Our History

our history

From remote farmhouse to modern basecamp

The first tourists that visited Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) arrived just after the turn of the century. Since that time, the area that is now Preikestolen BaseCamp has served as a starting point for explorers who are eager to experience the famous landmark. What started as a small, private farmhouse where visitors could overnight has become a basecamp complex of overnight accommodations and outdoor activities.

The discovery of Preikestolen

According to historians, the first known person to visit Preikestolen was Thomas Peter Randulff, a bank manager from Stavanger. One day in 1896, as he cruised through the Lysefjord by boat, Randulff noticed the cliffside, which was sticking out from the granite cliffside high above the fjord. Randulff, already an active member of the Norwegian Hiking Association, was curious to feel what it would be like to stand atop the massive rock formation.

At that time, there were no roads into the area around Preikestolen. Randdulff’s only option was to start his trek at sea-level, on the shores of the Lysefjord. After hiking for some time up the sheer mountainside, he encountered a small mountain farm, Vatnegården, where he decided to rest for a few days. After hearing about his plans, the farm’s inhabitants were keen on joining him on his expedition. The rest is history. Randdulff, along with a small group of others, officially became the first known people to visit Preikestolen.

The need for overnight accommodation

Once Randdulff and his hiking companions found their way to the plateau, word quickly got around. People from all over the region wanted to experience standing atop the massive rock formation. The first tourists who visited what is now called Preikestolen did so in the early 1900s. At the time, the landmark was not easily accessible, and therefore demanded a long and difficult journey for all who visited. Tourists were therefore in need of a resting place before hiking onward to the Preikestolen plateau. In the early 1920s, a marked trail to Preikestolen was established and two farms (Vatnegården and Torsnes) began offering overnight accommodation to visitors. Around that time, there were about 100 guests annually between the two farms.

Increased demand and property expansion

In 1946, Stavanger Tourist Association took ownership of Vatnegården. By 1949, as a result of the increased demand for overnight accommodation, the tourist association built a new, larger cabin with sixteen dormitory-style rooms, which they named Preikestolhytta, meaning Preikestolen Cabin. Fourty years later, in 1961, a road was finally built between the village of Jørpeland and Vatnegården. It made it possible for people to reach Preikestolen in just one day. After that, the number of visitors increased steadily with each passing year. During the 1990s, 50,000 people visited Preikestolen annually. By the early 2000s, it became apparent that the number of tourists who wanted overnight accommodation near Preikestolen had outgrown the space available.


Birth of Preikestolen Fjellstue

In 2008, The Stavanger Tourist Association built a new lodge just a stone’s throw away from the other buildings, Vatnegården og Preikestolhytta. The building, which was named Preikestolen Fjellstue, or Preikestolen Mountain Lodge, is known throughout Europe as being architecturally unique and environmentally friendly. It has twenty-seven modern rooms, a restaurant, and a cozy lounge where visitors can relax by the fire after a long day in the mountains.

Today’s Preikestolen BaseCamp

In 2019, Preikestolen Fjellstue, Vatnegården, Preikestolhytta and much of the surrounding wilderness was purchased by Norwegian Experience, a newly established Destination Management Company. The same year, Norwegian Experience also purchased Preikestolen’s leading provider of outdoor adventures, Outdoorlife Norway, and began expanding the property around Preikestolen fjellstue into a basecamp-concept with equipment sales and rentals, guided tours, and new camping/glamping accommodation options. Hiking, canoeing, floating sauna, rappelling, and kayaking are just some of the activities that visitors may choose between. In 2020, to better communicate all that the property has to offer, Norwegian Experience renamed the area Preikestolen BaseCamp.
The hike to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) and back is 8 kilometers and takes 4-5 hours. The route has an ascent of 500 meters, with some steep sections. As part of the hike to Pulpit Rock involves rough terrain, we recommend wearing footwear with solid soles and good ankle support.
Preikestolen BaseCamp
Preikestolvegen 521
4105 Jørpeland

Tel: +47 51 74 20 74
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