Julie Norway 55 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 20 favorite hikes in the world, read this post: 20 Best Day Hikes in the World.

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

How to Hike to Kjeragbolten

Where is Kjeragbolten?

Kjeragbolten is located in southern Norway. The closest town is Lysebotn, just 15 minutes away by car. 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.

Most people stay in Stavanger in order to do this hike. It is a two and a half hour drive between Stavanger and the car park. It’s a very scenic drive and you do not need to take a ferry on this route.

Map to Trolltunga

Øygardstøl is the starting point of the hike. There is a car park (the fee is 200 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 (from June 1 to September 27). The entire round trip journey takes 12 hours and ticket prices start at 640 NOK. See the Visit Norway site for more information.

Facts About the Hike

  • Distance: 12 km (7.5 miles)
  • Elevation Gain: 570 meters
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Length of Time: 6 to 8 hours

Best Time to do the Kjeragbolten Hike

The hike should be attempted only during the summer months, between June 1 and September 30. During the winter months the road is closed due to snow and the hike can be dangerous. Snow can cover the roads and the trails through the end of May.

How Long Does the Kjerabolten Hike Take?

The distance of the Kjeragbolten hike is 12 km with 570 meters of climbing.

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.

Kjeragbolten Hike Elevation Map

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 a few weeks away from turning 9 years old. They loved this hike. This was their first hike using chains and they thought it was pure fun. There was one very steep section where we had to give them a boost but other than that they did the hike without assistance.

We did not allow Tyler and Kara to step out onto the boulder, that was for crazy parents only! Children 9 years and older, who are very active and adventurous and have prior hiking experience, should be able to do this hike.

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 car park 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?



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.

Back of Kjerag


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?

Tim Rivenbark


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 car park. 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 car park, 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. 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.

However, if you arrive at the car park and it is rainy or foggy, do not attempt this hike. There are reports every year of people losing their way in the fog and then needing to be rescued. Don’t be one of these people.

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 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.

Is this hike on your list of things to do in Norway? Comment below if you have any questions about hiking to Kjeragbolten.

More Information for Your Trip to Norway:

Planning a trip to Norway? Read all of our articles in our Norway Travel Guide.

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Kjeragbolten Hiking Guide


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Comments 55

  1. Thanks for the quality brief! Found a decent answer to my concern whereas our kids (8 & 11, did Troldtunga last year) could manage this climb.

  2. We are thinking about going to Norway this summer with our then 8 months old daughter. Would you reckon the Kjerag hike would be too technical to hike with a kid on the back?

    As this is our first kid we have no prior experience with hiking with a baby on the back, so this will naturally have to be tested a bit beforehand.

    Thanks for the great blog/site – very useful!

    Morten, Denmark

    1. Post

      Hello Morten. As you can see in the photos, there are several steep sections and spots where you will need to use chains. If you have prior hiking experience and feel comfortable with these obstacles, you should be fine. The very first climb is a good test…if you do fine on that you should be good for the rest of the hike. And like you said, do some practice hikes ahead of time. Cheers, Julie

  3. What beautiful pictures! I did the hike two summers ago and that the end of the hike my legs got too wobbly (I was too nervous) to stand on the rock. It was nice to re-experience the hike through your pictures!

  4. Can I please ask – is it really scary to get on the rock itself? I keep looking at the photos and my legs turn wobbly!
    Thanks 🙂

    1. Post

      Honestly, yeah, it’s a little freaky. My legs were shaking a little while I was on the rock. But it’s a bigger area to stand on than what it looks like in the photos. If you’re thinking about doing it, you can still do the hike (the hike is gorgeous and a lot of fun) and then make the decision once you’re there. Good luck! Cheers, Julie

  5. Hi Guys … loved reading the hike on Kjerag… I’ve just got back to London UK after hiking Trolltunga … totally blown away, from my point I went with a guided tour which I felt better with ( personally as I’m 58 yrs young 😉) and it went so so well ( Trolltunga Adventures ) I did do Pulpit Rock last year on my own September 2017 which was ok, but read a few stories on Trolltunga which made my mind up to go with guided tour … now my question here is, is Kjerag tougher than Trolltunga? If anyone could answer that or have their input I’d be very great full …
    Kindest Regards

    1. Post

      Hello Thomas. I’m glad you had a nice time on Trolltunga, and if you can hike Trolltunga, you can do Kjeragbolten. Kjeragbolten is a half the distance of Trolltunga with less elevation gain. There are several steep climbs on Kjeragbolten, but overall it’s less climbing than what you did to get to Trolltunga. Kjeragbolten was also our favorite hike of the two…beautiful landscapes, short challenging climbs…and because it’s not as long of a day, Kjerag was more enjoyable for us. Plus, you get to be crazy and stand on Kjerag!! How can you beat that? 🙂 Have fun! Cheers, Julie

  6. Hi Earth Trekkers! Thank you again for being a great resource for our travels. We just returned from 2 weeks in Norway and our top hikes in order were Beseggen Ridge in Jotunheimen, Kjeragbolten, Aurlandsdalen Valley, Prest in Aurland, Galdhopiggen (with the Norwegian kindergartners – just to say you did!) and Skala Farm in Geiranger. We also LOVED the Flamsbana/mountain bike return.

