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High above Lysefjorden, the same fjord which Preikestolen overlooks is a giant boulder called Kjeragbolten which wedged in a mountain crevasse 959m/3156feet above the fjord.
Kjerangbolten is together with Preikestolen/pulpit rock and Trolltunga the three most famous natural landmarks in Norway and one of the most popular hikes in the whole country both for Norwegians and foreign tourists.
The whole mountain plateau which runs along the 42km/26miles long southern side of Lysefjorden is called Kjerang and is worlds famous for Basejumpers jumping off the steep cliffs, and the wedged stone/the strange rock formation is called Kjeragbolten.
Hiking to Kjeragbolten is must-do for all nature lover visiting Norway and can easily be combined with a trip to Preikestolen (if you have your own car, or on a two day trip with public transportation)
This guide is written from when I did the hike in late June 2020, when there was still a lot of snow along the trail.
The Kjeragbolten Hike.
The hike to Kjeragbolten starts from the parking lot at Øygardstøl also known as the Ørneredet (The Egale Nest) a restaurant nestled 640meters above Lysebotn, and probably the restaurant with the best panoramic view in the whole of Norway, a great place to stop for lunch or a coffee after you have finished your hike.
Øygardstøl is located, and at the top of Lysevegen, one of Norway’s steepest roads with 27 hairpin bends an attraction on its own.
There are a few clean public toilets, and a kiosk is renting out hiking shoes and trekking poles if you didn’t bring your own at the parking lot. Be sure to use the toilets here if you have to; there are no toilets along the trail to Kjeragbolten.
Before you start to plan your hike to Kjeragbolten should you be aware that the hike is considered to be a Challenging hike, with very steep parts.
Kjeragbolten is also considerable steeper than both the hike to Preikestolen and TrollTunga.
The hike starts immediately after you leave your car at the car park, and it´s straight upwards for the beginning, so much for a smooth start. This is one of 3 steep climbs on the trail.
It´s smart to start the hike on a slow pace, so you don´t get burned out too early, there are not too many flat sections on this hike before you reach the end of the hike.
When you make it to the top of the first steep climb, which should take around 20minutes if you are in decent shape, be sure to look back towards the car park, the view is excellent.
When you are at the top, be sure to enjoy the view over the small Valley you will have to cross. You can see the trail on the other side of the small Valley in the distance. And you will have to climb down to the valley floor; the Valley has a nicely made walkway, so your shoes will be dry even if it has been raining lately.
Once you reach the end of the Valley, will you have to climb once again, not as long as the first climb, but some of the steepest parts on the whole trail are on this section.
During my hike here in mid-June was still some parts of the climb completely covered in snow, making it even harder to reach the top.
Be sure to hold on and pull yourself up with the chain railing that´s put up; it´s almost impossible to get up without the railing.
Once you are done with this climb, will you have time to rest at a small section which is flat, this is also where the emergency hut is located, the shelter is locked, but if you encounter some nasty weather or get injured so can you call the phone nr on the cabin door to get the code to open the door.
The are bench outside the cabin you can rest at if you need to have a break, for after the cabin is the trail going down for a bit towards a river, and the last place you can refill your water bottle on the trail,
This is the 3rd climb, and I’m sorry to say it, but it´s also the hardest of them, but when you are on the top, it´s mostly completely flat all the way to Kjeragbolten.
Be sure to stop for a view back towards Lyseboten on this section as well, the view is breathtaking, and you will realise how high you have climbed.
Once you reach the top of the last climb, so are you done with the hard part, but you still have around 1km to walk,
Once you are on the top, be sure to follow to red “T” markings towards Kjeragbolten, it´s easy to get lost here in mist and Fogg that often accrue here. A lot of hikers have built small cairns dotted all over the plateau, which is strongly discouraged by the Norwegian hiking association because it can often does often confuse hikers.
While the hike is now flat and smooth so was still a few parts of the trail completely covered in snow in Mid June.
During my visit was there also a lot of snow on the last section when you go down towards the plateau, but since Norway have closed its border like all other countries early 2020, so did I have the whole place for myself.
When you reach the plateau if your lucky have a lookout for base jumpers jumping from the high cliff right across from where you are having a rest. 3 Base jumpers jumped while I was enjoying the view.
Getting on to Kjeragbolten.
The scariest thing is not to stand on Kjeragbolten itself, but the very narrow path that leads to it.
And you only have a small metal knot to hold onto along the path. It´s much much scarier to do this then stepping out on the boulder itself.
When you have had enough of Kjeragbolten and decided to head back to your car at Øygardstøl so is it the same trail back, often will people spend the same time walking back down as hiking up due to the steep going down which is often tougher for peoples knees the going up.
