Pilatus Things to Do

  • Departure station @ Alpnachstad
    Departure station @ Alpnachstad
    by Tripack
  • Summit station with Luzern lake in background
    Summit station with Luzern lake in...
    by Tripack
  • Up to the Pilatus
    Up to the Pilatus
    by Tripack

Most Recent Things to Do in Pilatus

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    Enjoy the panoramic view

    by Tripack Updated Aug 8, 2008

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    Luzern City
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    Once on the top, choose your best point of view...

    You could head up to Esel peak by a narrow alpine path. From there you will get an 360° unique panoramic view on the Luzern Lake, Rigi, Luzern City, Hotel Pilatus, Säntis and many lakes and alpine peaks.

    You could also take the Drachenweg, a 500 metre long rock path carve into the mountains with impressive windows down to the valley!

    To reach the highest point 2'312 meters of Mount Pilatus, head to the Tomlishorn on the way do not forget to say hello to the echo chamber ;-o

    If walking is not an option just relax on a chair in the Pilatus-Kulm with a drink and enjoy the view!

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    Cableway experience

    by Tripack Updated Aug 8, 2008

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    Summit station with Luzern lake in background
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    This aerial way was opened in the middle 50's and renovated in 90's. The cableways are operating all year round (except for maintenance work usual done late October/beginning November). The total length of 6 kilometers is divided by three sections :
    - Kriens – Krienseregg (1’026m) 10 minutes panorama gondolas ride.
    - Krienseregg – Fräkmüntegg (1’416m) 15 minutes panorama gondolas ride.
    - Fräkmüntegg – Pilatus Kulm (2’132m) 5 minutes aerial cableway ride.

    On Fräkmüntegg Station a permanent public exhibition displays the history and technology about the aerial gondola cableway.

    The intermediate stations offer all round year. In summer you will find attractive recreational areas with hiking paths, picnic places, children's playground, restaurants, the longest toboggan run (1350m) and the largest suspension rope park in Switzerland. In winter do not forget your sledge to slide down to Kriens on the 6km long run!

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    The World's Steepest Cogwheel Railway

    by Tripack Updated Aug 8, 2008

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    Impressive crossing - the sliding rail...
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    A real delight for alpine train amateur. The impressive uphill journey lasts 30 minutes (downhill 40min) from Alpnachstad (436m) on the shores of Lucerne Lake to Pilatus Kulm (2’132m). So take your time at 9km/h to enjoy the 4.6 kilometers scenic ride through meadows, tunnels and finally on the rock faces in one of the 10 railcars of 40 persons each. An unique railway make also the train crossing impressive, the rail litterally move on the side (see picture 1) and maximum capacity is 340 persons per hour so be patient at busy day

    In 1889, the genious engineer Eduard Locher invented a revolutionary traction railway system by two revolving cogwheels and realised his dream to build a railway up to the Pilatus. A technical challenge still in operation nowadays with the steepest cogwheel railway in the world with its 48% gradient... so fast your seatbelt ;-)

    Operating period from May to November

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    • Trains

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  • Redlats's Profile Photo

    Salt licks

    by Redlats Updated Aug 7, 2006

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    Lick!
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    As you climb the mountain, you travel through many farmer ranges. The Swiss use the mountain-side to feed their cattle. I'm not sure if they were trying to save on salt licks, but a few times as soon as the cattle saw us, they came running to lick us. Climbing produces sweat which produces salt which the cows are looking for.

    Check out the fifth picture. That young cow was quite insistent on chasing her salt-sources. We literally had to sprint away from him to discourage her from licking us.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing

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    At the top of Mount Pilatus

    by Redlats Updated Apr 18, 2006

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    The view towards the mountains
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    The Mount Pilatus brochure says that the mountain is called Pilatus after Pontius Pilote who's ghost was thought to inhabit the mountain peaks.

    At 7000 Ft or 2132m above sea level, it is high enough up there that you are often in the clouds, and the views are not always as clear as they are in the brochures. Nonetheless there are two hotels, and a number of restaurants up there.

    Also, since we visited, they have added some cool stuff. An adult suspension rope climbing park, and a summer toboggan slide (part way up).

