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Hiking Trail

Cable car to Rigi Kaltbad, walk the Panorama Trail, boat to Beckenried

Hiking Trail · Central Switzerland
Responsible for this content
Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • 1. Continue straight on track passing Chalet Schind
    / 1. Continue straight on track passing Chalet Schind
    Photo: Jo Payne, Macs Adventure
  • 2. Honest cafe and tea stop just after tunnel
    / 2. Honest cafe and tea stop just after tunnel
    Photo: Jo Payne, Macs Adventure
  • 3. Path become less distinct as you descend, keep closer to trees on right
    / 3. Path become less distinct as you descend, keep closer to trees on right
    Photo: Jo Payne, Macs Adventure
Map / Cable car to Rigi Kaltbad, walk the Panorama Trail, boat to Beckenried
600 900 1200 1500 1800 2100 m km 2 4 6 8 10 12

Take the cable car from Weggis to Rigi Kaltbad, where today's walk begins. For the first 7km of today's walk you will be following the Rigi Panorama Trail, and the former railway line from Rigi Kaltbad to Rigi Scheidegg. The path is almost completely flat, with the exception of a short ascent at the end, and offers fantastic views of the surrounding hills and of Lake Lucerne. There are two traditoinal Mountian Restaurants on Rigi-Scheidegg to chose from, so why not fill up on some Swiss classics like Roesti or a local cheese platter before continuig on? From Rigi Scheidegg it's a steady descent to the Hinterberge cable car, where you can hop on the cable car to Vitznau.

Take the ferry from Vitznau to Beckenried, a pretty lake side town on the south side of Lake Lucerne, and make yourself comfortable in your hotel.

easy
12.4 km
4:30 h
166 m
1186 m

Head out of Rigi Kaltbad on the superb trail to Rigi First. A very easy going trail, the wide track is easy to navigate and is in excellent condition. Extensive views across to your left offer plenty of photo opportunties and with very minimal ascent makes for an easy start to your walk. On reaching  Rigi Scheidegg, this is your ascent for the day complete! From here the route begins to descend to Hinderberge where you will catch a cable car to Vitznau. The terrain to Hinderberge heads through farms and and onto paths which head across hillside pasture and cows freely graze. After leaving the Rigi Scheidegg and turning onto grassy farmtracks, you will find that the path will become more uneven underfoot as you leave behind the villages and head across the hillside. Do take you time and appreciate the smell of the giant pine trees and sound of mountain streams below.

Taking the cable down to Vitznau, the small lakeside town offers a number of lunch and coffee spots before hopping on the boat across to Beckenreid. A super way to round off another memorable day of Swiss walking.

Author’s recommendation

This is a delightful walk of two halves. The first half follows an easy going wide dirt track and the second half ventures onto farm tracks, paths and through grazing pastures. There are plenty of benches along today’s walk, perfect for perching on with snack and even a book if the weather is kind. If the weather is less kind, the farm tracks can get pretty boggy so choose your kit wisely today!

If you have the space, take a small blanket or something to sit and relax in the grazing pastures overlooking the valley and farmhouses below (though be careful to keep your distance from livestock!).

Do ensure you have cash on you today as the cable car from Hinderberge to Vitznau is self service and requires cash payment. Instructions on how to use the cable car are detailed in the turn by turn directions.

outdooractive.com User
Author
Jo Payne
Updated: July 25, 2018

Difficulty
easy
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
1589 m
Lowest point
435 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Always be prepared for a change in conditions and do wear weather appropriate kit. Always carry enough food and water with you and personal kit that is necessary to your well being. Good, sturdy walking shoes (or boots) are required and if you usually walk with poles, you may like to use these today as you will be descending over uneven ground.

The routes are well marked and generally in very good condition. Much of the descent today will be on rough gravel dirt tracks and grassy hill paths over even ground, so be careful of your footing. You will be walking through fields where cows and other livestock graze. Although docile, do keep your distance and walk calmly when passing through fields of cows. Be vigilant of cows when passing cows with calves.

You will walk through hillside villages, hillside paths and along farm roads. Please always be mindful of traffic, especially on sections that have no pedestrian footpath.

Equipment

As per your walk yesterday, always check the weather before leaving Weggis. You will ascend by cable car to Rigi Kaltbad (1433m) and therefore it may be possibly to experience a change of conditions on arrival. It is always useful to pack an extra layer, wind and waterproof layers along with sun protection. Do wear clothes comfortable for walking, ones which have quick drying properties are excellent in very hot or wet conditions.

Good footwear is essential. A good sturdy walking shoe will suffice but you may prefer to wear boots. You may also like to use walking poles today to help soften some of the descents, especially over the uneven terrain in the second half of today's walk.

Do take a supply of food and drink with you and any necessary medication, together with a very simple first aid kit.

Please refer to the kit provided in your information pack for a list of other suggested items.

Lastly - don't forget your maps and route notes!

Tips, hints and links

Points of Interest

1) Rigi Kaltbad. If you didn't have time yesterday, the mountain side village of Rigi Kaltbad is great to start your day with a second panoramic breakfast! Relax at one of the village cafes, or take freshly baked croissants from Weggis and enjoy with mountain air in Rigi Kaltbad.

2) The Vitznau Artillery Fortress. A 15 minute walk from the centre, the fortress was discoverd 60 years ago and was opened to the public in 1998, enabling guests to discover the caverns, ammunition depots, tunnel. Reservations must be made (http://www.festung-vitznau.ch/www/en). However, the walk up to and around the building is just as impressive.

