Mount Pilatus

Featured photo of Mount Pilatus

Mount Pilatus is a popular Swiss mountain, rising in perfect form just west of Lake Lucerne. It is relatively small by Alpine standards, but it is an isolated mountain, so its summit vista provides tremendous views of distant peaks, particularly those of the Bernese Oberland and Pennine Alps, which rise to the southwest. Tourism has brought roads and railway to the mountain, and hotels have been built upon its ridges, making the ascent an easy one. Pilatus's slopes are covered in forests and brilliantly flowering meadows, and the summit vista Pilatus was long thought to be the burial place, and post-mortal haunting ground, of Pontias Pilate. Prior to the sixteenth century, ascents were forbidden, and six priests were punished in 1387 for attempting to climb the mountain. The superstitions, and accompanying penalties, have since subsided.

Elevation (feet): 6,994
Elevation (meters): 2,132
Continent: Europe
Country: Switzerland
Range/Region: Urner Alps
Latitude: 46.9833
Longitude: 8.25
Difficulty: Walk up
Best months for climbing: Jul, Aug, Sep
Year first climbed: Early 14th Century
Nearest major airport: Bern or Zurich, Switzerland
Convenient Center: Luzern, Switzerland

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 31 trip reports for Mount Pilatus.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #22231 - by Stephen Klemich on Aug 18, 2011
    a hike, not a climb. Great day out and reccommend to hike up Matthorn rock as well as Mt Pilatus. steep descent. 7 hour day up and down round trip.
  • Log #20392 - by MATT DUFFELL on Sep 27, 2006
    Walked up to the top with a friend on a fantastic clear blue sky day. Took all day to get to the top and met a very unfriendly cow on the way blocking the path. Dressed in shorts and tee shirts, I...
  • Log #6138 - by Mike & Sylvia Volstromer on Nov 01, 2004
    Just breathtaking views. Cable car and cog wheel train ride were exciting. Watched hang-gliders jump off the mountain.
  • Log #6112 - by Terrence Ferreira on Sep 24, 2004
    Enjoyed the cog wheel train up to the summit of Pilatus, the beautiful views, the extra climb and came down by cable car to join our bus to take us back to the hotel in Lucerne. Also enjoyed the...
  • Log #6113 - by Lan Tang on Aug 23, 2004
    It's a bit late to sign the log. I did it more than two decades ago when I was a college student from Hong Kong and doing my bachelor degree in England. I met two Isralis from the Youth Hostel. We...
  • Log #6114 - by Randy Westley on June 29, 2004
    Beautiful trip to the summit with a spectacular view! It was worth the time and effort to make the visit. I'll never look at our "mountains" here on the east coast in the same way!
  • Log #6115 - by Clinton Hill and Gail Partain on June 20, 2004
    Rode the cog railway to the top and climed the additional short distance to the lighthouse on top. It was foggy, snowy and rainy, but still could see some church and village as well as a tunnel into...
  • Log #6116 - by Larry Campbell on Dec 23, 2003
    It has been nearly six months since this hike-turned-summit experience, and I can still hear the sound of the cow bells following my partner and I to the top.
  • Log #6117 - by Marlow on Sep 30, 2003
    Talk about beautiful! Best view I've ever seen in my life. I'd go again in a heartbeat.
  • Log #6118 - by RC Faber on Sep 24, 2003
    My first experience at mountain climbing was Lucerne's Mount of Dragons (Mount Pilatus, 7,000 feet) in 1965. I climbed alone, in tennis shoes, with no equipment or provisions. I made a major mistake...
  • Log #6119 - by Brian Kressin on Feb 26, 2003
    If you happen to be in Lucerne on even a half-way decent day (weather-wise), get your butt up to the mountain. The views of Lake Lucerne, the town, and the adjoining mountains isn't to be missed. And...
  • Log #6120 - by Yahya Bhayat on July 11, 2002
    Well worth the climb, trip. On a clear day you colud see the Jungfrau and the Bernese Alps with a majestic view of the lake and plenty of Crows.
