"Kjeragfossen"

Lysebotn / Sirdal / Lysefjorden, Rogaland County, Norway

About “Kjeragfossen”


Hiking Distance: about 11km round trip (including Kjerag and Nesatind)
Suggested Time: 6-7 hours

Date first visited: 2019-06-22
Date last visited: 2019-06-22

Waterfall Latitude: 59.03509
Waterfall Longitude: 6.58432

“Kjeragfossen” was pretty much the main waterfall that I associate with the epic hike to Kjeragbolden (or Kjerag), the rock wedged between two vertical cliffs.

Of the numerous waterfalls that we encountered through Norway, perhaps none can boast such a beautiful position as I managed to see it framed with the gorgeous Lysefjord.

Kjerag_333_06222019 - Kjeragfossen framing the beautiful Lysefjord as seen from Nesatind
Kjeragfossen framing the beautiful Lysefjord as seen from Nesatind

In fact, even when I made it to the Kjeragbolten, I managed to see the waterfall with base jumpers plunging beside the waterfall’s wispy 715m vertical drop.

Indeed, as you can see in the photo above (and throughout this page for that matter), I could totally see why Kjerag became a worldwide Instagram favorite over the years.

And this waterfall forced me to partake in this epic hike so it made for the perfect excuse to do it!

“Kjeragfossen” – a special waterfall?

You may have noticed that on this page, I put the word “Kjeragfossen” in quotes because I don’t believe it has a formal name.

In fact, from what I can tell on Norgeskart, it sits on an unnamed stream draining snow and tarns sitting on the plateau above Kjerag.

Kjerag_370_06222019 - Trying to see as much of the full height of Kjeragfossen as I could
Trying to see as much of the full height of Kjeragfossen as I could

So that makes me question whether this waterfall flows permanently or merely has a seasonal Spring- to early-Summer flow.

Based on what I can see from the topo information on that map, this waterfall could very well have around a 525m freefall.

The rest of the elevation loss to sea level appeared to be a long cascade where the first 250m of the elevation loss could be steep cascades that might add to the freefall total.

However, the rest of the remaining 150m of elevation loss appeared to just be a sloping stream eventually settling at the Lysefjord at sea level.

Kjerag_302_06222019 - I think the sole reason why Kjeragfossen gets singled out is due to its proximity to the world famous Kjeragbolten
I think the sole reason why Kjeragfossen gets singled out is due to its proximity to the world famous Kjeragbolten

In any case, there could be other waterfalls in the immediate area that may have similar or greater flow than “Kjeragfossen”.

That said, I think this one gets the publicity simply because just about all intrepid hikers making it out to the famous Kjerag get to see this waterfall in action.

So I consider it gets singled out (like I did here) simply due to its fortunate location.

Hiking to Kjerag and Witnessing “Kjeragfossen”

Like with the other famous Lysefjord attraction at Preikestolen, Kjerag has become an international attraction.

Kjerag_027_06222019 - Expect to share the Kjerag Trail with many people from all around the world
Expect to share the Kjerag Trail with many people from all around the world

That means you can expect to share the trail with thousands of other tourists from around the world.

While the crowds may undermine the difficulty of this hike, in my experience, you really can’t underestimate what you sign up for when you do it.

That means you need to have proper hiking boots, layers of clothing due to the changeable weather (it was pouring rain when I started the hike before going sunny), a change of socks (for blister prevention), and plenty of food and water.

Indeed, this hike is 10km round trip with a net elevation gain of 380m (i.e. well over 1,200ft).

Much of the terrain involved hiking on unforgiving granite with plenty of dropoff exposure as well as chains to hold onto to help with the steepness and slick footing.

Kjerag_118_06222019 - Steep and slippery terrain characterizes much of the Kjerag hike, and it's why I consider it to be difficult (or as one employee said, it's 'technical')
Steep and slippery terrain characterizes much of the Kjerag hike, and it’s why I consider it to be difficult (or as one employee said, it’s ‘technical’)

According to the signage, they suggest that the hike takes about 5 hours.

In my experience, it took me a little over 7 hours, which included not only experiencing Kjerag, but I also stopped at the panorama of Lysefjorden at Nesatind, and I also had a long lunch break.

