With the cooler weather, it was a good day to explore the front range. We drove up to Eaton Saddle and started the hike up a fireroad and through the Mueller Tunnel. We took the trail to summit Mount Lowe first. There’s a lot of fire damage in this area from the 2009 station fire, but it looks like things are coming back nicely. I’d seen so many photos and read about the history up in this part of the San Gabriels, so it was exciting to finally check it out. In 1893 there used to be an electric powered railway here that was constructed by the ambitious Thaddeus S. C. Lowe. The Mount Lowe Railway would take guests back and forth from the Echo Mountain House (also constructed by Lowe), and today you can still hike to the ruins on Echo Mountain. We are saving that hike for another day. In addition, Lowe also constructed a tavern, an observatory and the world's largest search light. Lowe planned to extend his railway up to the summit of Mount Lowe, but sadly many of his endeavors were lost due to fires or natural disasters. Eventually, he ran out of money. Today you can look through the viewing tubes on the summit that are strategically placed at points of interest such as Mount Baldy and Mount Wilson. You’ll also see hitching rails where horses were once tied and there’s a sign with more information for anyone who cares to learn about the history of the mountain on which they are standing. After spending some time reflecting on the summit of Mount Lowe, we hiked back down and took the trail leading to Mount Disappointment and San Gabriel Peak. Interesting story about Mount Disappointment in case you don’t already know: In 1894, USGS surveyors climbed to the top of Mount Disappointment after viewing it from the San Fernando Valley. They thought it was the highest peak in the region only to be “disappointed” when they looked over at San Gabriel peak and discover that the mountain they’d climbed was shorter! So there you go. Another point of interest along the route is that you’ll pass by what’s left of a Nike Missile Defense System from LA’s cold war-era. We took the route up to Mount Disappointment first. The route travels up a fire road which, as much as I hate hiking fire roads, wasn’t too bad. The summit has some radio towers, a helipad and great views, so I feel like this peak deserves a better name. Anywho, after exploring Mt. Disappointment, we headed up to San Gabriel Peak. The trail is quite steep, but it’s a nice climb to work for your reward of even more great views from the top. I should also mention from these peaks we could see the billowing smoke plumes off in the distance from the Thomas Fire which as of this writing is still, unfortunately, burning. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this hike. We’ll soon be hiking Echo Mountain to Inspiration Point so we can take in even more history about our nearby mountain range.