Kjeragbolten Hike: Conquer Norway’s Iconic Mountain

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[This Kjerabolten Post was featured as a Lonely Planet Monthly Top Post in 2018]


Kjeragbolten has to be one of the best hikes in Norway. It is a challenging hike, known as the Kjerag Hike, which takes you 1000 metres above the sparkling, turquoise Lysefjord below.

A lone boulder lays wedged between two rockfaces, just waiting to be conquered by adventure seekers. That boulder is Kjeragbolten, otherwise known as Kjerag Boulder or Kjerag Bolt.

“And here I was, standing on the ledge beside the renowned Kjeragbolten, with my mind numbed to any thoughts that may deter me. One thousand metres below, the sapphire Norwegian fjord ambled along, unperturbed by its familiar steep and impressive confines either side. Still refusing to think, I stepped out…”

Lysefjord is a landscape lover’s dream. It has been one of Norway’s certified sustainable tourist destinations since 2018.

Kjerag hike and the Preikestolen hike further along the fjord have been certified as a Norwegian Scenic Hike by the Norwegian Environmental Agency. These hiking trails attract many visitors and have developed plans to ensure sustainable Norwegian tourism.


  • Kjerag Hike details
  • Where to find Kjeragbolten
  • How to get there,
  • How to tackle Kjerag,
  • The best time to hike Kjeragbolten
  • How to conquer any Kjeragbolten fears
Shelley stepping on to Kjeragbolten Boulder
Kjeragbolten Boulder

Planning a Trip to Norway?


Kjeragbolten Hike, Norway



The Kjeragbolten hike is rated challenging/ Demanding. It is rated red by Norway’s Hiking Scale.


Norway classifies its walks and hikes depending on the difficulty as follows:

  • Easy (Green) – Novice Hikers/ No experience necessary
  • Medium (Blue) – Intermediate with some hiking experience /average fitness level
  • Demanding (Red) – Experienced walkers/high fitness level well equipped with good hiking boots/ basic navigation skills /map and compass.
  • Expert (Black) – Longer and more technical hikes /Experienced hikers/ high fitness level well equipped with good hiking boots/ basic navigation skills/map and compass

Kjerag Hiking Time

The Kjerag Hike round trip takes about 5-6 hours


1000m asl.


Kjeragbolten is only accessible in summer, from June to September.


 In order to avoid the crowds, set off early. We left at 7 am and there were only a handful of hikers at the top. You also avoid hiking in the heat of the day.


The Kjeragbolten Tourist information on Facebook provides up-to-date information about the hike and conditions on Kjerag. You can also  check the latest weather at yr.no

view down into the valley showing a tiny town and the harbour of the Lysefjord

View down to Lysebotn Fjord on the Kjeragbolten Hike


Kjeragbolten is in Ryfylke, Rogaland in Western Norway. The closest city is Stavanger, about 2.5 hours away and Kjeragbolten is a perfect stop if you are on a road trip from Stavanger.

READ MORE28 Best Things to do in Stavanger, Norway

The Blue line on the map is the route from Stavanger to the Kjeragbolten Hike start (the car park) and the red line is the Kjerag Hike.


The drive from Stavanger takes about 2.5 hours without using any ferries. (see the blue route on Kjerabolten Map).

An express bus travels from Stavanger to Kjeragbolten – Find out more here.


Kjerag Parking at the Oygardsstolen carpark costs 200 N0K.

Kjeragbolten Guided Tours

You may also want to consider a guided tour. 

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Hiking boots, warm clothing, food, water, sunscreen.

Watch this short video by Fjord Norway on Safety tips for your summer hike to Kjeragbolten.


Kjerag Restaurant (Øygardstøl) – The Eagles Nest

You’ll find the restaurant just near the Kjeragbolten car park.

the menu on a large blackboard above the counter at the restaurant at kjerag




FACING THE Kjeragbolten FEAR

Over the years, I have steadily embraced my fear and apprehension of heights, challenging myself and reasoning out the irrational. I have also chastised myself, gotten angry, and felt woefully pathetic.

So, you can imagine I was more than curious to see how I would handle stepping out onto this boulder. A boulder wedged between a mountain crevasse, 1,084 metres above a Norwegian Fjord. Otherwise known as Kjeragbolten, the daredevil’s rock.

a wooden sign showing the direction to kjeragbolten is 3.5km. Mountains in the background.

Trail markers show the way to Kjeragbolten


Lars, my husband, had been busy trawling the internet for places to visit since we had arrived In Norway. He was working work while we were there for three months, which meant twelve weekends of sightseeing.

One evening, he casually mentioned a couple of hikes that were ‘must dos’ when in Norway. Kjeragbolten and Priekestolen. Fortunately, they were only about a five-hour drive from Skudeneshavn, our home for the Summer.

Lars’ enthusiasm was palpable as he recounted the plan for the upcoming weekend. He had sourced a tent and mapped the route.

