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Ballantine Connector Trail to FR143 - 5 members in 20 triplogs have rated this an average 3.2 ( 1 to 5 best )
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May 11 2019
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,865
 Triplogs 4,281

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Pine Mountain Loop, AZ 
Pine Mountain Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 11 2019
joebartels
Hiking16.75 Miles 3,912 AEG
Hiking16.75 Miles   10 Hrs   25 Mns   1.95 mph
3,912 ft AEG   1 Hour   50 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
Partners partners
The_Eagle
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
3.03 miles - 8:36 am
Interesting terrain, almost glorified McDowell's minus the hikers. McDowell's are dominating western view.

3.25 miles - 8:42 am
Bruce spotted the elusive white poppie. It flew away - 'nuff said!

3.60 miles - 8:51 am
Steep slopes on this trail are concerningly slippery. Bruce fell at least three times, luckily nothing serious.

6.90 miles - 11:06 am
General tread & width is not great. We witnessed a LOT of trimming. Thank you @mt98dew and @Anekantavada

7.98 miles - 11:40 am
We did this loop in shorts in 2012. It was a catclaw nightmare. Catclaw is mostly cleared now. Record rainfall = record foxtail. Less bloody. Less Pain. Don't get excited. Albeit subtle, the torture is consistent.


Crest to Rock Tank 8.30-9.10 miles
Difficult area to follow, needs a lot of Manzanita clipping.

8.25 miles - 11:50 am
This is one nasty hike that lures you in for more because you don't want to lose anything you gained.

8.78 miles - 12:15 pm
Just busted through a major bushwhack. Good times?

8.95 miles - 12:26 pm
Don't ever do this again without loppers!

Rock Tank
Loved it again, great lunch spot. No shade.

9.22 miles - 1:28 pm
Bruce got struck at by a snake that was rattling in a rock. I just heard buzzing, then heard Bruce holler. My hearing isn't good. Unsure of the situation I lowered to the ground thinking it was a beehive. Understood his second response. Got up. Saw a black snake with seemingly white stripes slither back into boulder crevasse. Zero interest to peek in the crevasse or get too close we busted a small brittle tree up so I could get through the area.

9.40 miles - 1:38 pm
Major cutting recent-and-old through this manzanita but it's going to need a lot more to be considered a trail.

9.69 miles - 1:50 pm
Previous cool stretch of pine covered trail is barely a trail now.

11.99 miles - 3:41 pm
Trail is an old road to the spring. Hard to believe something ever drove on the beat up grade.

Light rain for the balance of the hike. Cold but nice to forget about foxtails. Grass below knee level down to road. Moderate atv, motorcycle traffic. Not bad. Rain kept their speed down. Good ol' rowdy boys vs the laid back party line crawling up the backroad to Crown King. Neither irritate me, better than the psycho goat ropers in rural Oklahoma.

Bruce pretty much swore this one off. Understandable. I need the hand therapy so I'm happy to tag along with loppers if anyone hikes this, Bradshaws Twin Peaks or Mazzies Rock Creek.

Salomon Yellow Wings Flyte 2 - 2018 751.4 miles
Bruce suggested throwing away, they are an eyesore...lol
Named place
Named place
Mountain Spring Rock Tank
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Parry's Goldeneye - Substantial in areas of the lower portions
Dudleya - Substantial in two small areas
Cholla - Substantial on each specimen but not that many overall

Emory's Rock Daisy, Microseris - Moderate
Desert Cotton - Light to Moderate at lower elevations
Trailing Four O'Clock, Buckwheat, Desert Globe Mallow, Gooding Verbena - Light
Saguaros - Budding out, weak compared to last year

Sacred Datura, Colorado Four O'Clock, Lupine, Wallflower, Indian Paintbrush - Isolated

California Flannelbush - not blooming, just noticed
_____________________
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!
May 11 2019
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 792
 Photos 9,159
 Triplogs 1,080

63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Pine Mountain Loop, AZ 
Pine Mountain Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 11 2019
The_Eagle
Hiking16.69 Miles 3,887 AEG
Hiking16.69 Miles   10 Hrs   23 Mns   1.86 mph
3,887 ft AEG   1 Hour   26 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
Partners partners
joebartels
With the forecasted cooler temps, we opted to stay closer to the valley, while we still could.

