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Ballantine to Boulder Flat, AZ

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Guide 122 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
3.4 of 5 by 36
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,258 feet
Elevation Gain 1,380 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 13.4
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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7  2019-03-03 Anekantavada
3  2019-03-02
Ballantine Rock Creek
10  2019-02-24 KBKB
15  2019-02-20
Ballantine Cabin & Corral
36  2019-01-17 TheNaviG8R
2  2018-08-12 JuanJaimeiii
6  2018-04-29 KBKB
10  2018-04-13 mazatzal
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Author Mike
author avatar Guides 5
Routes 0
Photos 249
Trips 12 map ( 4 miles )
Age 60 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Nov, Mar, Apr → 9 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:20am - 7:26pm
Route Scout App
Official Route
8 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Oh Rocky!!
by Mike

This trail gets pretty light traffic considering it's proximity to the Valley, and the fact that the trailhead is right next to the Beeline Highway. It's a great trail with a little bit for everybody. A seasonal creek, plenty of rocks for the kids to explore, great views, some good climbing sections for a workout. Even the occasional wildlife (moo...). It has become one of my favorite, close to town hikes.

The Ballantine Trail officially begins on a small saddle at the eastern junction of the two halves of the Pine Creek Loop Trail. (For directions to the trailhead and a description of the first part of this hike, see the Pine Creek Loop description.) On this trip, we took the north half of the loop. I have taken both halves in to the Ballantine trail and either is fine. Basically if you want a more gentle approach, take the north, and if you want a thigh burning workout, take the south. The destination for this trip is Boulder Flat, which the sign at the beginning of the Ballantine Trail indicates is 3 miles in. I think this is overestimated, and it's really more like 1.5 miles from the beginning of the Ballantine, and 3 miles from the trailhead.

The trail starts out from the saddle and drops down into a small area with plenty of rocks to explore. The views of the surrounding mountains from here, and from many points along the trail, are superb. (On this particular day, we had our eye on a fire burning on the southeastern side of Mt. Peeley.) The trail heads in a generally eastern direction, climbing to points along the ridge which it follows for much of the way. The entire area is a jumble of rocks, often so thick and large that you wonder how a trail could possibly have been cut through there.

Along the way, you'll come to a spot with two very large, upright boulders, one to the left of the trail, and a larger one below the trail to the right, just beyond the first. The rock at the base of this one looks like a perfect spot for lunch, or a nap. We bushwhacked down to the creek from here, for a short exploration. I was here a couple of years ago when there was snow on the higher mountains in the area, and this creek was running quite well then. On this trip, however, it was bone-dry.

Eventually, the trail will drop into a more open area at the east end of "The Boulders". Watch for a side trail heading off to the right toward a large pile of boulders. This is a great spot to rest and the boulders are great to climb among. The view here isn't too shabby, either. To the south, you can see the Beeline Highway far off in the distance.

You can continue on a short ways to Boulder Flat, and beyond if you wish. I've gone a bit beyond Boulder Flat. Return the way you came in. Someday I plan to do this trail from Cline Cabin TH on Four Peaks Road to the Ballantine TH on the Beeline, a total of about 12 miles, if the sign is right!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2002-02-14 Mike
    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
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Ballantine Trailhead
    From Scottsdale follow Shea Blvd East to its terminus at SR87. Turn Left (North) onto SR87. Follow SR87(this is the Beeline) about 9.5 miles past the Four Peaks turnoff. The Ballantine turnoff is easy to find just past Mile Post 210. The trailhead is easy to spot from the parking loop.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 48.1 mi - about 55 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 146 mi - about 2 hours 15 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 153 mi - about 2 hours 46 mins
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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