The enticing descriptions of the hikes made me move closer to peek at the laptop. It was then I saw the photographs. …and it was then that I first laid eyes on Kjeragbolten.

Kjeragbolten Boulder norway
Kjeragbolten Boulder wedged between two rock faces, 1000 metres above the fjord below


Uncharacteristically, it wasn’t until we had been driving for about three hours that I asked about the specifics of our camping trip. The mind can do clever things, and I had done an excellent job of not thinking about that boulder, the Kjeragbolten boulder.

It certainly bothered me. Had I not flicked through copious Instagram photographs showing the fearless and the brave standing upon this natural wonder?

Did I want to add my photograph to show I’d been there?

How would I feel if I couldn’t do it?

Did I even want to do it?

If I decided I didn’t want to, was that just the fear speaking for me, convincingly arguing in its favour?

I decided to push these questions to the back of my mind for a little while longer.

a green small dome shaped tent on rugged landscape near Kjeragbolten

Overnighting in a tent close by Kjeragbolten


The scenery on the route to Kjeragbolten was captivating. During the drive, we passed countless miniature islands safely encased within glistening, deep blue expanses of water.

In one small village, the houses on either side of the valley road were reminiscent of fairy-tale homes. Their grass roofs blended seamlessly with the lush, green backdrop of shrubs and trees on the valley hillside. A perfect distraction.

Deep blue lake surrounded by mountains, with grass in the foreground.

The scenery on the route to Kjeragbolten

Wooden cabin with a grass roof - in the background is a mountain covered in green trees

Norway’s fairytale scenery on route 


Eventually, we chose a camping spot by a small shimmering lake fringed with craggy rocks. It was ten o’clock at night, but the sun still welcomed us into this tranquil haven.

The only sound that touched the stillness was the jingle of a sheep’s bell that wandered around us with her two skittish but inquisitive lambs.

We chose a scenic spot to camp in between mountain peaks

We chose a scenic spot near Kjeragbolten to camp, in between mountain peaks

Befriending the local sheep near kjeragbolten

 Befriending the locals near Kjeragbolten


The morning came all too soon. We drove the remaining twenty minutes to Oygardsstolen, the start of the Kjerag hike.

At 1,084 metres, Kjeragbolten is the highest peak along the Lysefjord.  At its top, sits the famous Kjerag Rock, a boulder wedged between two mountain faces, a legacy of the last Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago. It’s about the size of a large estate car, with a rounded rear end, positioned nose down.

The five-kilometre hike to the top involves three really steep inclines and two steep declines, with an elevation change of around 600 metres. Not only is it popular with hikers but also thrill seekers and base jumpers.

The good news? I wasn’t about to base jump, I just had to make it to the top. Positive thoughts kept the fermenting fears firmly out of the way … for now.

A sign at the carpark, detailing the Kjeragbolten hike.

Information board at the start of Kjeragbolten Hike

Kjeragbolten began its assault on our muscles early in the climb. Chains slung between poles on the sheer parts of the rock guided our way. The magnificent views over the Lysefjord and the tiny village of Lysebotn way down below were rewarding enough as we reached each peak.

We climbed over craggy rocks and hiked through lush green valleys. Although at the end of June, snow patches were still strewn across the undulating landscape, stubbornly refusing to submit to the warming summer sun.

Early part of the hike with the carpark at the bottom

The early part of the Kjeragbolten hike, with the main carpark at Øygardstøl far below

The climbs get the lungs working
Stunning scenery along the way

Stunning scenery on the Kjeragbolten hike

Picture of a small stream with a wooden log across it. The sun shines down and is reflecting on the water.


The last two kilometres required less physical focus as the terrain evened out. Periodically, I practised stepping on rocks. I was showing my mind that I could easily balance on something much smaller than the actual Kjeragbolten. My mind watched with restrained interest.

A wooden sign informed us we had 100 metres until we reached the infamous boulder. In front of us, water was cascading down a tall rock face with a beautiful, vivid rainbow arched across it.

My eyes followed along the edge…

…and there it was. Kjeragbolten, waiting at the end of a slim, snow-covered passageway, instantly recognisable, daring me to take in its wonder.

Lars stood holding hand up to the water running down the side of the rock-face. A rainbow can be seen reflected in the water

Mini waterfalls just add to that magical feel of Kjerag

Michelle striding towards Kjeragbolten

Striding towards my arch nemesis – Kjeragbolten


Eager for this challenge, Lars was already heading to the rock, ready to step out for the first obligatory photo. He held the Australian flag aloft, and I captured the moment, focusing on taking a good photo.

I still had no idea what to do when approaching that boulder.

Shelley and I with Kjeragbolten in the background.

Kjeragbolten taking pride in place

Lars stood on the Kjeragbolten boulder holding a small Australian flag.

