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Simply Breath Taking
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
- Mountain Climbing
- Adventure Travel
- Study Abroad
The mighty mountain
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 Spiesshüsli Terrace
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.
Express Self Service Resto
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.
The Circular Trail
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.
The Dragon Path
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.
- Hiking and Walking
The Vertical Train to Mt.Pilatus
Mount Pilatus is again one of the beautiful mountains in Swiss at an altitude of 2132m. One could view the whole canton of Luzern from the peak of Pilatus. Train tickets upto PIlatus Kulm can be bought directly from Lucerne Bahnoff Ticket counter. We took a train from Luzern Bahnoff making a stop on Alpnachstad. And than came the biggest surprise-world's steepest Cogwheel Railway. There are specific schedules for this train. This train does not operate during winters mostly from December to mid-May. There is complete discipline maintained while boarding the train and but ofcourse, excitements and curiosities are flashing everywhere. The train starts moving slowly in the direction of the mountain. Its open from both sides hence as guessed the view is spectacular with chilly wind starting to blow. It is a live RollerCoster ride, but certainly very enjoyable and pleasant.
Once we reach Pilatus, with a clear sky, the views of Lucerne and the surrounding Alps if gogeous. There are a few restaurants and cafes on the top. But being students, we had packed our sandwiches and drinks from the city because as per our guesses Mountains are pleasantly expensive as well.
On our way down we did not take the Cog Rail back, but instead decided to take the Cable car route and reached down in just 5-10 mintues excluding the wait. It dropped us back to Kriens from where we could take a bus back to our hostel in St.Anna.
- Study Abroad
Take the train or boat to Alpnachstad and go up the funicular railway from there - going up gradients as steep as 48%, this is the worlds most precipitous funicular railway. A cable car can then be taken to return to Kriens, Lucerne as a round trip. Alternatively you can jog up the steep zig zag path - yes we actually saw someone doing this! If the weather is clear (v. rare) then a marvellous alpine panorama can be seen. We had snow so we enjoyed a snow-ball fight at the top - and this was in the summer!
A repeat trip in 2006 and we enjoyed much better weather and clearer views. Several short summits can be climbed to see the views but windows cut open in a rock gallery also afford equally good views if you don't want to climb.
From their web site, listed below: "So close to Lucerne and so easy to reach by public transport, Mount Pilatus (2132 m altitude) is the perfect peak for everyone, large or small. 2 aerial cableways, 2 hotels, 7 restaurants, the world's steepest cogwheel railway and Central Switzerland's biggest roap suspension park guarantee exciting excursions. All kinds of sports fans meet here to hike, climb, toboggan sledge, bike and sledge (6 km sledge run). Plus: events, attractions and fun galore!"
In spite of the hard sell, this is worth using up a valuable day of your holidays to see, including the trips there and back from Lucerne.
There are 5 photos attached to this tip.
- Hiking and Walking
- Family Travel
Trip down Mt Pilatus
Take the cog wheel train down from the top of Mt Pilatus. It is amazing how steep of grade the train can travel. It's about a 30 minute trip down the hill, you'll enjoy the view of the mountain and the sound of cow bells along the path. It ends right at the boat launch to travel back to Luzern.
Mt Pilatus - Peak
Once you get to the top of the moutain with the cable car, you have a choice of two paths. The climb up the stairs and the wooden railing can be a little nerve wrecking, but the view of the other mountain peaks and down to the city are beautiful.
Mt Pilatus tour
It is well worth a visit to the top of Mt Pilatus. The gondola and cable car rides up to the peak give some spectacular views, especially the cable car. Even if the weather is cloudy in Luzern, its possible to have a great view from the peak of the surrounding mountain tops. If you go up with a tour, you have a couple hours at the top, which is more then enough to get a snack and enjoy the view. You may even see some people hang gliding from the slope.
The skyline of Lucerne is dominated by Mt Pilatus. At an elevation of 2132m, Mt Pilatus is not as high as other Alpine peaks like the Matterhorn of Jungfrau. It is the most easily accessible mountain from Lucerne and you can go up via the funicular railway which ascends at a steep incline of 48% at a certain stretch making it the world's most precipitous funicular railway. Enjoy splendid views of Lucerne from the summit of Mt Pilatus and have a cup of coffee in the cafeteria. To get down from the mountain, take the cable car.
- Mountain Climbing
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