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Ballantine, AZ
mini location map2021-01-18
13 by photographer avatarjillyonanadventure
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Ballantine, AZ 
Ballantine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 18 2021
Hiking10.37 Miles 2,028 AEG
Hiking10.37 Miles   7 Hrs   4 Mns   1.68 mph
2,028 ft AEG      54 Mns Break
1st trip
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When we realized our first location option was closed, I picked this one. I thought it would be interesting to check out the fire damage and wanted to go down the creek to see if there was ANY water. I’d remembered it gushing down there the past couple of times I went, but I wasn’t totally shocked to find it completely dry. We headed a few miles down the creek and it was pretty slow moving, with Boulder hopping while trying to avoid all the cat claw growing in. We opted to head out of the creek/canyon area and connect back with ballentine trail. Getting up there was not fun, lol. It was very steep, with cacti and thorns as constant obstacles. Alas, I finally made it up. :sweat: Since exploring down the canyon was off the table we decided to continue on the trail and possibly {hopefully} make it all the way to the cabin. On my previous trip, I was solo and a group of older hikers informed me that there was a rattlesnake in the cabin. That was a no go for me that day and the other time I was here I got caught in a snowstorm and had to abort ASAP! So we are hiking along and I think I forgot how much uphill this trail had! Up, up, up or up, down, up is kinda how it goes. The fire damage was sporadic and not awful, but not great either. The trail’s condition has changed and it’s definitely a place where you need to watch your feet a lot. Slippery terrain or rocky terrain with hits of bushwhacking at least every 1/4 mile. We only saw one other couple out there, and we asked if they’d made it to the cabin but they said no. They actually said they weren’t even sure if it made it through the fire, so naturally I was a bit curious. You’ll go left at the split to head over to the cabin. The trail to get there has tons of loose rock, slippery sections and cat claw everywhere. When we were approaching, we were excited to see the cabin was unharmed and still standing! It was full of random items (I.e. spam - most likely very expired, lol). I had a tad of a creepy vibe in there so we didn’t stay too long. Heading back up was much easier than the way down and we started making pretty decent time. When we arrived back at the junction, we opted to loop the other section of the beginning of the trail, since that was going to be more prime viewing for sunset. It heads up the Ridgeline and I enjoyed those views! The sunset was a stunner and we even finished before it was totally dark. Note that although the temps were in mid 70’s it actually felt quite hot on the trail several times; it’s very exposed and hard to find shade.
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