Preikestolen is one of Rogaland county’s (and Norways) most visited attractions, and one of the natural wonders of Norway, making it a popular photo subject.
Preikestolen has been named one of the world’s most spectacular viewing points by both CNN Go and Lonely Planet. It rises 604 metres above the Lysefjord.
The mountain plateau of about 25 x 25 metres was most probably shaped by the expansion of ice some 10 000 years ago. Water that froze in the crevices in the mountain broke loose large edged blocks of stone that the ice glacier brought along on its course. In the old days, the name of the plateau was Hyvlatånnå (planed tooth), and was already then well known as a landmark for fjord travellers in the Lysefjord. It was not until around 1900, that the first tourist travelled to the top and Preikestolen as a touristic destination was discovered.
The hike to Preikestolen
Main season: April to October. The hike takes around four hours return trip and is around six kilometres. The hike starts from the parking (parking fee applies) by the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge. Located here is a service facility with toilets. The hike consists of slightly hilly terrain with a difference of altitude of 350 metres. The prime attraction on the hike you obtain on top of the plateau with a mesmerising view of the outstanding Lysefjord. Additionally, there are nice spots to take a dip as well as enjoyable resting areas along the path.
It is important that you check the weather conditions at all times. If there is snow in the mountains, it is not recommended to do the hike, or you should use a nature guide. Remember good footwear, preferably mountain shoes, warm clothing, food and drinks. Should the weather indicate difficult conditions, please use walking sticks/ski poles on the hike. A general good physical fitness is necessary. To avoid the loss of daylight on your return hike, you must not embark on this hike too late in the day. Get informed on the time for sunset as well as other weather conditions. Please note! Read our practical hiking tips before going on the hike to Preikestolen!
Fun fact about Preikestolen
The crevice in Preikestolen The Preikestolen plateau almost looks like it has been carved out with a knife. The angular pattern of the fissure is evidently visible when looking at the plateau from above. You can easily imagine that large blocks next to Preikestolen have plummeted down into the Lysefjord. Along the entire fjord, you will find so-called depressurisation gaps, and a textbook example of this is the crevice in Preikestolen. When the glacier melted away some 10 000 years ago, the pressure from the ice disappeared and the mountain cracked open.
The gymnastic Thomas Peter Randulff was travelling in the Lysefjord with steamboat Oscar II. The captain of the ship pointed his finger at the special rock formation high above the fjord, and said; -this looks just like a pulpit (preikestol)! For the gymnastic and athletic Randulff the goal was set. He wanted to get to the top of this mountain. This was the start of the tourist traffic to Preikestolen. In 1949, the Stavanger Trekking Association built the Preikestolen lodge so that tourists would have easier access to the area. In 1961, the road up to the lodge was built.