Hiking to the Pulpit Rock with kids. Preikestolen at the Lysefjord in Norway

Hiking to The Pulpit Rock with Kids

In Norway by Jurga8 Comments

Preikestolen, or The Pulpit Rock, is one of the most iconic hikes of Norway together with Kjerag, Trolltunga, and the less known epic Florli 4444. The Pulpit Rock is really spectacular and relatively easy to reach, so no wonder that it is the most popular hike in Norway. When preparing our Norway trip itinerary and researching the best hikes of Norway, I quickly learned that not all of these hikes are family-friendly. However, it is definitely possible to hike to the Pulpit Rock with children! That being said, Preikestolen is not the easiest hike. So today I want to share our experience hiking to the Pulpit Rock with kids so that you know what to expect.

Admiring the stunning views over Lysefjord on the hike to the Pulpit Rock

The view over the Lysefjord

 

Can you do the Pulpit Rock hike with kids?

Pulpit Rock hike is a moderate hike of in total almost 8 km (5 miles). According to the signs, it should take about 4 hours: 2 hours each way. We hiked to Preikestolen with our three kids: 6 year old twins and an 8 year old. The hike to the Pulpit Rock took us just a bit under 2 hours, and the hike back down – 1,5 hrs. We made quite many photo stops on the way up, that makes up for the difference in time. The Pulpit Rock hike itself is just as challenging (or as easy, if you wish) going up as it is going down.

Before our trip, I read many reviews about hiking to the Pulpit Rock. Some said it’s an easy hike, the others – that they seriously underestimated it and that it was much more difficult than expected. That’s exactly what it is – it’s all about expectations. If you and your kids are used to hiking in the mountains, then yes, you can hike to the Pulpit Rock with kids. However, if you have young kids who have never hiked before, then this hike is probably not the best place to start.

Kids hiking to the Pulpit Rock in Norway

There is quite some climbing involved in this hike

 

With a total elevation of over 330 meters (1100 ft), the Pulpit Rock hike is not an easy walk in the park as some people make it sound. There are several steep descents and climbs along the way, and it can also be quite wet, muddy, and slippery. If you are well prepared, wear proper hiking shoes, and have some hiking experience, then it’s a very enjoyable moderate hike with beautiful scenery along the way and phenomenal views at the end.

Preikestolen hike can be wet and requires good hiking shoes

Some parts of the hike were really wet – good shoes are a must!

 

Our kids didn’t have any difficulties hiking to the Pulpit Rock at all. In fact, we constantly had to ask them to wait for us. I would say that any child 5 years and up and with some hiking experience can do the Pulpit Rock hike. I would be a bit hesitant taking younger kids to Pulpit Rock, unless they are really good hikers or you have just one child and are prepared to carry them when they get too tired.

Hiking path at the Pulpit Rock - Preikestolen hike at Lysefjord in Norway

Hiking path just before you reach the Pulpit Rock

Pulpit Rock – Preikestolen

As already said, we reached the Pulpit Rock after about two hours hiking. Spectacular views over the Lysefjord and a bigger concentration of people were the first signs that we were getting close. And then there it was – the most impressive viewing platform we have ever stood on. It was quite busy on and around the rock, but it didn’t ruin the experience.

The location was so beautiful that we decided to have a picnic here and spend some time just admiring the views. There were quite some people on the Pulpit Rock, all taking the obligatory pictures standing or sitting on the edge. When we first saw it from a distance, we were a bit hesitant if we would go on the Pulpit Rock with kids. But once we came closer and saw how wide it actually was, we decided to give it a go and even take a picture ‘on the edge’ as well.

Lysefjord as seen from the Preikestolen - Pulpit Rock hike in Norway

Lysefjord as seen from the the Pulpit Rock

Is it safe on the Pulpit Rock?

There was a short queue of about ten people waiting to take a picture. While I stood in the queue with the kids, my husband looked for the best spot to take a picture from. I can tell you that it definitely looks more scary watching from the side than it feels when you are on the rock itself. But maybe that’s exactly why it’s also dangerous… My husband said he got quite a few grey hairs watching people do all crazy things for pictures on the edge of the Pulpit Rock – just take a look at the person sitting on the edge in the picture below.

How to do Pulpit Rock hike and Lysefjord cruise in one day

People queuing and posing for a picture on the PulpitRock

 

We didn’t sit on the edge with our feet hanging over the cliff, we didn’t jump… We stayed several meters from all sides and here is the beautiful picture we got to keep as a memory from this unforgettable day.

The Pulpit Rock hike in Norway with kids

On the Pulpit Rock

After the hike, we looked it up on the Internet, and apparently there have been quite some deaths at the Pulpit Rock. Always because people were being extremely reckless, jumping around or going too close to the edge… So be careful, don’t do any stupid things, and stay safe! And watch your kids, not just on the Pulpit Rock itself. The path towards it is also rather close to the ravine. But yes, if you are cautious and don’t look for trouble, Pulpit Rock is perfectly safe, also with kids.

