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Pipeline Trail - Mazatzal, AZ

Guide 17 Triplogs  2 Topics
  3.1 of 5 
no permit
121 17 2
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,962 feet
Elevation Gain -210 feet
Accumulated Gain 630 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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15  2019-12-09
Boulder Mountain
7  2019-12-03
Boulder Mountain
14  2019-11-30
Boulder Mountain
10  2015-03-21 hikerdw
13  2014-08-17
Ballantine to Boulder Mtn Swing and a Miss
10  2014-01-01
Ballantine Cabin & Corral
7  2013-03-17 JuanJaimeiii
30  2012-03-27 CannondaleKid
Page 1,  2
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 841
Photos 12,839
Trips 5,243 map ( 26,599 miles )
Age 52 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
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Preferred Apr, Mar, Nov, Oct → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn
Sun  5:45am - 7:16pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Bush Fire193.5k
🔥 2005 Edge Complex Fire72.3k
🔥 1975 Bob Fire12.9k
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥

an old road
by joebartels

An old pipeline road that goes to Ballantine Cabin. Accessing the area is more difficult than hiking. Page data listed is for the actual section of the trail from the end of FR1704 to Ballantine Cabin. A more logical means for stock 4x4 is to hike the last 1.5mi of road. There is a backup space just before some gnarly tight-n-steep switchbacks in the road at 33.8146 -111.455. This is also the start/end of Boulder Bob's Cabin Trail.

Road Hike
If you are hiking the final 1.5mi of the road it's pretty straightforward. One thing to note is when the road stops ascending and comes to a fork. You want to continue right. A left will take you to a coral and Boulder Mountain Spring is near. I'm not sure but presume this is the most dependable spring in the area as it appears the pipeline was put in place to access it.

The actual trailhead near Mud Springs isn't noticeable in any way other than the road going up turns beyond gnarly. As of this writing, an approximately ten-year-old black tube weaves in and out of the road. I assume it was metal back in the mid-1900s. The entire hike is an old road. From Mud Springs on it appears to be too rough for anything but ATVs. We noticed fairly fresh tracks throughout so it appears to get used.

The road contours the mountain over to Ballantine Cabin. It dips and ascends between each ravine making for a slight roller coaster of a hike. It's nothing strenuous. The footing gets a little loose (borderline dangerous) as it's pea-sized gravel. Several interesting rock formations are passed along the route. Views looking out and down are pretty nice. Especially Black Mesa across SR87 (Beeline Highway) in the distance.

Although the hike goes up and down the pipeline once worked. Boulder Mtn Spring is just above 4,300ft and Ballantine Cabin is at 3,750ft. A couple steel troughs are passed on route to the cabin.

This hike was better than anticipated. However, I wouldn't go out of my way to return.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2008-06-09 joebartels

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Strictly 4x4

    To Pipeline Trailhead
    From Scottsdale follow Shea Blvd East to its terminus at SR87. Turn Left (North) onto SR87. Follow SR87(this is the Beeline) 23.8mi to the turnoff for FR1704. The turnoff is not signed. It's 2.4mi past the Ballantine Trailhead. There is a crossover if you are coming from Payson.

    The road turns dirt and goes over Sycamore Creek by means of a concrete passover bridge that would be impassible if the creek was flowing in volume. You're immediately presented with a "T" in the road. Go left and continue on the most used road which soon gets rocky and ascends. It's about 2.9mi (from SR87) to the stock 4x4 option at "Boulder Bob's Cabin Trail" trailhead at (33.8146, -111.455) which is unsigned. It's another 1.5mi to the Pipeline Trailhead at (33.80734, -111.44736). I would not recommend this road in a stock 4x4, however I'm sure it's been done.
    page created by joebartels on May 26 2008 11:03 pm
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