Rigi Felsenweg – 2nd Attempt
Rigi Felsenweg Cliff Edge
The excellent weather continued on day 5 of Another Week in Beckenried. I decided to make a second attempt at the Rigi Felsenweg, while our friends headed to the Engelberg Valley instead. I’d been to Engelberg twice before and decided to avoid all the crowds on a 3rd visit. We were all very happy with our choices that day.
After breakfast we took a boat to Vitznau again. The boat cruise was quite busy with locals on weekend outings. This time we caught a bus from Vitznau to the gondola station in Weggis where we had a couple minutes before we jammed into the busy gondola to Rigi Kaltbad. From there we began the hike to Rigi First and immediately left all the crowds behind. They were all continuing on the cog train up to Mt Rigi. The views over Lake Lucerne, Mt Pilatus, the Stanserhorn and Mt Titlis were amazing. So was the peace and quiet. This is what I love about the hikes around Lake Lucerne. The rest of the world is on organized tours and you can enjoy Switzerland by yourself!
Rigi Felsenweg Viewpoint
At Rigi First the trail over the Rigi Felsenweg trail is clearly marked. Reaching the cliff side walk was probably the highlight of this week in the Beckenried area. About 20 locals were at the viewpoint. I’d been nervous that the cliff side trail would be to steep for me, but it was the perfect width and the views were perfect too. Benches were set on the cliff walk and we sat for quite a while just enjoying this highlight of our Swiss vacation. Afterward we continued on toward Rigi Scheidegg.
Mythen from Rigi Scheidegg
After the Rigi Felsenweg cliff side walk, the trail soon joins the abandoned railway line that used to run from Rigi Staffel to Rigi Scheidegg. The route for us began on the old railway bridge with views over the Alps and down to Lucerne. The trail then continues upwards with a nice view to Mt Rigi. After passing through an old railway tunnel, the trail climbs steeply to Rigi Scheidegg. In retrospect it might have been better to take the easier grade trail to Burgheist and then the switchback trail up to Rigi Scheidegg.
At Rigi Scheidegg there is a viewing tower. You can see Mt Rigi, Lake Zug, the Mythen and peaks around Fronalpstock, plus views along the Alps to Mt Titlis. The viewing tower is well worth the effort to reach Rigi Scheidegg. We were exhausted and overheated when we reached the Berggasthaus Rigi Scheidegg for lunch. The menu was a bit of a challenge because it involved endless varieties of cooked German sausage. Eventually we went for the sausage salad instead, which was one of the strangest salads we’d ever seen. Despite its unappetizing appearance, we devoured the whole thing.
Rigi Felsenweg old Train Trestle
Return from Rigi via Gersau
As with any outing in Switzerland, there were multiple options to return to Beckenried from Rigi Scheidegg. We passed on the Rigi Scheidegg gondola and caught the Rigi Burgeist gondola instead. This tiny gondola immediately took off with only one other passenger. The gondola took us to Gersau Gschwend, which is about halfway down to Lake Lucerne. Unfortunately I hadn’t checked the bus schedule and it was a 1.5 hour wait for the next bus with no seating and no shade.