I reached the last climb just in time for a beautiful sunset over Lysefjorden.
How to get to Kjeragbolten/Lysebotn.
Kjeragbolten is located on the west coast of Norway, with the closest city being Stavanger which is the fourth largest city in Norway, and easily reachable from all over Norway with domestic flights.
From Oslo to Kjeragbolten is 363km/225miles along the E134 and E9, two beautiful roads which will take you past 3 of the famous Stavekirker In Norway, including the stunning Hedda Stav Kirke.
The drive from Oslo to Lysebotn/Kjeragbolten takes around 6.5 hours.
It´s a beautiful drive with tons of place to stop along the way so you will spend much more time taking photos and stopping along the way.
From Stavanger to Lysebotn/Kjeragbolten.
By car: the best option is to drive south along the E39 before you take off RV 45 in Ålgård. Continue down Suleskarsveien and follow the sign for Lysebotn, which takes around 2hours and 42min.
By Bus: In the summer season do Go Fjords offer tours to Kjearg from Stavanger, for 629kr return trip.
By Boat, in the summer is there two types of ferry: a tourist ferry and local ferry, but be aware that the ferry doesn´t leave from Stavanger but from Lauvvik which is located 44km south of Stavanger. Be aware that the boat only goes twice a day and it’s highly recommended to book in advance.
Closest Airport To Lysebotn/Kjeragbolten?
Stavanger Airport Sola is the closest airport to Kjeragbolten, which is well connected to all of Norway and has more than 20 daily flights from Oslo Airport Gardemoen. Stavanger Airport also has flights to most of Europe with the following airlines.
KLM (SkyTeam) Amsterdam.
SAS (Star Alliance) London, Machester, Copenhagen, Stockholm.
Budget airlines like Norwegian and WizzAir also have daily flights to Stavanger from all over Europe.
ShortCut to Kjeragbolten.
There´s not allowed to park there, but if you get someone to drop you off at the first car meeting spot about 600meters north of Øygardstøl, so is there a trail which will bypass the first steep climb on the hike. If you use the app maps.me for your phone so is the shortcut easily visible.
And you will arrive at the first small lake where you will meet up with the original trail from Øygardstøl.
Entrance fee to Kjeragbolten?
Like ever hike in Norway so is also the hike to Kjergbolten free, but it’s a 300NOK parking free at the parking lot at Øygardstøl, the parking is valid for 24 hours from you park your car, so it´s perfect if you decide to camp along the hike.
What To Pack For The Kjeragbolten Hike.
Weather in this part of Norway is notorious for changing fast, you can start the hike in completely sunny weather and clear blue sky, but only after 5miniutes can you have heavy rain.
You should pack for any weather conditions, rain, sun and wind. And you should pack a rain jacket even if you start the hike in sunshine.
Solid hiking boots, the trail get´s very slippery if it rains.
Warm/windproof clothes to change into if the weather turns to worse.
Food and enough beverages there´s nothing to buy after you leave the parking lot.
What’s the Kjeragbolten hike distance?
The hike is about 10km/6,2miles long and 570meters/1870ft climb in altitude, which takes around normally 5 – 10 hours return. The official time is 2.5 hours each way. Plus the time you spend at Kjergbolten.
Personally, did I spend 2 hours to reach Kjeragbolten and 1.40min back to the car, plus around 1hour around Kjeragbolten for lunch and photos. But that speed is faster than most people.
What`s the best Season can you hike to Kjeragbolten?
The hiking season on Kjergbolten depends on the snow, which is pretty short compared to other hikes in Norway due to the winter closure of the highland access road to Lysebotn.
I was planning to hike to Kjeargbolten during my trip to Preikestolen in May, but the snow was still too deep, and the road to Lysebotn was still closed, in Mid May 2020.
So I had to come back a month later and do the hike in Mid June instead, and there was still snow along the trail.
The typical hiking season is June – September. But this can vary from year to year, and occasional snowdrifts should be expected all season.
The best place to check the current situation at Kjerag is at the Facebook group Kjerag Tourist Information which is updated almost daily.
Drone laws at Kjeragbolten.
Drones are strictly forbidden over the whole of Kjerag, due to heavy helicopter traffic with base jumpers, and that Kjerag is part of a nature reserve.
How big is the boulder at Kjeragbolten?
Kjeragbolten is a 5-cubic-metre (180 cu ft), and the drop is a direct 241-metre (791 ft) fall below and then another 735-metre (2,411 ft) gradient down to the Lysefjorden.
Have anyone died from Kjeragbolten?
No. There are deaths recorded to someone falling from Kjeragbolten in Kjerag, Norway.
Although, 11 people in all have died from Basejump at Kjerag, but none of those death have been from falling of Kjeragbolten.
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