Mt Pilatus Day Trip – Details

The scenery along this tour is simply breathtaking.

This is a beautiful scenic hike combined with a full tour of the mountain. Besides walking you will use five different modes of transportation: postal bus, gondola, aerial trams, cogwheel train, and a lake steamer.

  • An easy to moderate 2 1/2 to 3 hour hike from the alpine village of Eigenthal, Talboden to the foot of Mount Pilatus
  • A gondola ride to the Frankmuentegg station, with cable car to the top of Pilatus
  • A summit hike on top of Mt. Pilatus
  • A descent down Mt. Pilatus to Alpnachstad on the world’s steepest cog wheel train
  • A relaxing lake cruise back to Lucerne.

The highlight of the tour is at the top of Mt. Pilatus, viewing the incredible alpine panoramic scenery.

Our challenge is to get you to the top so you have the view you have come to experience.

Because of Mt. Pilatus’s 7000 ft. height, this mountain attracts clouds and often the clouds appear in the afternoon and sometimes in the mornings. On the day of your tour we will share our schedule so you are on top at the right time to get the view.

This means we may flip flop the schedule to get you to the top as early as we can and then in the afternoon take the cable car and gondola down to do our hike through the forest and postal bus back to Lucerne.

More Details
This is all on a mostly very level, wide, dirt, some paved, gravel, signposted paths. The stone path is carved out of the rock and is relatively level with some ups and downs.

For this hike, we recommend sturdy hiking shoes as the narrow roped path consists of uneven granite rocks.

Towards the top the path ascends and narrows. There is a wire fence along the path so it is very safe to do. There are a number benches along the way for rest and picture stops. The alpine scenery is truly magnificent.

Before ascending to the top of Pilatus, we stop to rest with time for lunch.

If you decide to bring a picnic along, you can enjoy it at the picnic tables (even grills are available for your use), or eat at the alpine restaurant with a great view.
After lunch we board the Pilatus gondola to the Frakmüntegg station where we transfer to the aerial tram that whisks us up to 2,032m / 7,000ft to the top of Lucerne’s home mountain, the Mt. Pilatus.

Once on top we hike the Flower Trail to the top of Tomlishorn (the highest peak of Pilatus at 2128mm) where on a clear day you see the roof tops of the Swiss Alps and even see the famous peaks of Eiger, Moench and Jungfrau in the distance. If we are lucky, we may even encounter a few wild Capricorns along the way.

After we return to the main area there is time left for more picture taking and souvenir shopping at the Pilatus Kulm visitor center.

Our return trip to Lucerne begins with a descent to Alpnachstad on the world’s steepest cog wheel train with the Swiss Alps and the Lake Lucerne in front of us.

In Alpnachstad we board a lake steamer for a relaxing cruise to Lucerne disembarking by the Lucerne train station at 17:40.

Mt. Pilatus geological aspect
Mount Pilatus is the northernmost branch of the Alps. The geological edge of the Alps stretches right through Lake Lucerne.

Along this border run the sedimentary layers, which traverse the whole of Switzerland and, with the lakes in the Alpine foothills, create some of Switzerland’s most stunning scenery.

No mountain in the long northern arc of the Alpine foothills shows such a marked upwards thrust as Mount Pilatus on Lake Lucerne. Its rock consists of cretaceous sediment and Tertiary deposits.

The calcerous rocks of Mount Pilatus were formed in the sea which stretched between the Aare and the Gotthard massif. Mussel, oyster, ammonite, echinite and sea snail fossils today discovered in the Mount Pilatus rock provide valuable documentation and evidence of when and where the fairly dense cliffs and fine slate layers of the mountain were created.

Map for Mt. Pilatus