Therefore, nothing about this hike should be taken lightly, and you really do need an early start to ensure you don’t hike in darkness if you happen to be outside the early Summer season.

Kjerag and “Kjeragfossen” Trail Description – the brutal initial climb

The Kjerag hike began at the car park at Øygardstølen at 640m in elevation (see directions below).

Kjerag_041_06222019 - Context of the Kjerag trailhead at Øygardstølen. The name can also refer to the cliff-hanging building you see in the center left of this picture
Context of the Kjerag trailhead at Øygardstølen. The name can also refer to the cliff-hanging building you see in the center left of this picture

Right from the get-go, the trail immediately embarked on the first (and arguably the steepest and most challenging) of the three main climbs to realize the total elevation gain involved.

It ascended slick granite terrain with a combination of red Ts and cairns to help navigate me through some of the head-scratching moments.

In addition to aiding in stability and footing, chains also served as trail markers since I knew where I needed to go once I saw them.

Some granite steps had also been carved into the plateau to further help with footing and trail definition.

Kjerag_036_06222019 - A large part of the initial climb involved taking advantage of chains to help with footing in addition to helping with pulling yourself up on the Kjerag hike
A large part of the initial climb involved taking advantage of chains to help with footing in addition to helping with pulling yourself up on the Kjerag hike

I knew immediately in this stretch of unforgiving sloping granite that hiking boots were an absolute necessity.

Tempering the physical challenge and concentration of this initial brutal climb were the mindblowing views as I ascended higher above the gorge over Lysebotn and Lysefjorden.

It took me nearly an hour to complete this kilometer-long, 185m high initial climb before the trail momentarily peaked.

Kjerag and “Kjeragfossen” Trail Description – ascending above Litle Stordalen

Immediately after the initial climb, the trail descended into Litle Stordalen (literally translated as “The Little Big Valley”).

Kjerag_055_06222019 - Looking down at the steep chain-assisted descent leading into Litle Stordalen along the Kjerag hike
Looking down at the steep chain-assisted descent leading into Litle Stordalen along the Kjerag hike

Again, I needed to use the chains provided to help with some of the dicier parts of the descent covering roughly 75m of elevation loss.

I often found it helpful to descend “backwards” while holding onto the chains for better footing on the slick granite.

Once within Litle Stordalen, I traversed a green area full of grass or moss-like growths on the granite surface.

Granite stones comprised the trail through this valley so I didn’t get any relief in terms of my knees getting jarred by the impact of every step I took.

Kjerag_077_06222019 - Ascending above Litle Stordalen with some more steep granite terrain and mild dropoffs on the Kjerag hike
Ascending above Litle Stordalen with some more steep granite terrain and mild dropoffs on the Kjerag hike

Beyond the momentary flatness of Litle Stordalen, the trail then made its next ascent, which spanned about 500m with an elevation gain of roughly 150m or so.

Like with the initial climb, it started off with granite steps before degenerating into granite scrambles with some mild dropoff exposure.

Chains didn’t seem as prevalent in this stretch of the hike, but that didn’t make this ascent any less steeper than the first ascent.

That said, the ascent afforded me more views towards Lysebotn as well as some of the cascades at the head of Litle Stordalen.

Kjerag_088_06222019 - The cabin or shelter between Litle Stordalen and Stordalen on the Kjerag Trail
The cabin or shelter between Litle Stordalen and Stordalen on the Kjerag Trail

By the time I made it to the top, I encountered a momentary flat stretch that housed an emergency shelter or cabin (hytt) of some sort.

The shelter sat about 1km from the top of the previous climb, and about 2km from Øygardstølen with an overall elevation gain of 250m.

Kjerag and “Kjeragfossen” Trail Description – ascending above Stordalen

Beyond the cabin, the trail descended perhaps 40-50m leading to the top of a cascade or waterfall draining some unnamed lake or tarn.

Contrary to its name, Stordalen seemed to be quite a bit smaller than Litle Stordalen as the third and final main climbing phase started shortly after crossing the stream running through the tiny valley.

Kjerag_091_06222019 - Looking down at the start of the third major climb on the Kjerag hike beyond Stordalen
Looking down at the start of the third major climb on the Kjerag hike beyond Stordalen

Like the first climb, this third climb involved more granite steps soon giving way to many long stretches of chains to help with the granite’s steep slopes.

