Julie Norway 77 Comments

When Tim and I first researched Norway as a travel destination, we repeatedly saw photos of what looked to be crazy people standing on a boulder with 3000 feet of empty space underneath of it. Who does this? As we learned more about the hike, Tim and I decided we wanted to join the club. We added Kjeragbolten to our list of adventures in Norway, and before we knew it, it was our turn to step out onto the boulder.

Our Experience

The start of the hike can be reached by car from the town of Stavanger. We rented a car for one day, returning to Stavanger at about 8 pm the same day. It makes for a long day but one you will not soon forget!

Norway Scene

It was bright and sunny when we left Stavanger, but as we drove into the mountains weather conditions changed.  Sunny skies became cloudy, the clouds turned into fog, and soon it was raining. It was a beautiful two hour drive despite the changing weather conditions.

As we approached the starting point of the hike, Tim and I wondered if this was a good idea. Tim had read about people losing their way in foggy conditions and neither of us wanted to step onto a wet boulder.

Kjeragbolten Warning Sign


We pulled into the parking lot. It was cold and drizzly and clouds obscured the mountain tops. I read the sign at the start of the hike which warned people not to attempt this hike in wet, foggy conditions. So, now what?


At the Start

Well, we decided to do it, of course! Tim wanted to at least start the hike and see how it goes. I agreed, and Tyler and Kara unenthusiastically agreed, also. We were on our way.

Kjeragbolten Elevation Map

Immediately we were hiking up a wet hillside. It didn’t take long until we were climbing wet, slippery, granite rocks with the aid of chain ropes attached to the mountain. We were slipping and sliding and Tyler and Kara were having a blast.

Not ten minutes into the hike the day began to clear and we could see sun and blue sky. We were so glad we decided to do this hike.

Using Chains

The four of us climbed up and up the incredibly steep granite wall to the top of the first climb. We all had a great time and couldn’t wait to keep going. By now the sun was out in full force and it was turning out to be a gorgeous day.


Once the skies completely cleared the views were amazing.  Over every climb and around every bend the views were stunning. This was such a beautiful hike! Crowds were much fewer than yesterday’s hike to Pulpit Rock, the views were incredible, and the hike was just challenging enough to keep it interesting and fun.

Kjeragbolten Hike

On the Hike


After two more climbs to the top of the mountain and after seeing 1,000 amazing views of Norway we were at the boulder.

The boulder looked bigger than I had imagined it, but oh how high it was off of the ground. In fact, it sits 1000 meters off of the ground, which is about two-thirds of a mile. That’s a long way to fall.

We went to the “waiting area” with the kids and got them situated so they could sit and wait. There was no way we would let them step out onto that boulder. This was for crazy parents only.

Looking down at Kjeragbolten

Tim decided to go first. I got in position with my camera while Tim waited in line. I know he must have been nervous, but the longer I stared at the boulder and watched everyone getting on and off the more nervous I became. Finally I saw Tim. He stepped onto the boulder like it was nothing, saw me, and smiled. Tim raised his arms overhead and I snapped away. Go Tim! But I was so relieved when I saw him hop back over onto solid ground.

Tim Rivenbark

Tim and I changed positions. I waved over to Tyler and Kara, and I could tell they were worried about me. As I waited my turn in line, I tried not to look down at the fjord but I couldn’t help it. We were really high off of the ground!

Julie Rivenbark

And then it was my turn.  I climbed up the step and there in front of me was the boulder. It was a very large boulder, nothing really to be afraid of, other than the fact that there was nothing below it. I cautiously stepped out onto it, found Tim, smiled, and raised my arms for the photos. I was very excited to be on this rock, but also nervous and a little freaked out. Tim got his photos, then I happily stepped back onto solid ground. Tyler and Kara were very relieved their Mom was OK.

The hike back to our car went much faster than the hike to kjeragbolten. Now we were walking mostly downhill and were were not stopping so often for photos. Our walk back took about an hour and forty-five minutes. We finished the hike with very tired legs!

