Kid in a red jacket playing on the hiking trail to Preikestolen

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.

mother and daughter on the hiking trail to Preikestolen

Varied terrain

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.

Magnificent views 

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.

Father and daughter laying down on the Preikestolen plateau and looking over the edge
Photo: Fjord Norway

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.

Preikestolen plateau and Lysefjorden

Express bus to Preikestolen

Preikestolen express bus driving on a mountain road

Preikestolen Express Bus One-way

One-way express bus between Stavanger and Preikestolen hiking trail
From NOK 310
Hikers on top of Preikestolen plateau

Preikestolen Express Bus Round Trip

Express bus between Stavanger and Preikestolen hiking trail
From NOK 476