We parked on the shoulder of FR143, a little over 7.5 miles off of the Beeline to access the Ballantine Connector Trail.

Ballantine Connector Trail.
This trail gently roller coasters 5 miles to the Ballantine #283 trail. The interesting boulder formations are the highlight, but as this is also/mainly used as a motorcycle track it's rutted with slippery marbley granite.

Ballantine #283 Trail
Thanks to the efforts of @mt98dew and @Anekantavada, the memories/fears I had of catclaw were put to rest. They did a lot of trimming the prickly jungle, past the lower western corral. It's just the pesky foxtail that's annoying.

Things were easy enough to follow until you get to the upper eastern corral. After that, there are many areas of Manzaninta Maze.

The highlight of the hike was lunch at Rock Tank. Good views plenty of filterable water, butterflies, and frogs. I went down to the edge of the tank and was shocked to see a frog jump 15' down, into one one of the pools below.

Leaving the Rock Tank area, fighting through some brush, I got rattled but could not tell where it was coming from. Not until I saw it strike at and miss me from a rock wall. A first for me. My impression, as I was soiling myself, was a black. Joe said he saw some white on the snake.

More manzanita until we hit the pines. The trail through the pines was a lot less distinct from the last time we did this in 2012.

At the saddle the unforecasted rain, hail, lightning, thunder became our companion for much of the 6 miles back to the truck.
Flora
Flora
Velvet Mesquite
Fauna
Fauna
Velvet Ant
Named place
Named place
Rock Tank
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Wide variety of flowers

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Rock Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full
Plenty to filter from
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Feb 20 2019
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 15
 Routes 199
 Photos 2,475
 Triplogs 188

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Ballantine Cabin & CorralPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 20 2019
DixieFlyer
Hiking12.20 Miles 2,970 AEG
Hiking12.20 Miles   6 Hrs   43 Mns   2.50 mph
2,970 ft AEG   1 Hour   50 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I was looking for a hike to do today, and I convinced Tracie, my intrepid hiking partner, to go out to the Ballantine TH and do the corral-cabin loop hike -- we hadn't done this one in about 15 months. We added a little extra on this hike -- once we got to Boulder Flats, we went off-trail for a bit and climbed up to "The Boulders".

We did both loops CCW -- 1) the loop on the Pine Creek Trail and 2) the loop from Boulder Flats to the corral and the cabin.

There was quite a bit of water flow in both Pine Creek and Camp Creek. Once we got past Boulder Flats there was some snow on the ground, and by the time we got to the corral the ground was pretty much covered with snow. The off-trail hike from the corral to the cabin wasn't bad, although the snow made it hard to follow the use trail that is there. Someone had been hiking out there before me, and in a few places I followed their footprints in the snow.

I enjoyed the views from "The Boulders", and was glad that we took the time to go there. There was a bit of class 3 rock scrambling to get up the top of The Boulders, but it was not bad at all.

There was lots of snow atop Mt. Ord and Mazzy Peak, but hardly any on Four Peaks.
_____________________
2 archives
Apr 06 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Pine Mountain via Ballantine, AZ 
Pine Mountain via Ballantine, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2018
jacobemerick
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.
_____________________
Apr 02 2017
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,073

62 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Ballantine to Boulder FlatPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 02 2017
mazatzal
Hiking8.00 Miles 1,550 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles   5 Hrs      1.78 mph
1,550 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
Took Ballantine to Boulder Flat then along connector for the view south.
Still loads of flowers blooming out here and good flows in Camp + Pine creeks.
Saw only 6 people on the trails.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
1 archive
Dec 11 2016
CannondaleKid
avatar

