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Ballantine Cabin & Corral, AZ

no permit
587 80 3
Guide 80 Triplogs  3 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
3.3 of 5 by 27
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 11 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,250 feet
Elevation Gain 1,900 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,600 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 24
Interest Off Trail Hiking
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
7  2019-04-20 JuanJaimeiii
15  2019-02-20 DixieFlyer
4  2018-03-31 JuanJaimeiii
4  2018-01-11 JuanJaimeiii
8  2017-12-21 survivordude
2  2017-12-10 JuanJaimeiii
39  2017-12-01 RowdyandMe
28  2017-12-01 OdinWiski
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 7
Author gpsjoe
author avatar Guides 16
Routes 123
Photos 2,810
Trips 140 map ( 1,516 miles )
Age 77 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:24pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
New twist on old hike
by gpsjoe

This hike incorporates the Ballantine Trail and the Pine Creek Loop that has been ably described including many trip logs and photos. This hike takes you off of the Ballantine trail for a trip to an old ranch cabin and corral and then continues on to another corral located on the Ballantine. From there we return to the trailhead on the usual Ballantine trail completing the second half of the Pine creek loop in the process.

The Ballantine trailhead is located about 1/2 mile past the 210 mile marker on the Beeline highway, route 87. From the trailhead turn left or right and go 1.5 miles on the Pine Creek loop to the start of the Ballantine trail. At the 3.6 mile point there is a trail that goes off to the left that goes directly to the old ranch and cabin. This trail is reasonably easy to follow. The cabin will come in view after about 1/2 mile as you descend to the valley below. See the 24K topo for the entire hike.

After the grand tour of the area, you can decide to return the way you came in or continue as Sun_Hiker and I did cross country heading for the corral on the Ballantine trail. There is no trail here. The first half mile is a climb out of the valley with some bush whacking and rock climbing. After that you cross over an opening in the barbed wire fence and the remaining mile or so to the corral is a walk in the park. No problem at all. The corral is the final destination and the return trip is the Ballantine trail.

I have posted a GPS route file for this hike and would highly recommend that the off-trail part of the hike be only done if you are using a GPS and have some experience hiking off trail.

The Ballantine trail is recovering nicely from fire damage and is pretty good condition now. A lot of new green is showing through. The low desert recovers much faster than a treed forest I believe.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2006-11-24 gpsjoe
    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.

    Most recent of 28 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Ballantine Cabin & Corral
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Perfect day for a Ballantine hike. Well marked trail on the way up to the first saddle with a trail marker at mile 1.5. Option at the start of the trail to either turn left or right, with both options head to the same junction 1.5 miles in.

    Everything was well marked but long pants and good boots recommended since there's a lot of cat claw and other thorny bushes you have to push through on the return section of the loop. Path is Not well marked on the eastern side when heading mirth past the corral so having the GPS route made it easier than it otherwise would've been. Crazy how well used the metal cabin seems to be, not sure if for smugglers or wanderers but still some unopened cans of food in there and other pots and pans. Saw a tarantula on trail but surprisingly no rattlesnakes.
    Ballantine Cabin & Corral
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    I did this one with my friend Sabine. We were overdue and this one fit the bill. I was hopeful that there would be water flowing with the recent rains but no such luck. Ground was damp but creek beds were dry.

    Saw several cattle just past the cabin and then they crossed the saddle and headed over to the corral just ahead of us.
    Ballantine Cabin & Corral
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    2nd time being out in this really cool boulder-y area. First time was 10 years ago. Really easy hike to get to and only takes an hour to get there. I like it. Right at sunrise, I chose to start up the southwest side and got warmed up quickly on a very cold morning. There was a group of 3 right at the junction giving their best "WHOO HOO!", waiting for the echos down the canyon. I said Hi in their native language, and continued up the trail. It is a steady incline all the way up through some cool rock formations and then the path goes into a very boulder-y valley. The slight, steady incline eventually levels out and there is a fork. I headed north (left) up 300ft and over a ridgeline towards the cabin. The trail was very worn out from dirtbike tracks, which was odd because I saw none prior to that. Spotted the cabin just after the saddle. It was incredibly windy and the sweating from the uphill hike was making me freeze my :pk: off. I made it down to the cabin and started a small campfire there to warm up. I dragged one of the metal cots near the fire and layed down and turned once in a while, kind of rotissering myself. After about 20 minutes, the sun finally came up over the hill and started warming things up more. Nothing of use or interest in the cabin. I grilled up some of my homemade smoked meats and enjoyed a nice lunch. Really peaceful and quiet at this spot (except for the airplanes), thinking about people living this life way back in the day (..except for the airplanes). I was having such a good time just hanging out, I didnt have enough time to complete the lasso hike. I put out the fire and just came back out the same way, except, I did go down Pine Creek to make the short loop at the end. Noticed all of the half burnt saguaro I didnt see when it was darker earlier hiking in. Nice short hike but Man! has it been cold out lately. I guess it is was the longest night of the year. I liked this hike and will probably be back soon.