    I wanted to add for Kjeragbolten we highly recommend driving to the hike from Stavanger, doing the hike and trying to catch the ferry for return to Stavanger (we caught the 6pm and it arrives into Lauvvik/Hole and is about 30 min drive back to the city). This way you get to rest the way home, not worry about driving after a long day, and the views up to Kjeragbolten and Pulpit Rock are spectacular and a fun way to end your time in the area.

    1. Post

      I’m glad you had such a wonderful experience! Nice tip about the ferry back to Stavanger…I’ll have to add it to our post. Can I use your name and give you credit in the post? Thanks, Julie

  7. Thank you for the inspirational guide! We did it in July 2017. Unfortunately we were not lucky with the weather – it rained all the way up, and stopped only in the last minutes on the way back. Kjeragbolten was in fog and the photos are not that impressive. Still – a very nice memory to keep. If you like it, feel free to publish here the track I recorded on the GPS:

    1. Post

      Thank you for sharing this! What a bummer about the weather but I’m glad that you got to still have the experience. Wow, was it freaky stepping out onto a wet boulder? – Julie

  8. Hi – thanks for a great blog on Kjerag. I was just there May 30 and the parking is now 200 NOK – just to park!

    1. Post
    2. We are planning on hiking Kjeragbolten around 20th May, if the roads are open will the hike still be too dangerous to attemp due to snow and ice?

      Thanks for a really inspirational blog!

      1. Post

        It really depends on the weather conditions. You will have to watch the weather, not only when you are in Norway, but also in the weeks leading up to your trip. If they get any snow before you arrive, it could linger on the hiking trails. If so, I don’t recommend doing this hike. Cheers, Julie

  9. Enjoyed reading the article.
    I did Half dome in 2016 in June. I walked 18 miles round trip.
    I hoping to do the hike .
    Will it be better to have a guide if your traveling alone?
    Are they available? They could get you there from Lysebotn by car? Is mid Aug too late?

    1. Post

      If you did Half Dome, you will have no problems with the Kjeragbolten hike. I don’t think you need a guide. The trail is easy to follow and usually there are enough people on the trail that you can follow those in front of you. Mid-August is fine, we did the hike in early August. And yes, you can drive from Lysebotn up the hill to the parking. Shouldn’t take you long but the road is incredibly curvy with a lot of switchbacks. Have fun! Cheers, Julie

  10. I was on the fence about making a day trip to hike Kjerag, but your blog put the destination at the top of my list! When was it that you did the hike? I’ll be going in late July and I don’t know what kind of weather to plan for.

    1. Post

      We did this hike in very early August. Hopefully you will have sunny skies but rain is always a possibility. Average daytime temperatures are 15 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit), cooler in the mornings and evenings. Have fun…it’s a great hike! Cheers, Julie

  11. Dear Julie…That was a lovely write up..and your photos of the Kjerabolten gave me goosebumps. My wife and I are traveling to Sweden and Norway starting from the end of May, extending to the 5th June. While info on travel around Sweden is pretty easy to locate (online) and inexpensive, I am struggling with the Norway travel piece. After reading your blog, Ive finalised my Norway plan as such – Gothenburg (Sweden) – Stavanger (2 days – Hope to cover a Fjord cruise, Pulpit rock and Kjerabolten across 2 days here) – Flam (1 day) – Oslo (1 day) – Stockholm (for my flight back to Mumbai). I’d be grateful if you can help with any suggestions on my itenary and also recommend what would be the best way to travel between these locations (eg. Should I fly from Gothenburg to Stavanger? a bus/train/fjordcruise to Flam?, a train to Oslo?). Thanks.

    1. Post

      Hello Akshay. Yes, you should fly between Gothenburg and Stavanger. It will be the quickest, most convenient way to get between these 2 cities. You will need 2 full days in Stavanger in order to do Pulpit Rock (1 day) and Kjeragbolten (1 day). From Stavanger, you can fly to either Bergen or Oslo and do the Norway in a Nutshell tour, where you cruise the fjords and ride the Flam railway. We have a post on how to do Norway in a Nutshell on your own, but with this itinerary I would recommend booking the tour. Check out our post to learn more and we have links to booking the tour. You could start the tour in Bergen and end in Oslo, or do it round trip from Oslo. Have fun! Cheers, Julie

  12. Hello! Thanks for the in depth article. My friend and I are visiting in Nov, so we know the hike may not be possible. Do you recommend any other hikes or sites nearby (aside from Pulpit)?

