Day 3: Nachster Halt – Mount Pilatus
Mount Pilatus is 6,982 ft / 2,128 meters above sea level and dominates the sky on a clear day as it looks down upon the Lucerne. Most people make a day trip out of Pilatus. I decided to take it a step further and actually stay at the Pilatus Kulm hotel for the night.
From Lucerne, you take a 20 minute train to Alpnachstad where you arrive at the mountain’s base. From here, you ride the steepest cog railway in the world for 30 minutes to the top. So steep, that the train has a trapezoidal shape.
Sit back and enjoy the ride.
Once at the top, the clouds blocked our view entirely but eventually cleared a bit. After our bad luck with weather during Mount Titlis, it was about time we had some good weather and clear skies.
On Mount Pilatus, you could actually hike your way from the base if you wanted to, or just roam around wherever you like along the trails. There are many other paths which start from Pilatus station and hotel.
A popular hike (~90 minute round trip) is the Flower trail to the Tomlishorn. The clouds started to disappear as we walked along the trail and back; great views.
There is a 10 minute staircase path to Esel peak which is pretty cool too.
There is a 5 minute staircase path to Oberhaupt station.
And there is a 10 minute dragon path loop through a cavern under the hotel which provides a view from all sides of the mountain.
Ok, hike trails, views, blablabla, now for the real reason why people visit Mount Pilatus. The Frakigaudi summer toboggan run at Frakmuntegg which is just a 5 minute cable car ride down from Pilatus peak. Just 5 minutes from the peak exposes a whole new view of the sea level towns.
Going on a slide as a kid was ok, but imagine a kilometer long slide where you’re in control of the speed. I couldn’t take photos or video during the slide due to the 100 Franc penalty for using a camera during the toboggan run, but you can see it on YouTube. It’s really cool and worth doing twice in a row, like we did.
Since we were staying at the Pilatus hotel for the night, we ate at the hotel restaurant because well, where else can you eat. By this time (6pm), everyone is off of the mountain except for the hotel guests so we are the gods of the mountain for the night. After a nice dinner, you have a starry night view if the clouds are not in the way.
I decided to explore a bit during the following morning and came across a nearby goat squad.
It was then time to pack and prepare for a long travel day. Zermatt awaits…