 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,568
 Triplogs 1,922

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
FR 143 to Ballantine Trail, AZ 
FR 143 to Ballantine Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 11 2016
CannondaleKid
Hiking10.00 Miles 2,789 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   6 Hrs   3 Mns   1.72 mph
2,789 ft AEG      15 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
trixiec
Coming up with something new yet reasonably close-to-home is getting to be more of a challenge all the time. So, I figured it was time to try a different approach. Having just finished loading over 2,000 GPS tracks into BaseCamp, I highlighted 'My Collection' then looked for gaps in the map within a 20-mile radius.
[About BaseCamp: Yeah, I'm finally using it, albeit grudgingly... I like the Windows version better than the OS-X so I run it in a Windows VirtualBox on the Mac more often than natively on the Mac.]

Anyway... the first gap was in 'The Boulders' area. Which got me to thinking about the dirt-bike trail running from FR 11 near AZ87 eastward almost to FR 143, then heading north all the way to Ballantine Cabin and finally turning west back down to AZ 87.

But after mapping the trail from FR 11 to the turn near FR 143, I realized along with the connector trail the round-trip distance would be more than we cared for. So the plan was for the connector alone.
NOTE: On HAZ, the north-south portion of the dirt-bike trail is the "Ballantine Connector Trail" [ description ]

On our pre-sunrise drive out FR 143 we encountered a genuine FORD truck... Found Off-Road Dead!

Either someone drunk, asleep or avoiding an oncoming vehicle (our bet was on #1) drove off the side of the road, slid on its side through a batch of prickly-pear before rolling onto its top. Although we figured it happened overnight sometime, just to be sure nobody was still in the vehicle, I went down to check out out. Empty. Nothing more for us to do but continue on and get to our hike. (The truck would be gone by time we headed home.)

Ok, ok! Let's get to The Hike:
We didn't feel like going UP the road a ways just to follow a track back DOWN so we cut straight across from our parking spot on a wide corner of FR 143 directly to the dirt-bike trail. Once on the trail there's no way one could lose the trail... just follow the dirt-bike tracks/ruts.

Although a 'trail' of sorts, it definitely wasn't an easy Sunday-hike. As Hank noted in the hike description, loose pea-gravel would be our nemesis for 95% of the hike, with plenty of steep ascents/descents thrown in for good measure. Even on the relatively flat sections we had to be aware every step of the way. Tracey had a number of slips and one heavier spill (still hurting) but luckily I managed a fall-free day.

Now boulder-after-boulder-after-boulder-ad-infinitum may seem boring to some, it didn't turn out that way at all. In fact it was very enjoyable... beautiful weather and the trail all to ourselves was quite refreshing. Yes, I know, it was a dirt-bike trail, but when factoring in how late dirt-bikers tend to get started, I figured we'd have less than a mile to go before encountering any bikers.

Ok, so I was off by 30 minutes... but if we hadn't added a nap after lunch it would have been close. However, the pair of dirt-bikers we met were great guys (age maybe mid-40's?) and we chatted for 15 minutes. Although they were interested our hiking experiences (most specifically, how we could hike on this pea-gravel trail) I daresay we had more questions of them, and we left (especially Tracey) with a great deal more knowledge about dirt-bikes, their riders and navigating the rough terrain than before.

We learned they were headed not only as far as the Ballantine Cabin, but they would continue northward until connecting with FR 1704 following it on a north-west-south arc back to Beeline and back to the start.

While we saw plenty of fresh coyote and deer sign, we would see no wildlife but a few cotton-tails.

Ok, we did see plenty of shooters on our drive home, one in particular was going wild with a decidedly LOUD fully-auto rifle. I wouldn't doubt burning through $100 of ammo in less than a minute... and missing the target more than hitting, I might add.

