We did the entire Ballantine Trail as a shuttle hike, starting at the Cline TH and walked the entire length down to the Ballantine TH. Total distance on my GPS said 11.14 miles. Once I downloaded the track onto my computer, it said 10.71, but I'm going with the longer distance, since it felt longer.
This was a very good hike, especially at the upper elevations. From Cline TH, you ascend about 1000' to a pass just east of Pine Mt. That tops your elevation out at just over 5800', which today meant some snow there. There was actually more snow on the north side of the pass, amongst alot of tall ponderosa pines and a running creek. From the pass, you descend 3500' back down to the Beeline Hwy. For much of this hike, we were walking along side or soon to cross a stream, which made for alot of pleasant sounds of the running water, something you don't get to see or hear alot of hiking around Phoenix.
After the ponderosas, there was a steep section with alot of dense chaparral bush and loose gravel. After a bit, the steep sections leveled off and we made our way to Boulder Flat. There is a trail heading north from there, maybe to Ballantine Cabin? Just before Boulder Flat, my waypoints on my GPS said the trail was north of where we were, on the other side of a large ridge. The trail junction we saw with the trail going north was exactly where the waypoints came back to where we were. Maybe this got re-routed a little.
One the way down the Pine Creek loop, we took the north half of the loop and saw Pine creek, which was also flowing.
Never saw anyone else on the trail, which seems odd seeing as how nice this is, especially this time of year.