Pilatus Travel Guide

  • Last zigzag before the summit!
    Last zigzag before the summit!
    by Tripack
  • Mount Pilatus view from the Luzern Lake
    Mount Pilatus view from the Luzern Lake
    by Tripack
  • Luzern City
    Luzern City
    by Tripack

Pilatus Things to Do

  • Enjoy the panoramic view

    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...

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  • Cableway experience

    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...

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  • The World's Steepest Cogwheel Railway

    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...

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  • Salt licks

    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...

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  • At the top of Mount Pilatus

    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...

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  • Feeding the birds

    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...

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Pilatus Restaurants

  • Tasteful break

    Fräkmuntegg Restaurant offers a large sun terrace with impressive views of Mount Pilatus and the Alpine panorama. Its location is just next to the gondola station at 1416 metres and is the departure point for many walks, hikes and leisure activities in summer and winter. Open all year round and coincide with the operation hours of the Kriens -...

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  • It was welcome

    Typical Swiss food here with breaded snitchel (spelling ?)and rostis the flavour of the day. It was quiet on a week day, the week after Easter so there was plenty of space to eat outside and it was warmer than at the summit. The cable car offered an alternative to the path if you really needed it. The car looks like it is designed to carry 2/3...

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  • Roesti at the top of Mount Pilatus

    There are some food stands on the viewing platform of the mount. The restaurant Bellevue is also a hotel and it serves local tidbits. I can recommend the Roesti (like hashbrowns, and the come in two or three different styles). It´s a swiss specialty and they are really really good.The tables are at the rim and on a clear day you´ll have an amazing...

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Pilatus Transportation

  • Up to Mount Pilatus for le$$...

    Special offer Mount Pilatus from our Swiss railways!So close to Lucerne and so easy to reach by public transport, Mount Pilatus is the perfect peak for everyone. 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...

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  • Pilatus cruise

    A relaxing cruise on the Luzern Lake is a must. You could combinate your Mount Pilatus trip with a 90 minutes cruise from Luzern Pier n°2 to Alpnachstad. So enough time to enjoy the view on the Pilatus from the lake before to enjoy from the top panorama ;-)

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  • Tell Pass - Explore the Central...

    Choose the Central Switzerland regional pass and save on your excursions by boats, buses, trains, cogwheel trains or cable cars around Lucerne, Rigi, Pilatus, Titlis, Interlaken,...*TELL PASS 7 Days for Adults CHF 158.-/EUR 102 include: 2 days' unlimited travel, other days you'll receive a reduction of 50%, pick your days within a period of 7 days...

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Pilatus Shopping

  • Tripack's Profile Photo

    by Tripack Updated Aug 8, 2008

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    You will find several shops during your Pilatus experience:

    *The Dragon Shop on Pilatus Kulm offers a varied assortment of attractive souvenirs and gifts.

    *Coffee & Shop at the lower cable car station in Kriens provides to the visitors coffee and croissants before the trip. Newspapers, magazines, gift, souvenir shop and textile items are also available.

    Traditional busine$$ chalet ;-)
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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Pilatus Local Customs

  • Eichhof source

    The local beer Eichhof is brewed with fresh spring water from Pilatus... What my surprise when I saw on the Mount Pilatus summit a tap directly in the rock with the famous Eichhof beer! A real beerlover trap ;-) Cheers!

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  • Dragon nest?

    In the Middle Ages, it was believed that dragons with healing powers lived in the rugged clefts and crevices of Mount Pilatus. The dragon's symbol is often associated with Mount Pilatus. Nowadays you could always to try to find them...

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  • Why Pilatus?

    The mountain was called in the past Frakmünt (broken mountain). An old legend explains that the body and soul of Pontius Pilate haunted a lake at the summit. So the mountain was considered as cursed for several centuries and has inherited the name of the governor of Judea. The climbing of Mount Pilate was stricly forbidden under penalty death....

