Ballantine Trail 283/Pine Creek Loop Trail 280

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Ballantine Trail 283/Pine Creek Loop Trail 280

Hiking Trail

Ballantine Trail 283/Pine Creek Loop Trail 280

by: Honza
Location:  Phoenix, AZ          Longitude:  -111.4934    Latitude:  33.7644
A picturesque trail situated less than 40 miles from Phoenix.
Features and Interests:   Boulder formations.
Flora/Fauna on this Trail:
You have probably passed this trail on your way to Payson many times...do stop next time as it's well worth it!

The trail starts off as Pine Creek Loop but connects/continues at half-way point with Ballantine trail leading to Boulder Flat.

From the trail head, you can either take the right to the North side or left via the South side. Making a right, you will take a gradual climb through the beautiful Sonoran Desert. There are a lot of views and lookouts, so take a look around while climbing. Once you reach the top of the peak, the trail wraps around the back and starts descending to the junction of Ballantine Trail.

At this junction, you can continue to the right to Boulder Flat (3 miles) or even Cline Trailhead (11 miles). It's a there-and-back trail and would recommend continuing onto Boulder Flat where the trail turns into a boulder and wildflower paradise...amazing.

If you wish to return, you will continue back down the South side of the Pine Creek Loop. This side is much different from the boulder/ridge trail of the north, taking you through a desert grass meadow full of wildflowers. Notice the creek to the right too which may have water depending on the wet season!

The lower part of the south side parallels the AZ 87 which is the only down side of this trail.
Trail Distance:  3.1 miles round-trip
Elevation:  2280ft - 2650ft   (change 370ft)
Trail Difficutly:  Moderate - requires some endurance, elevation changes
How Crowded:  Solitude
Season:  October to June
Accomodations: (on site) The trailhead is just past milepost 210 on AZ 87 (21 miles north of the Shea Blvd intersection).Good dirt road, off-road vehicle not needed.
Saguaro Lake - Butcher Jones Trail   -   Easy : 6 miles long : 1550ft to 1650ft (change 100ft)
Four Peaks Brown's Trail 133   -   Moderate : 4.8 miles long : 5700ft to 7200ft (change 1500ft)
Trail Ratings and Comments