The hike to the Røyrgrind viewpoint on Mount Prest delivers the best panoramic views of Aurlandsfjord. For an enhanced experience go late in the afternoon and watch the sunbeams illuminate its waters and the surrounding mountains.
10 Things to Know about the Hike to Prest in Norway
I had 3 attempts to hike Prest. The first attempt failed due to a bad weather forecast, the second one was because of my dog’s injury. You know what they say though! The third time is a charm! I finally got to the summit on my third attempt. Thankfully, it was worth the wait.
If you are looking for a great and short hike that will deliver impressive fjord views then learn everything there is to know about the hike to Prest.
1. Prest day hike: the stats
- Distance roundtrip: 6.33 km / 3.9 mi
- Time required: 3 – 4 hours
- Total Ascent: 630 m / 2070 ft
- Type of hike: Out and back
- When to go: Mid-June – October
- Parking: 60.91803, 7.23147
2. Where is the Prest hike?
Prest is located 20 kilometers and circa 30-minute drive from the Flåm village. Flåm lies directly on the Aurlandsfjord and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Norway. It features on some of my road trip itineraries across Norway.
Aurlandsvangen, which is clearly visible from the Røyrgrind viewpoint on Mount Prest is only 10 kilometers and 15 minutes drive away.
3. The map of the Prest hike
Above you can see the path I followed from the parking lot to the summit. The distance, elevation gain, and route were measured with my Garmin Fenix 6S pro watch.
4. How difficult is the hike to Prest?
Albeit quite steep at times, the Prest hike can be described as being of medium difficulty. Prior to the trip, I read a few other online reports which said scrambling is required to get to the summit.
That is not true and it led me to believe that the people who wrote it must have lost the path. There is no scrambling involved when hiking to either the Røyrgrind viewpoint or the summit.
When it comes down to navigation the path is very easy to follow and clearly boot beaten. Just make sure to go, once the snow melts completely.
5. The best time of year to hike Prest
I hiked Prest at the end of June and there were still snow patches in many places. The trail was also very muddy at times, but all in all, it was safe to pass.
Mid-June to Mid-October is the best time for not only hiking Prest but many other trails in the Norwegian Fjords.
If your ultimate target is to hike as much as possible when visiting Norway then this is the timeframe for when you should plan your trip.
6. How to get to the trailhead of the Prest hike
A car is required to get to the trailhead. It takes around 30 minutes to drive from Flåm or 15 minutes from Aurlandsvangen.
En route, you will pass the famous Stegastein viewpoint. It’s a great sunset spot. You can stop there after hiking to Prest. The parking lot and the trailhead for Prest are 2 kilometers past the viewpoint on your left-hand side.
The road between Aurlandsvangen and the trailhead is very windy and narrow at times so make sure to take extra care when driving up. There are plenty of places where you can stop and let the opposite traffic safely pass.
If you are not traveling by car then you can join a shuttle bus to the Stegastain viewpoint from Flåm then walk for 2 kilometers along the road to get to the Prest trailhead. This however will add another 2 hours to the day going there and back.
7. The highlights of the Prest Day hike
Even though Prest reaches over 1400 meters above sea level, it’s the fact that the trailhead already lies 800 meters above the Fjord, and most of the elevation is gained by driving up that makes the hike so appealing.
The expansive panoramic views towards the Aurlandsfjord are hard to beat. If you plan your excursion for a late afternoon you will get plenty of sunbeams hitting the fjord below and shining through the mountains.
8. Facilities along the Prest trail
There are public toilets at the Stegastein viewpoint (with killer fjord views), but other than that it’s just pure wilderness. Make sure to pack out everything that you brought in, including toilet paper.
Unfortunately, many campers staying overnight at the parking lot near the trailhead have decided that the forest right near the trailhead is a good toilet ground and I have seen plenty of toilet paper flying around. Do better.
9. Prest trail description
Straight after leaving the parking lot, you will walk for a few minutes through a forest before emerging onto an alpine pasture. Sheep graze here during the summer and autumn seasons. If like me you hike with a dog keep it leashed.
Although Jasper sat this one out and stayed at the campsite with my mum whilst I ventured out with my dad, he would have been totally fine hiking to the top.
There is a lovely viewpoint on a small plateau just 20 minutes into the hike. If you are not hiking the whole trail, this will be a nice alternative. I have seen quite a few tents on that plateau.
Shortly after the trail steepens significantly. The views of Aurlandsfjord will be accompanying you all the way to the Røyrgrind viewpoint.
The viewpoint can be reached within 90 minutes after leaving the trailhead. There is a small monument and a logbook, where you can sign your name. Almost every summit in Norway has them.
Most hikers choose to stop here and then head back down. The actual summit is another 100 vertical meters higher, but the views don’t improve the higher you go.
My dad and I decided to do a small loop from the Røyrgrind viewpoint toward the summit and back and found a few more great photo spots along the way like the one below. Refer to my map to see the path we followed.
10. What to bring and wear on the Prest hike
Where to stay nearby
When it comes down to accommodation Flåm or Aurlandvangen are the best choices to stay for a few days and explore the area.
If you are traveling in a campervan I can recommend Lunde Camping near Aurlandvangen. It’s located in a beautiful valley setting right near a river.
Other hikes, activities, and places to experience nearby
Hike to Bakkanosi
Arguably the best viewpoint of Næroyfjord and to me the best sunrise spot I had in all of Norway. This moderate hike takes you to the summit of Bakkanosi where you can enjoy expansive views of Norway’s narrowest Fjord.
Hike through Aurlandsdalen
The hike through Aurlansdalen will take you back in time at least a century. Discover Norway’s pristine nature: lakes, waterfalls, and gorges in the Aurland Valley.
The famous Stegastein viewpoint platform was built 650 vertical meters above the Aurlandfjord. You can either take a bus from Flåm or Aurland or drive up there yourself. It’s on the way to the Prest trailhead!
Flåmsbana – Flåm’s scenic train
The Flåm Railway is considered one of the most beautiful train journeys in the World. This leading Norwegian tourist attraction features the finest aspects of the stunning scenery of Norway. The train runs from Flåm station built at the end of Aurlandsfjord up to the high mountains at Myrdal station.
Flåm Fjord cruise
Travel from Flåm to Gudvangen on the emission-free cruise ship. The Future of the Fjords ship is fully electric and battery-power operated. This also means it is very quiet so you can enjoy the sounds of nature on the cruise.
Kayaking on the Fjord
Flåm is one of the best places in Norway to join a paddling trip. The 3-hour kayaking trip will let you enjoy Aurlandfjord from the water. If you love water activities this one should be on the top of your list.
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