Ina Cristine HelljesenAuthor
Interesting facts about the world famous Kjerag Boulder
Kjerag is one of Norway’s many impressive rock formations that require a hike to get to. Once you reach the bolt, the area offers unparalleled views and thrills. Here are some interesting facts about the famous boulder that is located outside Stavanger.
Kjerag is popularly referred as the ‘Majesty of the Lysefjord’. The boulder is also called the Kjerag Bolt or Kjeragbolten in Norwegian. The rock is located on the southern shores of Lysefjorden. The closest village is Lysebotn, an isolated village only accessible by one road or by boat. It is believed that the Kjerag boulder got stuck between the 2 rock faces sometime during the last ice age around 50,000 B.C.
The boulder is pinched over a 984-meter-deep abyss (3,228 ft.). The rock itself is a 5-cubic-meter (18 cu. ft.) glacial deposit wedged in the mountain's crevasse.
In one particular place just before you reach the top of the Kjerag mountain, you can sometimes hear a sound similar to that of a gunshot and see smoke coming out of the mountain. Nobody knows for sure what the phenomenon is caused by, but it is believed that it is due to water being forced out of the mountain.
The name Kjerag is possibly a compound of kje which means kid and ragg which means goat’s hair shag. The rough surface of the mountainside has been compared with the shaggy hair of a young goat.
Kjerag has become a popular destination among base jumpers. Norwegian Stein Edvardsen, made the first officially registered jump here in 1994. Today the area counts closer to 60,000 jumps.
The bolt has been featured in several viral videos including in ‘Where the Hell is Matt’ (2006), where Matt Harding did a dance jig on the boulder, and in the drone video ‘Kjerag from the air’ by Simen Haughom (2016). The latter has had over 200 million views on Facebook.
Having your picture taken is highly popular. Expected waiting time can be anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour on busy days. Start your hike a bit early to beat the biggest crowds.
Note that no deaths have ever been recorded of people stepping out on the rock. Some people might still find it too scary to take the leap as there are no safety fences under the boulder. If you don’t dare to make that final step, the hike is beautiful and well worth doing to enjoy the views.
How to get to Kjerag
Kjerag is located outside of Stavanger, and easy to get to by bus. The bus drops you of and picks you up at Øygardsstøl, which is the starting point of your hike.
Fact about the Kjerag hike
Effort level: Challenging
Season: June - September (summer hike)
Elevation gain: 460 m (1500 ft.)
Estimated hiking time: 6 hrs.
Distance: 9.8 km ( 6 mi.) return hike
Marking: The path is well marked
Landscape: Hilly mountain area