On Sunday I conquered the famous Kjeragbolten. After a less than easy hike, you reach a boulder suspended between 2 cliffs 1000 m in the air. Us idiot people think it is a grand idea to hike there and stand on it 🙂 Or in my case – do the splits.
For full album of photos see here:
If anyone stumbles upon this looking for tips and directions I lend you the following advice from my experience:
- The drive is quite straight forward: E39 towards Kristiansand until you get past Algard and get on the 45 towards Sirdal. Drive forever. Turn left toward Sinnes when you finally get to a fork in the road (there is an Esso and a Joker here for supplies or gas). Continue until you see a little road on your left with a sign for Lysebotn. This road will take you about a half hour right to the parking lot for Kjerag.
- It took us 2.5 hours to get there with few people on the road and driving full speed limit. If you are not familiar with driving on narrow winding roads or it is crowded, it may take longer. Anyone who says it takes 1 hr 45 min is either crazy good at speeding while not flying into the sea or lying. And this was not including stops!
- Sounds silly, but be prepared for everything! I thought I could fill up on the way home, but because the drive was longer than anticipated, we ended up needing that esso big time. Pit stops are few and far between on this route, so bring snacks, water, full gas tank, and clothes for every weather! We used gloves, hats, and extra layers you wouldn’t anticipate in July 🙂
- I would NEVER attempt this hike in the rain. This is hard to say because a lot of things in Norway you just tough out if the weather is wet. But going down smooth rock faces was slippery when dry. Everyone is different, and I am no means a professional, but I’d advise against it. Plus if it is raining, standing on the boulder is definitely less than safe so if you want the photo – wait for a clear day.
- This hike is very different than Preikestolen. No one ever says that. Personally, i had the idea that it would be quite similar with a boulder at the end. In this hike, you barely see the water. It is much more mountainous and the environment is overall different. If you had to pick one for overall views, easier to pace yourself, and that “WOW” moment, I’d actually say Preikestolen is your pick. If you can do both though, Kjerag is quite an accomplishment.
- Building on the previous comment, be prepared to go uphill both ways, 3 and 4 point contact throughout the climb, snow, and increased winds at the top. If you are a novice hiker, it is totally do-able, just be aware that this is no stroll and pace yourself. One thing I’ve learned about hiking while in Norway is to do you! I’ve gotten significantly better at swallowing my pride as a running group jogs up the mountain side while you can’t feel your legs lol. But it is also a super motivating country to get outdoorsie in. Weather and ability are never an excuse to stay in and stare out your window all day.
- Apparently there is a car ferry that you can take there, but we could not figure it out through google searches alone. Please comment if you want to share how to do that. I’ve heard you have to book in advance, but the number I tried was closed on weekends. There was also no clear schedule info, so we had no idea where and when to show if that had been our plan.
- Personally, I liked getting the hike underway first thing in the morning. On days with tourist busses it can get quite crowded so it was nice to arrive before them. Plus, this gives you time to make some stops on the way home. We tagged on Manafossen (which you will see the detour for off of the 45). And we also drove through Gloppadalsura near the Candle Factory (also off 45). With the ample daylight in summer you can fit it all in and make the drive worth while 🙂
- Enjoy and take LOTS of pictures!