Exploring Kjerag Boulder
Are you looking for a heart-pounding adventure? An experience that will stay with you forever? Well, it all begins with a hike to the top of Kjerag. There, in high the clouds, you’ll discover the legendary Kjerag Boulder. To conquer the rock elevated above a deep abyss, you’ll need to hold your nerve. Are you ready?
Where is Kjerag?
The spectacular Kjerag is a mountain that towers above the Forsand municipality in Rogaland county. The Kjerag mountains, Norway, is situated near the picturesque shore of the beautiful Lysefjord. The Lysefjord is the most characterful fjord in Forsand and deserves admiration.
What is Kjerag?
1084 metres up in the sky, Kjerag has become a popular hiking route and must-see natural attraction, much like the iconic Pulpit Rock. Hundreds of visitors pull on their hiking boots and make the astonishing trek to the summit every year. As you stand on the edge of the Kjerag mountain on the northern side, you’ll stand toe to toe with a huge cliff face. Don’t look down! The cliff face dramatically plunges vertically towards the majestic Lysefjord. Needless to say, the views are nothing short of astounding. Kjerag base jumping is also a popular activity, along with rock climbing. The dramatic scenery and rugged terrain make it the perfect spot for high adrenaline activities. As you make your journey, see if you can spot thrill-seekers taking a leap of faith!
What is Kjerag Boulder?
While hiking to the summit of Kjerag is enough for some, there are those who want to do more than enjoy the view. Wedged in a mountain crevasse, 989 metres above an abyss, sits Kjeragbolten or, Kjerag Boulder. It is waiting for those who are brave enough to step out onto its surface. The famous boulder is a challenge that many visitors embrace! You don’t need any specialist equipment, just nerves of steel. The elevated 5-cubic metre boulder provides the perfect photo opportunity, you only have to look on Instagram! Be warned though, it’s not for the faint-hearted.
How was Kjerag Boulder formed?
Kjeragbolten is one of the most puzzling geological formations in the world. It is thought that the boulder was deposited during the last Norwegian ice age, around 50,000 B.C. Global warming caused the ice to melt and land masses to rise. It is believed that Kjeragbolten began to rise faster than sea level, causing it to become wedged.
While it’s possible to experience the magnificent Lysefjord by boat or view Kjerag itself on a sightseeing cruise, the true experience involves hiking right to the top. How else are you going to take that step and stand on the suspended boulder?
Hiking to Kjerag
The walk to the summit of Kjerag is graded as challenging. There’s no denying that it requires perseverance! The tricky terrain means that the route is most suitable for adults who have a good level of fitness, although many children with hiking experience to make the climb to the top.
The route begins at Øygardstøl restaurant. Toilets and a tourist information centre can be found at the starting point. It is estimated that the hike takes 6 hours to complete and covers a distance of 12 km (7.5 miles). This is a big ascent, reaching an elevation gain of 460 metres. Dig deep and keep walking!
While it’s a strenuous scramble to the top, no specialist equipment is required. In very steep areas, there are secured chains to help hikers pull themselves up. There are options to book a guided hike but the route is very well signposted. Plus, there are plenty of people who will be following the same route.
Congratulations, you’ve reached the summit and you're on top of the world! Now it’s time to put your nerves to the test. Well, only if you want to of course. When you get to the top you need to spot Kjerag Boulder. This will be an easy task, as you will most likely see a queue of daredevils waiting for their turn. We’ll let you into a secret; getting onto the boulder is easier than it looks! There is a narrow pathway that you can’t see in most photographs. There is also a chain fixed along the ground if you need some assistance, although most people find it easier to simply step across. The height of the boulder becomes more intimidating if you lean over to grab the chain!
If you can’t quite bring yourself to step out onto Kjerag Boulder, do not despair! The hike to the summit alone is still a worthwhile experience. You will be wowed by the awe-inspiring views from the top. Even without the Kjerag Boulder photograph, there are loads of Instagram worthy snaps to be taken.
What you need to take
Kjerag is a challenging hike and therefore requires the right equipment. The following items are recommended:
- Hiking boots. You will need proper walking shoes for this hike to provide ankle support and good grip
- Water-resistant clothing. Additional items such as waterproof trousers are advised
- Waterproof jacket. This will offer protection against rain and/or windy conditions.
- Fleece or sweatshirt. Even in the summer months, the climate can feel cold as you edge closer to the summit.
- Hat and gloves. Take these with you even if it is sunny when you set off
- Backpack. You will need this to carry additional items
- Food and drink. This is a tough hike so make sure you take plenty of water and enough nutritious food to keep you going
Accidents on Kjerag are minimal. Although, there are obvious risks associated with standing on a boulder that’s elevated 989 metres above a fjord! There are certain things to be aware of to ensure your safety. Don’t worry though, most of it is just common sense.
Check the weather conditions
Even in the summer, weather conditions can be changeable in Norway. Be prepared for sun, rain, snow and wind by packing adaptable clothing. Conditions could become dangerous mid-hike. We’re talking thick fog or thunderstorms. If this happens, turn back and do not continue.
NB Do not hike to Kjerag during the winter. Conditions during this time are hazardous and the road to Øygardstøl is usually blocked by snow.
Give yourself plenty of time
If you set off too late in the day, the sun could begin to set before you have completed the whole hike. Make sure you have enough daytime hours. Taking a head torch is also a good idea- just in case!
Take extra care in wet weather
In wet weather, the climb to the top of the summit can be extremely slippery. This is why it is important to wear hiking boots for better grip. Take your time and mind your step.
Be sensible at Kjerag Boulder
The risks associated with Kjerag Boulder are obvious but there are certain behaviours to be mindful of. Firstly, in peak season, there can be many people queuing for the natural attraction. Make sure you give the person in front of you plenty of space and do not push in. Remember, heights aren’t for everyone. If you’re not confident with heights, the boulder may not be for you. One person at a time on top of Kjerag Boulder is enough. Some guidebooks advise that up to four people can fit on the boulder. While the surface area may seem wider than expected, the more people there are, the greater the risk of falling. Kjerag Boulder provides the ultimate photo opportunity. However, when you’re posing for your photograph pay attention to the edge.
How to get to Kjerag and Kjeragbolten
The start of the Kjerag hike begins at a restaurant called Øygardstøl. If you have a car, then you can drive to the beginning of the walk and park your car for a fee. Most visitors choose to travel to Kjerag by bus. Our bus route begins at Stavanger and calls past Sandnes and Ålgård and runs from June through to September. The bus only operates through the summer season as hiking Kjerag in the winter is not recommended.
Fun Facts about Kjerag
- Kjerag sits on the edge of Lysefjord which means ‘light fjord.’ It was given this name due to the light coloured granite rocks surrounding it
- There are no handrails or safety nets on Kjerag Boulder
- There is a spot near the summit where people have reportedly heard the sound of a pistol and saw smoke. This is thought to be sharp wind blowing from the east or water being ejected from the rocks
- There have been no hiking related accidents on Kjerag Boulder. However, there are plenty of base jumping incidents that take place. Perhaps that’s to be expected!
Book your hiking excursion to Kjerag so you don’t miss out on a truly incredible experience! Don’t forget to take a look at our other fantastic excursions. Build your own itinerary and make it a trip to remember.