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Pine Creek Loop #280 - 21 members in 99 triplogs have rated this an average 2.6 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Mar 06 2021
ScaredyCat
avatar

 Routes 2
 Photos 68
 Triplogs 39

male
 Joined Aug 08 2020
 Phx az
Ballantine to Boulder FlatPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 06 2021
ScaredyCat
Hiking10.42 Miles 2,097 AEG
Hiking10.42 Miles   5 Hrs   2 Mns   2.40 mph
2,097 ft AEG      41 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Had been here 1x previously but went further back this time. Took the more strenuous option at the beginning. Continued out to the next jct. Turned off to take a couple pics at the boulders.

As we began to proceed past where I had previously been, someone rolled through pronouncing this to be a biker trail b4 nearly bumping me. We took the trail that veered left, the opposite of them. There are cairns out here so yes, it is for hikers too.

This area is a bit charred but not as severely as I feared. Not a long drive but does provide some heat relief. 🤗
Feb 07 2021
KBKB
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 22
 Photos 2,216
 Triplogs 237

60 male
 Joined Apr 22 2012
 Fountain Hills,
Pine Creek Loop #280Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 07 2021
KBKB
Hiking6.63 Miles 1,621 AEG
Hiking6.63 Miles   3 Hrs   45 Mns   2.17 mph
1,621 ft AEG      42 Mns Break11 LBS Pack
 no routes
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My wife and I hiked the Pine Creek Loop and part of the Ballantine Trail on Feb 7. This was our first hike in this area since the Bush Fire devastated the area. The portions I saw were at least 75% burned. My estimate of the amount burned was a lot higher until I saw a mostly untouched area of desert on the north bank of Pine Creek on the way back.

The rocks were still cool to see, but it was really sad to see all the burnt cacti and other vegetation. This used to be one of my favorite hikes; I'll probably wait a good while before doing it again.

Aside from everything being burnt, the condition of the trail is pretty good, not too much different from before the fire. There used to be a few places where you'd have to avoid a bush or some other vegetation; that's not a problem any longer. On the other hand, there were a few places where I had to look for the trail; in the past these areas were vegetated enough that it was obvious that you just went through the gap in the vegetation. Even so, route finding is still pretty easy.

As noted earlier this used to be one of my favorite hikes. I can't really recommend it now.
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Jan 18 2021
jillyonanadventure
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 Routes 9
 Photos 1,935
 Triplogs 163

40 female
 Joined Jan 21 2019
 Scottsdale
Ballantine, AZ 
Ballantine, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 18 2021
jillyonanadventure
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
Partners partners
jharvey33
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
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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Restless between adventures...
4 archives
Apr 16 2020
rayhuston
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 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,971
 Triplogs 692

64 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Pine Creek Loop #280Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 16 2020
rayhuston
Hiking3.99 Miles 906 AEG
Hiking3.99 Miles   2 Hrs   19 Mns   1.93 mph
906 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
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I wanted to go for a hike that was out of the valley yet not far. I’d never been to the Ballantine TH so I thought I’d give that a try.
I was hoping for solitude and got it for the most part. I saw a few people at the start and a few people at the finish. I didn’t see anyone else in between.
Love this little loop. I wouldn’t hike it mid-morning in June but the weather was accommodating today. The trail appears to be in good condition. Seems like it gets lots of boots on the ground. I started on the south end of the loop and finished on the less steep north end.
I went up the Ballantine Trail for a half mile, felt like continuing on but decided to keep it simple and turned around after half a mile.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was glad I made the trip. I will likely come back.
Gorgeous out today.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Plenty of lupine, some strawberry hedgehog, not much of anything else.
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2 archives
Mar 23 2020
Daytripper
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 Guides 7
 Routes 74
 Photos 2,318
 Triplogs 909

