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reisen.ch - das Reiseportal der Schweiz
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Pilatus

Map: Wanderkarte Pilatus 1:25'000

Pilatus is easy accessible from two sides: By cogwheel railway from Alpnachstad (world's steepest), or by gondolas and cable car from Kriens. At Fraekmuent there is a summer Rodelbahn (toboggan run) where not only kids have fun. 
Krienseregg is a popular recreational area with easy walking tracks, many fireplaces, children's playground.
Pilatus has also many popular hiking trails and three main tracks from Fraekmuent to the top, all of them pretty steep.

The Bandweg across the layers of rocks. This is a track for experienced hikers.
Gsaessweg to the left after leaving the cable car station.
Heitertannliweg to the right after the station
Mittagguepfi for those who prefer the tranquility. The tour here starts in beautiful Eigental.

Sometimes one or the other track may be closed, due to damages caused be slides or rock falls. 
  

Fraekmuent-Pilatus-Krienseregg km  hrs
Zug-Luzern-Kriens (train, bus)    
Kriens-Krienseregg-Fraekmuent (cable car)    
Gsaesswg: Fraekmuent-chapel-Gsaess-Nauen-
Klimsen chapel-Pilatus
Heitertannliweg: Fraekmuent-Lauelenegg-Oberlauenen-
Klimsen chapel-Pilatus
4


6
1.5


2.3
Pilatus-Klimsen-Fraekmuent-Muelimaes-
Krienseregg
8 2
Krienseregg-Kriens (cable car)    
Kriens-Luzern-Zug (bus, train)    

By gondolas to Fraekmuent:

At Luzern railway station there are bus  services to Kriens (Bus no 1: bus stop Linde Pilatus), where it's a short walk to the cable car station. A customer parking for private cars is available as well (toll).
When arriving at Krienseregg, the cabin is moved over to the second part of the ride - a fascinating system (ticket check on exits). 

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Gsaessweg

At Fraekmuent (from here a cable car runs to the very top), turning left we choose the road  for alp and stables Fraekmuent. After passing the church (services: May to October, Sun 10 AM) and crossing the Rodelbahn the track is on the right. 

Track The entry into the mountain track is on the verge of a little ravine (near the upper end of a steel rope). Although the track up there is marked (sticks and rocks marked with white/red/white), in the growing grass and among the cattle it's not always easy to recognize it. But once up there we will be on a clearly marked track.

Pretty soon it gets steep. At some places there are ropes to get a grip and sometimes we have to climb a few meters. After half an hour or so on entering Nauen, the view changes completely. 
In front is the naked wall of Pilatus, to the right rocks and slate are dominant. Often there are some ibex around. In autumn we can hear the  bang when the males are fighting with each other. Finally the track ascends zigzagging through the slate up to the little chapel Klimsen. 
From here it's a rocky walk up to the peak and we may already hear the whistling of a Dohle (a black bird, domestic to the Pilatus). 
At the top there are some tracks to the very top of Mt Pilatus, the Esel (donkey) and paths on the rims of the rocks to Oberhaupt and Tomlishorn. 
When eating outside on the Restaurant terrace we will be joined by the real residents of Pilatus, the "Pilatus Dohlen". They are used to getting something eatable from the many guests. Some of the birds may even be thieves, so watch your food.
For the way back to Krienseregg we use the same track, but there are several alternatives as well:
- At the Klimsen chapel the track to the left (Heitertannliweg), is leading to Fraekmuentegg and cable car station directly. 
- The track to the right is leading to Gsaess - Fraekmuent - Krienseregg and Gschwaend - Hergiswil.
- After about 20 Minutes on the Gsaess track we reach the turn off for Gsaess. Staying on the track we'll reach Gschwaend (Restaurant and cable car running down to Brunni). From here we may proceed to Vorder Rengg and on to Hergiswil. 
The ascent from Gschwaend to Fraekmuent would be about 20 Minutes. Before, at the alp stable Fraekmuent the track to the right will lead to Muelimaes - Krienseregg.

The popular descent from Fraekmuent to Krienseregg is by Muelimaes - Muelimaes Ski hut.
Fraekmuent-Muelimaes: some 40 Min. See www.muelimaes.ch

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Heitertannliweg

This track is a bit longer than Gsaessweg. To Lauelenegg the track is flat, then it's descending to Oberlauelen.
From Oberlauelen the excellent track is marked by sticks and signs on rocks. Soon we're on the steep climb to Klimsen.
 

