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Grindelwald First Cliff Walk or Mt. Pilatus/Lucerne

We are a group of senior women, in our 70s; reasonably fit and we can all walk 1 mile--some do 6 miles a day. How much walking is there from the cable car to the cliff walk? We are not dare devils anymore and the thrill-seeking activities are not for us. We are interested in the view and perhaps the thrill of walking along the cliff. We are staying 3 days and Lucerne is our base. We are trying to choose between taking the train from Lucerne to Interlaken/Grindelwald to the First or touring Mt Pilatus. All advice and help are appreciated.

Posted by
4919 posts

Lucerne also has easy access to Mt Rigi and Mt Stanserhorn, both of which are free with the STP. The latter has an open air Cabrio cable car.
Have a wonderful time.

Posted by
4473 posts

If I was staying in Lucerne, I would go to Pilatus, where there are all sorts of walks you can do (all ability levels). It sounds like the First cliff walk can be quite crowded. I found the short walk we did at Pilatus quite thrilling!

Posted by
267 posts

Done both and the cliff walk is so cool and nice restaurant where you can sit outside with a hot cocoa or lunch and admire the view…just a short walk from the cable car and ends at the restaurant and then cable car is just downstairs…long cable car ride-about 25 minutes…nice train ride but 2.5 hours both ways.

Posted by
14 posts

Oh thank you for all the advice. As to Grindelwald, they say the train trip to Interlaken is an experience too. Do any of you know about that? Thank you all for the advice on STP. We are confused about the passes and if we should get it. Any advice there.

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you for the info. I had looked at Mt Rigi and Mt Stanserhorn but I didn't realize they were completely covered with the STP. Do you think the view is as good as Pilatus or the First? The open air cable car does sound interesting. Do you know anything about the boat cruises on Lake Lucerne? If we stay there the three days, we would do something there too.

Posted by
4919 posts

To get to Mt Rigi, it's an hour boat ride to Vitnau, where the cogwheel train awaits, to travel to the summit. The view is spectacular on a clear day! Both modes are completely covered by the STP. (Mt Pilatus is 50% off with the STP.)
The passes are confusing, and a traveler just needs to download the SBB app, and pencil out the costs to try to determine the best pass. Keep in mind that the prices that appear assume you have the half- price card.
The Swiss transportation system is a marvel in efficiently and dependability.
I have not been to First, so can't address that.
Safe travels!

Posted by
20 posts

Hi, Your trip sounds like so much fun. My answer partly depends on what time of the year you are going.

I've done both Mt. Pilatus and Grindelwald First. Don't know about you, but I love snow-capped mountains. To me, "proper" Alps require snow. The Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau as seen from Grindelwald First will have a snow cover year round, although more so in the spring and early summer. Mt. Pilatus will have snow in the spring and early summer but very little, or none at all, in the fall. However, the fall foliage is spectacular in both places.

The train ride from Lucerne to Grindelwald (change in Interlaken) is lovely. Sit on the right side for the best views.

As others have noted. the Swiss Pass covers Mt. Pilatus. The Pass also covers the train ride to Grindelwald but not the fare for the gondola.

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you for your post. We aren't going until May 2024 so we have time to plan. i like the snow, but not the cold, so we are hoping to see some on the mountains but not be in the thick of it. I found a train called the Interlaken express. Is it a panoramic train, or does that really matter? Is the walk from the gondola to the cliff walk very far and/or steep? I can't tell in the photos I've seen. Thanks for any further advice.

Posted by
11400 posts

The Luzern to Interlaken Express is lovely. It will take another 36 minutes to get to Grindelwald on the Berner Oberland Bahn and then a short bus ride to the First cable car base station. The cable car itself takes 25 minutes each way. So roundtrip from Luzern is a big commitment of time.

There is an uphill walk of about 30 meters to get to the cable car station from the street.

Once on the top, the cliff walk is accessible in two ways. This article from the blog “Full Suitcase” has a good explanation. Your group might benefit from the restaurant entrance. https://fullsuitcase.com/first-cliff-walk-grindelwald/#:~:text=This%20cliff%20walk%20is%20suitable,The%20views%20are%20spectacular!

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you for the info on Mt Rigi. I have looked more closely at Mt. Pilatus and it says the tours start in June. We are to be there late may. I'm not sure I know what this means. Do any of you?

Posted by
4919 posts

Linda, perhaps you looked at a site giving tours. You can just travel directly to the Mt Pilatus cogwheel train. The RS Guide book should have the current info. Perhaps the line shuts down for maintenance off-season, but I couldn't find any info related to that.
Have a great trip!

Posted by
14 posts

You are right I was looking at tour. I went to the guidebook and I did not realize the rail fares listed assume you have a half price pass. Now I know we need to look at the drop down, no discount for the actual price. Novice here. But I'm working on it.

Posted by
20 posts

Hi again,

In answer to your earlier question, I'm not familiar with a special train called the Interlaken Express. That doesn't mean that it is is nonexistent, only that I am used to taking the regular train from Lucerne to Interlaken so didn't do any research. My last trip on this route was May of this year. The regular train is fine. Although the windows aren't panoramic, they are still large enough for good viewing. Perhaps the express train is a bit faster if it makes fewer stops, but all trains from Lucerne to Interlaken use the same tracks. Hence, the views are the same.

Enjoy your trip.