Norway has an abundance of all things MAGNIFICENT: Fjords, glaciers, mountains, wildlife, midnight sun, northern lights, wild camping and rocks… yep, that’s right, even their rocks, ROCK.
We had been making our way up and down Norway’s infinite assortment of awesome things to climb for 4 weeks by the time we made our way south to Lysefjord (home of these 2 hikes), and while our legs were feeling stronger than ever, they were feeling doubly EXHAUSTED! BUT with our Visa days ticking away, and with Preikestolen + Kjeragbolten next up on our list (post on the 11 Most UNFORGETTABLE Hikes in Norway COMING SOON), we knew we had no choice but to HIKE ON. Check out this episode of VanLife Europe Part 2 to see all our footage + fun from these 2 hikes (and more)!:
Just 2 days after summiting Norway’s highest peak, we arrived to Preikestolen, aka. “THE PULPIT.”
This immense cliff rises 1,982 ft above the Lysefjorden and our 5-mile roundtrip hike time was 1:15 hours up and 1 hour back down, not bad! We started our trek around 2pm, and with 1,082 feet in elevation, it was pretty easy, definitely a hike everyone can do.. and they do! Preikestolen was named as one of the most visited natural tourist attractions in Norway, so if you’re hoping for some solitude, definitely plan to camp up here or make the trip at sunrise. The path is paved and well-marked the entire way (adventure level on scale of 1 to 5?… 2):
Photo Tip: There will most likely be a line on top of Preikestolen. Bring a tripod, or better yet a drone! That way you can capture this stunner from a more unique angle.
That night, after making our way back down, we hopped in the Howlin’ Yoweller and continued our journey so we could set ourselves up for hiking to Kjeragbolten first thing the next morning. We boarded the last ferry from Oanes to Lauvvik that night (the Lysebotn to Forsand ferry was WAY more expensive = 67 NOK vs. 705!), and found ourselves a beautiful wild camping spot next to a lake up in the mountains:
After a peaceful night’s rest, we awoke to a surprisingly sunny morning, suited up and prepared ourselves for what would be one of the most memorable excursions we had ever experienced… and it wasn’t just the hike that was EPIC, it was the entire journey there (see our driving route from Preikestolen to Kjeragbolten here):
This mighty little nugget is a glacial deposit wedged 3,556 feet high in the picturesque, waterfall crevasse of the highest mountain along the Lysefjorden! We started around 11am, and the 7-mile roundtrip hike took us a lot less time than expected: 2 hours up + 1.5 hours back down. With 1,870 feet in elevation gain, there were definitely some steep ascents, but with the help of climbing chains + a solid pair of boots, we were able to keep a steady pace the entire time.
Photo Tip: Definitely bring a tripod and try to save this hike for a sunny day if possible. It really makes a huge difference in the photos:
Holy #couplegoals 😱😍🙌🏼Here she is, the magnificent, the iconic, #KJERAGBOLTEN, a one-of-a-kind boulder wedged nearly 4,000 feet above above the equally stunning Lysefjord… and we are standing right on top of it! It's fun to imagine God smiling down on this special place, even more fun to imagine him placing this little stone here with his almighty hand ❤️ ••• We gave ourselves one day to do this hike – no matter what the weather was, we were going to experience THE STONE. The forecast called for clouds all day, but we kept our spirits high and prayed for "unexpectedly nice weather," and not only did the sun shine down on us, but the moment we arrived, we had the stone all to ourselves for a good 5 minutes. Talk about feeling blessed, this rock make it feel like we were standing #ontopoftheworld 🌟
Oh, and be sure to bring a picnic to enjoy and hike all around because there is soooo much more adventure to be had up there! (Adventure level on a scale of 1 to 5? 5!)
That night we drove to the quiet town of Rysstad, parked in one of the most beautiful, most secluded wild camping spots of all our time in Norway, made Swedish meatballs for dinner and sat back to enjoy the view, each other, and the gratitude for having spent the past 2 days hiking LEGENDS.
If you’re looking for more of Norway’s best hikes, you’ll definitely want to check out our full post here, Bucket List Norway: 11 UNFORGETTABLE Hikes!