Fraekmuent alp Hiking track near Fraekmuent alp
Fraekmuent alp,
Slope of Rodelbahn, in center Hiking track to Krienseregg
On the Hiking track from Fraekmuent alp to Krienseregg
 
Some time ago, there was a promotion for "Sbrinz" cheese, a tasty cheese, comparable perhaps to old matured cheddar. The alp Krienseregg was to be renamed Sbrinz land. But as other Swiss too, the locals were not easily to be convinced, why suddenly there should be a change of name. Near the Krienseregg station there is a little monument from the promotion act.

Sbrinz (AOC) is the protected Trademark for this special cheese. It is being produced in the six Cantons of Central Switzerland and in two regions in Aargau and one in St. Gallen. 

 

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Mittagguepfi

Start for this tour is Gantersei parking in Eigental.

A public bus (Postauto, 71) is in service all year, it departs Luzern near railway station, time for journey approx. 35 Minutes. From end loop "Eigental Talboden" it's some additional 20 Minutes on a hiking trail to Gantersei.
Daily service: (Time table 2003)
Dep. Luzern, near railway station: 9:20AM and 10:55AM. (May 31st through Oct 19th on weekends additional service at 7:55AM).
Dep. Eigental for Luzern railway station: daily 16:10PM and 17:35PM.

The name "Mittagguepfi" (~"midday knoll") derives from the fact that the knoll is the clock for the Malters area: at noon the sun would be positioned exactly above this mountain peak!

Mittagguepfi Std.
Zug-Luzern (train)  
Luzern-Eigental (Postauto)  
Gantersei-Unterlauelen-Bruendlen-Felli-Mittagguepfi 3,5
Mittagguepfi-Oberalp-former Pilatus lake-Bruendlen-
Unterlauelen-Gantersei
3
Eigental-Luzern (Postauto)  
Luzern-Zug (train)  

The first part of the road to Unter Lauelen (Retaurant) is virtually flat, along the river Ruemlig, on a lovely hiking trail. Only at the end there is a slight ascent. 
This half hour stroll from the parking to the Restaurant should be quit acceptable for "nonhikers".

After Unterlauelen the trail proceeds along the driveway (private Mittagguepfi road) and the river. 
After crossing the bridge we're on a ascending forest road. The mountain track for Bruendlen turns off some 300 m after the first bend, on the right (white-red-white mark on a rock). 
A warning sign reminds on the danger from falling rocks. 
On my tour on the July 11th suddenly a couple of rocks came plummeting down, probable cause some ibex's high up. 

At Bruendlen we leave the hazard zone. 
There are two options now: to the left the track along the flank of the mountain, to the right towards the former Pilatus lake and Oberalp. Let's choose the track to the left, on the way back we'll then use the other one.

After the climb we're enjoying the walk in alpine vegetation. Reaching the alp meadows there are two options again: direct track to the knoll, or the short detour by Felli.

Felli, crossing the fenceI chose the Felli detour: Hikers not keen on walking above an abyss would prefer the other route. 
All the others will love the walk along narrow tracks from Felli to the foot of Mittagguepfi, the open view to the South. 
Absolutely lovely is the little well along the trail: about the size of Geranium pot, it delivers fresh Pilatus Mineral water, directly from the source, without carbonic acid! The little sanctum is well protected by a giant protruding rock nose.

The last part of the track crosses the alp meadow, finally the last ascent to the top is reached. 
Resting and lunching up there, the Pilatus Dohlen are joining in too. Depending on the age they are begging more or less briskly, or might even steel some of the juicer parts of the lunch.

Staegelifluh, RegenfluehliFor the way back I selected the track by Oberalp, the one to the North of the former Pilatus lake. 
Leaving Oberalp hut, after a short climb on a track through wooded area the ridge with a undisturbed view is reached.  The track follows the ridge and ends with the descent to Bründlen. This last part is bit steeper. Caused by pine cones, needles and some broken limbs may be a bit slippery.
The forest track can hardly be missed: frequently there are white-red-white marks on the trees.

The last part from Bruendlen to Unterlauelen, Gantersei, Eigental is the same as on the way up.

 

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