    As you can see from my pictures, there are some hikes that start from the hotel. One short one goes to the top of Esel, one of the mountain peaks up there.

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    Feeding the birds

    by Redlats Updated Apr 18, 2006

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    Here birdie, birdie
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    On the day we made it up to the top, there were many of this one type of black bird to share our lunch with. (I didn't know the name of the bird -- VT member TravelDave has identified it as the yellow-billed chough -- pronounced "chuff", thankyou). By the way, since we visited, they have installed a bunch of 'Do not Feed the Birds' signs. They looked hungry to us ;o)

    In the pictures, notice the background. It was all cloud for most of the time we were up there.

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    Mountain Flowers

    by Redlats Updated Apr 17, 2006

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    What is it?
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    As we climbed, we passed various flowers. Again, I don't know what they are called, so if any botanist can identify them, please leave me a note. The brochure says that over 900 species of flora are native to the Pilatus region, but we did not see bunches of mountain flowers.

    I would have taken more flower pictures, but the cows were eating them (kidding - maybe).

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    Travel to/from Pilatus

    by Redlats Updated Apr 17, 2006

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    Pilatus train climbing through clouds
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    From Luzern the full-price cost to get to Pilatus and back is approximately 100 Sw Francs. You have a number of choices of how to make the trip - including ship or rail to Alpnachstad, the red cogwheel train (how does it go again? -- the world's steepest cogwheel railway) up to Pilatus, the chairlifts to get down to Kriens, and bus to get back to Luzern.

    Of course, tourists in Switzerland should consider the tourist card whenever you travel in Switzerland. The card costs a flat rate for different lengths of time and allows you to purchase most travel at half price.

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    Climb Mt. Pilatus

    by Redlats Updated Apr 17, 2006

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    hiking the Mt. Pilatus trail
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    In 1982, somewhat younger than we are now, our family climbed Mt. Pilatus. I remember it being a long day. Eventually we developed a real dislike for the red Pilatus railway cars that chugged by us as we climbed.

    If you climb both up and down, it is a whole day activity. Here you are climbing a mountain -- presumably going where no man has hardly gone before, but of course this being Switzerland, at the top are full-service restaurants complete with cold beer!

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    • Mountain Climbing
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    Check it all out

    by davesut Written Apr 16, 2005

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    Pilatus round trip

    The Pilatus literature promotes a round trip up one side of the summit and down the other along with a connecting trip at ground level. It loooks good and I would allow a full day in the summer to enjoy the trip. The website will have more info.

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    Things to do at stop three.

    by davesut Written Apr 16, 2005

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    Pilatus in a strong wind

    The end of the cable car marks the chance to transfer to the next car to the summit. This is also the start of the winter sldge run. We were in between seasons so it was too slushy but we were told that the run down was really good in the proper snow.

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    Cable car trip

    by davesut Written Apr 16, 2005

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    Pilatus second stop.

    A journey with many chances to enjoy the countryside. The first car has two stops. The first one was below the snow line in April. There was a great playground for the younger ones here. Large slides appear to be acceptable in Switzerland, you know the ones that disappeared from the UK when amubulance chaser legal firms opened. The next stop is another place for a great photo. This is the start of the summer toboggan run which brags as being the longest in Switzerland. Too much snow when we were there. We stopped at the restaurant in the background of the picture.

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    Take in a drink at the top.

    by davesut Written Apr 16, 2005

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    It was colder than this when I was there

    A the top take in the view whilst sipping something warm to keep out the chill on the terrace. Not an original photo but you can see what I mean. There are a load of signs that warn of not feeding the birds whiich are a little familiar. A real bonus was some rugs available to help you to keep warm. There was a sausage stand as well so you did not have to pay the ful price for the restaurant if you did not want.

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  • davesut's Profile Photo

    Your journey up the mountain

    by davesut Written Apr 16, 2005

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    view from the top, forground a bit dark sorry

    We arrived at the end of the winter season. You can travel up the cog railway in summer but not with snow on the line. The other way is via two cable car runs, one of which is the sedate sitting down version, the top section a more squashed stand up affair that takes you to the summit. At the very top are a hotel/restaurant and a shop. The views are spectacular. There is a walkway and a terrace to enjoy the view.

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Pilatus Things to Do

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