysefjord. It’s easy to get here from Stavanger but from Lysebotn you can take the car ferry across the Lysefjord and then drive up to the hike. Pulpit Rock is much shorter and easier than Kjeragbolten. It’s also a lot more crowded. If you only have time for one hike, skip Pulpit Rock and do the Kjeragbolten hike.

What to Bring

Good hiking shoes, lots of water, and enough food to fuel you for six to eight hours of hiking. And don’t forget your camera!!

Check the Weather

This is very important. The weather can change quickly and this is a hike that you do not want to be attempting in rainy, foggy weather. Please note, weather conditions can vary dramatically between Stavanger and Kjeragbolten. Just because it is raining in Stavanger it doesn’t mean that it will also be raining at Kjerag (or vice versa). We drove in and out of rain showers to get to the start of hike and we questioned if we should even be making the drive out to Kjeragbolten. Well, I am glad we did. Right at noon the rain stopped, the clouds disappeared, and we made one of our best travel memories ever.

Where To Stay

Lysebotn is the closest town. There are a few bed and breakfast options in town.

Stavanger. This is a much farther drive (2.5 hours) but there are many places to stay as well as a bunch of great restaurants for dining. Stavanger is a charming town to walk through. This is the perfect place to hike to Pulpit Rock from and there is an airport here, connecting you to Oslo and the rest of Norway.

We stayed in Stavanger at the Comfort Hotel Square. This was within walking distance of the restaurants and harbor area of Stavanger.

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Comment below if you have any questions about the hike or advice for our readers. 

Comments 4

  1. Hi there,

    My husband and I hope to travel here in June (June 10) so it will be the start of summer. My first question is – will it be too cold to do this hike and the other one on your top ten list? And my second question is – would it be possible to do these two hikes carrying a baby. Our baby will be 8 months by then and my husband plans to carry him in a child’s backpack.

    Thanks!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Jaklyn. For Kjeragbolten, you should be OK to do the hike on June 10. It still can be chilly and there is a possibility that there will still be snow on the ground. For Trolltunga, the Visit Norway website recommends a guide before June 15, so you are right there on that cut-off. As far as hiking with your baby…have you done this before? Both of these hikes are very strenuous and involve a lot of climbing and descending. Your husband will need to be in excellent shape in order to carry your baby the entire way. If you are considering doing these hikes, you might want to consider doing several test/training hikes before your trip to Norway. Cheers, Julie

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Lydia. Take a look at the “Where is Kjeragbolten?” section of this post to learn more about how to get here. We rented a car and drove to Kjeragbolten from Stavanger. Stavanger is the most popular place to base yourself if you are hiking Kjeragbolten.

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