71 male
 Joined Dec 10 2016
 Gold Canyon
Ballantine to Boulder FlatPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 23 2020
Daytripper
Hiking9.20 Miles 2,200 AEG
Hiking9.20 Miles   4 Hrs   50 Mns   1.90 mph
2,200 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Looked for a lesser used trail and a bit of a workout, this one still delivers. Three other vehicles parked when I arrived with no one at the trailhead. Took the right side of the Pine Creek Loop and met 4 young hikers coming down the steep portion, used my hiking pole to keep distance, saw no one else until on the way back. Day started off sunny and warm , clouds and breeze moved in after a couple of hours that kept the temps down always seems to me the temps are cooler after crossing the fence line anyway. Shortly before reaching the end of the Pine Creek Loop was hearing the sound of falling water in stereo from both Camp Creek and Pine Creek. Enjoyed the sound of running water on much of the route. Trails are good but be prepared for mud and running water on portions of the route. Most all the varieties of wildflowers were represented but not abundant, some decent patches of lupine. No problem rock hopping over the creek and after enjoying the scenery that would make the Flintstones feel at home reached boulder flat. Decided to take the steep rutted route over to the cabin , slid down into the little valley and across the stream . I can report after a thorough inspection of its grocery store like interior ,that there is no toilet paper at the cabin not now anyway :D ,no canned goods, actually it hardly has a roof still, the breeze today didn’t inspire confidence on standing inside. Sadly I didn’t find the bed frame outside suitable for napping and having been to the corral decided to trudge back with my now slightly heavier pack. After crossing back over the creek I ran into a couple of fellow high risk hikers one had a USS Forrestal hat on, we reminisced ,code for embellish, about our old Navy days, had to remind him divers located more pilots than the reverse. While we were occupied in conversation two lady hikers passed by, was told there was a group of 13 hikers who were marching around the Pine Creek Loop , glad I missed that ! Took a snack break by Camp Creek to enjoy the running water. Traveled the other side of the Pine Creek Loop and used a cow path to explore down to the aptly named Pine Creek, clever how the pine forest has now disguised themselves as Saguaros. After enjoying the water flowing by the empty beach headed back to the parking lot ,still with only 3 but not the same vehicles.
Named place
Named place
Camp Creek
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Lupine was moderate, poppies, hedgehog, thistle, hyacinth, daisies
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Navy 17 Army 13
Mar 15 2020
emilystardust
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 Routes 2
 Triplogs 434

39 female
 Joined Jun 23 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Ballantine Cabin & CorralPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 15 2020
emilystardust
Hiking12.85 Miles 2,600 AEG
Hiking12.85 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   2.34 mph
2,600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I started up Pine Creek and did this as a figure 8-ish. There were a few water crossings that I did have to get my feet wet, probably only two mandatory ones, but I'm not the best rock hopper or creek leaper, so ended up being about 4 or so for me :lol: The back part that loops behind the cabin is a little bushwhack-y, I guess maybe slightly more than I was expecting so my exposed ankles got a bit cut up. Weather was great and lots of water flowing after the previous week's rains.
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1 archive
Feb 01 2020
jochal
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 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 1,884
 Triplogs 557

37 male
 Joined Sep 13 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Ballantine to Boulder FlatPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 01 2020
jochal
Hiking8.50 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking8.50 Miles
1,600 ft AEG
 no routes
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Nice to hike this with the creeks running. Quite a few people on the Pine Creek trail, but don't think many went very far on Ballantine. Also went over to check out the cabin and corral. The corral is in good shape. The cabin is missing half the roof, but the pieces are still around.
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Jan 18 2020
hikerdw
avatar

 Routes 165
 Photos 2,884
 Triplogs 502

62 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Rock Walls off Pine Creek, AZ 
Rock Walls off Pine Creek, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 18 2020
hikerdw
Hiking14.48 Miles 3,369 AEG
Hiking14.48 Miles   6 Hrs   31 Mns   2.48 mph
3,369 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
While scanning the terrain planning for an upcoming hike in the Boulder Flat area I noticed what looked like rock walls with four square corners so figured it was worth checking out. In further planning I noticed what looked like a motor bike trail that could be used to get us really close to the target point. Motor bike trails are like a jeckle and hyde, on the plus side it gives you a route to follow and sometimes help you get through some thick vegetation, but on the minus side sometimes hiking deep ruts just isn't that easy.