Although we had an enjoyable day, it definitely won't make it on our 'nice-hike-to-do-again' list.
Culture
Culture
Truck Remains/Wreckage
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Nov 20 2016
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,073

62 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Ballantine Cabin & CorralPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 20 2016
mazatzal
Hiking10.00 Miles 2,200 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   1.71 mph
2,200 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 no routes
Took Ballantine up to the cabin and went down Ballantine connector a bit. Got a few sprinkles on the way back but not bad.
_____________________
1 archive
Nov 15 2015
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,073

62 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Ballantine to Boulder FlatPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 15 2015
mazatzal
Hiking7.50 Miles 1,550 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles
1,550 ft AEG
 no routes
We did an out and back to Boulder Flat with a short trip along Ballantine Connector to check the view south. Didn’t see anyone else out here today. Got rained on 3 times but not bad
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
2 archives
May 16 2015
hikerdw
avatar

 Routes 130
 Photos 2,263
 Triplogs 357

60 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Boulders Loop, AZ 
Boulders Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 16 2015
hikerdw
Hiking13.51 Miles 2,662 AEG
Hiking13.51 Miles   6 Hrs   2 Mns   2.48 mph
2,662 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Put together a loop hike starting from Ballantine TH; Ballantine Trail To Boulder Flat :next: Ballantine Connector Trail :next: Unnamed Trail :next: FR11 :next: Off-trail back to the Trail Head. Turned out to be a really nice loop and other than the first 15 minutes where we started the hike in rain, it was a dry hike. The Connector trail and unnamed trail are booth in good condition, the only downside to these trails is the deep ruts which made it difficult at times to get a good hiking stride going. The short off-trail was very easy as we stayed high on a ridge that had good clearing. Lot's of water running after last nights storm.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Rock Creek Light flow Light flow
Nice flow following the storm last night.
_____________________
Mar 21 2015
topohiker
avatar

 Guides 13
 Routes 112
 Photos 4,377
 Triplogs 1,755

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Great Western Trail, AZ 
Great Western Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 21 2015
topohiker
Hiking32.66 Miles 2,218 AEG
Hiking32.66 Miles   13 Hrs   50 Mns   2.90 mph
2,218 ft AEG   2 Hrs   35 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
My goal was to explore the Cottonwood basin/find the Sandstone spring and see if I could connect to the Log Corral trail. I started out at the Mesquite Wash exit off the bee-line. The 1st three Sycamore creek crossings were deeper than usual but cross-able. The fourth crossing was about 2 feet deep and 100 feet wide. I didn't have my water shoes, so improvised Plan B.

I've always wondered about the Great West Trail across the beeline from the Mesquite wash, so I crossed under the overpass and made my way to FR11. I took FR11 to the north where it ended at the Dos S Ranch. The ranch is private property and was recently for sale. I headed back on FR11 to the Four Peaks road and went up to the Ballantine Connector trail.

It was a fun to explore in a new area.
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Jan 01 2014
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 336
 Photos 6,842
 Triplogs 801

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Boulder Mtn via Ballantine TH, AZ 
Boulder Mtn via Ballantine TH, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2014
BiFrost
Hiking22.84 Miles 6,019 AEG
Hiking22.84 Miles   14 Hrs   27 Mns   1.76 mph
6,019 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
New year so we wanted to try a hike that alluded us in 2013. Made an attempt to do Pine Mtn and Boulder Mtn as a loop hike but the distance and terrain proved to be too much for one day. So the new plan was to do pretty much the same loop but without Pine Mtn in the mix.

Early start before sunrise at Ballantine TH and headed up to Rock Tank where we grabbed a snack and tanked up on water. We made decent time up the trail making Rock Tank by 10am and then headed up the connector trail that leads to AZT#21 which is a road. From there followed the road/AZT 3 miles to the ridgeline for Boulder Mtn. The ridgeline is 4.3 miles of off trail brush, boulders, and route finding. Outlander had done the ridge and was following his route but we found that the general rule is stay on the very top of the ridgeline as much as you can. Wasn't sure how tough the ridgeline would be but we definitely got our money's worth....took us exactly 5 hours to traverse the 4.3 miles :sweat:

We finally reached the road below Boulder Mtn at 5pm and still had 7.3 miles to go but really all that mattered was we had finished the off trail part while it was still light. The remaining trail section seemed like a formality at this point. By the time we reached the Ballantine cabin it was all dark but took a few mins to check it out before making the last climb over to Ballantine trail. Made the junction at 7pm with 3.5 miles to go and nice easy stroll to the vehicle. Overall great hike, awesome weather but a long day!
Culture
Culture
Bushwhack Cag Shot
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
Good flow probably from recent snow.
_____________________
Jan 01 2014
slowandsteady
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 966
 Triplogs 694

