Monday, March 2, 2015

A Climb to Jester’s Peak



Last year while in the Yuma area we hiked up the very popular Telegraph Pass, a steep climb up a mostly paved trail. We can actually see it from our lot here in the Foothills but the trail is on the north side of I-8 and we are on the south side.


Luckily we have access to miles of BLM land and trails to the Gila Mountains less than two blocks away. Through a friend we met Manny, a neighbor down the street who is an avid hiker and road cyclist, and he invited us to tag along on one of his regular trails for a hike up to Jester’s Peak at an elevation of 1,900’, pretty high by Yuma standards.

Rain was in the forecast so the skies didn’t make for great photos but our destination is the flag at the top of Jester’s Peak, which you can barely see here.


Manny said it would take about an hour to climb to the top, but that didn’t factor in just getting to the trail, which was a couple miles away. You can actually drive to the trail head on a rough Jeep road to make it just a 1.4 mile hike to the flag, but starting from home we ended up doing just under 7 miles round trip in a little over 4 hours. It also didn’t factor in stopping to chat and catch our breath on the steep parts.

It’s hard to talk and go uphill at the same time.


Not sure we would have found our way if Manny hadn’t been guiding us. The trail just disappeared at times among the rocks as we got closer to the top.


There were several places where I was doubting whether or not I would get back down, since much of the trail is right along the edge, steep, and covered in small rocks that tend to make a foot easily slide out from under you. As it turned out it wasn’t as bad going back down as we thought it might be, and the reward, the views, was well worth it. Even on a dreary day.



Jim and Manny check out the geocache and memorial.







You can see our trail snaking through the rocky hills.


Many of the beavertail cacti were blooming, and after the rain we got overnight more color should be coming out in the desert soon. We’ve never timed it right in the past but we’re hoping to get lucky and see more flowers this year.


Manny offered to take us on another hike to an airplane wreckage site before we leave the area, which sounds interesting. Yuma just keeps growing on us, although doing laundry here is about as bad as in Quartzsite.



  1. You go! Love the photo of you and the mister.

  2. I've always wanted to try that geocache. But nobody in my family thinks it sounds any fun.

  3. Bravo!!! Now that's a good climb to a postcard view.
    Jim looks like he's dressed for a blizzard, tho. Still, he is a handsome devil dressed in black :)

    1. I didn't wear my Canada Goose down jacket. Manny is a man after you and Bobbie's hearts. He will be 70 soon and he's a machine. He and Bobbie are my heroes. He has wintered here for the past 8 years and says that between Telegraph hill and Jester he has been up and down them 79 times. Now he road bikes more than hikes. He is the guy that kB can't keep up with according to kB.

  4. Now that was a real hike! Our wandering around McDowell was enjoyable, but quite tame by comparison.
    We really enjoyed the Bighorn pictures. Hope sometime to see a few in the wild.
    Looks like some nice improvements to the LD. Hope you will post some pictures of the new carpet as well as the removal of the old.

  5. I think you should publish a book on "Trails Of The West". Making memories that will last a life time. Keep going.

  6. What a fantastic hike! Love the cactus pictures. How nice to catch them when they were flowering.

  7. I like this hike! I'll have to keep track of your ideas in case we return to Yuma again in the future. I enjoy having rewards at the top:) I have thought many times that it would be tough getting back down only find it wasn't hard at all...but not always:)

    Sure hope you get to see lots of desert blooms. I sure am hoping we timed it right for our visit to Apache Junction!

  8. Small little rocks on an edge trail are scary. Glad you made it. I never thought of a geocache as a memorial. What a wonderful idea. You put a nicer face on Yuma than others I have read.

  9. Looks like a great hike and that you were lucky to have a guide who could "see" the trail in the rocks. The blooms should be out in a couple weeks and will likely be spectacular with the last few rain storms. I can't wait to see them at the end of the month!

  10. I didn't see any gloves in those photos. One needs gloves, especially if they are kevlar-belted.

  11. Should be a good desert flower season this year, seems like there's been more rain than usual. Looks like a great hike!

  12. Loved reading about the hike...makes me long to do something similar.
    Hope all your projects turn out great!

  13. Wonderful photos. The cactus blooms are gorgeous

  14. Dang if you two don't go for the toughest hikes. I'll stick to my meanders and nature walks.

  15. Nice picture of you both. Usually pictures of you are of the other side hiking along a trail. :c)