If you come to Norway, don’t miss the western fjord side. We spent a few days down by Stavanger where we did an amazing hike up to Priekestolen, or Pulpit rock. It was as beautiful as the pictures made it out to be. It’s a very accessible hike as well- people of various walks of life and activity levels were doing it. But that doesn’t mean one should go up unprepared.
1.Wear good, waterproof shoes with treads
You need good, close toed shoes for this hike. I wore a pair of hiking shoes, but a good pair of running shoes will work as well. The key is grip, because you will encounter some slippery rocks and terrain, especially if it rains. You don’t want to fall on a sharp rock.
2. Don’t underestimate the return journey
As we were climbing up, everyone kept saying, “at least coming back we only have to go down”. What we discovered was that going down was just as precarious as going up, since you had gravity pulling your body down. I actually slipped more returning than going up. You’ll definitely want to give yourself ample time for the return journey so you aren’t rushing and falling.
3. Watch for precarious spots
The further you climb up, the more steep rocks and narrow steps you’ll find. And it’s all part of the fun, as long as you’re not rushing. Take your time, and be courteous to others passing through. Some of these spots may be hard for small children or pets that are walking on their own.
4. Pack food/water
We left at 10 and didn’t get back until dinner time, so you will definitely want to pack food. We made sandwiches and then just brought dry snacks and that worked perfectly. Much more would have been a pain to carry/pack out. You’ll be hungry after all the climbing. Make sure to bring a full bottle of water too- you’ll need it climbing.
5. Layering is key
You never know what weather you might encounter on the hike up to Priekestolen! My base layer was a pair of quick dry leggings and an athletic t-shirt. I packed rain pants, a fleece, a light shell, and a Gore Tex rain jacket. I wore everything I had packed at some point on the hike. The boat trip in was especially rainy and cold, and then during the hike I shed and put on layers depending on how quickly we were going and the temperature change. You’ll definitely want to have a warm layer like a fleece or sweatshirt because the temperature drops as you go up, and good rain gear is a must – since there’s not a lot of places to take shelter.
6. Take PicturesThe hike up to Priekestolen is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever been on, so give yourself time to take pictures of the many amazing views. You’ll definitely want to take pictures when you get to the top, just be courteous of others since there are ledges and unstable ground. The hike up to Priekestolen is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever been on, so give yourself time to take pictures of the many amazing views. You’ll definitely want to take pictures when you get to the top, just be courteous of others since there are ledges and unstable ground.
7. Climb up the rocks above Priekestolen
If you have the time and are able, I recommend climbing up the rocks to the fields above Priekestolen.If it sounds dangerous, it’s not. You won’t fall off any edges. Essentially there’s a whole meadow with more rocks if you climb up there, and you can explore and climb those rocks too. There are a lot less
people up there, and there’s tons of space, so it feels a bit more secluded.
8. Don’t rush hiking down
I’ll say it again – don’t underestimate the hike down. We thought we’d make it down way faster. Wrong. It’s easy to forget that gravity is pulling you down as you’re trying to climb down rocks. I never fell coming up, but I tripped or caught myself several times because I was trying to get down the rocks quickly. Give yourself plenty of time for both trips.
9. Unwind in the Lodge afterward
After your hike, take time to unwind in the very cute lodge where you can get a coffee or some soup after a long (potentially rainy) hike. There’s a cozy stove and couches with blankets and a beautiful view of Lysefjord.
The hike is amazing, take your time to enjoy all the beauty around you. I hope these tips can help you enjoy the experience as much as I did.