Made our first trip to the Pine Mountain Wilderness and had a great time.
It was about 2:15 drive time from Downtown Phoenix, 1:15 from the freeway but I have to go a little slower than most because my dumb hiking dog is afraid of cattle guards so I literally stop at each one and ease across as slowly as possible. It was about 80 for most of the hike while it was 95 in Phoenix so the elevation helped with that.
There were two other trucks at the TH - an older gentleman out for a drive having lunch and what turned out to be two hikers and two hot labs out on the trail.
We took 159 12 161 14 159. The route is pretty gentle, only remotely steep section is right near the summit of Pine Mountain but even that wasn't too bad. We spent quite a while sitting on the summit of Pine Mt enjoying the views of the Verde River Valley, seems like a great spot to spend a night as well.
Water was running well for the first 3/4 mile of the trail, very good for keeping dogs cool.
We saw two rattlesnakes on the trail: one within 50' of the trail register box and another near the junction of the 14 and the 159 trails. Both seemed very pissed off that we were there, and neither was willing to move off the trail so we did the moving for them.
All in all a great day out in the woods - look forward to spending more time in this area.