Kjeragbolten, Norway

Kjeragbolten is the name of a massive bounder that’s wedged and completely stuck between the walls of two steep cliffs in Kjerag Mountains, Norway. Despite its spectacularly crazy visual appeal, Kjeragbolten is surprisingly easy to walk onto and pose for a photo. No special rock climbing skills are required, you don’t even need any special equipment. Just need a pair of fit legs to get you up on top of Kjerag Mountains and you’re set for a photo opportunity that will leave your relatives and friends in awe.

Fearless Sheep on Top of Kjeragbolten in Norway, Photo: 7ty9, Flickr
Fearless Sheep on Top of Kjeragbolten in Norway, Photo: 7ty9, Flickr

Kjeragbolten Location on a Map

Kjerag Mountain range stretches along Lysefjorden, in Forsand municipality of Rogaland, Norway. Lysefjorden is the same Norwegian fjord that’s overlooked by magnificent Preikestolen Pulpit Rock. Only Kjeragbolten is on the opposite end of Lysefjorden from Preikestolen. The highest point of Kjerag Mountains reaches up to 1100 meters above sea level and given that you can see the sea from most parts of Kjerag, that’s quite a drop down. The drop by Kjeragbolten is 982 meters long and is the most popular and most visited site of Kjerag Mountains. This is mostly due to dazzling visual appeal of the Kjeragbolten rock and as you look at the pictures, it is hard to disagree. You can see exact location of Kjeragbolten on an interactive and navigable map below:

How to Get to Kjeragbolten

Stavanger should be your starting point as it’s the closest bigger town to Lysefjorden. You can rent a car which will give you immense freedom and control over your time, but car rentals in Norway are not particularly cheap and parking is definitely not either. You can expect to pay 80 Norwegian Krone for parking at the foot of Kjerag Mountains, which is enough to pay for a boat ride from Stavenger across Lysefjorden and for the bus ride from the docks to the parking lot. However if you do decide to drive in a rented car, you will be rewarded with views of the scenery that you wouldn’t get a chance to see from a boat.

The road from Stavanger around the mountains to Kjeragbolten is about 130 km long so count with about 1.5 – 2 hours of driving. Start by taking route E39 out of Stavanger and head for Ålgård. After passing Ålgård turn left to Sirdalen via Oltedal, Dirdal and Byrkjedal (route 43). The toll station at Øvstabø will likely let you go if you are a tourist (Norway is very tourist friendly country). Follow by turning left for Sinnes, pass Fidjeland and turn left again for Lysebotn. Enjoy the scenic ride which will take you through the Kjerag Mountains that reaches 932 meters elevation at one point. Even if it’s summer down at the Lysefjord, you are likely to find snow lining up the road at this elevation. Keep in mind that due to undrivable conditions, this road is closed for the winter (from October to May).

If you’re not going by rental car, you can jump on a ferry leaving Stavanger for Lysebotn. Bus service and taxi are synchronized with ferry schedules and will take you to Øygardsstøl. You can recharge your fluid at a food shop there, but you had best packed up extra water to drink before hand as it gets more expensive the further up the mountain you get.

View of Lysefjord from the Perspective of a Person Standing on Top of Kjeragbolten, Photo: Kjwathne, Wikipedia
View of Lysefjord from the Perspective of a Person Standing on Top of Kjeragbolten, Photo: Kjwathne, Wikipedia

Hiking Trail to Kjeragbolten

Hiking trail leading to Kjeragbolten is longer than the one leading to Preikestolen, however despite higher physical demands, many tourists opt for trip to Kjeragbolten instead of Preikestolen which is rather overcrowded these days. Unlike hiking trail to Preikestolen which goes straight up, the trail up to Kjeragbolten alternates. You go up for a while, then down, then up again and down again before final climb up. Kjeragbolten is at 500 meters elevation difference from the Øygardsstøl parking lot and the trail length is 6 kilometres. It will take you 2 hours to get there if you are in good physical shape. Take more hours into account if you need to take more frequent breaks or set slower pace, especially up steep hills.

