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Pine Mountain 6236 - Mazatzals, AZ

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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,226 feet
Elevation Gain 2,010 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,150 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 17.05
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Historic, Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
8  2021-04-10
Pine Mountain - Rock Tank
BiFrost
18  2021-03-25 DixieFlyer
58  2013-03-03 FLYING_FLIVER
7  2012-12-02 mazatzal
20  2012-02-18 JuanJaimeiii
8  2010-11-10 Andy679
9  2009-12-29 topohiker
30  2006-08-26 joebartels
Author DixieFlyer
author avatar Guides 58
Routes 525
Photos 7,282
Trips 478 map ( 5,895 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Fountain Hills, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov → Any
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:33am - 7:31pm
Official Route
 
1 Alternative
 
Water
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Bush Fire193.5k
🔥 2005 Edge Complex Fire72.3k
🔥 1996 Lone Fire65.1k
🔥 1975 Bob Fire12.9k
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥


Taller than a Pine Tree
by DixieFlyer

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Warning
The Bush Fire heavily impacted this area in 2020. Be careful during periods of heavy rain, as flash flooding could occur.


Overview
Pine Mountain (elevation of 6,236' and prominence of 426') is in the Mazatzal Mountains, about 6 miles northwest of the Four Peaks. It is one of at least five peaks in Arizona with the name "Pine Mountain"; it is sometimes referred to as the Camp Benchmark. It is the 14th highest peak in Maricopa County.

Hike
This guide describes the route to Pine Mountain from the Cline Trailhead. There are other possible ways to get to Pine Mountain, but the most straightforward way is from the Cline Trailhead.

From the trailhead, the hike goes on the Ballantine Trail for about 2.75 miles. Then it goes off-trail up to the Pine Mountain summit.

The first 1.5 miles on the Ballantine Trail was heavily burned by the Bush Fire in 2020. The fire was of very high intensity in this area, and at the time this guide was written, there is very little vegetation left. That will change in the coming months and years as the vegetation regrows, but for now, there are no issues with the trail being overgrown, as was the case before the fire. The trail is generally easy to follow in this section -- there are several cairns along the way. Nonetheless, many hikers will find a GPS track helpful.

After about 1.5 miles, the trail was not impacted by the Bush Fire and became brushy and overgrown. Shortly after leaving the burn area, a section of the trail is challenging to follow, and the trail essentially does not exist for a short distance. However, if you persevere, you can get back on the trail, which becomes reasonably easy to follow. There are cairns along the way, which are helpful. Plan on brushing up against some vegetation in many places, as the trail has not been maintained in quite some time. At about 2.75 miles into the hike, you'll be at about 5,900' in elevation, and you'll go off-trail to the southwest to make your way to the summit. A good place to leave the trail is somewhere near these coordinates: 33.75192, -111.39367

Once you get off-trail, you'll once again be in a burned area from the fire, so there is very little brushy vegetation to deal with. The grade on the ascent is not particularly steep, and with most of the vegetation gone, it is a relatively easy off-trail ascent. The fire did not make it up to the summit, so there is a bit of vegetation to deal with just before reaching the summit.

The summit is somewhat flattish, and with some trees around, the views are a bit obstructed. Nonetheless, if you walk around a bit, you can enjoy some nice scenery.

Return to the trailhead the same way that you came.

Synopsis
This hike will not likely make someone's top ten list; however, it is a nice area to explore if you don't mind some off-trail hiking and hiking on somewhat overgrown trail places.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2021-03-26 DixieFlyer
    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 $$
    None


    Directions
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    Road
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    The Cline Trailhead is just off of FR 143, which is the road off of Highway 87 that goes to Four Peaks.

    From Phoenix, go on Highway 87, aka the Beeline Highway, north to the turn-off to the east for FR 143, which is marked for Four Peaks.

    Go about 11 miles and you'll see a sign for FR 143A to the left. Take this turn and go about 0.15 miles to the unsigned Cline Trailhead. The GPS coordinates for the trailhead: 33.72788, -111.40230 Google Maps should provide the correct route to the trailhead.
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