45 female
 Joined Jan 05 2012
 Phoenix,AZ
Boulder Mt via Ballantine TH, AZ 
Boulder Mt via Ballantine TH, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2014
slowandsteady
Hiking22.84 Miles 6,019 AEG
Hiking22.84 Miles   14 Hrs   27 Mns   1.76 mph
6,019 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
After our aborted goal of a Pine Mt and Boulder Mt loop, we had been given more appealing options to do Boulder, but it felt like we would be cheating if we didn't start at Ballantine.

The night before a hike it always seems so logical to set an alarm for 4 am. But, then when that alarm goes off, your only thought is that hiking is dumb and why bother. We started out four minutes later than last time, despite our efforts to be ready earlier.

I had an advantage on this trip. Having already done the section from the Trailhead to the AZT road, I knew what to expect. If I have done a trail before, I will be faster the next time. I just kept making goals. I needed to get to 1.5 mile marker, then to the giant arrow at the intersection, fight the cat claw, wrestle the manzanita, enjoy the uniqueness of Rock Tank and then tackle the last hill up to the road. We made the road, 90 minutes ahead of our last attempt! (Did I mention I'm faster the next time on a trail?)

Everything now would be new...and slower. Looking back I should have savored the road more. We saw a tent but none of the inhabitants. We then made the turn off for 4.33 miles of the unknown.

The first 30 minutes were enjoyable so we stopped and had lunch in some Pine Trees. Then off again. There were snowy spots, just enough to make you smile and ignore that things were getting denser. I'm OK with getting on all fours to crawl under brush, but I have reached the age where the concern is with the energy needed to stand back up! Right before Boulder Summit, there are some rocks to climb. I got a little shaky, any exposure does me in. Karl had his summit brew while we did the math on how long it took us to arrive at the summit and the almost two miles left to get off Boulder. Karl had hoped to be at the road at the bottom of Boulder by 3, and here we were just starting our trip down at 3:30. The down felt never ending. I'm thankful for the scrubby oak bush and it's strength to let me use it as hand holds on the way down.

Finally we hit the trail/road. There was no time to savor flat ground as the sun was quickly disappearing. We were following what we thought were pretty fresh tire tracks, later confirmed by Mazatzal and his trip log. We had many chats about who was crazy enough to be driving out there. It was rugged in spots and had steep ups and downs. Karl said let's turn on the headlamps and not fall. So I turned mine on and promptly fell. Grace being my middle name.

Up a hill we went and through an entryway and boom there was a cabin. It was a little freaky in the dark.

Finally we made it to the giant arrow at the intersection. Whew! Now only 3.5 miles to go and done. This was our fourth time on that section of trail and the fourth time doing it in the dark, so we cruised on down.

I have Ballantine out of my system for awhile!
Culture
Culture
Bushwhack
Named place
Named place
Boulder Mountain
_____________________
Feb 26 2013
topohiker
avatar

 Guides 13
 Routes 112
 Photos 4,377
 Triplogs 1,755

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Ballantine Trail #283Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 26 2013
topohiker
Hiking24.74 Miles 6,399 AEG
Hiking24.74 Miles   14 Hrs   50 Mns   2.58 mph
6,399 ft AEG   5 Hrs   15 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Snow and water!

Fan and I did the Ballintine loop.

Snow appeared at 3,000 feet.
Snow covered the trail at 4,000 feet. The creek crossing past the corral wasn't too bad but the cat claw was. It was almost as bad as the Half Moon trail.
At 5,000 feet the snow obscured the trail and most of the cairns. We had route finding issues getting to the boulder flats. We found a corral by the boulder flats by accident.