Heading Back

Tyler and Kara

Those tired legs deserved a treat! We stopped at the restaurant at the car park for a dinner of hot dogs and french fries. The views from the restaurant and out over Lysefjord were amazing.

The drive back to Stavanger took another two hours. The views were amazing. I know I keep saying that but in this part of Norway around every bend is another fabulous view. Plus, Tim was having a great time driving these narrow, winding roads.

Norway Sheep

Tim and I are so glad we stepped out onto Kjeragbolten. It was a risky and crazy thing to do but also very exciting and memorable. All four of us were so happy we decided to go through with the hike. The entire hike was absolutely amazing. Norway is awesome!

Even Tyler and Kara, who did not have the experience of stepping out onto the boulder, said this was their favorite hike in Norway (including the two that we would do later in the trip, Trolltunga and Romsdalseggen). Our kids loved climbing with the assistance of the chains, the steep climbs up the mountains, and the amazing scenery.

This hike did challenge them. It is a 12 km out and back hike with 570 meters of climbing.  Our round trip hike took six and a half hours, including the time spent at Kjeragbolten. This hike would be suitable for an adventurous kid who is at least 9 years old (Kara was one month from turning 9). Our kids were the only children we saw on the hike, a theme that would continue through the next two hikes.

Check out our Guide to Hiking Kjeragbolten

For more information, read The Kjeragbolten Hike: A Complete Guide. This is an in-depth guide to how to hike to Kjeragbolten, including photos of what the entire hiking trail looks like. If you are wondering if you or your children can complete this hike, don’t miss this post!

Where We Stayed

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

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

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Kjeragbolten Norway Photo


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Comments 77

  1. Hello Julie,
    We are in Stavanger and we are planning to hike to Kjeragbolten the day after tomorrow. May I know which car rental company you used from Stavanger city center ?
    Thanks in advance

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  2. Hi!

    You have an amazing blog! Very helpful! 🙂

    My friend and I are planning to do the Kjeragbolten, Pulpit Rock, and Trolltunga hikes sometime between October 16-20 this year. Do you think this is doable during this period? And are there any hiking or guide fees? Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you!

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      Hello! October is late in the year to go hiking in Norway. The typical hiking season is very short, from June through August. However, the trails are open all year. The Visit Norway website does not recommend hiking to Trolltunga past September. However, they do offer guided hikes to Trolltunga until mid-October. Visit their website for more information about the guided hikes. If you can go a month earlier, hiking in mid-September is a much safer alternative. Cheers! Julie

  3. Hi Julie,

    I’m going to be in Stavanger 9/3-9/6. I plan to do the Pulpit Rock hike and the Kjeragbolten. My girlfriend and I are not hikers but we love the outdoors and have done very simple hikes before.

    – Do think it will be doable to do both hikes on back to back days? If we do back to back, which hike should we do first in order to have enough energy for both?
    – Do you absolutely need to rent a car to get to Kjeragbolten? Are there any public transportation that can take you there and back to Stavanger? I’m from USA and not sure if I can rent a car in Norway? Also, I’m not sure how comfortable i would feel to drive on the opposite side of the road. Is it a dangerous or easy drive there?
    – For Pulpit Rock, we plan to take the ferry from Stavanger to Tau and from Tau take a bus to the Pulpit Rock parking lot where hike begins. Is this the best way to get to Pulpit Rock?

    Appreciated the feedback and tips!

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      Hello Thanh,

      Yes, it is doable to do the hikes on back to back days. We did Pulpit Rock and the next day did Kjeragbolten. In my opinion, I would do Kjeragbolten on the day with the best weather. This is a spectacular hike and it is best to have the prettiest day possible. Also, stepping out onto Kjerag can be dangerous in the rain.

      You can get to Kjeragbolten from Stavanger using public transportation. Here is a link to a company that offers round trip bus service to Kjerag: https://www.visitnorway.com/listings/bus-to-kjerag-(tide-reiser)/7893/. They state the bus is available during the “summer.” Contact them to see if they still offer the service in September.

      You can rent a car if you want. We did. We used Hertz in Stavanger and rented the car for 12 hours to get to Kjerag and back. In Norway you drive on the right, like in the US. It is very easy to drive in Norway.

