Mount Pilatus is the reason brought us to Lucerne
Mount Pilatus is famously known as the Dragon Mountain, as medieval legend often described this as a home for dragons with healing powers and it is located at central Switzerland in Lucerne. On a clear day, the mountain offers a panoramic view of 73 Alpine peaks. It is not surprising though, considering the Mt. Pilatus is well over 2,100 meters (7,000 ft) high).
One can reach the top of Mt. Pilatus by the cogwheel trains, gondolas, cableways or combining all of these three together with a boat ride across Lake Lucerne (this ride is called as Golden Round Trip). We made our journey through the train from Alpnachstad, well known to be the steepest cogwheel railway in the world!
We were quite clueless about the whole day initially and just be patient on how slow the train was. But as the train made its ascent, we look around onto stunning view and the ride was a surreal experience itself! We could see tiny cottages, cattle grazing on the meadows, distant view of the Alps and hear a bell tinkle occasionally on the Swiss cow as we rose. The train ride further up offers yet another stunning view of the rocky terrains and other snow covered mountains. We were jumping in excitement as we passed through the narrow tunnels, wondering what lay ahead in this journey.
The 30 minutes ride through these mountains is a captivating experience as the steepest ascent being at 48% gradient. The best way to enjoy this train journey is by sitting at the front row, as you will able to get a clear view of the steep tracks.
What is at the Top of Mt. Pilatus
Once we reached the top, oh boy, we were shivering as soon as we went out to open area. The place was cold and the cold winds blowing! It was difficult to wander around with all the cold. So we went back inside to get some hot coffee and something to eat.
We then strolled around the terrace completely in awe witnessing the scenery views. From the top, we enjoyed the spectacular view of the Lucerne Lake on one side and the other side with picturesque Alps mountains on the background. At a height of 2,132 meters, Mt. Pilatus offers an uninterrupted view of the Swiss Alps ranging cross the Mount Titlis, Jungfraujoch up to as far as the French Alps. Seeing this fabulous view of the mountains, I’m wishing if every weekend could be more like this one! We spent the whole afternoon lounging in the open terrace and feeling so lucky we had such a glorious autumn day that day.
Around late noon we took the train ride to get back to Alpnachstad and we went to explore Lucerne city. We overnight in Lucerne so we will have time to explore the beautiful city on the next day. I loved the experience of interacting with Swiss people as they are always cordial, friendly, willing to help and will not treat you differently if you don’t speak their language.
How to Reach Mt. Pilatus from Lucerne
3 options to get to Mt. Pilatus from Lucerne:
- You can go hiking: Get on a train to Alpnachstad OR a bus to Kriens and hike all the way to the top. Alternatively, ride the cogwheel railway at Alpnachstad OR get the gondola ride at Kriens to the top. Also do remember the cogwheel railway is operating only between May to November, while the rest of the rides are open the whole year.
- You can take the Golden Round Trip: A full day excursion involving a boat trip from Lucerne to Alpnachstad, the cogwheel railway to reach the top of Mt. Pilatus, aerial cable cars and panorama gondolas for your decent to Kriens, and lastly take a bus ride back to Lucerne city.
- You can take Silver Round Trip: This package takes the train to Alpnachstad instead of the boat trip and the rest is exactly the same as the Golden Round Trip.
How Much and Where to Buy the Ticket to Mt. Pilatus
You can always refer to Mt. Pilatus Official Website for the price updates.
If you’re visiting Lucerne, definitely make time to visit Mt. Pilatus!