The Best Hikes around Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

Welcome to this roundup post of the best Hikes around Lake Lucerne! I know, it’s hard to choose which one to go to…I have had this same problem every weekend since I moved to Lucerne from the Netherlands.

If you are staying in Lucerne or looking for a hike in the area, keep reading to discover the best ones or find some inspiration on where to go for your next hike.

Hiker on a hike to the top of the Buochserhorn

Hiking to the top of the Buochserhorn with the Engelbergtal in the Background.

Also known as Vierwaldstättersee, Lake Lucerne offers an abundance of breathtaking hiking trails and day hike opportunities.

Situated in the heart of Switzerland, Lucerne is a charming city known for its postcard-perfect landscapes, rich history, and easy accessibility.

A very beautiful town to walk in and explore in its own right. For the old town and chapel bridge, you even get great views of both Mount Pilatus and Mount Rigi.

The famous Chapel Bridge in Lucerne with Mount Pilatus in the background

The famous Chapel Bridge in Lucerne with Mount Pilatus in the background

Apart from that, the Lucerne region not only offers a strategic position for exploring the country further but also plenty of fantastic hikes with amazing views of the Lake.

This is the city I decided to call home when the company I work for relocated to Switzerland. That was the best decision I could have possibly made.

Trail view of Lake Luzern on a bright sunny day

Hiking Mount Pilatus

There are so many options to choose from that as a hiker and landscape photographer, I still get confused every weekend as to where to go next. Yes, definitely spoiled for choice :)!

Now prepare your pack and lace your boots, let’s take a look at the best hiking trails around Lake Luzern as well as the best day hikes.

Best Hiking trails and day hikes around Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

All of the mountains and trails mentioned below have the summit as the end point of the hike; summits with fantastic views of Lake Lucerne and the surrounding Landscape.

These are all rather long day hikes, but in most cases, there are easier ways to get to the top. In most cases, you can also either get a cable car or even a train ride all the way to the top.

Sunrise on the Niederbaun Kulm

Sunrise on the Niederbauen Kulm

I’ll describe each in detail; you can click on the title or thumbnail of each one of the hikes below to access the full hike report with details about how to get there, the duration of the hike, elevation gain, GPX tracks, as well as plenty of photos.

So in no particular order, here are the best hikes around Lake Luzern:

Stoos Ridge Trail:

First and foremost, one of the must-do hikes around Lake Lucerne. This is a one-way, 4.4 km ridge trail that connects the summits of Klingenstock and Fronalpstock (more on the latter later).

This hike isn’t particularly difficult or challenging, but there are some moderately exposed sections protected by chains.

Best done in late spring through mid-autumn usually, the panoramic views from the ridge trails are 360 degrees fantastic.

Panorama of green muontains and a lake on a sunny day from the Stoos ridge hike

Panoramic view of the States Ridge trail

Mount Pilatus Hike, a local favourite (2,128m)

Mount Pilatus Hike view from the top, one of the best hikes around Lake Lucerne

View from the top of Mount Pilatus

A list of hikes around Lake Lucerne could not start if not with the “local” Mountain, Mount Pilatus. This is a very beautiful mountain in itself, from wherever you look at it. Particularly so for Lucerne’s city center, you can see it emerging from behind the hills around town.

There are several possible you can take trails to get up to Mount Pilatus. You can hike all the way up or just part of it, by taking the cable car or the train to a Biddle station.

Fronalpstock, the best view of Lake Lucerne (1,921m)

Fronalpstock Hike best view over Lake Lucerne

View over Lake Lucerne from the top of Fronalpstock

Again Fronalpstock, but this time as a “standalone” hike.

In my personal view, Fronalpstock is the mountain that offers the best view of Lake Lucerne. Looking at the Lake from up there is a bit like looking at a Swiss Fjord.

There also are several possible trails to get to Fronalpstock, with the most popular being the hike from Stoos or Klingenstock, both reachable by cable car. You can also hike all the way up from Morschach if you prefer, which is what I usually do.

Also, this is a fantastic Sunset Hike!

Rigi Kulm, The Queen of Mountains (1,798m)

Rigi Kulm Hike, arial photo taken with a drone

The Rigi Kulm summit

Mount Rigi is a mountain with several different summits; I’ll describe the three best ones, starting from the Rigi Kulm, the actual summit of the mountain.

Rigi Kulm is the actual summit of the mountain and, with Mount Pilatus, the most popular one. There are several different ways you can get there, from easy hikes to exposed climbs.

Most of the trails are long but not particularly difficult and they all make for a great day hike.

Rigi Hochflue, a challenging Alpine trail (1,698m)

View from the Top of the High Hochflue mountain, at the end of an Alpine trail

View from the Rigi Hochflue summit toward Lucerne

The Rigi Hochflue is the most difficult one to get to. The last part of the climb has exposed and technical sections that require sure-footedness and a head for heights. No matter where you approach it. It is definitely one of the most fun hikes if you are looking for a challenging one.

Rigi Stockflue, a short and challenging hike with stunning views (1,137m)

Rigi Stockflue summit view on a foggy day

View from the top of the Rigi Stockflue

The Rigi Stockflue is yet another peak of Mount Rigi. While this is the smallest mountain on this list, getting to its top presents some challenges.

Most of the hike is easy, except for the last bit where the trail turns into a small climb. While it is a short stretch, it is rather exposed and leaves no room for errors.

If you are into that type of technical hiking/scrambling this is the best choice along with the Rigi Hochflue.

Niederbauen Kulm, the hidden gem (1,923m)

Sunrise on the Niederbauen Hike, one of the best hikes around lake Lucerne

Sunrise on the Niederbauen

To me, the Niederbauen Kulm is a bit of a hidden gem. it’s one of the mountains that offer some of the best views of Lake Lucern and while it is rather popular with Swiss hikers, it does not get the credit it deserves in the tourist industry.

Perhaps it’s because the summit is relatively small or because it may look hard to get to from down below. Regardless, If you are looking for an experience that feels more rural compared to Mount Pilatus or Mount Rigi, you may want to check this out.

This makes for a great sunrise hike if you are willing to hike up in the middle of the night with your head torch.

Stanserhorn, stunning 360 degrees panoramic views (1,898m)

Stanserhorn Mountain Station

The mountain station of the Stanserhornbahn.

The Stanserhorn is one of those mountains that may not look like much from down below. Don’t be fooled by that. The 360 degrees views from the top are some of my favorites around Lake Lucerne.

The trail is also one of those with the hardest incline. it is relatively steep relentless all the way to the top. Still, more than worth it, and it was one of the best surprises I’ve had.

Buochserhorn, a more rural experience (1,807m)

View of Lake Lucerne from the Summit of the Buochserhorn

View of Lake Lucerne from the summit of the Buochserhorn.

The Buochserhorn is another mountain that can be approached from several different trails. Perhaps is the one that feels more rural, along with the Niederbauen.

This is a rather popular hike in central Switzerland, but the summit is rather wide and offers plenty of space for everyone to sit and enjoy the landscape.

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