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 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!
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.
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
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.
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.
Once we reached Lucerne, we headed straight to the tourist office. There's a tourist office in every major train station. We wanted to get the Golden Round Trip pass to Mount Pilatus to the following day.
However, the customer service officer was suggesting that we go on the 12.45 pm trip as the weather was perfect! The Golden Round Trip consists of a 90 min boat ride in lake Lucerne to Alpnach (extremely romantic), followed by the steepest mountain railway of the world to the top of Mount Pilatus.
The weather was perfect and we could see the town of Lucerne!
From LUCERNE Railway Station,take bus No 1 to Kriens station Linde «Linde/Pilatus» stop (20 min.). From there you walk up hill, pass a little church, keep up hill and after ten minutes you reach the Pilatus Mountain railway station.
Buy a ticket at 50 % reduction (Swiss Card), or 25 % (Swiss Pass). Travel by Cable Car up to Pilatus Kulm. Take your way down to Alpnach with the steepest mountain railway of the world!
From Alpnach to Lucerne you travel by boat on Lake Lucerne.
Or vice versa!
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.
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.
I highly recommend taking the excursion to the top of Mt. Pilatus. First taking a paddle-wheel boat then by cog train, you expirience a magnificent view of Lucerne 9,000 ft below and the snowcapped peaks in the distance. A memorable day trip.
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.
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.
the mount pilatus is the hose-mountain of lucerne and forms a natural skyline above the city which looks very delightful in almost every athmosphere (morning red, bluesky, sundown...) it is seen from everywhere in lucerne and is easy to reach. it is accessible from two sides. one side the summit is served by a aerial cableway, on the other side you ll find the world's steepest cogwheel-railway up to the summit. up there you can do easy waks to different viewpoints or just hang on the terasse of the restraunt there and enjoy to be close to the gods. for those who like to have a special moment in their life, i recomend to stay the night there in the hotel and enjoy the sundown in a veeery romantic surrounding.
We took the funicular train to the top of Mt Pilatus. It was quite a trip. The weather was not clear on our day, but thie provided a most dramatic view from the top. The mountain is about 2km high.
Once you get off at the station you can walk to the top of the mountain or a couple of smaller peaks. The stair case to the top is quite rickety and old, but take it slow and you'll be fine. I was not sure if it was the altitude or my lack of fitness but I couldn't help but take it slow. My calves were burning and heart racing, mostly from the buzz of the location I was in. I didn't think I could make it, but people coming down were saying how amazing it was. So just when I thought I couldn't take it any more, we rounded a corner and there was possibly the most fantastic site I have ever seen. Just a few more steps to the top where I was so out of breath but couldn't stop smiling and saying how amazing it was. The peaks of surrounding mountains were poking through a thick, soft, fluffy carpet of clouds. It was like being on the top of the world. We spent some time up there taking in the view and photos etc.
The thing I marvelled at the most were the black ravens/crows who were up there, and would jump off the top and sail downward in the white clouds and disappear!
Coming down was fun too, you start off in a 20 man gondola, and thankfully it was cloudy or I don't think I could have opened my eyes. Then you change to 4 man half way down. You are a lot closer to the ground now, and the silence is the thing you notice the most. All you can hear are the trickle of streams below you and the eerie sound of cow bells coming out of the distance. I wish I had have recorded this as it was a pretty unreal feeling.
I would highly recommend this.
It's on the edge of being a 'tourist trap' as it is a really pricey excursion. But it is also a marvellous experience. 58 CHF are almost 40 Euros. With this return ticket you can enjoy a breathtaking climb on the alleged 'world's steepest cogwheel railway' enjoying wonderful views and a pleasant trip. The climb rise up to an incredible 48% gradient during a 4,5 kilometers stretch of railway that was built in 1889. Mount Pilatus is so called because in the Middle Ages it was said that the restless ghost of the Roman governon Pilatus had found its final resting place thre.