Kjerabolton is one of the most scenic and exhilarating hikes you will ever complete. The views and challenge (requires the use of chains) to reach the summit, combined with stepping out onto the terrifying yet electrifying Kjerag rock (boulder in between two large rocks with an over 2400 foot drop into the fjord) makes it a hike you will never forget. The adrenaline rush from it is truly invigorating. Here is our guide on how to hike Kjeragbolten in Norway.
FYI: This post is written based on a hike taken in late August. See our 2 Week Norway Road Trip guide for all the details on this trip. We took this trip with our 12 month old daughter. For all our baby travels tips and tricks see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and our How to Hike with a Baby post.
Note: Kjerabolton is one of our top 5 favorite hikes we have ever completed. That is saying a lot too as we have hiked more miles than we can count all over the world including many US National Parks and Europe. Definitely add Kjeragbolten to your bucket list!
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Hiking Kjeragbolten FAQs
How long of a hike is Kjeragbolten? How much elevation gain on the Kjeragbolten hike?
Kjerabolton hike is 7.5 miles (12 km) with 1870 feet (570 m) of elevation gain. It is an out & back hike.
How do I hike Kjeragbolten? What are the Kjeragbolten hike logistics?
The Kjeragbolten hike has 3 steep and strenuous climbs, mostly completed in the first half on the way out. During these climbs, there are chains to hold onto to help you hike up/down. We really used these chains to help us stay upright on the steep rockside during our descent and ascent. Kjeragbolten is a total of 7.5 miles (12 km) with 1870 feet (570 m) of elevation gain.
The first climb is the most technically difficult and steep while hiking Kjerabolten. You do not need technical climbing skills per se but must be very careful with your footing while climbing these areas with the chains, especially on your descent. Many people turn around during the first climb as they find it to be too strenuous and scary. However, if you can complete the first climb while hiking Kjerabolten, you can complete the whole hike. Don’t give up! Natalie hiked these ascents and descents with our daughter in the backpack carrier.
When not completing these steep climbs, you hike into valleys and over ridges. You will feel like you are on top of the world at times! The views are spectacular.
After the third climb, you enjoy a relatively easy hike for about a mile until you reach Kjerag.
Tip: Be sure to follow the red T’s painted on the ground while hiking Kjeraboton. During foggy conditions, people have lost their way and had to be rescued. Even on a very sunny day, we were sure to stay on track with the red T’s as it would be easy to get off the path on the boulders.
Can I hike Kjeragbolten in the rain?
No! Caution: Do NOT hike Kjeragbolten if it is going to rain or recently rained.
When we hiked Kjeragbolten, it had not rained in over a week. Yet, there were still some slightly damp spots on the rocks that were VERY slippery. With only a couple spots like this, it was manageable taking these spots very slow and using the chains to aid us. However, if all the rocks were wet, this would not be safe to hike. You are hiking up a large smooth slick boulder with chains in several sections. One big slick smooth rock is not conducive to staying upright even with the chains.
Tip: Check weather prior to attempting to hike. Avoid foggy or rainy weather at all costs. People have needed to be rescued after losing their way in the fog.
How far is the drop from Kjerag into the Fjord?
Sources vary on exactly how far the drop is but we can verify, it’s far! It is at least a 2400 foot (750 meter) drop from the iconic Kerag boulder between the two rocks into the Fjord.
How is stepping onto the Kjerag Boulder when hiking Kjeragbolten?
It is scary. Like really scary! We are not going to sugar coat it. Stepping on to Kjerag is terrifying yet exhilarating. About a ⅓ of the people we saw who attempted to walk onto the Kjerag couldn’t do it. Sam was almost one of them. He made the mistake of looking down (at the 2400 foot fall) on his first attempt before stepping onto the boulder. He just gave a cute little wave from the side of the boulder instead of stepping onto it (see picture) with his first attempt. After Natalie persuaded him that we were not hiking Kjerabolten anytime soon again, he decided to try it again and was able to go out onto the rock. Natalie got onto the rock with her first attempt. Our best advice, take it slow and don’t look down!
Here are pictures of what the Kjerag boulder looks like from behind:
Off to the left of the boulder is where people line up to step onto it one at a time. There is a chain link drilled into the rock you can grab onto to help you get down to the boulder that we both did use. See our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram for footage of us walking on the boulder versus the shot on the boulder.
The boulder is actually bigger than it looks in pictures. We both agree that Kjerag is stable and plenty big for you to step onto. However, despite being able to see this clearly with our own eyes, we were both scared to step onto the boulder. We still think this hike is worth it even if you do not step onto the Kjerag boulder because the views along the hike and at the boulder are truly stunning. Stepping out onto the boulder is just the adrenaline rush icing on the cake!
