How to hike Preikestolen with children
A visit to Ryfylke would not be complete without a day trip to Preikestolen, arguably the most well known attraction in the region.
Preikestolen, which is also known as Pulpit Rock, is a cliff that stands 604 m (1981 ft) over the Lysefjord. The popular hike to the top of the cliff is about 4 km (2.4 mi), with a total elevation of 330 m (1100 ft), which might leave some parents wondering if that’s too much of a climb with small children.
Here’s a few things to keep in mind when gearing to hike to the Pulpit Rock with young ones strapped on or in tow.
Moderate to demanding hike
On a scale from easy to difficult, the hike up to Preikestolen is best described as moderate hike. Young ones who have experience with hiking will be able to climb with no problem. If your children are new to hiking, this probably wouldn’t be the best place to start - unless you’re prepared to carry them up for at least part of the way. The hike is most suitable for children over five with hiking experience.
There are no toilets along the trail so be sure to use the one available at the parking lot before you get started.
This adventure takes about 2 hours to get from the parking lot to up to the top and about an hour and a half back down the same route. The terrain is varied. At times there are man-made rock staircases that can be quite steep, as well as rocky paths and narrow crossings.
On the way up, the trail can range from steep descends and climbs, with some slippery and wet parts along the way. This can be tricky to navigate for anyone, especially if you’re carrying a small child.
Be sure to wear proper gear, and especially comfortable and durable hiking boots. If the weather is rainy on the day you intend to hike Preikestolen, it’s best to reschedule. Climbing this rocky terrain in wet weather can be precarious and even dangerous to navigate while wrangling children.
Once you and your precious cargo have made it to the top of Preikestolen, expect to be wowed by the magnificent views. There’s usually a bit of a wait in line for the best spot to take a photo but the wait is worthwhile.
Best to visit
Preikestolen is accessible all year round, but the prime hiking season according to the weather is May to October. June and July are great months to go, as the days are longer and the sun doesn’t go down until late.
During November to April, you’ll likely need special equipment, like head torches, crampons, and even a guide, which doesn’t favour a family with children looking for a moderate day hike, unless they are committed outdoor enthusiasts.