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Pilatus Warnings and Dangers

  • Tripack's Profile Photo

    by Tripack Updated Aug 8, 2008

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    If you are planning to discover our Swiss Alps, don't forget to acclimatize before going on up to the rnountains. Please bear in mind that you need plenty of fluids and time to acclimatize when you are at an altitude of over 9,840 feet / 3'000 meters. You will avoid headaches or dizzy feelings. Mount Pilatus is "only" at 2'312 meters so I would say the risk is low.

    If you are subject to vertigo or fear of heights, be aware that down views are particulary impressive from the Esel peak and cableway top station. So keep well on the beaten tracks and behind the barriers.

    Clothing tips: Warm clothing, a windproof jacket and solid footwear are a must, whatever the time of year. And, of course, don’t forget your sunglasses, sun cream and your cap/hat at these high altitudes.

    Keep in mind that weather conditions could change quiet quickly at high altitudes. Difference of temperature between Luzern and Mount Pilatus could be greater than 15°c.

    You will survive ;-)

    Vertiginious view... Up the Esel peak Window with view...
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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Pilatus Tourist Traps

  • Tripack's Profile Photo

    by Tripack Updated Aug 8, 2008

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    When planning a visit to the Pilatus, be aware of the opening dates for your favorite transport:

    - Aerial cableways will cease from 27 October to 14 November 2008 for maintenance work.

    - Cogwheel railway will only operate from beginning/mid-May to end of November. In fact in spring a massive snow clearance is undertaken. The railway line is still covered by many metres of snow and scree. Tunnel access and several metre high walls of snow has to be removed by hand...

    Unique Suggestions:

    When cogwheel railway is closed, use the aerial cableways and vice versa... But use of both ways offer of course a more various and adventurous trip.


    Fun Alternatives:

    Check out the current timetables

    Related to:
    • Trains

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Pilatus What to Pack

  • Tripack's Profile Photo

    by Tripack Updated Aug 8, 2008

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear:
    Thanks to these webcams, you will be able to get the view from Mount Pilatus and both intermediate cableways stations.

    Useful if you want to know the current weather conditions. So look if the top view is fine and choose the accurate clothes to wear...

    A clear day on Luzern Lake ;-)
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    • Adventure Travel

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Pilatus Off The Beaten Path

  • Tripack's Profile Photo

    by Tripack Updated Aug 8, 2008

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    Want to save some money and looking for a challenging track, so choose the Alpnachstad – Ämsigen (middle station of cogwheel railway) – Pilatus Kulm hiking trail!

    This steep itinerary climb up alongside the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. At the starting point Alpnachstad, you will avoid to wait for the next train and taking a path in the forest then over meadowland and finally on the famous zigzag apline trail to the Pilatus Kulm summit. You could also take the cogwheel train until mid-way to Ämsigen. Keep in mind if you want boarding at this stop it is only possible if space in railcar permits...

    Some useful stats:
    - Walking time: 5h
    - Length: 7 km
    - Difficulty: Medium
    - Difference in elevation: 1610m
    - Higest point: 2057m

    Last zigzag before the summit! A long way up... View downhill View from the summit... Well done! Higher...
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Hiking and Walking

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Pilatus Sports & Outdoors

  • hokeypokey's Profile Photo

    by hokeypokey Updated Oct 21, 2003

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    Taking the cob railway or the cable railway up the mountain are only two way to get there.
    If you´re up for something more challenging you can also hike up a zickzack hiking trail. Or rent y bike and mounatin bike up Mount Pilatus. The view will be worth the effort!!!

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Cycling

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Pilatus Favorites

  • Tripack's Profile Photo

    by Tripack Written Aug 8, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing:
    Thanks to these webcams, you will be able to get the view from Mount Pilatus and both intermediate cableways stations.

    Useful if you want to know the current weather conditions. So look if the top view is fine and choose the accurate clothes to wear...

    Live view from Pilatus

    Fondest memory:

    A sunny and clear day on the top!

    A clear day on Luzern Lake ;-) Luzern City
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel

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