The hike in to the turnoff to the cabin was smooth sailing, the trail is in great condition and the creek has a nice flow of water. After the turnoff to the cabin is when we started seeing the deep ruts in the trail caused by motor bike activity. Glanced in the cabin but didn't stop. Got to the junction where we needed to start our climb up but had to first check out the flow from Pine Creek as we could hear it pretty good. Started the climb up, pushing through lots of sticky plants, and digging in the heals where the granite was loose. Overshot the turnoff point slightly so backtracked a bit until we found a good point to leave the trail and make our way to the target point. I'm not that knowledgeable when it comes to rock walls so not sure if these are ruins or a corral type structure. We did notice some inner walls which I would think would be odd in a corral. We also noticed two other walls in the hike in/out.

Overall a great hike that covered some new terrain for us. Lots of running water. On the return we stopped at the picnic table at the cabin to enjoy a 5 short break, much appreciated. Passed one lone hiker on the way in, and then started seeing others on the return once we were within 3 miles of the trailhead.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pine Creek Medium flow Medium flow
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Expect to self rescue
Nov 30 2019
LJW
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 Photos 1,072
 Triplogs 228

27 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Boulder Mountain, AZ 
Boulder Mountain, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 30 2019
LJW
Hiking15.03 Miles 3,128 AEG
Hiking15.03 Miles   6 Hrs   5 Mns   2.96 mph
3,128 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Been enamored with Boulder Mountain since my first time to Ballantine Cabin. Can't pass it on the 87 without staring. Figured I'd try to summit it today despite being a little under the weather. Ended up failing, just making it to the base of the mountain.

Great day to be in the Mazatzals with snow above ~5000ft all the way up the range and even down in the Eastern Superstitions. Arrived at the trailhead a little before dawn with temperatures in the low 40s. Tried to hurry to the cabin so that I could get a good look at the mountain before the snow could melt. Pine Creek was raging and almost enough to block out the noise of the highway traffic. Camp Creek had a strong flow of water too. Ballantine and Pine Creek trails were pretty water-logged.

Coming over the ridge toward the cabin the view of the mountain stopped me in my tracks. Water in the creeks before the cabin and really there was water in every drainage up there. Didn't have to take my boots off except to cross Pine Creek on the Pipeline trail. Water was cold but felt great.

Farther up the Pipeline trail I went the more I was sure that I wouldn't be getting to the summit today. Didn't have my legs under me, and with the snow on the steepest parts of the climb it was sure to be even harder than it normally would be. I ended up ~1.5mi/2.1kft short of the summit. Figured out a route to the base of the mountain and turned back feeling dizzy and sick but more prepared for next time.

Only wildlife I saw all day was a coati digging around in a drainage just before I left the Pipeline trail. Didn't think they lived up there. Saw three groups of hikers between Boulder Flat and the trailhead on my way back.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Camp Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Pine Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
1 archive
Feb 24 2019
KBKB
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 22
 Photos 2,216
 Triplogs 237

60 male
 Joined Apr 22 2012
 Fountain Hills,
Ballantine to Boulder FlatPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 24 2019
KBKB
Hiking7.67 Miles 1,821 AEG
Hiking7.67 Miles   4 Hrs   59 Mns   2.35 mph
1,821 ft AEG   1 Hour   43 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked linked
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On Sunday, Michael, Aldo, Marilyn, Ben, Marilyn, and I hiked the Pine Creek Loop and a portion of the Ballantine Trail. I made it out somewhat beyond Boulder Flat before turning back.

Early on, the trails were mostly clear of the snow that accumulated on Thursday and Friday of the previous week. Higher up, however, snow covered the trail in places. Despite the wetness, the trail was firm and not especially muddy. The snow was wet and heavy. We saw broken tree branches and brittlebush plants that had been somewhat flattened by the snow.