      We got to Pulpit Rock via the ferry to Tau. We took a taxi from Tau to Pulpit Rock (there were taxis waiting at the bus stop and no bus). From Pulpit Rock, we took the bus back to Tau and then the ferry to Stavanger. If you are renting a car, you can take the ferry to Tau (with your car) and drive up the road to Pulpit Rock. But it is cheaper to go without the car.

      Have fun in Norway!!

  4. Hi Julie,

    I am heading to Norway in August with my mum and wondering what difficulty all three hikes were. My mum is in her 50’s and although is fit, is not an experienced hiker – do you think Kjegbolton and Trolltunga would be too intense for her?



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      Hello Ashley,

      The four hikes we did in Norway, in order of easiest to hardest: Pulpit Rock, Kjeragbolten, Trolltunga, Romsdalseggen Ridge. Anyone of average fitness can complete Pulpit Rock . Kjeragbolten is more strenuous, with climbs using chains, and slippery conditions if it is wet. Trolltunga features a big climb at the beginning of the hike, and therefore, a large descent at the end. Hiking experience is not mandatory to complete these hikes but is advisable. In perfect conditions, it is relatively easy to complete these hikes. But if you have less than ideal conditions (rain, fog, etc) it is good to have some hiking experience. Being fit is the most important factor. Watch the weather and make your decision. Hey, we took our kids, ages 8 and 10 at the time, and they did great, even in less than ideal conditions on Romsdalseggen. If your Mom is fit and willing to do the hikes, go for it! Just keep an eye on the weather. The weather in Norway can change instantly, making hiking conditions deteriorate rapidly. Have fun in Norway!

      Cheers, Julie

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      Tim looked at the major rental car companies in Stavanger and used their websites to get price estimates, then booked directly on the rental car company’s website. – Julie

      1. Julie,

        Did you have trouble with your rental car reservation since your drop-off location was different from pick-up? I see that they charge double just for a different drop-off location. All help with this is much appreciated.


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          We did not have trouble dropping it off at a different location, but there is an additional fee to pick up and drop off and 2 different locations. I do not recall that the charge was double. There is usually a flat fee to drop in a different location. The fee is not cheap, but it is usually cheaper than adding an extra day to your vacation, hotel fees, etc. Basically, you are paying for the convenience. In most cases, especially when traveling for a limited amount of time, it is worth it. Check several rental car companies and get quotes for what you need. You will have to decide if it is worth the fee to rent the car vs using public transportation. Hope this helps!

  5. Hi Julie,

    We are thinking of going to Stavanger this coming July and we are keen to do the same hike you did but we’ve got 2 kids ages, 5 and 7. Do you think it’s doable?

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      Hello Malou,

      In my opinion, I think that kids aged 5 and 7 are too young to hike to Kjeragbolten. It is a hike that involves lots of climbing and descending and rock scrambling. This would be very difficult for a five year old. If you are in Stavanger, I would recommend the Pulpit Rock hike…it is shorter with much less climbing. If you do the Pulpit Rock hike and your kids do great, maybe you could consider Kjeragbolten. But if they have a hard time on Pulpit Rock I wouldn’t even consider hiking to Kjeragbolten.
      Keep us posted on what you decide. If you do hike to Kjeragbolten with your kids, let us know how it goes! I am sure there are other families with kids your age that have the same questions!
      Cheers, Julie

  6. help…..
    Hi all, im planning visite Norway for the first time around May 20, does anybody know is it possible to hike both kjerag and trolltunga in that time?
    Or any guide tour/transportation recommended.
    Thanks very much

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      From what I know, it is not advisable to hike to Kjeragbolten or Trolltunga until June. This is what is recommended on the Visit Norway website. Snow can still be an issue until June. If you learn otherwise, or attempt the hike anyway, please let us know how it goes. There are a lot of other readers who have asked a similar question as yours. Thanks, Julie

  7. Hello Julie,

    Planning to do at least two of these hikes in August, and just curious what kind of clothing/gear you would recommend for Kjerag, Preikestolen, and Trolltunga? Are hiking boots necessary, or would running shoes with decent grip be ok? And was the temperature much colder at the top of any of them?