Once we crossed the creek to Pine Mountain, the snow deepened to the point where trail was hidden. We relied on my GPS tracks and memory to stay on the trail (or close to it). We would uncover a cairn every so often. The snow was about a foot deep and every footstep was a post hole. By now I had snow in my boots and around my ankles! The deepest snow was on the climb up Pine Mountain, it went to my knees. Once on top, the sun warmed us up and the snow was melting.

The descent down to the Cline TH was pretty wet. The creek had a good flow of water and the snow was almost all gone. Our boots were soaked when we reached the Cline TH. I had a spare pair of socks in my 30 pound backpack. I wished I could have fit a spare pair of dry boots in the pack as well :sl: !
We took a much needed lunch/rest break at the Cline TH. By now it was 4PM and we were only half way done with the loop!

FR143 was dry and warm. There were a couple of water crossings on the road. We found the Ballintine Connector trail without any issue. As night fell, the full moon provided us with ample light to make it to the Ballintine trail. There were numerous water crossings on the connector trail. Some were pretty deep. We lost count how many water crossings we had for the day.

We were both exhausted by the time we hit the Jeep. The snow and the route finding took its toll on us, plus having wet boots for hours didn't help.
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Dec 16 2012
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,073

62 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Ballantine to Boulder FlatPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 16 2012
mazatzal
Hiking8.00 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles   5 Hrs   20 Mns   1.78 mph
1,500 ft AEG      50 Mns Break
 no routes
Out and back to Boulder Flat. Also went a short way along Ballantine Connector. One strange thing... we go up in the morning no ribbons along the trail but on our way back down we pass a few dozen pink and orange trail ribbons so all were placed today. Not sure why those are here the trail is very clear and easy to follow. :roll: Seems like trash to me.
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1 archive
May 26 2012
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,865
 Triplogs 4,281

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Pine Mountain Loop, AZ 
Pine Mountain Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 26 2012
joebartels
Hiking18.30 Miles 4,780 AEG
Hiking18.30 Miles   11 Hrs   20 Mns   2.09 mph
4,780 ft AEG   2 Hrs   35 Mns Break16 LBS Pack
 
Partners partners
The_Eagle
Looked for a hike close to the valley with a rare cool day in the forecast. The Ballantine Connector has intrigued me for some time so today was the day. I threw together a quick loop on Route MGR continuing up #283 then an off-trail return. I did Pine Mtn back in 2006 and told Bruce it's a barren moonscape, easy travel... sucker

We started off on the unbelievably well traveled connector. A mile in Bruce noticed we were no where near our track. After some bickering(this never happens) we reluctantly headed back to square one.

Found our mistake missing a turn not even a quarter mile in. Luckily this was pretty spectacular terrain and the weather was borderline stormy and cool. The path we were on heads to the Rock Creek. The correct connector is the same cool terrain. The trails are well traveled motorbike trails. No switchbacks and rutted deep in spots. Personally I found the views outstanding.

Met up with the 283 after more ups and downs than anticipated ( I spent five minutes max scoping out this hike, that's just how I roll these days ). Bruce wanted to check out the cabin and I wanted sleep so off he went. 2 hours would have been grand but 40 minutes was refreshing. Another hiker stumbled in the yonder and Bruce returned at the same time. This guy hikes the area often and offered up some good info that was spot on.

When we mentioned Pine Mtn he looked at us wide eyed then showed us how we'd be wading through cats claw. Just before leaving home I "almost" picked up my hiking pants. Said to myself... thirty miles from Phoenix, it practically June, there's no room in the pack and made... a poor decision

The gentleman described a pyramid before the corral. Check. A dog house in the corral, check. A wonderful shade tree to relax under... no thanks there were less cow patties on the farm. Cool area and the trail passes near so check it out. Noted a Cottonwood in the creek too.

That cats claw warning was panning out and Bruce was donating blood on the lead. When it looked clear I took over and took credit for it being better. Spotted poison ivy and wild grape in one area. Must be a slow seep as it was healthy and seemed really out of place in the desert terrain.

