Located in Forsand, Ryfylke, Norway, Preikestolen, known in English as Pulpit Rock, attracts around 250,000 visitors a year. Upon arriving in Norway, we knew we not only had to hike but also camp at this famous attraction to experience the views without others around.
Our day started with picking up our Rent-a-Wreck in Voss before driving the 320 km south, mesmerized by the beauty along the way. The drive down was fairly easy and we didn't need a GPS aside from a couple of turns. The route follows Rv13 for most of the way and we took a short ferry about 65 km from the trailhead.
I was continually impressed with Norway's hiking facilities, specifically at Pulpit Rock. In Colorado, the start of a trailhead typically looks like a parking lot with an outhouse and a trail map; sometimes the trails even start on the side of a road. At Pulpit Rock, the parking lot is at the base of a resort. There are modern bathrooms, a gift shop, a restaurant, and free wi-fi. It cost us 100 NOK ($12) to park our car overnight.
We left the Preikestolen parking lot and visitor center for the trailhead at about five in the evening. The hike began with a steep incline before quickly flattening out and winding through a lush forest. Although we planned to stay overnight, almost everyone else does the hike as a day trip since it is only around 4 km one way.
We arrived at Pulpit Rock early, with many hikers still enjoying the view or beginning to make their descent. After seeing the incredible rock first hand and exploring a bit, we began the search for a place to pitch our tent.
Contrary to what you make read or hear from the staff at the visitor center, you can camp at Pulpit Rock - just be creative! It is rock ground everywhere and, from our experience, any small patch of dirt or grass is very wet from the rainy season. After searching for a bit, Anthony was able to find us a small, but flat area on a cliff overlooking the entire fjord!
Overall, our experience hiking and camping at Pulpit Rock in Norway was amazing. Anthony claims it was one of the best experiences of his life. It was also a great practice hike for the incredibly difficult trek we would make to Trolltunga the following day.
3 Tips on Camping at Pulpit Rock:
1. Bring a rain cover for your tent, as well as extra strings for anchoring - it can get really windy up there and you are mostly anchoring to rock, not dirt.
2. Stay up for the sunset (around 11 pm) and get up for the sunrise (around 4:30 am) - you can take a nap later!
3. Wear hiking boots. I can't tell you how many people we saw wearing Nike's or all white Ked's on the trail. Norway trails are wet from rain and full of mud. Wear boots and clothes you don't care about getting dirty.