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Pine Mountain via Ballantine, AZ
mini location map2018-04-06
12 by photographer avatarjacobemerick
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Pine Mountain via Ballantine, AZ 
Pine Mountain via Ballantine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2018
Hiking25.77 Miles 5,861 AEG
Hiking25.77 Miles   13 Hrs   32 Mns   2.30 mph
5,861 ft AEG   2 Hrs   20 Mns Break
1st trip
Ballantine to Boulder Flat
Did most of this by headlamp. Trail is in great shape and seems easier than it did back in 2016. Either the hills are settling or I ate my Wheaties this morning.

Boulder Flat to Rock Tank
Trail is in relatively great shape! Thanks @mt98dew for your maintenance last year. Only wandered off trail once (and it was only through waist-high manzanita, so meh), and there was one or two spots that required crawling, otherwise kept up a solid pace all the way to Rock Tank. Speaking of, that spot is gorgeous. Got some Horse Camp Seep vibes, only these tanks are somewhat protected and the water was delightfully cool. Finished water in pack (3L) and pulled to full capacity (4.5L).

Rock Tank to Pine Mountain
Trail got a bit thicker for awhile, then it entered the pines and holy wah awesome. While I was in the area I zipped up the Connector trail, which is a bit of an annoying thing, got nice views from the road... er, AZT. Ballantine got a bit hard to follow deeper in the pines, with some overgrowth and needles hiding the tread, didn't mind too much. Missed the main cut off from the creek and hacked my way back to cairns and eventually the saddle.

There were hints of path from the saddle up to the summit, plus hints of rock walls / ruins, which kept the off-trail section interesting. Vegetation was definitely not an issue. Made it to the summit unscathed, found two metal disks, and then retreated. Again, easy summit to do, with several open sections and paths. If it gets too hard just backtrack and look around.

Descent to Cline Trailhead
From the saddle down to Cline was in ridiculously good shape. Big cairns, recent maintenance, and great views. Going up this in the afternoon would be a scorcher. Things started to get hot near the bottom because it's apparently summer already or something.

FR 143
It's a road.

Connector Trail to Boulder Flat
At this point I was hot, running low on water, and a joy to be around. Bike trails are not the easiest to hike, either, with the narrow ruts, steep sections, loose dirt, and steep sections. I slipped more than a few times and my knees were hating me. At least the views were good?

Boulder Flat to Ballantine Trailhead
After polishing off the last of my water at the Flat I felt a little better. Plus, it was all downhill and the temps were already sinking. Pine Creek (S) got some recent maintenance to keep the trail out of some of the drainages and it looks fantastic.
Named place
Named place
Boulder Mountain Rock Tank

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Rock Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
Dribbling from tank to tank, somewhat stagnant. Nice and cool.
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81 Photosets

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