Outside of Stavanger is a long and infamous fjord Lysefjorden. There are a number of incredible hikes to the edge of this fjord as it is surrounded by many steep cliffs. We chose to hike to Preikestolen (Pulpit rock) a very popular trail. Hundreds of thousands of tourists every year make the hike to this tourist destination. Compared to yesterday’s hike to Trolltunga, the hike to Preikestolen was a stroll along the hillside. But that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a beautiful and fun hike for us… and it was certainly a hike. The round trip is almost 8 km in length.
The trail starts from the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge, where there are several large paid parking lots. There is a large gravel path taking you up a bit until you hit the meticulously built stone trail. There are signs along the way talking about the trail and how sherpas from Nepal came to Norway to assist in rebuilding the trail. The number and size of the rocks that they moved on this trail was just incredible. It is a marvel in itself.
There was a nice view of the surrounding area from the top of the first pitch. From there the trail meandered up and down small hills until the boardwalk crossed a large marsh. From here the hike went up to a narrow gully to the top of a saddle. This part was tough for our tired legs, but as we climbed the rock stairs we saw our first views of the open ocean.
From here to the end the hike was very scenic with nearby ponds where people will swim in the summer and expansive views of the surrounding area. The hike to Preikestolen is not a great hike if you afraid of heights. Along the trail there was a spot with rock stairs and a railing between us and a steep drop.
We then wrapped around the hillside finally approaching Lysefjorden. The first views are jaw dropping, but don’t go near the edge, it is straight down from here. Pulpit rock is a large rock jutting out from the edge of the surrounding cliffs. This rock has been in place for many many years (it was likely formed by glaciers), but it’s worth a thought as you step or jump over the mighty crack that in part separates the rock from the rest of the cliff side.
In summer Preikestolen is mobbed with people, even in fall the hike was quite popular and so we waited our turn to take photos by ourselves near the edge of the cliff. Far below us we watched boats coming in and out of the fjord on the blue water.
We found a nice place to sit and have some food and water with a view of Preikestolen. Afterwards we found a trail that allowed us to hike up the hillside behind Pulpit rock. At little bit further on this trail we found a really nice view of the islands and open ocean towards Stavanger. This area had lots of interesting areas to hike around and explore. Again it’s a beautiful hike and well worth the trip, just beware all these rocks would be very slippery when wet!