Has anyone died hiking Kjeragbolten/stepping onto Kjerag?
No! At the time of writing this post, no one has died hiking Kjerabolten. We actually find this surprising as one wrong step on this boulder would send you plummeting to your death in Lysefjord. Stepping onto this boulder is, in our opinion, scarier than Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park where 10+ people have died in the chains section. However, fewer people hike Kjeragbolten and only stepping out onto the Kjerag boulder itself has a dangerous drop. The rest of the hike is not along steep drop offs, differing from Angel’s landing whereas wrong step throughout the chains section may send you falling to your death.
How long does it take to hike Kjeragbolten?
It takes about 6-8 hours to hike Kjeragbolten. It took us about 6.5 hours total to hike Kjeragbolten, including stopping at the summit for about an hour taking pictures and a break. If you do not have 35 extra pounds strapped to your back and/or a 12 month old with you, you may be able to hike it faster.
Is the Kjeragbolten hike busy?
In comparison to other Norway hikes, such as Pulpit Rock Hike (post coming soon***), no. We hiked Kjerabolten from approximately 9:30 AM-4PM on a Sunday. There were definitely other people on the trail but there was plenty of space on the trail to have our own room. We never felt crowded or traffic jammed on this hike. The number of people was similar to that we saw while hiking Trolltunga (post coming soon***).
When to hike Kjeragbolten?
Only hike Kjeragbolten in the summer as the road leading to the trailhead is closed in the winter. Ideally, hike it June 1st-September 1st. Outside of that window, it is likely the road to the Kjeragbolten trailhead will be covered in snow/closed and the trail will be covered in snow as well.
How much does it cost to hike Kjeragbolten?
Parking fee 300 NOK that you pay to the attendant when you arrive.
How to find Kjeragbolten Hike?
Type in Kjerag parking to Google Maps to locate the Kjeragbolten Trailhead
What is the closest town to Kjeragbolten?
Closest town is Lysebotn (15 mins away), 7.5 hours from Oslo, 2.5 hours from Stavanger (many people set up base here and also hike Pulpit Rock (post coming soon***)).
Where to stay while hiking Kjeragbolten?
We highly recommend staying at Fidjeland Hytteutleige between Stavanger and the Kjeragbolten Trailhead. These cute cabins are located less than an hour from the Kjeragbolten trailhead. They are just off the main road yet in a peaceful farm setting. This was the perfect cozy cabin for us. There also was a fun swing in the backyard our daughter enjoyed.
What else should I do while at the Kjeragbolten trailhead?
Make sure your driving route takes you on the whirlwind road Lysevegan either before or after your hike to Kjeragbolten. This road has 32 hairpin turns and a 9.4% gradient. To access, turn left out of Kjerag Parking lot.
Can you hike Kjerabolton with kids?
Yes! We completed this hike with our 12-month old daughter in a backpack carrier. We would not recommend front carrying on this hike though as it is very steep in spots, making the decent while front carrying dangerous. However, we felt comfortable with her in the backpack carrier the whole time. We saw one person carrying a baby that was maybe 3 months old (in a front carrier, again would not recommend) but other than that, we saw no kids under 10. We did see about 5 kids likely between 10-15 years old on this hike who did not seem to have any problem with completing it. If not carrying your child, we’d recommend kids be 10+ years old and have a decent amount of hiking experience to complete this hike. It is long, strenuous and requires some skill using the chains.
For all our tips on hiking with a baby, see our How to Hike with a Baby post.
Can kids step out onto the Kjerag Boulder?
We would say no but that is up to you as the parent. We did see a boy who was about 10 years old step out onto the boulder with a rope tied around his waist that his mom held. We both stepped out on to Kjerag separately without our baby and were terrified enough without our child.
Can you step onto the Kjerag Boulder with someone else?
Yes, but we do not recommend it. We both stepped out onto the boulder alone and would advise stepping onto it one at a time. The boulder is large enough that two people could step out on it together but it is certainly safer to do it one at a time.
Is Kjeragbolten one of the best hikes in Norway?
Yes! WE LOVED hiking Kjerabolten. We highly recommend you complete this hike at some point in your life. It is a challenging hike with the chains on the climbs and exhilarating with stepping out onto the rock. In comparison, we both did like hiking Trolltunga a bit better than Kjeragbolten but it is hard to compare both as they are very different hikes. Hike both and let us know your thoughts!
Note: You have to be on your A-game at most times during this hike due to using the chains and the steep nature of the climbs. It is not a flow state hike.
Hiking Kjeragbolten was one of the highlights of our 2 Week Norway Road Trip. See this guide for all the details on planning an epic fjord road trip of your own.
We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Kjeragbolten. Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions. Please leave us a comment!
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