The Rigi Panorama Trail with views of Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug and Lake Lauerz as well as the imposing Alps is very popular and hard to beat in terms of hiking experience. This high-altitude trail leads along the rocky path from Rigi First to Rigi Scheidegg. Breathtaking views of Lake Lucerne and the mountains of Central Switzerland from the start. The hike largely follows the route of the former railroad (1874 to 1931). The old railroad bridge, a short tunnel and a decommissioned wagon from that time are historical witnesses. Beautiful rest areas and fireplaces along the way. No ascent until shortly before Rigi Scheidegg.
Rigi Panorama Trail with variants
There are three variants of the Rigi Panorama Trail:
1. Rigi-Kulm – Staffel – First – Unterstetten – Hinder Dossen – Rigi Scheidegg (Duration: approx. 3 hours)
2. Rigi-Wölfertschen – First – Unterstetten – Hinder Dossen – Rigi Scheidegg (Duration: approx. 2 hours)
3. Rigi-Kaltbad – First – Unterstetten – Hinder Dossen – Rigi Scheidegg (Duration: approx. 2 hours)
Rigi-Kulm – summit 1,798 m above sea level with 360° panoramic views – can be reached by the Rigi cogwheel railroad from either Arth-Goldau or Vitznau. Rigi-Wölfertschen via the Rigi cogwheel railroad from Arth-Goldau (Wölfertschen-First stop), and Rigi-Kaltbad via the Rigi cogwheel railroad from Vitznau (Rigi-Kaltbad stop) or the Weggis aerial cableway.
Option 3 (start at Rigi-Kaltbad) is the most frequently chosen, as described below:
Rigi Kaltbad – Rigi First
The First Way is an easy walk that takes you from Kaltbad village square to Rigi First. On the flat path with magnificent views of Lake Lucerne, the reformed mountain church by Zurich architect Ernst Gisel and the typical Nagelfluh walls deserve special attention. An enjoyable tour without any hardships.
Rigi Rock path
After Rigi First, you have the option of leaving the actual trail briefly and turning off onto the Rock Path “Felsenweg”, which is highly recommended. The Rigi Rock Trail is a panoramic path carved into the mountainside with fantastic views of Lake Lucerne and Bürgenstock. The view is absolutely stunning. Pause for a moment and marvel at the view from the benches. Uri Rotstock, Wissigstock and Titlis dominate the mountain view. In winter, it is often a romantic sea of fog, as if you could walk into it…
The rock trail is around 900 meters long and joins the panorama trail again at the end. Along the way, 12 information boards provide an insight into the biodiversity and natural treasures of the Rigi.
But beware: this path is usually closed in winter or in bad weather.
After the Rock Path, the trail now leads left around the Würzestock to Rigi Unterstetten.
Lush green hills, wild meadows and interesting rock formations line the path. The magnificent panorama with the shimmering lakes and the majestic Alps in the background looks like a painting.
The scenic route runs along the slope, partly through shady woodland and repeatedly past old railway tracks that serve as witnesses to the past.
Unterwegs treffen Sie auf viele Zeugen der einstigen Bahnstrecke: einen ausgedienten Personenwagen, der heute als Ferienhaus dient, Stützmauern und Dämme, eine ehemalige Wassertankstelle für die Dampflokomotiven und den Weissenbergtunnel. Zudem alte Eisenbahnbrücken – darunter die Brücke Unterstetten, die mit dem Bau der Eisenbahn 1874 erstellt wurde und als die herausragendste historische Kunstbaute der Rigi Bahnen gilt.
Unterstetten-Bridge called «Eiffel Bridge»
The historic bridge in Unterstetten is around 15 meters high and 50 meters long, is visible from afar and features the same construction technique as the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
After the historic railroad structure had become fragile over the years, Rigi Scheidegg AG decided to celebrate its 50th anniversary by restoring the bridge to its former glory. The “Eiffel Bridge” was restored to its former glory in 2017.
Mountain house (Berghaus, Restaurant) Unterstetten
The Mountain house Unterstetten is an insider tip for authentic hospitality and reasonably priced Swiss cuisine. With its garden terrace, the Berghaus offers a magnificent view of Lake Lucerne and the Alps.
If you prefer to eat out of your rucksack or barbecue, you will also find the necessary fire pit with a great view of the surrounding area. The cozy Gruebi Unterstetten is perfect for families and connoisseurs. The weather-protected, spacious fireplace is equipped with tables, benches and firewood and is ideal for a stopover on the popular panoramic hiking trail.
From Unterstetten, the trail to Rigi-Scheidegg follows either a leisurely route along the former railroad line or a steep climb up the Dossen with fantastic views.
The Rigi-Dossen is little known. One reason for this is certainly that it cannot be seen from the east side, i.e. from the Goldau side, and can only be reached on foot. At an altitude of 1685m, it offers enchanting views of Lake Lucerne and a 360° panorama from the Schwyz Alps to the Bernese Alps and the Black Forest.
There are plenty of cozy rest stops along the way. Of course, you can enjoy wonderful views at all times and everywhere. The route remains varied, exciting and picturesque all the way to the destination Rigi Scheidegg.
Arche Rigi Scheidegg
The Rigi-Scheidegg Arche is located just a few meters from the cable car station. You can enjoy a unique 360-degree panoramic view from the “command bridge” of the ark. The Rigi-Scheidegg-Arche conveys the sublime feeling of an oasis high above the sea of fog. The view extends from the Black Forest to the Grisons mountains, the Säntis and the Bernese Alps with Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
From Rigi Scheidegg, you can easily take the cable car to Kräbel and then the cogwheel railroad down to Arth-Goldau. You can also complete the hike the other way round, i.e. from Rigi Scheidegg to Rigi Kaltbad.
Video Cows on the Rigi
Swiss cows on the Rigi Queen of the mountains…
Video Aerial cableway Rigi-Scheidegg
Panoramic view from the cable car cabin…
Video Rigi Panoramic Trail
Arrival from Arth-Goldau, Rigi Mountain Railway to the Wölfertschen-First stop…