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Safety tips for summer hiking to Preikestolen
Plan your trip to Stavanger: Lysefjorden and The Pulpit Rock in Ryfylke, Fjord Norway
Safety tips for summer hiking to Preikestolen.
Photo: Kristian Paulsen (selvestepaulsen.no) / Matador Network / Fjord Norway / Bleed / Visitnorway.com
Preikestolen in Ryfylke.
Photo: Terje Rakke / Nordic Life / Regionstavanger.com
Hiking to Preikestolen

Hiking to Preikestolen

Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock) towers 604 metres above the Lysefjord, and the trek there is one of Norway’s most famous mountain hikes. The interest in Preikestolen is high, with more than 300,000 nature-loving hikers visiting the renowned rock formation every year.

Emergency telephone numbers

The Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) has the overall operational responsibility during mountain search and rescue operations.

51 51 70 00 – JRCC Southern Norway
75 55 90 00 – JRCC Northern Norway

For other emergencies:

110 – Fire
112 – Police
113 – Ambulance
120 – Emergency at sea
22 59 13 00 – Poisons Information Center
1412 TDD (textphone for the deaf or hearing impaired)

The eight-kilometre hike starts at the mountain lodge Preikestolen Fjellstue. Allow a total of four hours for this moderately demanding roundtrip. Join one of the guided tours that run daily from April to October (subject to weather conditions), admire the cliff from a sightseeing boat on the fjord, or do both – some tours offer combined hikes and cruises.

If you are concerned about sharing Preikestolen with too many people, start the walk at night, and you will experience a bit of magic when the sun rises. Or just go in the afternoon.

The nearest places to stay are Preikestolen Fjellstue and Lilland Hotell. You can also stay overnight in Stavanger, from where you can take a boat trip on the Lysefjord.


The hiking season lasts from May to October. Preikestolen may be reached year-round, but from November to April you need special equipment – and preferably a guide. You can rent head torches, crampons, and a guide in the area. If you decide to go without a guide it is very important to follow the Preikestolen staff’s advice in the parking lot.

4-hour hike

The hike to Preikestolen is a total of eight kilometres, and the round trip takes four hours. The hike has an elevation gain of about 500 metres, and some sections are steep. As the hike is graded as medium difficulty, you should have some trekking experience in rough terrain before embarking on this trip.

Guided hikes

If you are inexperienced or not sure the trip is suitable for you, we recommend that you join a guided hike. A good guide can turn a bad day into a fantastic experience.

Safety measures

Rescue operations are triggered by hikers every year. To make sure you won’t be one of them, prepare yourself properly for the hike, and join a guided hike if you’re not an experienced hiker.

Also, read up on mountain safety before you go.

Do this

Research the length, duration, and recommended physical conditioning for the hike you want to do.

Check the weather conditions and always listen to local mountain residents.

Buy or rent the right equipment for your trip.

Always bring enough food, drinks, and an extra change of clothes in your backpack.

Check out the possibility of joining a guided tour or use a local guide in order to minimize risks.

Avoid this:

Do not wear jeans, trainers, or other everyday clothing.

Do not start your trip too late in the day, as you might risk having to hike in the dark.

Never start your mountain hike without being in good enough physical shape.

Do not depend on a map on your mobile device, as there is not always coverage in the mountains.

Don’t leave anything, including trash, behind.

Be prepared and pack your backpack like a pro with our hiking tips.

Tourists hiking in the Norwegian mountains with umbrellas
Top mistakes tourists make.
Photo: Film production: Kristian Paulsen (selvestepaulsen.no) / Bleed / Visitnorway.com
Top mistakes – Experiences from hikes during summer in Norway

Weather conditions in the mountains

Even if sunshine and fair weather are predicted, the weather conditions can change quickly. Always check the weather forecast before you start your trip, and make sure that you are prepared for changing weather. Do not hike if the forecast predicts strong winds, heavy rain, or fog. Get the latest weather forecast on yr.no.

Proper hiking equipment

Pack a 30-litre backpack to be sure that you have enough room for everything you need in the Norwegian mountains. A map and compass, first-aid equipment, a fully charged mobile phone, and a headlamp are just some of the things we recommend you keep in your backpack. Scroll down the page for a complete packing list video.

Warm, suitable clothing

Good hiking boots are recommended. Some parts of the hike go across rough terrain, and you will need ample foot and ankle support. There are occasional strong gusts at Preikestolen, so please use wind and waterproof outerwear. An extra set of clothes including a cap, a scarf, and gloves or mittens belong in your backpack.

Food and drink

Always bring enough food and drink when you set out on a trip. It is important to have enough refills to make sure your energy reserves last all the way back as well.

A man in proper mountain hiking gear is standing above Lysefjorden in Fjord Norway
Summer hiking packing list.
Photo: Kristian Paulsen (selvestepaulsen.no) / Bleed / Visitnorway.com
Summer packing list – What to prepare for your hike


There are no toilets along the trails, so use the car park facilities before you start your hike. If you have to go along the way, keep downhill from the trails and well away from streams and lakes. Bring your rubbish back to the bins at the car parks.

How to get there

The hike starts at the mountain cabin Preikestolen fjellstue, and you can get there by car and boat. There is also a bus service from Stavanger. If you drive from Stavanger, you can take the ferry from Stavanger to Tau, and then continue to Preikestolen fjellstue via Jørpeland on Rv 13. If you travel from Sandnes, you can take the ferry from Lauvvik to Oanes and drive up to Preikestolen fjellstue from there. Check out options for getting to Preikestolen.

Other hiking routes in the area

There are many other hikes around Preikestolen and in the nearby areas, including easier options. Check out the hiking alternatives in the Stavanger-region and Ryfylke.

The mountain safety code

1. Plan your trip and inform others about the route you have selected.

2. Adapt your planned route according to your ability and the conditions.

3. Pay attention to the weather forecast and avalanche warnings.

4. Be prepared for bad weather and frost, even on short trips.

5. Bring the necessary equipment, so you can aid yourself and others.

6. Choose safe routes. Recognise avalanche terrain and unsafe ice.

7. Use a map and a compass. Always know where you are.

8. Don’t be ashamed of turning around and going back.

9.Conserve your energy and seek shelter if necessary.

Read the mountain code with supplementary comments.

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