I am not going to lie to you, I didn’t expect anything from this hike. I simply chose a quite mild hike from many that Switzerland has to offer, from this website: hiking in Switzerland. As the weather in April is quite warm in cities, it’s quite cold up there, especially over 2000 meters. At the moment I do not posses snowshoes or crampons, so it’s not very clever for me to go that high as it can be dangerously slippery 🙂
So the hike up to 1800 m sounded very reasonable, and Mount Rigi is 1798 meters high 🙂
We started our hike in city called Goldau, it’s not big, right next to the highway. We planned to park in the middle of the city, next to the train station, but unfortunately the parking meter accepted just cash, no credit cards and there were no ATMs close to that spot.
So we decided to go little closer to Mount Rigi by car and it actually turned out to be a good thing, we found a free spot next to the narrow road and just left the car there 🙂
So Goldau is at elevation 510m, but as we drove a little closer to the mountain, we got to 525 m elevation.
By the way, I was just googling Goldau now to gather more information about the city, which I didn’t really visited (we went straight up to the mountain) and found out that it has a pretty cool zoo. It doesn’t have elephants or lions, but it is full with deers, donkeys, cows and so on. And it’s quite cheap as I see. So if you ever have some extra time and you are not far from this city, which is very close to Luzern, give it a chance 🙂 Here is the link: Tier Park Goldau.
So as we left our car next to the narrow street, we started our hike to the mountain. At first it’s very mild, as you walk on the narrow road where just one car can fit. By the way, the noise from the highway is pretty loud in the beginning.
After 2 kilometres we reached one more parking spot right next to the mountain which is free as well. So if you ever decide to visit that mountain, drive little closer to the mountain and you will be able to park your car for free 🙂
The trail is very easily passable and has zero obstacles, not technical at all 🙂
It’s quite steep almost all the way up to the top, so most of the time we walked on path which looks like serpentine 🙂 You go up, turn the left, up, turn the the right, up 🙂
The path as well, pretty well signed, almost zero possibilities to get lost. Just go to the RIGI KULM direction.
There are couple of bars/restaurants on the path up to Mount Rigi, but better have cash as such isolated places do not usually have those card readers 🙂
As well, you are going to see a few farm houses which I suppose have cows, sheep and goats in summer time. They seemed very well maintained, but empty at this time of the year (the end of March, beginning of April). One farm had a water stream and we took opportunity to fill our bottles where. What can be better than Alps water, right :)?
What is cool about those farms in Swiss mountains, that very often, the hiking trail takes you into the pasture full with animals. So they get very close to you, sometimes cows even block the path, so you have to walk around or walk in the middle of them. Up to this moment I visited horses, sheep, goats, donkeys and cows pastures in Switzerland. And animals seem to be very friendly and used to people. They do not run away or try to attack you at all.
When you walk up Mount Rigi, the view ahead is not that astonishing as the view back and to the left. As you stop and look back or to the left, you are going to see massive mountains. MASSIVE. Huge ridge. It’s breathtaking. I really didn’t except that. Not at all. I thought that we may see some mountains, not very high, maybe up to 2000 metres, but what we saw was grand snowy mountains. Mountain peak after mountain peak. Really worth taking that trail:)
When we reached the elevation of about 1600m, we got some snowy paths. I had couple of winter hiking shoe pairs, so we changed our summer shoes to it as we didn’t want to get wet at all. That’s no fun 🙂
The wind was getting pretty strong up there, so we just hided next to one farm house, under a roof, and changed our shoes there 🙂
It was getting pretty steep in the end, but as you clearly see the top (it has a radio tower on it) it’s not that hard.
Just when I reached, I suppose, 1750 m elevation, just around the last corner, I saw that there’s a train station and the mountain is full with people which was kind of fun 🙂 Music playing, couple of restaurants open, huge hotel on the top, a lot of people taking pictures and so on 🙂 It really cheered us up. I was expecting an empty mountain peak and here it is, civilization :))
If you take the train up to the Mount Rigi, for you it’s just last maybe 20 m of elevation you have to walk up. As I said, there’s huge hotel, really huge, a chapel, restaurants and a radio tower on the top 🙂 Which is pretty cool.
And here we are at the top, with heavy shoes, jackets, backpacks and dozens of people running around just wearing t-shirts :))
I think in summer time it’s possible to climb a little bit in that tower, but at this time it was closed. And the wind at the top was really strong, it was hard to keep the phone in my hands :))
So the view from Mount Rigi is pretty extraordinary as on one side you see huge lakes back down. Enormous lakes. And on the other side you see a grand mountain ridge with hundred of snowy peaks. As well, there was some mist in the air and it made the view even more magic 🙂
After taking some pictures, we took a chance to visit the restaurant which is just couple of meters from the train station and it was the best decision we made that day 🙂
We ordered a creme soup, muffin and coffee. In my backpack I had some dried meat and bread. It was maybe the best dinner we had that month :)) And the views were stunning. You have the view to hundreds of snowy Alps peaks right from your table (all tables are outside). Amazing, fabulous, charming, cosy and all the good adjectives at one time :DD
By the way, prices up in mountains can get pretty steep some time, but on Mount Rigi it was quite reasonable: creme soup (for two), big muffin and two cups of coffee was 21 CHF. It’s not like 6 euros for a glass of coke which we paid in 3 valleys ski resort :)))
The train station looked like brand new and very well maintained so I suppose that all this stuff (except maybe old big hotel and a chapel) is quite new up there.
After our dinner we packed our things and headed back. For me it’s always much harder to walk down than walk up, so the hike down wasn’t that fun to me 🙂 I was just waiting when we reach the car ;))
All in all
So all our hike/walk took us 4h43min, 16km, 1263m in elevation. For some reason my app shows me that the peak was at 1788 metres, but the signs and official information says that Mount Rigi is at 1798m. So the total elevation should be little more 🙂
To reach the peak took us 2h34min and little more than 2 hours to go down 🙂
I strongly recommend to try this trail, it’s not that hard, it’s quite physical, but not technical at all 🙂 Take it easy, don’t rush and enjoy the views. You are going to love it 🙂
And do not forget to relax on the top with a cup of coffee 🙂
Go look explore!
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