The scenery around this climb continued to produce mindblowing views of Lysebotn and the head of Lysefjorden.

At these lofty heights, it really started to feel like I was on top of the world as my eyes almost seemed level with many of the surrounding peaks and knobs.

The steepest and worst of the climbing perhaps ended at around 1.2km or so beyond the cabin. However, the climbing didn’t end there.

Kjerag_129_06222019 - Looking down towards the top end of the last section of chains on the third climb as I approached the Kjerag plateau
Looking down towards the top end of the last section of chains on the third climb as I approached the Kjerag plateau

Indeed, the train continued to ascend long past the last of the chains as the inclined gradually leveled out and I started to traverse an extensive granite plateau.

Once on the plateau, the terrain undulated through mini-gullies, but for the most part, it was mostly flat.

This type of scenery persisted for the next kilometer or so before I finally started to encounter signs marking trail junctions.

At this point, I had a choice of pursuing Nesatind to my right or continuing straight to pursue Kjerag on the left.

Kjerag_176_06222019 - Traversing the Kjerag plateau, which was sparse in vegetation, but most of the elevation gain is behind at this point
Traversing the Kjerag plateau, which was sparse in vegetation, but most of the elevation gain is behind at this point

I opted to continue straight to Kjerag and then do Nesatind afterwards.

Kjerag and “Kjeragfossen” Trail Description – descending to Kjeragbolten

Barely 160m beyond the signed trail junction on the plateau, the trail then started to disappear into a gorge or narrow.

It turned out that I had a choice of descending into that narrow to get to Kjerag or stay on the rim of the narrow on the right to get to Nesatind.

Again, I opted to go into the narrow to keep going to the main attraction – Kjeragbolten.

Kjerag_193_06222019 - Traversing the narrow flanked by some interesting segmented snowmelt cascade spilling right into it
Traversing the narrow flanked by some interesting segmented snowmelt cascade spilling right into it

This narrow involved some mild scrambling and bouldering as I noticed giant boulders wedged and arranged to form obstacles.

For the most part, getting through these obstacles weren’t too bad though I definitely had moments where my day pack had rubbed against adjacent gorge walls or boulders.

I had also noticed a trio of segmented snowmelt cascades spilling right into the narrow.

Shortly beyond the cascades, the trail then descended right to the classic view of the famous Kjeragbolten though I had to contend with some packed snow when I had made my visit.

Kjerag_300_06222019 - Context of Kjeragbolten and the adjacent plateau beyond the narrow
Context of Kjeragbolten and the adjacent plateau beyond the narrow

Most people manage to coordinate with a fellow member of the party to handle the camera while the other person would go towards the backside of Kjeragbolten to queue up to wait to go on top of the rock.

Speaking of the queue, there was a fairly extensive plateau adjacent to the backside of Kjeragbolten, and this was where most of the day hikers had stopped to enjoy the partial views of “Kjeragfossen” as well as the Lysefjorden further below.

I also noticed another thin waterfall spilling into another notch on the far side of the plateau.

There also seemed to be a waterfall right beneath the Kjeragbolten apparently draining the packed snow that I had just walked on earlier to get here.

Kjerag_393_06222019 - A different waterfall that I noticed from the plateau next to Kjeragbolten
A different waterfall that I noticed from the plateau next to Kjeragbolten

The trail signage suggested that this marked the 5km point of the hike, and most people turned around here to go back – apparently content with their top-of-the-rock photo and sharing on socials.

It took me a little less than 3 hours to get here from the trailhead.

Kjerag and “Kjeragfossen” Trail Description – scrambling to Nesatind

Although most people contented themselves with going back to the trailhead at this point, viewing the “Kjeragfossen” from here left me wanting more.

So after having my fill of the Kjeragbolten, I returned back through the narrow to its start.

Kjerag_251_06222019 - This was the view of 'Kjeragfossen' from the plateau adjacent to Kjeragbolten. That white dot you see on the bottom of this photo is a base jumper!
This was the view of ‘Kjeragfossen’ from the plateau adjacent to Kjeragbolten. That white dot you see on the bottom of this photo is a base jumper!