  • Log #6121 - by Ken Ellison on Feb 06, 2002
    Climbed as a family in 1965 with a Swiss national Tony Troxler. Good weather for assent. Turned very nasty at top, bad storm.. Returned by railway.
  • Log #6122 - by Eric Shaffer on Dec 24, 2001
    When I left for the summit via the railway it was dreary and rainy. I thought this would be a wasted trip. Once we broke through the clouds I was transfixed at what I was experiencing. Being from the...
  • Log #6123 - by Judy Blaylock on Sep 21, 2001
    Mt. Pilatus definitely has to be one of the highlights of my European travel experiences. The gondola ride and the awesome views were absolutely exhilirating.
  • Log #6124 - by Shane Hughes on Mar 22, 2001
    I visited Mount Pilatus in 1987, when I was 17. My most vivid memory is watching a Greek girl and her mother scale a stairwalk carved into the side of the mountain. The little girl was screaming in...
  • Log #6125 - by Dirk Summers on Mar 07, 2001
    I thought the summit log was for people who actually CLIMBED the mountain! The next thing you know, people will be signing the summit logs for Longs and Pikes Peaks, saying how enjoyable the drive up...
  • Log #6126 - by Greg Penola on Feb 17, 2001
    Excellent views, I have never done anything like that before! Thanks to Contiki for taking me up there! The birds were so tame!
  • Log #6127 - by Tracey Hansord on Feb 09, 2001
    This was the first time I'd been in the snow, it was the most magical feeling, going up the cable car with the mountain just falling out beneath you - suspended on a cable in the eerie magic of the...
  • Log #6128 - by Steve Kahn on Jan 31, 2001
    Truly a magnificent mt. Took the cable car up and the cog railway down, not a climber. One of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. If in the Lucerne area, DONT miss going up.
  • Log #6129 - by Katie Lewis on Dec 26, 2000
    Thanks Contiki for taking me up Mt.Pilatus and staying in that great hotel. So much fun!!! So Beautiful!!
  • Log #6130 - by Dolf Herger on Dec 24, 2000
    Climbed the peak several times while living in Oberdorf,Nidwalden. Always enjoyed tours with "Jugend & Sport". Have pictures at home and see Pilatus still daily.
  • Log #6132 - by Eurydice on Sep 13, 2000
    Wonderful! Everybody should go there! :) It's so cool to be in the clouds! :P
  • Log #6133 - by Forrest Walker on Aug 29, 2000
    If your shoe comes untied stop and tie it... ... severe sprained right ankle 400 ft. from trailhead, post summit.
  • Log #6134 - by E. Nicholson on Aug 04, 2000
    Up until this date, I had been terrified of heights; I went up the mt. by train and came down by 2 cable cars. What a magnificent sight! It was the first time I had seen snow in July. It's amazing...
  • Log #6135 - by Casey on May 02, 2000
    It was such a breathtaking view at the top of mt. pilatus. it was unbelievable and i loved every second of it.
  • Log #6136 - by Jake Arnold on Dec 27, 1999
    If you have a day to spend and enjoy hiking, this is a great warm up for the near by Alps. Skip the cable car and Cog Wheel train and wander throught the forest to the base of the mountain for a...
  • Log #6137 - by Sudha Veeraraghavan on Nov 15, 1999
    It was too late for the cable car, so we went up the cog wheel train way. As it was late in the evening we got to see spectacular views of the valley during sunset on the way up. There was beautiful...
  • Log #6139 - by Gerald Clancey on Oct 07, 1999
    Beautiful mountain. Be careful on the nsummit when the wind is high.
  • Log #6140 - by Chris Collins on July 25, 1999
    Since it was 20 years ago that I had the pleasure of visiting the peak of Mt. Pilatus, i had to wait until now to sign your guest log. It was cloudy on the ascent and at the peak we were above the...
  • Log #6141 - by becky Ten Eyck on July 16, 1999
    Don't hang over the side!!! It is really beautiful up there. There was no snow because it wasn't cold enough. Be careful climbing up and down the metal stairs in the cave thingy.