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      Hiking boots are probably not absolutely necessary but I would highly recommend them. If it is wet, waterproof hiking shoes or boots would keep your feet dry. They will also give you more traction. We use waterproof hiking shoes rather than boots and have never felt like we needed more. For us, we had a chilly wait to take photos at Trolltunga. Temps here were around 8 to 10 degrees Celsius in August. Basically, you could get by with hiking pants, a short sleeve shirt, and a waterproof jacket. But check the weather, it can vary a lot. I would bring shorts, long pants, short and long sleeved shirts, and a jacket at the bare minimum. The day before the hike check the weather and plan your clothing appropriately. Have fun!

  8. Hello Julie,

    Thank you for your blog it is wonderful.

    I am going in Norway in August with a friend and we are planning the trip now. I was wondering if we really have to rent a car or if we can travel by bus or ferry.

    We want to do the same hikes as you did as well!


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      Hello Tiphaine,

      From our experience, the easiest way to get around Norway is by car. But… From Stavanger you can take public transportation to Pulpit Rock and Kjeragbolten. If you look at this link (http://www.hardangerfjord.com/en/Product/?TLp=591975) there is public transportation linking Stavanger and Trolltunga. I believe there is a ferry that links Stavanger and Bergen. From Bergen you could look into more public transportation options to get to the fjords in the area. Don’t miss Geirangerfjord…it is beautiful! I know there are tour buses taking people on Trollstigen, the Troll’s Road, and the Romsdalseggen hike is near here. So yes, you can use public transportation, but you will have to do some research ahead of time to learn how it all works. I hope this helps!

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  10. Amazing blog, Julie! I am planning to visit Kjeragbolten on thw 20th September, but most places that I read online says that the bus from Stavanger has already stopped operating. Do you know if there are people still doing the hike in September, and what are the possible ways from getting to Kjeraj from Stavanger?

    Thanks in advance for your reply!


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      Hello Kunhal,

      As far as I know, the hike will still be open in September. I did a little research: the Visit Norway site and Ryfylke site (http://www.ryfylke.com/en/Hiking-in-Ryfylke/Hiking-to-Kjerag/) lists it being open into September. Average high temperatures get down to 14 degrees Celsius with lows down to 8 degrees Celsius by the end of September. There is only a tiny risk of snow although rain is not unlikely. I assume people will still be hiking in September although crowds will probably be light.

      We traveled by car, renting a car for just one day. There is enough time in the day to pick it up in Stavanger in the morning, drive the two hours to Kjeragbolten, hike, and then drive back to Stavanger. There is plenty of parking available at the start of the hike. The drive to and from Kjeragbolten is gorgeous!!

      Other than renting a car, I know of no other way to get there.

      Hope this helps, Julie

      1. Thank you for the quick reply, Julie. And really nice of you to do the research! I had read the same things on the Ryfylke and VisitNorway websites. But when I went to the Tide Resier (bus booking) website, they said the season has ended and the bus service has stopped. The only reason I am nervous about driving is because I have only driven in the UK where the driving side is opposite to that in Norway! But I guess, I will have to man up and take this risk if I want to do the trek. Seems to be no other way.

        Thanks again for your help!

  11. Congrats on all the hikes! That’s great that you and your family are able to travel all over the world!

    I visited Preikestolen in August 2014 and thought it was one of my best experiences. I want to hike Trolltonga and Kjeragbolten next week. Regarding Trolltunga, if the funicular is closed, do you have any idea how much longer the hike will take? I assume the sky ladder route is only for guided tours since bicycles are required.

