There are plenty of mountain day trip options out of Luzern. I picked Rigi because getting there is an interesting combination adventure involving a ferry, cable car, and train, and also because with a Swiss Travel Pass, this entire excursion is free.
I started the journey by ferry to Weggis. The ferry terminal is in the heart of the town right across from the train station.
While blue skies were visible from Luzern, the weather can get unpredictable in the upper elevations. I was worried of the clouds that have shrouded the mountain tops.
The ferry takes less than 45 minutes. Although you can continue another 15 minutes to Vitznau to catch the train up Rigi, I opted to get off at Weggis to try the cable car routing.
It is a short walk through this quiet town to the cable car station for the next stage of the trip. Mark Twain stayed here for a few months in 1897, and with a mild climate, Weggis is a vegetable growing region to supply Luzern.
The Luftseilbahn rises up to Rigi Kaltbad in just 10 minutes. This is a health resort thanks to the mineral spas.
Unfortunately, the clouds had taken over Rigi Kaltbad, which is 1433m above sea level. I would catch the train from here up to the top, Rigi Kulm at 1797m. This is the highest of the 5 summits on this mountain. The cogwheel railway opened in May 1871 to bring tourists up to see sunrise or sunset.
I was deep into the cloud at the top.
A bit disappointed, I headed slightly downhill to Rigi Staffelhohe, which had decent visibility being just below cloud level. The trip downhill from there was scenic as the sun popped back out.
I took the train all the way back down to Vitznau, the end of the line, where I would transfer to the ferry back to Luzern. This could be done in about half the day.
Sit back and enjoy the 1-hour ferry ride back to Luzern.