How to get to the Pulpit Rock

  • Where to stay. The best town to stay for visiting the Pulpit Rock is Stavanger. If you have a car, you could consider staying close to Tau so that you can hike there early in the morning or late in the evening and avoid the crowds of day tourists. There are not many accommodation options in that area though.
  • How to get to the Pulpit Rock trailhead by public transport. There are several ways to get from Stavanger to the Pulpit Rock, and they all involve a ferry and either a car or a bus. We did the Pulpit Rock hike in combination with the Lysefjord cruise. You can read about our day trip here: How to do Lysefjord cruise and the Pulpit Rock hike from Stavanger in one day. The best and the cheapest way to get to the Pulpit Rock from Stavanger is by taking a ferry to Tau. From there you can take a bus that brings you to the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge, where the Pulpit Rock hike starts. Bus schedule is in line with the ferry and they run at regular intervals throughout the day.
  • How to get to the Pulpit Rock trailhead by car. If you have a car, you can take the same ferry from Stavanger to Tau also with your car, and then drive from Tau to the Pulpit Rock trailhead. Beware that the ferry costs (167NOK/ 19 EUR each way for a car with a driver (passengers extra)) and parking fees (200NOK/23 EUR for a car) are rather high, so consider this when deciding if you really want to drive to Preikestolen trailhead by car. Public transport is so easy that taking a car is really not necessary at all.
To reach the Pulpit Rock trailhead - take a ferry from Stavanger to Tau followed by a bus to the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge

Car and passenger ferry from Stavanger to Tau

 

Some more practical information for hiking to Pulpit Rock

  • How long does it take. Count the whole day for visiting the Pulpit Rock from Stavanger, especially with children. As I said before, it is also possible to do both – the Pulpit Rock and the Lysefjord cruise in one day. The Pulpit Rock hike itself takes about 4 hours, but you will want to spend some time on the top as well. Also, the ferry and the bus takes a bit more than an hour one way, and that is not including the waiting times.
  • When to go. Although there are people who hike to the Pulpit Rock in autumn or spring, I would say it’s a summer hike. We visited in August and it was quite wet.
  • What to wear and what to pack. Pack sturdy hiking shoes and always carry a rain jacket. The weather changes rapidly and it’s also quite windy at the top. We started our hike with four layers of clothes, during the hike we reduced it to one, and then gradually went back to three layers. The weather was changing all the time. Hiking poles are not necessary for the Pulpit Rock hike, but if you have them, pack them. It’s quite steep going down so it would help a lot, especially for your knees.
  • Food, drink, and bathroom facilities. Make sure you have enough drinking water and pack some snacks. You can refill your water bottles at the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge at the trailhead, where you can also find a restaurant and bathroom facilities.
Pulpit Rock hike practical information

Pulpit Rock hike practical information

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Hiking to the Pulpit Rock with kids. #Preikestolen at the Lysefjord in #Norway

 

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Hiking to The Pulpit Rock with Kids was last modified: October 13th, 2017 by Jurga

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Comments

  1. i’m so glad you answered the question ‘is it safe’ – that was my biggest wonder. interesting you say you were several metres away from any edge because the photo certainly doesn;t make it look that way. You must have so many awesome photo’s of your family in all these amazing places!

    1. Author

      I know it looks like that, Alex! That’s the intention of such a picture! 😉 But if you look at how tiny we are in comparison to the rock, then you’ll realise there was plenty of space from the side.

  2. Wow such wonderful information!! We are still planning to visit Norway and this would definitely be something we would love to do there. I am not sure our 4 year old is up for the task just yet, so maybe we will wait a few more years. I loved the photos from far away as it showed how truly grand it is. I am definitely excited to visit here one day!!

    1. Author

      I guess it makes sense to wait a year or two till your youngest can do some more hiking, Bel. That way you can get more out of your trip to Norway.
      On the other hand, it’s such a kid-friendly country that hiking is actually the only reason to postpone your trip. There’s so much to see and do in Norway with kids!

  3. So happy you were able to experience this hike with your boys Jurga, it looks so stunning! Love your photos and I’m glad you didn’t get to close to the edge!! 🙂

  4. Hi, Jurga! This is an amazing article! You paid attention to every important detail and gave some really useful tips. I hope it will motivate more people to go on this hike and not to be scared to take kids with them, I can only imagine how much they loved a view from the top. It looks like you really had a great time. I was wondering, is there anything that you wish you knew before going on this hike?

    1. Author

      Hi Nigel, thanks a lot, I appreciate your feedback. As for what I wish I knew, most of it is covered in this post. I wish I would have worried about the weather less 🙂 – it’s an amazing experience, no matter the weather.

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