    Thanks in advance,

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      Hello Marc,

      I really do not know how much longer the hike would take. I know that it is a switchback trail through the woods so more walking distance would be covered, but since we took the funicular both up and down the mountain I never really saw the track. Maybe it would add another half an hour (but that is a complete guess)? If you do it, could you let me know how long it took you so that other people visiting this site can also have that information? Also, the sky ladder and cycling was not an option when we went but is getting more popular now. In my opinion, hiking up the switchback trail and then hiking the entire distance is worth it to get to Trolltunga…the views along the way were magnificent. Yes, seeing Trolltunga and standing on it is amazing, but this is definitely one of those hikes where the journey is just as great as the destination.


      1. Thank you for the information Julie. I will let you know how long it took.

        I will start hiking very early in the morning (near or just before sunrise). Is the trail to Trolltunga marked well? I want to ensure that I don’t get lost since I won’t have anyone to follow if I leave early. 🙂

        Thanks again,

    2. Hello Marc!

      I’ve been there in June and took me 01:06 to do the first 2 km. I went with my girlfriend and that was the only part of the trail without snow.

      This first part was the most tiring one, but it is completely achievable.

      1. Thank you for the information Leo. I assume the first part of the trail is marked, but wanted to get your opinion as well since I will be hiking alone.

  12. Can you recommend anywhere to stay in Stavanger? Thanks – We are going to Norway to do this hike and pulpit rock in three weeks!

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      We stayed at the Comfort Square Hotel, which I believe is a Comfort Inn property. We chose this property because it was on the shuttle route from the airport and close to Hertz rental car. It is 10 minutes away from the harbor if you walk. Also, this is not your typical hotel, with black and white murals on the walls, ours was a gangster themed room.

      Have fun at Pulpit Rock and Kjeragbolten!


  13. Hi! Thanks for posting this! I’m planning a trip to Iceland and decided to add a stopover in Norway for a few days to do this hike, Trolltunga and possibly Pulpit Rock as well. I found your posts on all the hikes to be very informative! I think it’s awesome your whole family is able to hike together!

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      Thanks! Iceland…that’s awesome. We have not been there yet but it is so high on our list. Enjoy, it looks incredible.

  14. Hello! Congratulations for the amazing post!

    I am going to Norway in two weeks and intend to hike the Trolltunga, two days later hike the Pulpit Rock and the next day, Kjerag.

    Do you think is ok? My legs will stand the 3 hikes in this short time? I’m not a pro, but I’m used to hiking.

    Thank you!


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      Hello Leo,

      I think you will be fine. Trolltunga is the most strenuous and the longest of the three so it is good to be doing that first. Pulpit Rock is the quickest and easiest of the three. And you are ending with our favorite, Kjerag. Yes, your legs will be tired, but if you are accustomed to hiking I think you will be fine. I think we did the three of these within four days, if I can remember correctly, starting with Pulpit Rock, and we were fine. Have a great time, Norway still remains one of the most beautiful places we have visited, and you are doing it right. Nothing compares with hiking in Norway. Cheers!

  15. Hello..
    We are going to Norway in May.Planning a hike to the pulpit rock with kids 8 and 10 years.Read your reviews.Amazing pictures and a very good write up.Pulpit rock sounds not so difficult.However not am sure if kids and myself will be able to do Kjerag! We are non trekkers.
    My husband wants to do it.
    We have about a month more to practice.Planning to go trekking here in India to practice. Need advice and inspiration..
    Dr Sejal Shah

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      Kjerag is a fantastic hike and if you and your kids are willing to do the hike than you should be fine. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time, starting early so you can stop for breaks along the way. Hiking for an hour and then stopping for snacks along the way always helps. Our kids prefer hikes with challenges like rock scrambles and rope climbs, something this hike excels at. The kjerag hike is not technically challenging and your kids will be able to handle all of it, but it is a long hike if they are not prepared. To get them ready, take them on a hike that takes around six hours that is a similar distance as the kjerag hike. We did this prior to leaving for Norway. Tyler and Kara had such a good time on this hike that they almost forgot how long it was. Kids are resilient and full of energy and will probably do a lot better than you expect. They will feed off of your positive attitude and as long as you are having fun (or look like you are having fun) they will too. We have now hiked all over the world and this is still one of our favorites. Norway is beautiful and the best way to see it is by hiking (in our opinion). Be prepared to be amazed! Hope this helps! Have a good hike!