Then, I veered from the main trail and went left along the rim of the narrow, where I followed faint trails of use.

I don’t think this approach was sanctioned, but there were enough use trails to follow along and ultimately make it to the edge of the plateau at Nesatind.

This scramble was around 300-400m beyond the start of the narrow to Kjeragbolten, and I didn’t experience any significant elevation change to get here.

Along the way, I could look back towards Kjeragbolten and immediately see how the vast majority of hikers crowded themselves onto the plateau adjacent to Kjeragbolten.

Kjerag_382_06222019 - Looking beyond the top of the plateau above Kjeragfossen towards what I think is Hengjanefossen as seen from Nesatind
Looking beyond the top of the plateau above Kjeragfossen towards what I think is Hengjanefossen as seen from Nesatind

Meanwhile, the path I took felt refreshingly quiet and peaceful.

Anyways, as for the view itself, I personally liked the view here better than the Kjerag experience.

I felt like this view possessed a signature view over the waters of Lysefjorden, and the “Kjeragfossen” framed the panoramic view to boot!

Of course, I also had to watch out for dropoffs because trying to view the bottom of both the falls and the shores of the fjord (where base jumpers looking very tiny would land) involved getting uncomfortably close to the cliff edges.

Kjerag_375_06222019 - Looking across Lysefjorden from Nesatindane towards a waterfall I believe is on Sagbakken
Looking across Lysefjorden from Nesatindane towards a waterfall I believe is on Sagbakken

After having my fill of this panorama, then I followed some red Ts and cairns back towards the main trail.

According to my GPS logs, I went about 380m to get to a Nesatind sign, and I went another 160m to reach the sign on the plateau back at the main trail.

The rest of the way back to the trailhead was pretty straightforward.

However, because it was mostly downhill on the way back, I had to watch my footing, especially with my joints feeling some pain from the hard surfaces and fatigue starting to set in.

Kjerag_349_06222019 - I had the Nesatind panorama to myself for a bit before other people started showing up, and they were willing to get even closer to the edge than I was willing to go
I had the Nesatind panorama to myself for a bit before other people started showing up, and they were willing to get even closer to the edge than I was willing to go

In one steep stretch on the return hike near the end, I did manage to slip backwards, but luckily my day pack broke my fall, and I landed on my feet as if nothing had happened.

That ought to underscore how at any moment, an accident can occur that could cause injury.

Authorities

“Kjeragfossen” (as well as the Kjeragbolten itself) sat in the town and municipality of Forsand in Rogaland County, Norway. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit the Lysefjorden Utvikling AS website.