Lars conquered Kjeragbolten easily

The surface of Kjeragbolten is curved making the landing area pretty small

The surface of Kjeragbolten is curved, making the landing area pretty small

I don’t remember making the decision, but there I was, already on the narrow ledge, stepping out onto the boulder.

‘This is actually ok’.

I remember that fleeting thought as my left foot touched on Kjeragbolten.

I’d done it.

I was standing on Kjeragbolten!

…. and then it happened.

A tiny ripple at first. Barely enough to register, but within moments, it had pervaded every atom of my being. 

I couldn’t move.

‘Breathe…Focus… ‘

My heart pounded as fear reverberated through my muscles. Although still firmly fixed to the spot, my movement slowly returned, and I tentatively lifted my arm to wave the Aussie flag.

 I could hear Lars asking me to shout something for the video he was recording. I could barely smile. No words would come.

Shelley standing on Kjeragbolten - with one leg on the boulder between the rocks and one off.
One leg on and one off – the smile belies what was actually happening


Finally, as the severe grip of fear loosened its hold, I found myself back on solid ground. Relief flooded through me. My legs shook, and my stomach churned.

This is part of the story where I wish I could tell you that there were whoops of joy, celebratory jumps and enthusiastic high-fives from stepping onto that iconic Kjerag boulder. I wish the words elation, euphoria and triumphant were the descriptions I used for my emotion at that moment.

But no, there was none of that. As I stood there looking out across the vast, serene beauty of the fjord, I inhaled its calmness, settling myself. 

Beating a careful retreat from Kjeragbolten

Heart pounding and relieved to step off Kjeragbolten Boulder

A view down into the deep blue fjord below. On the left a grey brown rock-face and around the fjord tall granite mountain with patchy green

The calming vista from Kjeragbolten


The view around me was the kind that embeds itself and awakens your soul with the wonder of nature. Moreover, the journey to Kjeragbolten itself was laden with views that could grace any picture postcard with pride. Indeed, the beauty of it all was undeniable, and my soul felt enriched and grateful.

I had done it … but now I knew at what point it was way too uncomfortable. But I had faced my fear and pushed myself to my limit.

I exist as I am, that is enough 

— Walt Whitman          

As if this hike wasn’t enough for one day, we headed to Preikestolen or Pulpit Rock.

These two iconic hikes in one day? Mission Impossible?

FIND OUT IN:  Trek to the Iconic Pulpit Rock.

Above, looking down on Kjeragbolten

Looking down on Kjeragbolten from above

Kjeragbolten Hike … That’s a Wrap

We’d love to hear your own stories of facing fears while travelling. 

Have you hiked Kjerag? Did you stand on Kjeragbolten? 

Please don’t hesitate to ask us anything you’d like to know about the Kjerag hike. 

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Lars perched on the edge of a rock looking out on to the dark blue fjord

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Shelley, a former primary school teacher with a law degree, and her husband Lars co-own Lifejourney4two. Their adventure began in Perth, Australia, and has since taken them through Europe and Africa in motorhomes and bush campers. Shelley's travel guides combine practical advice with engaging stories, mirroring their shift from 'One Day' to 'Day One'. Together, they aim to inspire others to embark on their own travel dreams.

30 thoughts on “Kjeragbolten Hike: Conquer Norway’s Iconic Mountain”

  1. Beautiful!!! I am so delighted that the two of you are enjoying life and each other’s company!!

    • Thanks for your feedback Rachel, it’s really appreciated. So glad you enjoyed it – I think sharing these types of stories helps others look at their fears may be, and what’s holding them back.

  2. Holy crap! That thing looks terrifying! While I’d love to think I could get that dream photo, I’m absolutely certain I would wimp out!
    It does look beautiful though. I’d love to go back to Norway someday!

    • It’s pretty high up that’s for sure! Your passion and drive for the photo would get you through I think! 🙂 Norway is certainly up there in our top countries – where did you visit in Norway?

  3. Michelle, what a wonderful blog!! You’ve captured my travellers heart and adventurers spirit, this is definitely a place I would like to visit one day. Thank you. And so many congratulations on stepping out on that rock AND for recognising where your limits are – and on your terms.

  4. Thanks for comment Vicky. I didn’t feel very inspirational at the time but have since felt proud of my accomplishment! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, Norway has beautiful and stunning scenery around every corner -as do so many places though. We are certainly lucky to be able to travel to all of these interesting and spectacular countries.

  5. C’est vraiment magnifique ! Quelles belles photos. Et quel courage Michelle ! Bravo!! Bisous à tous les 2?

  6. Wow, amazing photos and info guys. I can’t believe you stepped out onto that boulder Michelle!!! Adventurers for sure.

    • Thanks for your comment Natalie. I can’t believe I did either! That step out, that kind of happened without me thinking too much – but my senses very soon kicked in questioning what the ‘fork’ I was doing! 🙂

  7. Wow what an amazing thing to do and such a wonderful adventure! You should be so proud of yourself 🙂


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