When we arrived, there were around dozen cars in the lot, the most I've ever seen there. On the trail itself, I saw more hikers in that one day than I've seen in at least half a dozen trips to the same area.
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Feb 20 2019
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 62
 Routes 616
 Photos 8,861
 Triplogs 570

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.
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
2 archives
Jan 13 2019
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,442
 Triplogs 1,640

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Ballantine to Boulder FlatPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 13 2019
John9L
Hiking10.38 Miles 2,303 AEG
Hiking10.38 Miles
2,303 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
Tough_Boots
Met up with Kyle for a nice hike on the Ballantine Trail. We left Mesa around 7am and made the drive up. It rained overnight and there was a lot of fog out. We drove up and were hiking around 7:45am. We headed in and made the steady climb up. It was an easy going hike and it was cool and pleasant out. We arrived at the junction with the cabin and decided to keep going in Boulder Flat. This was a nice option that neither of us have taken before. We continued on and the trail made a short climb and then it was smooth going.

We arrived at an old corral around the five mile mark and could hear water flowing. We headed over to a Camp Creek to find a solid flow. We took a break here and took some pics. After a few we loaded up and made the return. It was a lot easier as most of the return hike was downhill. Along the way we saw two different groups heading in. We arrived back to the car to find a busy trailhead. We likely avoided most of the people as we returned on the Pine Creek Loop. We were done hiking around 12:30pm and I was home around 1pm. Nice day on the trails.
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1 archive
Oct 23 2018
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 148
 Photos 22,171
 Triplogs 2,270

71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Ballantine Out & Back, AZ 
Ballantine Out & Back, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 23 2018
CannondaleKid
Hiking7.60 Miles 1,877 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles   3 Hrs   57 Mns   1.92 mph
1,877 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
trixiec
On the drive approaching the Usery Pass Rd intersection on Bush Highway we noticed a big dark object on the side of the road and at the same moment both of us blurted out dead horse!

While the horse (not quite full-grown?) was laying on the shoulder and a huge mass of blood spray in the center of the road it appeared to have been moved off the road after the fact. Based on the tire marks the vehicle was probably traveling well over the 45 mph speed limit at the time... right where the rumble strips are to warn of the horse crossing area. As wide as the open area is on either side of the road I'd believe it guess it happened at night.
Sad... :x
(The horse had been removed by time we returned after the hike.)

The hike itself was the usual steady climb with an extra helping of humidity, so another 'sweat-shower' workout for me. Off-and-on dark clouds all-around and low rumblings from time-to-time but nothing provided more than a threat. Thankfully the sun only peeked through a few times so the temps stayed in the 70's and with a brisk wind the return trip was a literal breeze.
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CannondaleKid
Apr 29 2018
KBKB
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 22
 Photos 2,216
 Triplogs 237

60 male
 Joined Apr 22 2012
 Fountain Hills,
Ballantine to Boulder FlatPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 29 2018
KBKB
Hiking7.68 Miles 1,742 AEG
Hiking7.68 Miles   3 Hrs   25 Mns   2.36 mph
1,742 ft AEG      10 Mns Break24 LBS Pack
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Starting mid-afternoon on Sunday, I hiked the Pine Creek Loop CCW and continued on the Ballantine Trail somewhat beyond Boulder Flat. I finished the Pine Creek Loop on the way back.

I had last hiked this trail in Sept 2017. At that time, some recent diversions had been constructed on the initial (CCW) part of the Pine Creek Loop, but some of these diversions were hard to make out and, at least one point, the new trail seemed to fade out after a while. I'm happy to say that this situation has been very much improved. I found that section to be much easier to follow than last year.

The Ballantine Trail seemed to have been cleaned up too. It seemed not quite as rocky with less encroaching vegetation. I made better time on it than normal.

I had the trail to myself during that afternoon.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
saguaro, buckhorn cholla, ocotillo
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2 archives
Apr 13 2018
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 34
 Photos 2,441
 Triplogs 1,177

64 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Ballantine to Boulder FlatPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 13 2018
mazatzal
Hiking7.00 Miles 1,850 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
1,850 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners partners
guitar
Took advantage of the cooler temps today (58 at start and 68 at end) and very strong winds on the way down. Just went up to Boulder Flat and back, did the loop at the end.

There has been some trail work: the white rock ledge that spanned all the way across the trail has been broken up on the right hand side to make another easy way around it. Also quite a bit of brushing along the trail.