Kjerag_002_06212019 - I had to deal with a pretty hefty rain storm when I first showed up to the Kjerag Car Park
Kjerag_004_06212019 - With the sudden downpour, there were many new waterfalls popped up around the Kjerag Trailhead
Kjerag_009_06212019 - The start of the trail to Kjerag initially followed this path before quickly disappearing into the granite
Kjerag_029_06222019 - Looking back at the building of Øygardstølen near the Kjerag Trailhead
Kjerag_020_06222019 - With the rain that had fallen, the granite surfaces became a bit slick, which made the already difficult Kjerag hike even more difficult
Kjerag_021_06222019 - During the initial climb to Kjerag, I noticed this cascade way in the distance just as the sun was finally starting to come out
Kjerag_023_06222019 - Looking back down towards the car park for Kjerag as the trail continued its climb
Kjerag_033_06222019 - It quickly becomes apparent why you need hiking boots to do the hike to Kjerag. Anything less is just asking for a nasty slip and fall, especially when the conditions were wet like they were during the morning of my hike
Kjerag_039_06222019 - The initial climb of the Kjerag Trail involved lots of chains to get up the granite surface
Kjerag_040_06222019 - Making it up the top of the initial climb on the Kjerag Trail
Kjerag_041_06222019 - This look back at the Kjerag Car Park should give you an idea of how high up we had to climb to get past the steep initial stretch
Kjerag_051_06222019 - There were still lots of low clouds swirling around the first hill I had summited on the Kjerag hike. Perhaps that was a good thing so I didn't linger and kept my momentum as I continued the long hike
Kjerag_054_06222019 - After the initial hill, the Kjerag Trail then descended into Litle Stordalen
Kjerag_062_06222019 - Some of the descent into Litle Stordalen also featured chains with granite slopes that were slippery and steep
Kjerag_064_06222019 - Looking back at the descent that I had to make in order to get into the depths of Litle Stordalen
Kjerag_070_06222019 - Looking ahead at the next climb, which rose out of Litle Stordalen
Kjerag_073_06222019 - The second climb of the Kjerag hike started off with some steps for surer footing
Kjerag_081_06222019 - There weren't many chains (if any) on the second climb, but that didn't mean that it was no less steep and slippery
Kjerag_083_06222019 - The climb out of Litle Stordalen afforded me this look towards the head of that valley with some cascades feeding the stream flowing through it
Kjerag_084_06222019 - The Kjerag Trail continuing its second ascent aided by rock cairns to help with the tricky navigation
Kjerag_087_06222019 - At the top of the second climb of the Kjerag hike, there was a cabin or emergency shelter
Kjerag_094_06222019 - Beyond the cabin at the top of the second climb, I had to look forward to the third climb, which followed this incline.  The tiny people on there gives you an idea of just how steep and long this climb was!
Kjerag_098_06222019 - This was a tarn or lake resting in Stordalen as I was descending towards it beneath the top of the second climb
Kjerag_102_06222019 - Another chain-assisted descent as we headed towards the stream running through Stordalen
Kjerag_105_06222019 - Looking towards the brink of some waterfall or cascade further downstream from the stream crossing in Stordalen
Kjerag_108_06222019 - Starting up the 3rd climb en route to Kjerag, which got out of Stordalen
Kjerag_111_06222019 - It was during this third uphill stretch en route to Kjerag that I started to see Lysefjorden and Lysebotn
Kjerag_112_06222019 - This third climb en route to Kjerag was long, especially considering how much the first two climbs took out of me
Kjerag_114_06222019 - More chains involved on the steep third significant uphill part of the trail to Kjerag
Kjerag_122_06222019 - Looking back down at the chain-assisted ascent of the third climb to Kjerag
Kjerag_128_06222019 - Still more chain-assisted ascents on the third climb to Kjerag.  Indeed, this was a very long climb
Kjerag_132_06222019 - By this time, I got past the top of the chains, but there was still more uphill climbing to do on the third significant uphill stretch to Kjerag, as you can see here
Kjerag_144_06222019 - By this point, I made it past the worst of the steep parts of the climb to Kjerag, and this was the look back at it
Kjerag_145_06222019 - Even though the worst of the climbing on the third uphill stretch to Kjerag was over, it didn't mean the uphill hiking didn't end
Kjerag_147_06222019 - The Kjerag Trail gradually flattened out as it slowly became less steep the further along the plateau I went
Kjerag_153_06222019 - The Kjerag Trail on the plateau pretty much skirted along the rim of the fjord walls above Lysefjorden
Kjerag_161_06222019 - Some parts of the plateau on the Kjerag Trail still had snow
Kjerag_164_06222019 - When hiking this extensive stretch of granite plateau en route to Kjerag, I had to pay attention to rock cairns as well as strategically painted red Ts
