The Rigi, the most famous mountain viewpoint in Switzerland, 1,800 m/5,906ft high, rises in isolation above Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug and the Lauerzer See, and is brought within easy reach by two cog-railroads and a cableway.
The roads from Küssnacht, Weggis and Gersau terminate half-way up the mountain.The Rigi massif is an extensive range with a summit ridge some 50km/31mi long. The most popular viewpoints are the Kulm (1,800 m/5,906ft), the Rotstock (1,662 m/5,453ft) and the Scheidegg (1,665 m/5,463ft). The many attractive footpaths and the mountain air, however, make it well worth while spending more time on the Rigi than a brief period for the sake of the view. The best places for winter sports are the sheltered hotel settlements of Kaltbad, with the excellent facilities provided by the Hostellerie Rigi, and Klösteri (several ski-lifts).The view from the Rigi-Kulm is impressive both for the nearer view of the three surrounding lakes and the more distant panorama of the Alps; this prospect extends for some 200km/ 124mi from end to end, with Säntis and Glärnisch, preceded by the Mythen, standing out with particular prominence in the east, Tödi in the southeast and the giants of the Bernese Oberland in the southwest; Pilatus closes the range of mountains in the west, and farther right one sees the Mittelland with its lakes, and beyond this the Jura and the Black Forest. On Rigi-Kulm, too, are the high tower antenna (the "Rigi-Nadel" or "Needle of the Rigi") and other installations of the Swiss Post Office.
The Rigi massif is an extensive range with a summit ridge some 50km/31mi long. The most popular viewpoints are the Kulm (1,800 m/5,906ft), the Rotstock (1,662 m/5,453ft).The view from the Rigi-Kulm is impressive both for the nearer view of the three surrounding lakes and the more distant panorama of the Alps; this prospect extends for some 200km/ 124mi from end to end, with Säntis and Glärnisch, preceded by the Mythen, standing out with particular prominence in the east, Tödi in the southeast and the giants of the Bernese Oberland in the southwest.
Vitznau-Rigi railroad - Känseli (Rotsock)
Vitznau to Rigi-Kulm, the first cog-railroad in Europe, built 1871 and electrified 1937 (length 7km/4mi), maximum gradient 25% (1 in 4), time 35 minutes). During periods of heavy snow in winter it runs only as far as Staffelhöhe. The line climbs up through Alpine meadows, the views becoming more and more extensive. 4.5km/3mi: Rigi-Kaltbad (1,440 m/4,725ft) lies in a sheltered hollow. Footpath to the First, and in 20minutes to the Känzeli (1,470 m/4,823ft), with fine views of the mountains and a prospect of Weggis, 1,000 m/3,281ft below. 5km/3mi: Staffelhöhe (1,552m/5,092ft). Beyond this the view of Lake Zug appears. 6km/4mi: Staffel (1,606 m/5,269ft), the station for the Rotstock (1,662 m/5,453ft; 15minutes), with a view similar to that from the Kulm. 7km/4mi: Rigi-Kulm (1,750 m/5,742ft). In summer there are also some steam trains.
There is a cableway from Weggis to Rigi-Kaltbad (seven minutes). It is a beautiful walk by moonlight.
Arth-Rigi railroad - Klösteri (Staffel)
Arth-Goldau to Rigi-Kulm: cog-railroad, opened 1875, electrified 1906 (length 9km/6mi, maximum gradient 21% (1 in 5), time 35 minutes). The best views are on the right-hand side. The line runs uphill in a wide curve to the passing station at Kräbel (766 m/2,513ft: cableway to Scheidegg, six minutes) and then continues up the Kräbalwand, with views of the Rossberg and Lake Zug. 6km/4mi: Klösterli (1,315 m/4,315ft), in a sheltered hollow, with the pilgrimage church of Maria zum Schnee (Our Lady of the Snow: founded 1689, rebuilt 1721; pilgrimages on July 2 and September 8). 1.8km/1mi: Staffel, where the view to the north and west opens up. The line then runs close to the Vitznau line, from where it is 9km/6mi to Rigi-Kulm. Special trips by boat and Rigi cableway are organized to see the famous sunrises and sunsets over the Rigi.
There are rewarding walks from either Kaltbad or Klösterli to Rigi-Scheidegg (two hours). The initial stage is to the Rigi-First (1,454 m/4,771ft; 20minutes); then by the "Felsenweg", with superb views, to Unterstetten (1,440 m/4,725ft; 25 minutes); and from there either by way of the Nollen and Dossen (1,688 m/5,538ft) in 1.25 hours or on the "Seeweg" (fine view down to the lake) to the ridge between the Dossen and Scheidegg (45minutes) and from there another 30 minutes to the Scheidegg (1,665 m/5,463ft; inn, with terrace cafe), from which there are good views to the south.
Route: Konstanz-Wil-Arth-Goldau and vice versa (at present only during summer). Length of route: 158km/98mi; duration 2.5 hours.Special Details: From Arth-Goldau Station there is a rack railroad, opened in 1875 and electrified in 1906, up the Rigi. The maximum gradient is 1 in 5 (you are recommended to sit on the right); the journey of 9km/5.6mi takes 35 minutes.