Located in the eastern Teanaway Region Jester Mountain is usually one of first in the range to start to melt out it's snow. That is because it is located on the southeastern side of the Teanaway Region and receives typically a sparse amount of snow compared to its northern and western neighbors. As part of the Wenatchee Backcourt 100 this peak ranks as 84. It's nearby neighbor Iron Bear is not ranked due to the fact that it does not have enough prominence to qualify for the list.
In summer the summer to get to this peak from the Iron Creek Trailhead only requires a 7.5 mile 2000 foot elevation gain hike and short brush scramble. Here is an excellent map of the summer route. Often this summit can be done in 5 hours or less giving you time to continue to other summits in the region. This peak is always done along with a nearby peak/subpeak to the west neamed Iron Bear. Though Iron Bear is closely linked to Jester Mountain, the views are quiet different and the summit itself is quiet different from the slightly larger Jester Mountain. In many ways this would be similiar in value to Mailbox and West Defiance in the West Cascades or Mount Lincoln and Mount Lafayette on Franconia Ridge in the White Mountains. This mountain is ideal for begineer peakbaggers who are just discovering hiking in the Teanaway Region in spring and summer.
In winter this mountain becomes much more of a challenge. First the Iron Creek Road up to the trailhead is close. This add 3 miles each way to the trip. Also instead of using the trail to get up to the summits you must go up the steeper slope up to the pass and then take the direct route to the summit. Only experience winter snowshoers and climbers should attempt Jester and Iron Bear in winter. Here is a good link for those who plan on attempting this in winter.
Getting ThereIron Creek Road FR 9714 is 19 miles from northeast and 30 miles south of Leavenworth off of Route 97. Mineral Springs is to the south. It will be on the western side of the road. Follow the road for roughly 3 miles to the end. If not driving a 4 by 4 it is recommended that you park in the lower parking lot and walk up to trailhead #1351. The road crosses a stream and becomes rougher higher up.
Red TapeDid not see any Northwest Forest Pass signs on this trailhead. Bring one though just in case.
CampingCamping is abundant on this road on the way up to the trailhead. These camping areas were empty when I was there on a Friday in June but are likely busy on the weekend. There is also a number of decent camping/bivy areas on the ridge. Please leave no trace.
External LinksA great website by Eric Willhite on this summit
Northwest Avalanche Center