The nasty foliage picked back up. It probably wouldn't be too bad in pants but it was torture in shorts. We lunched within 225 feet of Rock Tank. Bruce couldn't find it and I was half way through with my lunch. Since I finished first I went to take a look. Just a hop and a skip away. The guy had mentioned he's never seen it dry even in the summer. Once again he was correct. 4 foot deep 1-3 foot wide pools in the creek bed were crystal clear and even trickling over. Stunning views to boot.

Soon the rare un-burned forest picks up. This slice of heaven went on for over a mile. We passed up some of the best campsites I have laid eyes on so close to Phoenix. Amazingly not a sole on this holiday weekend.

The plan was to tackle Pine Mtn and ride some ridges down off trail. We were just too pooped to scoot. In addition what I remembered to be a moonscape was a tad more lush now. 2 miles down to the road and road walk back to the makeshift trailhead was enough for me. I was just exhausted.

Doubt I'll be back here anytime soon. On the same token I enjoyed parts of it very much.
Named place
Named place
Rock Tank
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Rock Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full
multiple deep clear pools in the rock lined creek
just trickling yet that amazed me
told by one guy he's seen these with water in the middle of the summer and never dry
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Hike Arizona it ROCKS!
May 26 2012
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 792
 Photos 9,159
 Triplogs 1,080

63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Ballantine Pine Mountain Loop, AZ 
Ballantine Pine Mountain Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 26 2012
The_Eagle
Hiking19.65 Miles 5,180 AEG
Hiking19.65 Miles   11 Hrs   16 Mns   2.11 mph
5,180 ft AEG   1 Hour   58 Mns Break16 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
We needed to take advantage of probably the Valley's last cool day for quite some time. I threw Joe in the the planning mode, and in 5 minutes he lopped some stuff together and we had a loop..

The Good :y:
Perfect weather
The unknown Ballantine Connector trail
The Boulder formations
Long Range views
Pine Trees
Rock Tank
The Cabin
Arizona Grape
Views from Pine Saddle

The Bad :tt:
The Ballantine Trail is disappearing in elevations above the Corral on the trail
Didn't have the energy or blood needed to summit Pine Mountain. It was only a 1/2 mile away ](*,)
Long pants were in my truck :whistle:
The Corral (Topo) close to Rock Tank does not exist anymore. Not that we could find.

The Ugly :o
Catsclaw
Live Oak
Poison Ivy
Manzanita
Locust
Blood Loss.
Ugly thick snot luggies on manzanita

In spite of all the Negative items above, I enjoyed the heck out of this hike. Long pants and shirt would have made this more enjoyable. My Bad. Thanks for throwing this one together Joe Joe
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
5 or so catch areas with clear fresh water. There was a trickle of flow refreshing the pools.
It is said there is reliable water here into the summer months.
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There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
1 archive
Dec 11 2011
topohiker
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 Guides 13
 Routes 112
 Photos 4,377
 Triplogs 1,755

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Ballantine Loop, AZ 
Ballantine Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 11 2011
topohiker
Hiking28.58 Miles 5,898 AEG
Hiking28.58 Miles   10 Hrs   50 Mns   2.86 mph
5,898 ft AEG      50 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
I finally figured out how to the Ballintine end to end without shuttle or climbing Pine MNT twice. I looped it.

I started out on the Ballintine TH and headed to the Ballintine cabin intersection.

I took the unnamed/unsigned trail that heads to the south. The trail is very easy to follow. It's a motor-cross trail that goes over hills and through creek beds.

I came across 5 guys on motorcycles. They told me that they started the motor-cross trail years ago. The trail goes to the Four Peaks Road. About a 1/4 mile from the Four Peaks road is another motor-cross trail that takes you the Bee-Line. I checked it out for a bit. I think it takes you to the Mesquite wash / exit. I'll verify this on another hike.

I exited from the motor-cross trail unto the Four Peaks road. If you're on the Four Peaks road, it would be next to impossible to spot it without stopping at this exact point and looking down.

