Hiking Mount Pilatus

Hiking Mount Pilatus from Eigenthal

Eigenthal (1000m) – Ober Lauelen (1331m) – Pilatus Kulm (2039m)

The hike from Eigenthal to Pilatus Kulm is suited for expert hikers only. The hike is 7.7km long and takes you 1151 meters uphill and 100 meters downhill. Hiking Mount Pilatus took us about 3:40 hours. This hike to Mount Pilatus starts in the valley of Eigenthal and ends on Pilatus Kulm. Hiking Mount Pilatus is very steep and hikers have to be swindle-free. Some parts are exposed and there are at times chains in the rock on which you can hold yourself. You can book a guided hike here.

Lake Lucerne and cable car to Pilatus seen from hike to Mount Pilatus.
Lake Lucerne and cable car to Pilatus seen from a hike to Mount Pilatus.

Free interactive Map for the self-guided hike to Mount Pilatus

Check out the interactive Map of the hike from Eigenthal to Mount Pilatus. Find out more about the altitude by dragging and moving the cursor in the field under the map. If you want to view a more detailed map or download a GPX file of this hike to your smartphone, click on the blue icons in the previous section above 👆.

Our experience hiking Mount Pilatus from Eigenthal

Hiking Mount Pilatus is a classic and we do it at least once a year. Pilatus is the home mountain of the city of Lucerne. From the top one can get a fantastic view of the Alps and Lake Lucerne. Be aware that this hike is intense. Pilatus is a very steep mountain and after the hike, you will feel your muscles. Many people underestimate the hike. Bring good gear, shoes, enough water and you will enjoy this hike to Mount Pilatus. Read about our experience hiking from Eigenthal to Mount Pilatus Kulm in the following paragraphs.

Hiking Mount Pilatus
Hiking Mount Pilatus is steep and rocky.

With the bus from Lucerne train station to Eigenthal

We met early at Lucerne train station and took the bus to Eigenthal. Obviously, we were not the only ones going on this hike – the bus was full! Bus number 71 from Lucerne to Eigenthal is an idyllic ride into the green backcountry of Lucerne. It takes about 30 minutes. Over 100 different hiking paths are starting in the idyllic Eigenthal valley. Today, we had only one of them in mind – the one to Mount Pilatus Kulm.

From Eigenthal along a river and through a forest to Oberlauelen

We got out at the final stop of the bus line and started our hike immediately. We first crossed a field, left some houses behind, and then walked for 30 minutes along a river deeper into the valley. At the first sign path, we turned left. From here, the trail gets steeper uphill through a forest. After 30 more minutes, we left the forest behind and reached Oberlauelen. In front of us stood a rock: Mount Pilatus

Hiking Mount Pilatus: more of a climb than a hike

From Oberlauelen the hike respectively the climb to Mount Pilatus kicked off. After 10 minutes already we were out of breath. A zig-zag path in the rock took us further up Mount Pilatus. At some points, we had to use chains to pull us further uphill. Hiking Mount Pilatus is not for the faint-hearted. Luckily, we were in good shape and swindle-free. Finally, we reached the chapel. Here, we took a break and ate the pick-nick. What a beautiful view over Eigenthal valley on the one side and Lake Lucerne on the other side. Check out this view of the chapel from the Mount Pilatus cable car:

An incredible view from Mount Pilatus

On Mount Pilatus, we walked through a tunnel and reached our hotel for the night. The hotel Pilatus-Kulm thrones over the Lake Lucerne area. The view from here is incredible. From Mount Pilatus, we got to see the 4 arms of Lake Lucerne and iconic mountains such as Mount Rigi, Bürgenstock, and Stanserhorn. This is indeed the heart of Switzerland!

Hiking trail to Mount Pilatus
Hiking trail to Mount Pilatus

Back to Lucerne: An unforgettable cogwheel railroad ride to the valley

Reward yourself with an unforgettable cogwheel railroad ride from Pilatus to Alpnachstad Just click on “book now” and you can buy the ticket. Once in Alpnachstad, you can take the train or the boat back to Lucerne. We wish you a wonderful stay on Mount Pilatus.

Conclusion of our hike to Mount Pilatus

Hiking Mount Pilatus is an incredibly intense experience but it is worth every sour muscle! The view from Mount Pilatus over Lake Lucerne and its surroundings are unique. No wonder so many tourists come up here with cable cars every day. We were proud that we hiked up. Finally, we sat down on the large terrace and looked at the wonderful view while zipping on well-deserved beer. However, if you feel that you are new to hiking, we recommend you book a guided hike.

Profile picture of Solène Stucker, co-founder of Hike&Dine
Solène’s Dine Pairing

Dine at Hotel Pilatus-Kulm

“The Hotel Pilatus-Kulm is a modern mountain hotel on the top of Lucerne’s famous Mount Pilatus. In the evening, we enjoyed the 3-course menu. And then this sunrise at 6 am – check out the pictures in the post below”  

Sunrise on Mount Pilatus

Most people just come for the day. They take the cable car from Kriens to Pilatus. What most of them don’t experience is the wonderful sunrise.
We highly recommend you get up early and hike to Mount Pilatus to watch it. It’s one of the most magical experiences you will make in your life. For those who don’t get up at 3 am there is a hotel on Mount Pilatus. Stay overnight and get up at 6 am. You will be amazed!

Sunrise over the Swiss Alps seen from Mount Pilatus
Sunrise over the Swiss Alps seen from Mount Pilatus

Prepare your hike to Mount Pilatus

Get to Eigenthal by bus from Lucerne train station. Read more about the wonderful bus ride to Eigenthal on this site. Look up trains, buses, and cable cars directly on the Swiss National Railway (SBB) site by typing in the starting point and Eigenthal as the destination.

Hiking from Eigenthal to Mount Pilatus is for expert hikers only. It’s very steep. You should be in great shape and swindle-free if you do it. If you are new to hiking, book a guided hike instead.

Bring enough water and a pick-nick. There are no restaurants or facilities on the way. You can fill your water bottle in Eigenthal and then again buy water on Mount Pilatus.

Spend a night at Hotel Pilatus-Kulm on Mount Pilatus and enjoy a wonderful sunrise over the Swiss Alps early in the morning.

This hike is tough and only suited for expert hikers. You must be in great shape and be able to walk for 8 hours and more.

Hiking down? Take the cable cars instead. The first cable car will bring you from Mount Pilatus to Fränkmünteg. From there, switch to the 4 cabin cable cars that will bring you down to Kriens. Alternatively, you can also take the cable car to Pilatus from Alpnachstad. You can book the tickets from Kriens or from Alpnachstad to Pilatus and back here.

There are many things you can do on Mount Pilatus. This site offers an overview of activities, restaurants, and more.

As always, check the weather conditions. This hike should only be done if the weather conditions are perfect and there is no snow.

The Hotel Pilatus-Kulm on Mount Pilatus
The Hotel Pilatus-Kulm on Mount Pilatus

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