The Pulpit Rock hike is one of the most famous hikes in all of Norway and it’s awesome! In Norwegian it’s known as the Preikestolen hike as it’s the Preikestolen mountain, but for the purpose of this blog post I will be referring to it as the “pulpit rock” hike. So if you’re looking for all you need to know about hiking Pulpit rock, then look no further.
Okay, let me start by saying that the most popular time to do the Pulpit rock hike is during the summer season, so June, July and August. The problem with this is that it gets SUPER busy. The guys at the office told us that they can get up to 5,000 people a day, so it can almost turn into a “conga line” hike.
And, when you get to that iconic viewpoint, with that iconic picture, you’re going to be waiting ages for the chance for a photo….
Brad and I did the hike in November, and we were lucky that there was no snow. If you can visit in November and there is no snow, then it’s a great time to do the hike, because it’s pretty empty.
We went as soon as daylight opened, and we only came across a few people and basically had the picture spot to ourselves.
But if you visit in September/October, you might still have nice weather and less people if you start early.
Remember that when hiking in November, you need to go early as there is less daylight.
Judging by the hike we did, I would not suggest you visit in the winter months. It could be super dangerous.
The hike itself is fairly straightforward, but with the path layered in ice and snow, it will be unsafe. Even if you have grips on your shoes (which you can rent out), I still don’t recommend a winter hike, unless you’re experienced.
The Pulpit rock hike should take you around 4-5 hours. Brad and I did it in 3 and a half, but bare in mind, we had no crowds on the path to slow us down and we didn’t have to wait for a picture…
The hike itself is 7km, so I guess how quickly you do it will depend on your pace too. We seen a few people run it too.
It’s a moderate hike. I currently don’t have a great fitness level and I found it to be great. There are a couple of incline bits, but generally it’s a steady rise and if you take your time and have a few rests, you should be absolutely fine.
Locals do this walk with their dogs and children, take your time and it will be a nice hike!
The main difficulty comes in the form of what you’re walking on. Lots of rock, and therefore you need to be careful with your footing so you don’t fall. This is particularly true when you’re coming back down. Take it from someone who is super clumsy, watch your step!
Put it this way, thousands of people wouldn’t be doing the hike every day in the summer months, and it wouldn’t be a popular tourist spot if it wasn’t a relatively “easy” hike…
Take from that what you will!
No, you need a decent pair of shoes! You don’t need hiking boots, (although if you find them easier to walk in then sure). A decent quality pair of trainers will do the job. Don’t walk it in flip flops, you’ll probably break something.
If you don’t have proper shoes, or you would like walking poles and other equipment, you can actually rent it all from the Pulpit Rock hiking centre for a decent price. They’re open all year round too which is great and you can grab a drink or some snacks for your hike if you wish.
Just remember this is Norway, and super expensive :P
Well it’s technically free thanks to the right to roam laws in Norway, but to park in the establishment, they charge you 250 nok, which is about 25 euro.
This is a pretty hefty fee, but I guess it goes towards maintenance of the trail, the restaurant and toilets etc.
You pay via card on exit.
If you wish to sleep close to the Pulpit rock hike starting point before you set off you can do at the Preikestolen mountain lodge or if you’ve got a campervan/caravan like Brad and I did, then you can stay at one of the campsites nearby, or stay at the town of Jørpeland and camp by the Marina (which is cheaper and actually pretty beautiful!).
They actually run a bus to and from Pulpit Rock if you wish to park and ride from there.
So a lot of people go to Pulpit rock from Stravanger as it’s a day trip, but Brad and I were visiting as part of our awesome 3 months Scandinavia road trip with Tinggly, so we drove there.
It’s quite a nice drive with lots of beautiful scenery, so if you do have the chance to rent a car, then I do recommend it.
I don’t think you do, but some people who have never hiked before, may feel more comfortable with a guide. If you’re afraid of heights, you may feel more at ease with a guide too.
Be aware that the hike has no barriers, and once you get to the top, there is nothing blocking you from the edge, so BE CAREFUL.
It can get super windy and you don’t want to fall off the edge.
If you do want a guide, then my research for a guide for Pulpit Rock, lead me to these options….
If you’re looking for that iconic picture, then there is one spot to get it. As you walk towards the point for the ledge, you’ll see the view point for that iconic picture, it’s another little small ledge. Someone needs to stand there, whilst you walk over to the main ledge.
I’ve seen people sit on the edge of the ledge, but I think it’s unsafe. In my picture it looks like I’m a lot closer than I am, and the wind was actually blowing me back. So please just be responsible when taking your picture here.
You cannot use a drone, and when the wind is high, you wouldn’t want to fly it anyway. But you don’t need a drone in this case to catch awesome pictures!
A wide angle lens is really good for this type of shot and that’s what I used to get my shots. It’s shot in raw too to give me the best platform for edits afterwards.
If you want to get a picture from “above” the rock, then you’ll need to climb up further, there is a marked trail and it will only take a few minutes to get there.
Read Also: How To Take Better Travel Photos
So we started the hike early and probably the most difficult part was getting to the start. It gets steep very quick to start, but don’t panic, once you get over that hurdle, the incline is much more subtle!
I really enjoyed the hike and there are some beautiful viewpoints along the way. But the views at the “top” are breathtaking. You need to visit on a clear day, or you’ll not get the amazing views of the fjord.
I am so glad I did this hike, and whilst there are good and bad points to platforms like Instagram, this is one of the good, because I found this place on Instagram, saved the picture and visited because of that!
And I can vouch it’s even more beautiful in person as it is in the picture...
So there you have it, my guide to the Pulpit Rock Hike. I remember researching this hike before we went and almost being put off, so I’m here to tell you, this is a doable hike for all, if you just prepare yourself and take your time.
So whether you take a guide, or do it DIY, you’ll have an awesome time. If you’ve got any more tips for hiking Pulpit rock (preikestolen hike), then drop a comment below.