|Routes to the Rigi|
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The titanic chunk of the Rigi (www.rigi.ch), which rises to 1798m plum between the lakes of Luzern and Zug, has long been famous as a majestic viewpoint. By itself, it’s actually rather scrubby, a steep-scarped grassy ridge with several summits, but it stands alone dividing the two lakes, and offers wonderful views south to the Alps.
There are several transport options up the mountain, testifying to the scramble in the late nineteenth century to capitalize on burgeoning tourism to Luzern. Rival companies started laying track from Vitznau on Lake Luzern, and Arth-Goldau just south of the Zugersee, competing for who would be first to reach the summit. The Vitznau line – with the bonus of its accessibility from Luzern by boat – won out, but Arth-Goldau benefits from being a major junction point on the Zürich–Gotthard mainline train route. Tracks from both Vitznau and Goldau converge at Staffel near the summit for the final pull to Rigi-Kulm at the very top. A third route up the mountain, a cable-car from picturesque Weggis, also on Lake Luzern, rises to connect with the Vitznau trains at an intermediate stop named Rigi-Kaltbad. The popular method is to go up by one route and down by another, and the Swiss Pass, Eurail and InterRail all bring you a 25 percent discount. It’s easy to make the Rigi a day trip from Luzern; or you could just as easily spend a night on the summit to enjoy the highly celebrated sunrise over the Alps. If you’re set on hiking to the summit, reckon on four hours for the trek up from Weggis.
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