Steep Drop Goes Down 1000 Meters from the Edge of Kjerag, Photo: Adam Blicharski, Flickr
Steep Drop Goes Down 1000 Meters from the Edge of Kjerag, Photo: Adam Blicharski, Flickr

You will need proper trekking shoes and bring an extra jacket. It may feel warm down in Stavanger, but once you get thousand meters higher, the difference in temperature is noticeable. You could feel cold even during summer months. And keep yourself hydrated. Drinking lots of water is absolutely essential on challenging hikes like the one to Kjeragbolten.

The trail is really steep at one point and requires climbing. Chains are provided to help you hoist yourself up, but be aware that some physical fitness and strength is required.

Standing on Top of Kjeragbolten, Photo: epicxero, Flickr
Standing on Top of Kjeragbolten, Photo: epicxero, Flickr

Kjeragbolten Fall

The boulder of Kjeragbolten is not above the fjord and while climbing on it is not all that difficult, the fall from it would hurt. The drop off overlooking Lysefjorden is just next to it. That’s where you will get to see the crevasse that’s 982 meters above the ocean below. The feeling of standing so far above the surface is impossible to describe ad must be experienced. The views are beyond spectacular and again – resemble those of being on top of the world. If you happen to fall from there, you’d be falling to certain death. Be extremely careful as you’re approaching the edge.

Kjerag Base Jumping

Thanks to its steep vertical hills, the Kjerag Mountain range is very popular with BASE jumpers. Those are the guys who have the balls of steel and are not afraid to jump off the cliff. To take the fall is the purpose in case of BASE jumpers. If you visit Kjeragbolten in main tourist season, you will likely see BASE jumpers at Kjeragbolten. Such encounter will give you the opportunity to film a video such as the one below. Even watching someone jump off a cliff 1 kilometres above the sea below is gut wrenching. The BASE jumping enthusiasts enjoy it immensely. Even though there have been some accidents, including deaths involved with BASE jumpers, it is still legal to sky dive off of Kjerag Mountain cliffs according to the laws of Norway.

Standing Atop of Kjeragbolten for Pictures

Remember how I mentioned above that it is easy to walk up on Kjeragbolten and pose for envy inducing pictures? Well, while it is true, keep in mind that you will still have the view of Lysefjord in your peripheral vision, with surface of the water 1000 meters below your feet. No matter how well balanced you are, you will find your feet going weak as you attempt to step on the boulder that somehow got itself jammed between the walls of the crack. Keep your balance and take it slow. And don’t worry if you start acting like frightened chicken. Even the biggest jocks go weak as they put their foot on Kjeragbolten. The feeling of having been there once you get off is one you will never forget. The adrenaline rush is beyond words. This type of experience is one of those that money can’t buy.

Would You Dare? It Is a 982 meters Long Free Fall If You Tumbled, Photo: norwegian wood, Flickr
Would You Dare? It Is a 982 meters Long Free Fall If You Tumbled, Photo: norwegian wood, Flickr

Kjeragbolten Video

The video below demonstrated spectacular views offered to those who dare to climb up to Kjeragbolten. Video is available in HD quality.

Kjeragbolten is 5 square meters wide on top offering enough space for a visitor to comfortable get on and off of it. The name of Kjeragbolten loosely translates in Kjerag Boulder or Kjerag Bolt. Thanks to the fact that a longer and more difficult hike is required to reach Kjeragbolten, the place is not as overrun with tourists as nearby Preikestolen, which is on the opposite side of Lysefjord. The adrenaline rush and spectacular views offered to those who took a challenge and climbed up on top of Kjeragbolten will stay with them a lifetime. The picture opportunities are unrivalled. There will hardly be any other place in the world you could visit from where a picture of you would be envied by your peers as much as the one from Kjeragbolten. Just sensational.

3 thoughts on “Kjeragbolten, Norway”

  1. Wow, what an amazing view. Not sure if I’d be fearless enough to get into that rock. Brave sheep alright!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.