Kjerag_168_06222019 - The plateau en route to Kjerag also traversed many tiny tarns like these, which I'm sure must have grown with the rain storm that hit this area up until the morning of my hike
Kjerag_173_06222019 - Red Ts were hard to come by on the plateau part of the trail to Kjerag because it was mostly flat.  This particular red T was painted on a rock cairn stacked on a large boulder
Kjerag_409_06222019 - This was the first signage that I saw on the plateau en route to Kjerag, which affirmed to me that I was still on the right track
Kjerag_278_06222019 - Descending into the narrow in the final part of the hike to Kjeragbolten
Kjerag_188_06222019 - Closer look at some of the tricky bouldering that had to be done to get through the narrow fronting Kjeragbolten
Kjerag_194_06222019 - Looking back at a cascade spilling into the narrow fronting Kjeragbolten
Kjerag_197_06222019 - Toward the mouth of the narrow fronting Kjeragbolten, I then encountered this patch of packed snow. You never know what you're going to find when conditions are variable like this
Kjerag_217_06222019 - Finally making it to the famous view of Kjeragbolten
Kjerag_219_06222019 - The majority of visitors to Kjerag wind up chilling out at this plateau
Kjerag_228_06222019 - Looking towards the spot where people queue up to stand on top of Kjeragbolten.  That lady crouching down was scared of heights so she didn't want to walk upright around the dropoff exposure there
Kjerag_236_06222019 - This was a separate waterfall tumbling adjacent to the busy plateau by Kjeragbolten
Kjerag_238_06222019 - Looking towards a base jumper standing above Kjeragfossen as he waited to make his jump
Kjerag_245_06222019 - Looking down towards the crevace where the other waterfall fell into at the busy plateau by Kjeragbolten
Kjerag_246_06222019 - Another look back across the busy plateau adjacent to Kjeragbolten
Kjerag_316_06222019 - Looking towards the commotion at the plateau by Kjeragbolten as I skirted the rim of the canyon and made my way to the Nesatindane
Kjerag_320_06222019 - It was back to plateau scrambling as I made my way towards Nesatindane
Kjerag_341_06222019 - Finally making it to the signature view of Lysefjorden and Kjeragfossen at Nesatindane
Kjerag_357_06222019 - From Nesatind, you can get a pretty decent look at the base jumpers making their death-defying leap into the abyss
Kjerag_376_06222019 - Looking towards the bottom of the cascade across Lysefjorden on what I think is Sagbakken
Kjerag_371_06222019 - Another person lying on her belly to look over the sheer 1000m dropoffs into Lysefjorden at Nesatindane
Kjerag_395_06222019 - Last look back at the commotion around Kjeragbolten as I was finding my way back to the main trail to return to the Kjerag Trailhead
Kjerag_399_06222019 - Looking back across the plateau that I had to traverse to get from Nesatindane to the main Kjerag Trail
Kjerag_404_06222019 - Conspicuous cairn and signed trail junction between the Nesatind spur and the main Kjerag Trail
Kjerag_405_06222019 - The many people on the trail must mean that I had regained the Kjerag Trail
Kjerag_415_06222019 - Continuing back on the Kjerag Trail following trail clues like these cairns and red Ts to stay on track
Kjerag_427_06222019 - Approaching the end of the flat part of the main Kjerag Trail and about to make the long and steep descent back
Kjerag_430_06222019 - Another look at a side waterfall in the distance, and it was probably the most satisfying view of it that I could get.  It was during the start of the long descent along the main Kjerag Trail
Kjerag_461_06222019 - The nice thing about the steep descent back to the Kjerag Trailhead was that I got to enjoy these top-of-the-world views of Lysebotn
Kjerag_472_06222019 - Continuing on the long descent towards the cabin along the main Kjerag Trail
Kjerag_487_06222019 - Bottoming out on the first of three long descents back to the Kjerag Trailhead as I was approaching some long cascade draining out of Stordalen
Kjerag_488_06222019 - Even though the weather had significantly improved by the time I made it back to Stordalen, there were still slippery parts to get across like this slick traverse on the Kjerag Trail
Kjerag_493_06222019 - Looking over the brink of the waterfall draining Stordalen as seen from the bridge of the main Kjerag Trail crossing its stream
Kjerag_506_06222019 - Last look at the cabin or emergency shelter as I was looking over an alpine tarn on the way back to the Kjerag Trailhead
Kjerag_527_06222019 - Descending towards Litle Stordalen where there was this short section of chains along the Kjerag Trail
Kjerag_533_06222019 - On my way back out of Litle Stordalen, I had to go up this fairly moderate climb so the return hike to the Kjerag Trailhead wasn't all downhill!
Kjerag_552_06222019 - On the final long descent back to the Kjerag Trailhead
Kjerag_554_06222019 - Finally making it back to the Kjerag Car Park

