Photo: View of the skyline from Iron Bear.
Story and photos by Roger Gervin
Roger Gervin sent us this description of an enjoyable loop hike that’s two-thirds trail, one third cross-country walking on fairly open terrain.
Attraction. A three- bump loop trip on the eastern border of the Teanaway. This is a pretty hike with great views, good wildflowers in spring, and cross-country travel that makes the walking more thoughtful (you must pay attention to the map and use your brain). This is also an excellent winter outing (snowshoeing, backcountry skiing) that is listed in our winter guidebooks as well. In winter the route is longer because the access road (Road 9714) is snow-covered and needs to be walked.
Trip Stats. About 6 miles roundtrip, and 3000 feet of elevation gain.
Photo: Hiking up from Iron Bear Pass toward Iron Bear (left).
Access. Drive Highway 97 south of Blewett Pass about 5.5 miles . If coming the opposite direction, drive 2 miles north of Mineral Springs. At milepost 158.3, FS Road 9714 enters on the west side of the highway. If you do this route as a summer hike, drive 3 miles up Road 9714 to its end and start up Trail #1351. In winter, you’ll usually park at the intersection of Road 9714 and Highway 97 (el 2,930 feet).
Permits. In summer, a Northwest Forest Pass is needed to park at the trailhead.
Map. See a map of the route.
- Start up Trail 1351. A two mile hike brings you to Iron Bear Pass (~4400′)… where the trail junctions with the Teanaway Ridge Trail. Follow this for the last mile up to Iron Bear (5489′).
- Continuing from Iron Bear toward Jester Mountain, follow the Teanaway Ridge Trail to the junction with the County Line Trail that is about 200 feet below the false summit of Jester. Leave the trail and continued on up to Jester’s false summit (5510′); then made the short walk north to Jester’s true summit (5520+).
- From the true summit retrace your way to the false summit then follow the southeast ridge downward until you re-intersect the County Line Trail. Follow the trail southeast to Point 5,459’
- Leaving Point 5,459’, continue a short distance to the SE and find the obvious rib that takes you back down to the trail near the trailhead. This is loose terrain so walk carefully. It may be best to do the loop in reverse as described here so that you go up this rib (it’s easier walking go up rather than down this rib).
Photo: Jacob’s ladder seen blooming along the route. Did you know: Jacob’s ladder is usually pollinated by bumblebees, but researchers have shown that painting the petals white will attract flies instead?
Slideshow. See a slideshow of this trip.
Leave It Better Than You Found It. This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull some noxious weeds along your route, throw branches over unwanted spur trails, don’t ride or walk wet trails when you’re leaving ruts/footprints deeper than ¼ inch…
Disclaimer. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change, and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or may not know all the issues affecting a route. You are still completely responsible for your decisions, your actions, and your safety. If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information.