Preikestolen or Prekestolen, also known by the English translations of Preacher’s Pulpit or Pulpit Rock, and by the old local name Hyvlatonnå , is a massive cliff 604 metres (1982 feet) above Lysefjorden, opposite the Kjerag plateau, in Forsand, Ryfylke, Norway. The top of the cliff is approximately 25 by 25 metres (82 by 82 feet), almost flat, and is a famous tourist attraction in Norway.
The tourism at the site has been increasing, around 2012, the plateau was each year visited by between 150,000 and 200,000 people who took the 3.8 km (2.4 mi.) hike to Preikestolen, making it one of the most visited natural tourist attractions in Norway.
The Pulpit Rock is located in Ryfylke, Rogaland, a county in Western Norway. The city of Stavanger, the fourth largest in Norway, is located only 25 kilometers from the site, and the parking facility of the Pulpit Rock is located about one hour from Stavanger by ferry and car.
The road to the site ends at a parking facility at Preikestolen Fjellstue. A trail extends from the parking facility to the site, which goes through a variety of mountain landscapes. A trip to Preikestolen from the closest car park takes about 3-4 hours for a round-trip hike.
The walk to Preikestolen is very steep in places. The path starts at the Preikestolhytta, at an elevation of approximately 270 metres (886 feet) above sea level, and climbs to 604 metres (1982 feet). The hike takes 1-3 hours depending on experience and fitness level. Even though the elevation differential is only 334 metres (1096 feet) and the walk is not particularly long (3.8 km each way), the total elevation gain and loss over the course of the hike is more than one might initially expect, as the path climbs and descends various ridges.
The walk is not recommended in winter and spring when there is snow and ice, and the track may be slippery. Best season to hike the trail is from April to October. Sturdy shoes and rain gear are recommended for the hike.
An alternative to the site is available year round: a ferry trip sails beneath the Pulpit rock through the Lysefjord.The weather other than in the summer can be wet and cold, and clouds can then prevent seeing the rock. The ship stops at several small docks on the way in & out, including a layover at the end of the Lysefjord.
In 2006 alone, 90,000 people visited Preikestolen during the four summer months. Nevertheless, to this day no safety railing has been constructed on the edge of the cliff so as not to harm the natural beauty of the cliff. Despite the insecure gorge, there have been no accidents at the site, but there have been suicides and suicide attempts.