Probably the best view of Lucerne and its surrounds can be seen on a clear day from atop Mt Pilatus.
In summer there are many hiking and walking trails to explore which will amaze and delight the true devotees of these activities. For those of us who are less energetic, the view is more than enough to suffice, not to mention the cafe and of course the means of transport to get there.
I chose the Golden Tour which begins with a boat trip on fabulous Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad where we transferred to the Pilatus Bahn which of course is the steepest cog wheel railway in Europe. What an amazing journey that is, with views of the valley and the lake that will take your breath away. The return trip includes a cable car ride followed by a two stop ride on a very efficient gondola system. I must admit however, that jumping on and off the gondola is not for the faint hearted or for those of us with arthritic knees. Somehow I managed, but I really don't know how. In any event the gondolas leave you at Kriens, about 500 meters from the public bus which takes you back to Lucerne
It is a famed mountain in a chain of known names, mostly because it stands at 7,000 feet, but also because of the cog rail leading to the top. The rail is around 100 years and is to be the steepest grade in Europe. An experience just as great is taking the cable car back down. It is a pitch where you have to lean backward, so as not to fall in forward and fall out. Ha!. Or, you could walk up. It takes over 5 hours in normal walking.
The view at the top is an absolutely fabulous on a clear day, and I believe 1/2 probably are in summer months. The Eiger is another well known mountain that is not too far as the eye sees. Many climbers trek for many hours in this area. The weather can be much cooler on top, even in the fall. Snow lingers here for most of the year.
Mt Pilatus, the wonderfully magnificent mountain that looks down on Lucerne, is an easy day excursion. There are a few ways to get to the top, one is to take a bus to the cable car and come up the north side. Otherwise, you can take a train or boat to the south and take the world’s steepest cable car to the top. The view from the top is equal to the eagle’s, but can be cold and windy if in bad weather. The top of the mountain has a large patio with restaurants and several paths for walking around the various mountain faces. The exercise freaks can even hike up to the top.
I bought the round-trip boat, to cogwheel, to the cable car return to Lucern for $35 on-line.
Do not miss this short trail about 10 minutes walk. It is 2406 m high a.s.l(6943 ft) located over the station. Enjoy a spectacular 360 degree panorama of the alpine ranges, the Black Forest, Saentis and the view over six lakes.It is a kind of slight fitness after a meal :)
1st photo: The topmost of Esel Peak
2nd photo: The trail
3rd photo: The whole view of Esel Peak
4th photo: Esel Peak with the Hotel and Restaurant Building
5th photo: At the plattform
A great experience having rides in a cogwheel train up to the summit. The railway is the world's steepest with its 48 % gradient passing throug five tunnels. At the top you enjoy the unforgetable view over the surrounding mountains and lakes. An ideal mountain in Central Switzerland for family excursions, sport lovers and adventurers. I visited the place thrice already but seems the next trip is on my mind. I'd like to make the trail to Tomlishorn. Hope i can do it.
A must do during your Swiss stay on an half or full day trip!
From the top at 2'312 meters absl, you will reward by a 360° takebreathing panaromic view on the Central Switzerland.
The trip to the Pilatus is itself an great experience with the historic paddle steamer, the steepest cogwheel railway, the impressive zigzag walking trail and the aerial cable car ride.
Discover more on my Pilatus climb up!
It is an easy short walk from the station level. Another spot to enjoy a spectacular 360 degree panorama like the ESEL PEAK. Of course, it depends upon the day's weather conditions. The alpine ranges of some famous spots could be seen from here like; the Eiger, Mönch und Jungfrau,Black Forest, Saentis, the lakes of Lucerne, Rot,Hallwill,Baldegg and Sempach.
This summer I traveled on an Explorica tour to Germany, Italy and Switzerland. The whole trip was a blast, but it literally peaked at the top of Mt. Pilatus. Unfortunately we did experience some crummy weather that day, but thanks to our fabulous Tour Director who was able to pull a few strings, we got up and back before the storm really hit. The gondola ride up was so much fun, as was the world’s steepest cogwheel train ride down. But the most breath taking moment was once I looked out over all of Lucerne after climbing up to the very tippity top. Everyone should experience the exhilaration of feeling like they’re at the top of the world. And if you go on a stormy day the wind and rain just makes it that much more dramatic! Definitely put Mt. Pilatus at the top of your “places I want to visit” list.
-Erin H., staff member for Explorica Educational Travel
A magnificent rock mountain towering over Lake Lucerne with its 2132 meters of altitude. You could admire Mount Pilatus from the centre of Lucerne, whether you stand in Hergiswil beneath its steep slopes, or whether you stand in Weggis, or in Eigenthal gazing at the rugged mountain chain towering behind the valley or at the Lido of Lake Lucerne ,the mountain always reveals its immense size and shape that varies from every location.
The aerial cableway takes around five minutes to carry visitors from the station at Fräkmüntegg up to Pilatus Kulm at 2132-metres altitude. In good weather, the unique views of the Alps and Central Switzerland's lake and landscape.
A great option to still your hunger if you are in Pilatus Kulm. It is considered as a traditional dining place serving some typical Swiss menus. Ida and I ordered the Alplermakronli served with Mashed Apple and Lara took the Bratwürst menu. Our meal was wonderful and we were fully stuffed.
The Pilatus Kulm Terrace invites you to unwind and enjoy your stay. You may amuse yourself by just lying on one of the lounge chairs and do hotspotting. For your thirst and a little hunger, the small hut offers you some garnished with beautiful alpine panorama.
If you fancy some fine food but time is short , here's another option to have a tasty sausage, snacks and some drinks. This Trendrestaurant Express behind the panes of glass of an original cogwheel railway carriage is a great deal. The chefcoch prepare fresh pasta specialities before the eyes of the guests. The cheeky, comic metal figures by local Lucerne artist Gabi Kopp cater for an informal atmosphere.
This trail starts from Pilatus Kulm passing through the Dragon Path(Rock Gallery) up to the Chriesiloch and back to Kulm. This is a trail crossing north to south. Although it is not a challenging hike but for height phobias not recommended or just keep attention and take enough time.
Don't miss to do this walk if you are at the top of the mountain. During good weathers you would be rewarded with beautiful and breathtaking views. The Dragon Path is a 500-meter long rock gallery showing some informations about the Pilatus myths. Accessible for everyone.