Today we started out with a plan to do “just a short hike”. Well, by now I should know that it rarely ever works out that way. We didn’t feel like driving too far so we decided to stick closer to home and take a ride up to Eaton Saddle. We hiked up the Mount Lowe Road, through the Mueller Tunnel (which I think is absolutely amazing) and reached Markham Saddle. At that point we had several options to climb the peaks that we’d done before; Mt. Lowe, Mt. Disappointment, San Gabriel Peak or we could continue on the Mount Lowe Road. I pulled out the map to see where it would take us. It looked to be a little over four miles to reach the Mount Lowe Trail Camp and Inspiration Point (which we’d also been to before, but never from this direction). We decided to give it a go. What a great route! I’m so glad we did it. This area has so much history. Not only was this a very low stress, no cliff hugging ledges kind of hike, but it also had a lot of butterflies. After reaching Inspiration Point, we continued along the fire road past the crowd of people until we reached the junction to summit Muir Peak. I knew we’d have the peak all to ourselves along with the views to boot. My husband and I hung out up there for a while. I chased around the Chalcedon Checkerspot butterflies trying to get some photos while my husband talked on his HAM radio. There was a lot of California Buckwheat up on this peak, hence all the butterflies. I even got one to sit on my finger. The surrounding views were terrific; Pasadena and the city below, Mount Wilson, Occidental Peak, Mount Harvard, San Gabriel Peak, and Mount Lowe to name a few. After we were done enjoying having the place to ourselves, we started heading back. By this time it was getting pretty warm and much of the morning shade we had earlier was almost gone. Thankfully, we always come prepared with plenty of water and there was a nice, refreshing breeze every now and then to help keep us cool. As we hiked back, the road was buzzing with butterfly activity. There were plenty of Blues, Swallowtails, Chalcedon Checkerspots, Hairstreaks and I was also able to find and photograph the elusive Great Basin wood-nymph. As always, it was another great day to be in the mountains!