Rigi - probably one of the most popular mountains in Switzerland

Rigi is one of the mountains that shows up in many tourist guides. The reason is quite obvious - it is easily accessible also for those who don't want to hike and it offers wonderful views. I hadn't been there yet, so it was time to go and check it out.

The beginning of the hike
We didn't take the easy route (read: we didn't go up by the train). Instead, we took a cable car from Küssnacht to Seebodenalp (which is 1030 m above sea level) and hiked from there to Rigi (1798 m above sea level). Going up we took the shortest (and the steepest) route which mostly goes through the forest and doesn't offer much views. On the other hand it was very good to walk in the shade of the trees.

View towards the lake in the beginning of the hike
The hike is steep and the weather was really hot, but the views on top were worth it. I would recommend doing this hike with cooler weather. When we arrived to Rigi Staffel, we saw lots of people. Soon, the reason became apparent. There was a special traditional sport event going on - a Swiss version of wrestling called Schwingen. The young men (mostly from the mountain villages) were competing to each other to win a cow called Luna.

Schwingen in action
We observed the whole thing from a distance for a while and then continued to conquer the peak. From there on you walk on a paved path and can enjoy beautiful views.

View towards Rigi

Lake Zug

Again, this section you actually don't have to walk - the railway continues to almost to the top. Once you reach to the upper railway stations, you have 2 choices - shorter and steeper route or longer and more gradual route.

Sign of the different route choices
We went up one way and came down the other way. On top you can enjoy 360 degree views and see Lake Zug and Lake Lucerne.

View from top towards Rigi Staffel
When descending we decided to take different route than when coming up. We went down via Rigi Staffelhöhe and Känzeli. From Rigi Staffel to Känzeli it is a botanical trail with information boards about the plants you see around you. Unfortunately everything is in German only. The trail is less steep this way and you have much more views than on the shorter and steeper trail we took when going up. You can see lots of different flowers and also butterflies. Here are some flower photos I took.

In short I would say that Rigi is definitely worth going and I recommend doing at least some parts on foot instead of taking the train. Otherwise you will miss a lot.