With Mike, Bob, Hannah and "desert dog" Buster.
Plan "A" to off-road to the Cane Spring Trailhead and investigate Alder Creek Trail #82 was aborted with the threat of rain and concern that my 2WD F-150 wouldn't be able to match the nasty road. The Pine Creek Loop Trail and Ballantine Trail to Boulder Flat quickly became Plan "B".
At the trail head (33o45.862'N, 111o29.605'W) by 8:00am, zeroed the GPS mileage and headed up the north loop of Pine Creek Loop Trail 280.
Made the Ballantine trail head (33o46.313'N, 111o28.700'W) by 9:30am. This is 1.41 miles from the Pine Creek Loop TH.
Rest at pile of boulders near mile 1.74 (33o46.314'N, 111o28.477'W). Three separate groups of hikers passed us as we dipped into our snacks.
Reach campsite at mile 1.94 (33o46.401'N, 111o28.383'W). Great vista for photos and we take our share.
Rest again at pre-Boulder Flat (33o46.395'N, 111o28.211'W) when a dark cloud came over Mount Ord accompanied by a light rain. We are at mile 2.24 and the time is 10:43am - now what to do? Hannah, Buster and I decided to head back to the truck while Mike and Bob decided to continue hiking to Boulder Flat.
Reach the Ballantine trail head (33o45.862'N, 111o29.605'W) in short order. The rain is light, but glancing back to Mount Ord I can see a curtain of water approaching us! This is accompanied by a loud crack of thunder. Better pick up the pace...
Made it back to the truck by 11:40 announced by another loud crack of thunder and the obligatory shower! GPS shows 4.29 miles hiked and we're relatively dry. Good call by Hannah insisting on heading back!
1. Looking back at the parking lot of Ballantine/Pine Creek Loop TH located just off Hwy 87 near the Pine Creek bridge.
2. Near the Ballantine TH.
3. Heading up the Ballantine Trail.
4. One of the strange rock formations along the trail.
5. Another strange rock formation with wildlife.
6. No shortage of boulders here!
7. Mike and Bob spot a gold nugget just off the trail.
8. Time for a rest.
9. Camp site vista at mile 1.94.
10. View from camp site vista at mile 1.94.
11. More from camp site vista at mile 1.94.
12. Even more from camp site vista at mile 1.94.
13. Continuing up that hill to Boulder Flat!
14. Decision time - is that cloud coming over Mount Ord going to stop this hike?
15. Pre-boulder flat at mile 2.24. Just before a light rain starts to fall.
16. Hannah says; "Let's head back".
17. Here comes that dark cloud over Mount Ord.
18. Topomap from GPS. This trail isn't marked on my GPS - strange for a maintained trail!