3) Vitznau boat jourey to Beckenreid. Although only a short journey the paddle steamer journey is a charming experience. A glass covered viewing platform inside the boat allows you see the giant pistons in action. Some of the boats are over 100 years old and thanks to the love and sheer Swiss perfection, recreate the atmosphere of a bygone era. There are still 5 of these boats operating on the lake.

 

This tour is available on the following itineraries:

WSLLM

WSLLMSB

Start

Rigi Kaltbad Train Station (1441 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
47.043997, 8.466652
UTM
32T 459485 5210191

Destination

Beckenreid Boat Launch, Beckenreid

Turn-by-turn directions

Today's walk starts at Rigi Kaltbad Train station. Please retrace your steps from yesterday and take the cable car from Weggis up to Rigi Kaltbad. On arrival, exit towards the train station and begin your walk from the tracks at Rigi Kaltbad Station.

0.0km Standing with your back to the Rigi Kaltbad Train Station (tracks behind you and the lake will be down to your right, begin walking along the path. This is path which you will have walked along at the very end of your walk yesterday.

1.2km - At cross junction of paths CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON signed Rigi Scheidegg cable car, walking pass Chalet Schind on your left (see image 1). Shortly after, views to the valley below open up on your LEFT and you can see some of your trail from yesterday. Continue walking along this wide track.

2.5km - Continue walking STRAIGHT ON wide track signed to Rigi Scheidegg cable car

3.0km - BEAR LEFT over the bridge. On the other side of the bridge are picnic areas and toilets (If the bridge is closed, walk down hill to the righthand side of the bridge and continue up the path to rejoin the track at the end of the bridge where the picnic area and toilets are. Continue walking STRAIGHT AHEAD on wide gravel track to Rigi Scheidegg cable car.

4.2km - Continue on wide gravel track, BEARING RIGHT, following track around and uphill through the short tunnel in front of you and continue walking on this wide gravel track as you exit. Caution of uneven ground in the tunnel. The scenary opens up to your left, and there are plenty of picnic benches available to appreciate the views. Shortly after there is an honest cafe. See image 2.

4.7km - Continue on wide gravel track

5.5km – At junction, pass the bench and small wooden shed on your right and continue STRAIGHT ON (ignoring paths to left and right) as the wide track you are walking on continues to very gently ascend. Signpost towards ‘Rigi Scheidegg, Wissiflue'.

You will soon enter the lower road into Rigi Scheidegg. Houses will be up to your left and you will see a road and farms down to your right.

6.5km – BEAR RIGHT down the track to the village of Burggeist just below (ahead, down to your right).

7.0km – At the junction, TURN RIGHT between the villages houses (signed ‘Wisiflue). Here the path become a grassy gravel tracks and in places, is much less distinct (the large alpine café at this junction is a perfectly timed coffee stop if you so wish). Walking between the houses CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON the grassy track (which gently descends), following the sign for ‘Vitzanau 2hr05, Wisiflue 1hr 40’ .

8.3km Passing 2 farm buildings on your left, BEAR LEFT following wanderweg markers. Here the path becomes fairly non-distinct as it descends an uneven grassy bank. Look out for red and white markers in addition to the yellow markers you have been following.

8.7km TURN LEFT through wooden posts and descend. Ahead you will see yellow markers ahead on post below you. Continuing descending on grassy path, which is places in indistinct, keep closer to the trees on your right (you will hear a fast flowing rivers below on your right). Below you a small farm building will come into sight (image 3).

9.2km TURN RIGHT at junction (farm buildings to your right, through gateway), signed 'Vitznau 1hr30min, Hinderberge 25mins' Follow path infront of the building and continue to descend.

10km Reach a farm building and walk across the front of the farm building (there maybe livestock present here). You will now join a tarmac road. Cut down the grassy bank infront of you (wanderweg sign) and rejoin the tarmac road as it descends into Hinderberge. Follow the road as it descends through Hinderberge.

10.7km A large wooden hut is ON YOUR LEFT. This is the cable car down to Vitznau. This cable car is self service.

Tickets are purchased for 8CHF at the machine on arrival. After entering the wooden hut you will see a large silver payment machine on your left and the small cable car on your right. Payment can be made in notes or coins. After payment, press the top button (einweg - one way). Open the doors of the cable car and firmly close. Sit back and enjoy the journey down to Vitznau. On arrival, the cable car will come to a halt and you can open the doors to exit.

 The journey down is around 10minutes. Departing the cable car, turn out of the station and walk downhill, following the signs for Vitznau Centre as the road BEARS RIGHT and then LEFT to the main road where you can see the lake ahead of you. TURN LEFT and BEAR RIGHT down to Vitznau launch (Hotel Rigi Vitznau on left) where you can catch the boat across to Beckenreid. Restrooms are available at the launch and you can always purchase your ticket on the boat if you do not have time to buy your ticket before travel.

If you have time, the Rigi shop opposite, sells a variety of snacks, teas and coffees but if you have a little longer the nearby Hotel Terrasse am See Café serves lunch.

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


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Difficulty
easy
Distance
12.4 km
Duration
4:30 h
Ascent
166 m
Descent
1186 m
Multi-stage tour Scenic Cultural/historical value Botanical highlights

Statistics

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 km
 m
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Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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