Hiking Kjerag: Inside Norway’s Most Terrifying Hike

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As steep and rocky as it may seem, hiking Kjerag isn’t that scary. What is scary? Getting to the end of Kjerag and stepping onto Kjeragbolten, a small boulder wedged between two high rock faces with a 3,228 foot drop that would blow your body into smithereens.

And yes, that part of hiking Kjerag was terrifying. So terrifying that it was the first time in my life where my legs were actually shaking. So terrifying that my best friend and I were silent for the first hour of the car ride with the only exclamation being “I still can’t stop thinking about stepping onto that rock”.

The Stats for Hiking Kjerag

Distance: 5 1/2 miles

Time: 4-6 hours

In a nutshell: 3 steep ascents with intervals of downhill in between. You’re basically hiking over 3 small mountains. The steepest parts of the climb are lined with guided chains, which you will need to use from time to time.

How to get to Kjerag

The hike starts from Øygardstøl (a short drive above Lysebotn) and parking is 100 NOK.

Hiking Kjerag

The Kjerag hike will almost immediately start ascending up a steep rock face which will be the first of three. In between these steep ascents are a series of equally steep descents. Kjerag was my favorite hike while in Norway, because I found the steep rock face sort of fun to climb over (when I wasn’t out of breath). At times you will definitely need to use the chains or find divets in the rock to hoist yourself up.

 

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The Kjerag hike is marked with red T’s painted on small stone piles (like the Trolltunga hike). There are also several cute wooden trail markers along the way.

 

Stepping onto Kjeragbolten

Stepping onto Kjeragbolten was scarier than I thought it would be, but don’t let this stop you from doing it. The adrenaline started when I saw the rock for the first time and continued for the rest of the day.

DON’T LOOK DOWN are probably the best words of advice here.  Although, when my friend said those words to me I think it made me even more scared. You get to the boulder by inching around a small ledge and stepping out onto the rock (a leap of faith if you will). There’s not much room for error. I got there on my hands and knees, and although I probably looked a little ridiculous, I assume this is the safest way.

 

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Tips for Hiking Kjerag

  • Bring plenty of protein, granola bars, or nuts for the hike. You will need this to fuel you. Remember this is 4-6 hours.
  • Bring plenty of water, there are 3 decently steep climbs that can easily dehydrate you.
  • Wear good hiking shoes – I have these ones and they work great. They have a good grip for the steep rock climbs and stepping onto the boulder at the end.
  • Dress in layers. You will be really hot while hiking, but when you’re at the top waiting for pictures, you will start to cool off again. I wore
  1. A long sleeve thermal
  2. A fleece
  3. A rain coat
  4. Thermal Leggings
  5. Hiking socks

Most of the time I wore the long sleeve, but at the top I did put my jacket on.

  • A good backpack. Make sure your backpack has padding on the straps to help out your back and shoulders. A small day pack like this one would work.
  • Hat/Gloves – I didn’t use these since I had great weather but they may be necessary if you’re going on a colder day.
  • Remember to keep an eye out for the red “T”s or piles of stones to mark the trails instead of just following the people in front of you.
  • Try preparing for the hike by hiking mountains near your home or using the stair master at the gym. This will make it a lot easier on your body.

Have any questions about hiking Kjerag? Feel free to comment below 🙂

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