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For driving directions, I’m assuming that we’ll start the drive in Stavanger to arrive at Øygardstølen since that was how I did it.

It is possible to drive here from other places like Rysstad in Setesdal Valley to the east.

There was also an option of taking a long ferry (from or at least connecting in Forsand) to Lysebotn before driving up to Øygardstølen.

Kjerag_556_06222019 - The car park for Kjerag at Øygardstølen
The car park for Kjerag at Øygardstølen

For the purposes of this page, I’ll only focus on the driving options since ferry logistics and schedules can be tricky (not to mention costly).

I should also say up front that trailhead parking at Øygardstølen costed me 360 NOK (about $40 USD when I visited in June 2019).

The car parks were supervised to ensure the parking fee was collected.

Driving from Stavanger to Øygardstølen

From Stavanger, I went south on the E39 for about 29km before leaving the highway and turning left onto the Fv45 (bound for Sirdal) just beyond Gjesdal.

Lyseveien_001_06212019 - The narrow road of the Lyseveien (Fv986) leading to the car park for Kjerag at Øygardstølen
The narrow road of the Lyseveien (Fv986) leading to the car park for Kjerag at Øygardstølen

I then followed the Fv45 for about 70km before the road junctioned with the Fv975 and Fv468.

I took the left turn (signed for Setesdal), then drove another 15km or so to its junction with the Fv986 on the left.

The Fv986 was bound for Lysebotn, but I only had to drive about 25km of the 32km distance to get to the trailhead for Kjerag.

Overall, this drive took me around 2.5 hours.

It’s also worth noting that this drive was described in greater detail since it also featured numerous waterfalls and mindblowing valley scenery along the way.

Kjerag_001_06212019 - When I first showed up to the car park for Kjerag at Øygardstølen, it was pouring rain!  It just goes to show you how variable the weather is at Lysefjorden
When I first showed up to the car park for Kjerag at Øygardstølen, it was pouring rain! It just goes to show you how variable the weather is at Lysefjorden

The car park for Kjerag was at a place called Øygardstølen, which I think referred to the cliff-hanging building that acted as a cafe and excursions center.

Driving from Rysstad to Øygardstølen

This route describes a seasonal road that only appears to be available during the Summer months when enough snow would have melted off to allow for safer driving.

Dirdal_008_06192019 - The drive between Rysstad and Suleskard involved this narrow road across a plateau dotted with lakes and tarns as well as plenty of moss and granite
The drive between Rysstad and Suleskard involved this narrow road across a plateau dotted with lakes and tarns as well as plenty of moss and granite

From Rysstad, we left the Rv9 in Setesdalen and drove west on the Fv337 for about 46km to its junction with the Fv986 on the right.

Along this plateau drive, the Fv337 became the Fv987 for most of the way before transitioning briefly into the Fv975 when it left Aust-Agder County and entered Vest-Agder County.

The rest of the 25km stretch from Suleskard to Øygardstølen was as described in the directions from Stavanger.

Overall, this drive would take about 90 minutes.

The plateau portion of the drive (Fv337, Fv987, and Fv975) was also covered in a separate write-up here.

Ferrying to Lysebotn

We didn’t take any of the ferries to Lysebotn so we can’t say anything more about this option.

Kjerag_476_06222019 - At the head of Lysefjorden was the town of Lysebotn, which was where the ferries traversing the length of the fjord would dock or pick up
At the head of Lysefjorden was the town of Lysebotn, which was where the ferries traversing the length of the fjord would dock or pick up

That said, I understand it was a popular option, but I’d imagine it wasn’t cheap nor it wouldn’t have a lot of space given the length of this ferry ride.

In any case, once you get off at Lysebotn, you’d then either drive up the switchbacks for 7km to Øygardstølen, or you can take a bus up to the trailhead.

For geographical context, Stavanger was about 35km (a little over a half-hour drive) north of Gjesdal, 52km (under an hour drive) northwest of Dirdal, 57km (under an hour drive) northwest of Gilja, 159km (over 2.5 hours drive) west of Rysstad, and 249km (over 3.5 hours drive) northwest of Kristiansand.

Sweep of the commanding view of Lysefjord from Nesatind


Sweep starting with the backside of Kjerag and the waterfall beneath it then panning over to the fjord and waterfall. Finally, the video walks over to the other side of the plateau for another waterfall


Long video showing the busy plateau next to Kjerag before scrambling over to the classic view of the rock. Note the refrozen droplets of water that rose up to the plateau


Short sweep showing the plateau next to Kjerag before panning over to a partial view of the Kjeragfossen

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Tagged with: lysebotn, kjerag, kjeragbolten, sirdal, lysefjorden, rogaland, norway, waterfalls, nesatind



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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