hike to the top of kjerag

Along with The Pulpit Rock and Trolltunga, Kjerag and Kjeragsbolten are some of the most famous landmarks in fjord Norway. Many travelers prefer Kjerag to the Pulpit rock, as it’s less crowded and the hike is longer and more scenic.

Kjerag is also a popular spot for base jumping. On a nice summer day it’s not uncommon to meet hikers who are taking the fast way down by base jumping.

The view from Kjerag, towering 3,200 ft above the Lysefjord, is amazing. This is also where you find the Kjeragbolten (‘The Kjerag Bolt’) which is a boulder wedged into a crevice in the mountain.

Getting there

driving to kjerag on the nattow mountain roads
The drive over the mountains, just after the road opened in May. Notice the snow on the sides! Photo: Yodod, CC
øygardsstøl, start of the hike to kjerag
Ørneredet — ‘The Eagle’s Nest’ — at Øygardsstøl. Where most people start their hike. Photo: J_jeller, CC

 

Kjerag is in Lysefjorden, in Forsand, municipality in Rogaland county. It’s all the way at the interior of the fjord, so you’ll have to drive over the mountains to get there, which is about 2–2.5 hours from Stavanger.

Follow E39 south from Stavanger, at Ålgård turn left onto Road RV45 to Sirdalen, take FV950 towards Ålsheia ski resort, and turn onto FV986/FV500 near Ådneram. Follow this road, a nice narrow mountain road with several hairpin turns, until reaching Øygardsstøl. Here you can park your car (100 NOK). You also find campgrounds in the area.

Byrkjedalstunet is a nice place to stop on the way, where you can try some traditional Norwegian food. The picture you see above is from Ørneredet at Øygardsstøl, they also serve food and offers you a great view from the balcony on the back of the building.

There is a tourist ferry from Lauvik to Lysebotn in the summer. You can get more information from the tourist office in Stavanger, or from Kolumbus — the public transport company in the Stavanger region. There is also a bus from Stavanger to Øygardsstøl.

In the winter time, the mountain road is closed, making Kjerag nearly inaccessible. The road reopens when the snowfall has subsided and can vary,  but usually it opens in late May, and closes around October. The best time to go is late June to early September.

The hike

Hiking to kjerag. Signs along the trail

the trail to kjerag
Photo: Yodod, cc

The hike starts from Øygardsstøl. The first part is quite steep. Railings are embedded into the bedrock to make it easier (the rocks get really slippery when they’re wet). The entire trail is marked with red painted Ts.

Kjeragbolten

The most iconic part of the trip is Kjeragbolten: a small boulder in a mountain crevice. It is possible to go out on top of the rock without any equipment. Below you there is a 250 m straight drop, and then another 750 m down to the fjord.

BASE jumping

Kjerag is a popular destination for BASE jumping and rock climbing. More than 30,000 jumps have been performed from here since the middle of the 90’s, where ten ended in fatal accidents.

Check out the video below:

(Opening photo: DNT, CC)