    1. Post

      Kjeragbolten and Pulpit Rock are the only hikes I know in the area. Stavanger is a nice town to visit. And you could cruise a nearby fjord, although if you are going north, like Geiranger or Naeroyfjord, they get prettier. Cheers, Julie

  13. Last can you tell about the Oslo pass does it cover the Ski Museum. And is the oslo pass a better choice or not.

    Also can you about the Northen Lights city is it wise to go there.

    1. Post

      Yes, the Oslo Pass covers the Holmenkollen Ski Museum. It is worth getting the Pass if you plan on visiting many of the attractions it covers. The best time to visit the Northern Lights in Norway is during the winter months.

  14. Can you tell more about the car rental services in Stavanger, like what are the rates and how much does the bus costs and how much the car rental.
    Can you tell more about the Ski Jump place.
    You know I will reach on Saturday night and I will leave on next Saturday night. I am pretty excited about this trip. I have 6 complete days and I am having difficulty in decision making and also planning about how to get about the must places of Norway in 6 days and also budget friendly.

    1. Post

      You should contact the rental car companies located in Stavanger to get up to date pricing. I believed we used Hertz just because they were the cheapest at the time (however this was several years ago). You will also have to speak with them about pick up and drop off times to see if this works with your schedule. As for the bus, there is a link in this post to bus service. I believe that the last day the bus service is offered is September 2. If Kjeragbolten doesn’t work out, you can hike to Pulpit Rock instead.

      Check out this link to learn more about Holmenkollen. You can get here on the Holmenkollen subway line from Oslo.

      Cheers, Julie

  15. I loved your article and i am visiting Oslo this Saturday and i plan to visit this place. Can you please more elaborate about if i go by air from Oslo to stavanger. Spend the night there and early morning leave for Kjeragbolten and return same day for a 9 pm flight back to Oslo.
    Secondly can you be more elaborate about what kind of stuff we should take with us while the hike.
    What about the buses to Kjeragbolten from stavanger do they run every hour and especially early hours.
    Are there any restrooms during the 6km hike just case if a person wants to use one.
    I would also like to get some guide from you regarding places to visit in Oslo and how many days are sufficient for Oslo.

    1. Post

      You can hike to Kjeragbolten in one day from Stavanger. Leave early in the morning (preferably no later than 7 am) to give yourself plenty of time to get back to Stavanger in time for your next flight. Even so, you do risk missing your flight unless you are a fast hiker. On the hike you will need hiking shoes, water, snacks and lunch, and warm clothing and rain jackets depending on weather conditions. As far as I know, one bus travels from Stavanger to Kjeragbolten (and doesn’t arrive back in Stavanger until 8:15 pm). If you have a flight to catch at night, you will need to rent a car to get to Kjeragbolten so you are not relying on the bus to get you back in time for your flight. There are no restrooms on the hiking trail but there is a bathroom at the car park. One to two days is enough time to spend in Oslo. The must see sights are the Holmenkollen ski jump, the Viking Museum, and the Opera House. Cheers, Julie

  16. Hi, nice article! We plan to hike their soon. Do you know if it’s forbidden to camp up there? Is there any problem if we leave the car on the parking for the night?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Post

      I have read blogs of other travelers who did camp near Kjeragbolten. My understanding is that in Norway, wilderness camping is permitted, which means that camping near Kjeragbolten is permitted. About leaving your car at the parking lot, I’m not totally sure about this, but I don’t think that would be an issue, either. There is a guard station at the parking lot. You could confirm with them that leaving your car overnight is OK. Have fun!! Julie

  17. Is there always a chain behind the kjeragbolten to hold when stepping on it? I saw in some videos there isn’t. I was thinking about going there this summer. Thank you!

    1. Post

      There was a chain at Kjeragbolten in 2013. However, I do not know if it is still there. When we stepped out onto Kjerag, we opted not to hold the chain, simply because it seemed more unsafe to bend over to pick it up before stepping out onto the rock. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but you do step out onto a fairly large surface. Don’t do anything that makes you feel unsafe, but the hike is amazing and totally worth it even if you do not step out onto Kjerag. Cheers, Julie

  18. 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.


    1. Post

      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

      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.

      1. Did you need to take a car ferry? We are doing the drive from Lysebotn to Stavanger. I found the 560 ferry which only runs twice a day to Lauvvik, last one at 15:30.

        1. Post

          No, you do not need to take a car ferry. From Stavanger, head south on E39 and then turn left on 45 just past Algard. 45 ends at FV975, take this towards Lysebotn. Then Fv986 takes you to Lysebotn and the start of the Kjeragbolten hike. There is a car ferry that goes up the Lysefjord to Lysebotn but this takes longer than driving between Lysebotn and Stavanger. Have fun! Julie

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