I took the Four Peaks road to the Cline TH. Some idiot setup a TV on a stump for target practice and left casings and targets all around. [-X :gun:

I headed up Pine MNT. Starting at 5,200, there was little patches of snow in the shade.
On the saddle the snow was about 3 inches deep. It made the route finding challenging. The snow was about 4 ~ 5 inches deep on the north side of Pine MNT. I was almost sledding down some sections of the trail. It seemed as I dropped elevation, the snow got deeper.

The creek crossing surprised me with the pools of ice. The pools of waters were frozen SOLID! I threw a big rock and it bounced on the ice. I was able to walk across the ice.

Another surprise was with the last creek crossing where you leave Pine MNT. The creek was line for snow / no snow. As soon as you cross the creek, the snow is gone and the Manzanita appears.

The next 3 miles of the trail is being taken back by nature. The overgrowth is swallowing up the trail.

I made a side trip to the Ballintine Cabin and went down the pipeline trail for a bit.

This was a fun loop. The catsclaw was tiresome after a while.
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"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Apr 11 2009
johnlp
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 Guides 1
 Routes 9
 Photos 4,157
 Triplogs 3,231

62 male
 Joined Mar 16 2008
 chandler,az
Ballantine to Boulder FlatPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 11 2009
johnlp
Hiking9.10 Miles 1,985 AEG
Hiking9.10 Miles   4 Hrs   5 Mns   2.23 mph
1,985 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Took the south Pine Creek loop in to the Ballantine trail and the north loop coming back out.It began raining within an hour and never really stopped the whole morning. Hiked past the boulders down to rock creek. By then I was starting to get wet and decided to head back to the trailhead for a total of 9.1 miles. The trails are in good shape and easy to follow. Most of the plants in the area are in bloom. The weather made for a nice cool hike (a little windy too).
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
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“Good people drink good beer.” Hunter S Thompson
Feb 28 2009
Grasshopper
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 Guides 42
 Routes 458
 Photos 8,104
 Triplogs 508

74 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Ballantine Connector Trail to FR143Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 28 2009
Grasshopper
Hiking9.50 Miles 2,530 AEG
Hiking9.50 Miles   5 Hrs   45 Mns   1.65 mph
2,530 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My thanks to HAZ-GPSjoe for first scouting and documenting this mystery trail on 1/14-15/09.

While hiking the popular Ballantine to Boulder Flat and Ballantine to Cabin & Corral hikes many of us have passed this connector trail heading off the Ballantine TR#283 to the right(southwest), just past Boulder Flat 3.6 miles in. Joe determined on 1/14 that this well defined trail actually connects to FR143(The Four Peaks Rd) 4.8mls south of this Ballantine TR intersection.

I discussed with Joe my interest in wanting to personally hike this trail segment to give more visibility of this trail on HAZ via issuing a new hike description. This now understood trail segment really does open up some new, interesting TH and hiking options for day trips in this area between Hwy 87 and FR143: You can now hike via the Ballantine Hwy 87 TH and/or hiking this, the Ballantine Connector Trail to FR143. With these two TH options, one can also plan a shuttle hike utilizing the Ballantine Trail #283 TH and this hike, do an in and out hike or start/end here for another option in doing the Ballantine Cabin & Corral Hike.

With Joe's previous detailed trip log, key trail/TH way points & directions for this new connector trail, I set out this Saturday to refine all the trail and TH details with my GPS & camera to complete a new HAZ hike description and I had a lot of fun in the process. I have spent quite a bit of time documenting via a GPS Hiking Route & GPS Driving Route as well as a detailed pic set and hike description with all "key" waypoints and landmarks noted.

During our cooler months, I think you will also enjoy hiking this newly documented trail segment!
Flora
Flora
Fairy Duster
Fauna
Fauna
Canyon Tree Frog
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(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
Dec 21 2008
mazatzal
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 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,073

62 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Ballantine to Boulder FlatPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 21 2008
mazatzal
Hiking9.00 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   4 Hrs   50 Mns   1.86 mph
1,600 ft AEG
 no routes
Out and back to Boulder Flat. Also went part way along Ballantine Connector - first time on this trail.
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average hiking speed 2.1 mph

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.

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