Accessible from Alpnachstad from May to November by way of the world’s steepest cogwheel railway, the summit of Pilatus is an iconic alpine destination that has few rivals anywhere in the world. Located near Lucerne, Pilatus is named for a local legend that alleges that Pontius Pilate was buried there. During the summer, the mountain is home to the longest toboggan track in Switzerland, but it is at its most alluring when it is blanketed in winter snows. It will come as no surprise that during the Middle Ages it was widely believed that the mountain was home to a dragon possessed of healing powers.
There are many fascinating aspects of Pilatus. The peak is graced by a total of 2 aerial cableways, 2 hotels, 7 restaurants, the Pilatus Railway (the aforementioned cogwheel), and the largest suspension rope park in central Switzerland.
Arguably the best way to see Pilatus during the summer is through the Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Zurich, a guided roundtrip from Zurich to central Switzerland’s Mt. Pilatus. This full day guided tour includes taking a cruise across Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad, riding up the mountain on the cogwheel railway, and descending via the aerial cableways and panorama gondolas.
Wintertime sees thousands of visitors pursuing novel forms of recreation such as the Davos sledge, the Snowbike, and the Minibob, as well as trekking and snowshoeing.