      1. Thank You very much for your advice.Have started training for the trek.Hopefully will be doing it.Looking forward to the holiday.Just one more question.Do you have any idea about the climate in May at kjerag? Would we need woollens? Think there should be no rain but am not sure about snow.
        Thank you again for inspiring us!☺

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          I am not sure about the weather in May. In August the temperatures were a very pleasant 18-22 degrees celsius during the day. In May I would expect it to be cooler. Check the website weatherspark.com, there you can put in the city and the month and get weather averages. Have a good hike!

  16. You mentioned 1:45 min to get back to the parking lot but how long was the hike up to the boulder? and how long was the drive from Stavanger? I will be there in April and would love to do that, but will have limited time.

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      If I remember correctly, it probably took us around three hours to hike to the boulder. If there are people waiting, expect it to take as long as forty five minutes to wait your turn to stand on the boulder. We hiked back fast. We may have been hiking with kids but Tyler and Kara can really move. I think it is advisable to assume it will take 6 to 8 hours to complete the hike. It takes about two hours to drive there from Stavanger and it is a beautiful drive. The entire day took us about 12 hours, driving to and from Stavanger. It was an amazing day, and standing on that boulder remains one of my favorite travel memories. Have a great time, you won’t regret it! -Julie

  17. I’m so glad I found your blog! My husband and I have just started planning a trip to Norway, and I was pretty nervous about attempting this hike. After reading your blog and seeing the great pictures, I have definietly found my courage! 🙂

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  18. Hi,

    Lovely photos, can I check which month did you went? I am thinking of going in Early to mid june and am afraid of it being too cold or foggy.


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      We were there in August 2013. The temperature was perfect for hiking, cool but not too cold. As far as fog and rain, we did have rain that morning and evening but were lucky enough to have sunny skies for most of the hike. I think July and August gives the best weather. Before June and after September it is much cooler and there may even be snow. So, go in the summer for the best weather.

  19. I have heard so many great stories about this place. The Mother Nature has surely favored this place and I can’t wait to go there next year. Your kids look adorable, great photo :).

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      1. Hi Julie! My name is Nizzah and I am planning to do this hike next summer. I was wondering how “big” the actual boulder is and how difficult it really was to get on and off of it. I have trawled thru youtube looking for a video that actually shows how wide it is. Was it fairly easy to get on and off of? I do get nervous with heights but this is something I HAVE to accomplish! Any info and advice for Kjerag would be greatly appreciated! I’m also planning to hike pulpit rock and tolls tongue as well. Any info for those would be nice as well. It’s always GREAT to get first hand account.

        1. Post

          Hello Nizzah,

          Both the Kjerag and Trolltunga hikes are awesome. The Kjerag boulder honestly looks larger in real life than it does in photos. If you look at a photo of the boulder, immediately to the left is a much larger rock that sits higher than the boulder. What you don’t see is the area behind this larger rock that lets you step right onto the boulder. There is no climbing up or down or anything that dangerous. You simply step right out onto the rock. I think no one wants to show these photos because that would take away some of the thrill. Also, the area you stand on is relatively large (about 2 feet diameter, almost a meter?). When we got to the boulder both my husband and I agreed that it seemed a lot larger and easier a task to do than photos show. It is still scary standing on it knowing there is nothing below you. My only advice would be to avoid climbing onto the boulder if it is raining but you will have to make that decision if it does rain. It was raining at the start of our hike but it cleared up at noon, fortunately. The Kjerag hike would still be amazing (but I agree a huge disappointment) even if you did not stand on the boulder. Standing on that boulder is something I am so glad I did…go for it!

          Pulpit Rock is an OK hike. We liked Kjeragbolten and Trolltunga much better. I heard from someone else that the funicular at the start of the Trolltunga hike has closed so you might want to look into this. Trolltunga is the longest of the three hikes by far so make sure you start early and have all day to finish it. The views are fabulous throughout the entire hike, I loved it!

          I hope this helps…let us know if you have more questions. Have fun! -Julie

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