A popular activity when going to Lucerne is going to the top of Mount Pilatus. This is a half day trip at least that you really need perfect weather for and is quite expensive. While Mount Pilatus is an amazing experience, if short on time, want a different experience or the weather is not perfect, I recommend going to Mount Stanserhorn on a 1/2 day trip from Lucerne Switzerland.
Mount Stanserhorn is in the town of Stans. Getting to Stans is just a 20-minute train ride from Lucerne and then a five minute walk from the train station to the Mount Stanserhorn station. You can also take a boat across from the Lucerne train station to Stansstad and then a train ride from Stansstad to Stans. This takes 75 minutes, while it is significantly longer, it is a chance to get on the lake which is beautiful. If you are short on time and have a car, it is about a 15-minute car drive from Lucerne.
To start the trip, you board a vintage 1893 funicular train that takes you to the middle station Kalti. When built in 1893, there used to be a funicular that took you all the way to the top of Mount Stanserhorn.
It was too long for one train, so they divided the ride into three sections. The train would enter a tunnel and there used to be a hotel at Mount Stanserhorn that funicular train ended in the basement, however in 1974 a big storm hit and destroyed the hotel and they stopped using the top two sections of the train and used an aerial cable car for these sections. You can still see the remains of the train and the tunnel when traveling up on the cable car.
While traveling on the funicular train, it is not a steep grade for a funicular railroad, only 17%. It is a beautiful ride passing through pastoral land with cows and homes. You end at the Kalti Station where you switch to the world first double-decker open air cable car.
The cable car from the Kalti Station to the top of Mount Stanserhorn is called the “CabriO” and it is a double decker and the top level is open air.
This is quite nice because if you have been on other cable cars and tried to take pictures, many times the photos do not turn out because the reflection on the glass. On this ride you can be on the top level and see 360 degrees around and feel the fresh air. It is a worth while experience.
The Top of Mount Stanserhorn
At the top of Mount Stanserhorn there are two different walks that you can do. They call them hikes but they are really just walks as they are very easy to do. The first walk that I recommend is taking a walk around the summit. This is about a 30 minute walk that takes you all around the summit and is a very easy walk.
You can also walk up to the peak which is about 6250 feet. From the peak you can see Mount Pilatus and Lake Lucerne in the north, and the Bernese Alps in the south. Another beautiful thing you see is there are views of ten different lakes and if it is really clear, you can even see into Germany.
A nickname for Mount Stanserhorn is it is a lazy mountain and this is a good way to describe it. It has a relaxing feeling, there is a lot of places to sit on the terrace and enjoy the view. There is a self-serve restaurant and the revolving restaurant Rondorama which is quite expensive.
Going to the top of Mount Stanserhorn is an easy and fun way to get to the top of a mountain in Switzerland.