Only saw one hiker and a few hawks soaring in the strong winds!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Very isolated!
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1 archive
Apr 06 2018
jacobemerick
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 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,213
 Triplogs 166

36 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.
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Dec 21 2017
survivordude
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 Routes 61
 Photos 990
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Aug 19 2009
 The Basin
Ballantine Cabin & CorralPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 21 2017
survivordude
Hiking10.38 Miles 2,155 AEG
Hiking10.38 Miles   6 Hrs   24 Mns   2.19 mph
2,155 ft AEG   1 Hour   40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
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.
Culture
Culture
PaleoRob Pose

dry Ballantine Canyon Dry Dry
nada
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“There is nothing that exists outside the thought of the immediate moment.”
2 archives
Dec 01 2017
OdinWiski
avatar

 Photos 2,351
 Triplogs 99

49 male
 Joined Jan 31 2015
 Chandler, AZ
Ballantine Cabin & CorralPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 01 2017
OdinWiski
Hiking12.00 Miles 2,266 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   7 Hrs   26 Mns   2.03 mph
2,266 ft AEG   1 Hour   31 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I haven't been able to get out as much as I would like in the last months. Had Friday off and Widowmaker, aka Rowdy's dad, suggested this one. Turned out to be a very good hike. I bet if we'd had some rain, the desert would've been even prettier. I really enjoyed seeing the depths of view and all the layers. The entire route was very easy to follow except the very overgrown portion that climbed out of the valley to get to the corral. I appreciated having the GPS track and wearing long pants :) Larry got cut up pretty bad. Thanks for the hike suggestion and keeping trucking on the entire hike Larry despite your ankle. Rowdy is a cute boy and he always has that huge smile on his face :lol: I enjoyed this hike with you guys and so did Wiski. Not sure why my Garmin logged 12 miles, but that's what it did.
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1 archive
Nov 11 2017
hikerdw
avatar

 Routes 165
 Photos 2,884
 Triplogs 502

62 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Ballantine Cabin & CorralPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 11 2017
hikerdw
Hiking11.00 Miles 2,600 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles   5 Hrs   15 Mns   2.57 mph
2,600 ft AEG      58 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
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!!
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Expect to self rescue
Sep 03 2017
KBKB
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 Guides 3
 Routes 22
 Photos 2,216
 Triplogs 237

60 male
 Joined Apr 22 2012
 Fountain Hills,
Pine Creek Loop #280Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 03 2017
KBKB
Hiking6.07 Miles 1,375 AEG
Hiking6.07 Miles   3 Hrs   42 Mns   1.84 mph
1,375 ft AEG      24 Mns Break27 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
My wife joined me for an early morning hike of the Pine Creek Loop and part of the Ballantine Trail.

We started off by going right (CCW) on the Pine Creek Loop. As mentioned in past triplogs, trail work had been done to create better paths around sections of trail with significant erosion. For the most part, these are good, but there's still one diversion which confuses me. The new section of trail peters out into desert. We backtracked and found what looked like a switchback which led back to the well worn trail. I'm guessing that others have found this confusing too and inadvertently created the trail which we followed that leads nowhere. (So... we contributed to the problem by following it.)

We noticed, too, some significant erosion on the Pine Creek Loop just after the intersection with the Ballantine Trail. I don't recall if this is new or not, but I don't remember it being much of a problem on past hikes in this area.

At perhaps 2.75 miles in (total), there's (still) a fallen saguaro across the Ballantine Trail. I passed it by stepping up onto a boulder on the south side of the trail and then stepping over the saguaro to another boulder on the other side of the fallen saguaro.

I saw two rattlesnakes on the Ballantine Trail as I was hiking back. It's possible that they were also there on the way out, but that I just didn't notice them. The first one struck and aggressive posture and rattled at me. The second one didn't notice me at all - it remained curled up the entire time.

The morning temperatures are becoming cooler. It was in the mid-seventies when we started at 6:20 and was in the high eighties when we got back.
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average hiking speed 2.23 mph
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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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