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Jester's Peak in Gila Mtns., AZ
2007-04-135 by
Jester's Peak in Gila Mtns. , AZ  
Hiking4.00 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns    1.60 mph
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I did this hike several weeks ago while enjoying being a snowbird in Yuma. It's about 2 miles one way to the summit. The photos tell the story. The location of Jester's Peak--easy to find if you know Yuma Foothills. Not so easy if you don't. (I'll give directions at end of write-up.) A word on the trail--it has been hand-built by a local guy with a pick and shovel over several years. The switchbacks and other features of the trail are excellent--the guy knew what he was doing. The Gila Mtns. are difficult to climb where there is no trail. They are extremely steep and rugged, with lots of loose rock in every step, some of the loose rocks being very large. So a trail is much appreciated!

The view is amazing. The big peak just across the canyon (Jester's Canyon) to the east is Fortuna Pk., I think, and is the one with the B-17 crash site on it. To the west on the horizon one can make out the Sierra San Pedro Martir and Diablo, those 10,000 ft. mtns. in Baja Norte. Also I do believe you can see the Laguna Mtns. in San Diego County.

Unfortunately I was not able to spend the entire two months in Yuma that we had planned. My husband, daughter and I were in a bad car accident there on March 22, on Hwy 95. Totalled our truck and camper. We are all okay, with some back and neck pain continuing. We are back home now in the White Mtns. I had a lot of other hikes planned out there. There are many petroglyphs, slot canyons and other interesting features.

To find this trail go to the corner of 48th Street and Ave 15E on the far east side of the Foothills area, next to the new "Ravines" development. All along Ave 15E you'll see that dirt roads head off toward the Gila mtns. along the tops of small hills. Follow the one closest to this intersection, either on foot or in a 4WD vehicle. After less than a mile you can easily see the trailhead on the side of the mtn., and you can see the switchbacks going up. If you have been able to drive this far, park at turnaround and start hiking. The trail is very good for a couple of miles, gets a bit dicey the last quarter mile to the actual summit. Some people call this peak "Jackal" as well. Not sure the story, but most call it "Jester" as does the hiker's register on the top. There is also a flagpole with flag on top.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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