    Also, I am really interested in hiking the ridgeline/mountain directly to the north northeast of the cabin. It looks like it would be pretty accessible and have similarly manageable ridgeline to the peak.
    Ballantine Cabin & Corral
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    What a great hike. This was my first time out here thank you GPS Joe where ever you are for this sweet route.
    Ballantine Cabin & Corral
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    This was our third trip to the cabin, once as an out an back from the Ballantine TH, once from the Pipeline Trail, and this somewhat of a loop hike. Started early so we enjoyed some cooler temps in the AM. The connector trail was a little faint at the start but once we located the tread it was fairly easy to follow, although somewhat overgrown but you will never hear me complain about that. Enjoyed lunch once we passed the corral and got back on the Ballantine Trail. Saw only a couple other hikers all morning. Great day!

    To all the HAZ Veterans out there, a huge Thank-you!!
    Ballantine Cabin & Corral
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Thought I would hit this one again before it gets too hot. Not much water around anymore. I saw a little just past the cabin and a small trickle down in Pine Creek. Otherwise all dry. Last trip out was much prettier with all the green and water flowing. Still enjoyed the hike.
    Ballantine Cabin & Corral
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Hadn't hiked this area for a few years. A lot more water than expected. We made at least 15 crossings of running water. Wildflowers are out putting on a nice show. We saw about 10 people out on the trails which is quite a few for here. Beautiful day. Started getting warm by the end of the hike, but never hot. Thanks John! :)

    Scorpion weed, blue dicks, poppies, fiddleneck, fairy duster, lupine, desert chicory...
    Ballantine Cabin & Corral
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I have been getting the bug to get out of town and do something other than Valley hikes. It's still a little cold up north and I didn't have time to do Tucson so Ord, Barnhardt and Ballantine were all on the radar. I asked JohnLP if he had plans and if he wanted to do any of these. He picked this one.

    His selection turned out to be a winner. Water was flowing in all creek beds and lots of spring flowers along the way.

    We were surprised to see a total of 5 cars in the lot upon arrival. There were 9 at time of completion around 11:30am. :o By far the most I have seen at the Ballantine TH.
    Ballantine Cabin & Corral
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    I decided to wait out the storm a bit since the morning was supposed to be stormy. This allowed me to check where it had rained the most, the snow level, stream gauges, and road conditions in the higher elevations. I wasn't in the mood for driving on snowy highways nor wading across 1000cfs creeks, so Ballantine seemed to be a good solution. Alex had never been to the cabin so that was the planned destination. All the drainages were running and one of them was a little challenging, but I managed to keep my feet dry.

    With our noonish start, I decided it wasn't worth pushing darkness by doing the full loop, and instead returned back the way we came. It's always nice to be out on the trails to enjoy all the water after some stormy weather, and good to finally meet Alex!
    Ballantine Cabin & Corral
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Joe through out a couple this week to choose from. The first had us in potential snow and much colder temps. I would never have been able to put up with the whining on that one.

    The Plan A that got the nod, received 1.2 inches of rain yesterday. What normally runs at 1.5 CFM, was running at 20 CFM yesterday afternoon, and flashed at 7,000 CFM at midnight at 10' in height. When we pulled in, you could hear the roar of Sycamore Creek.

    This was a plan B.
    I'd never hiked out of the Ballantine TH, so with the help of a freshly downloaded route into Route Scout, we were off.

    Pine Creek was roaring, as were all the other normally dry named and non-named washes. We started in a light rain in the comfortable 40's. We were in the clouds at about 4000' and it got noticeably colder. We hit a low of 36.9, with a cooling breeze.

    We look a break at the cabin for a bit so Joe could change socks before heading back.

    Almost back to the Truck we ran into Chums, just starting his hike.

    This one was better than I expected.
    Felt strange to be home so early on a Saturday, so I took a nap.

    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
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