Pine Creek Loop And Ballantine Trail

MODERATE 95 reviews
#26 of 134 trails in

Pine Creek Loop And Ballantine Trail is a 6.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Fountain Hills, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,502 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Went CCW and found the north side was more evenly inclined to the junction. What's beyond the 4 trail intersection at mile 4?

hiking
3 days ago

Loved it. Moderately difficult 3 mile loop. Some of the biggest and healthiest suguaro that we have seen. Views down to two running creeks. Very little traffic. Some freeway noise. I would do this hike again just for the cactus.

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful trail that included diverse landscapes. With all the recent rain, we even got to see a waterfall!

hiking
muddy
no shade
rocky
snow
17 days ago

I went on the last Saturday of 2019 after it had been raining all week. The trail was quite muddy and some parts were even gentle streams. The loop itself is relatively straight forward. If you go clockwise, it’s a less aggressive incline, counter clockwise is steeper so decide which you prefer to go up and then come down. Ballentine Trail is about 1.5 miles (half way) either direction you come on the loop and it is a spectacular view. I found it incredibly scenic and there was flowing streams down the sides of the mountains. The trail gets rockier here, but I didn’t find the incline difficult. It started snowing when we got in the higher elevation so at some point we turned around. But seeing snow on cacti is quite surreal and magical. I would recommend this trail. I would say moderate in difficulty and the views are spectacular. Dogs are welcome on leash. No facilities at trail head. No shade.

hiking
19 days ago

12-29-19 Beautiful Sunrise Hike on well maintained sandy rocky trail. Views of snow covered mountains are breathtaking! Easy to Moderate Hike with steady slow incline. Pine Creek was flowing rapidly today with all the rain from this past week. Gorgeous views!!! Plenty of parking, no fees, no washrooms. We totaled out 7 miles, Enjoy!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice short loop. A little over 4 miles. For a greater distance take the Ballentine Trail out and back from the intersection, then complete the loop. We prefer counterclockwise. The ascent is quicker going this way. Views are great. It was different hearing rushing water from the creeks on both legs of the route. Running water in the desert is not often heard.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

My daughter and I did the Pine Creek Loop portion of the trail on a November Friday morning. Did it counter-clockwise, had it to ourselves the entire 2.5 - 3.0 miles or so. Beautiful views; trail is easy to follow; a little bony, so watch your step (I'm 68, so fairly careful.); nice slope up to the half-way point of the loop, then easy slope back to the trail head. There's a wooden sign for the Ballantine Trail at the half-way point - can't miss it. Vegetation grows close to the trail so probably want to watch for rattlers during warm weather. My daughter and I liked this trail. It's close to Phoenix and made for a very pleasant couple hours.

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Beautiful hike with amazing views. We found the trail easy to follow and navigate.

hiking
over grown
4 months ago

The hike itself was really good, it was hard but not too hard, it took me about 3 hours to do the 6 miles. But there were so many cactuses and thorn branches that were overgrown onto the trail that I ended up leaving with several scrapes and so did my dog. My dog wore her booties and I would suggest that if anyone else take a dog that they also do. There were tons of things she stepped on that would have been a pain to pull out of her paws if she had not had her booties on.

If you do the whole thing, it’s closer to 7.2 miles. It’s a good work out. The trail is pretty rocky

My wife and I booked ourselves a half day in the wilderness without the kids and decided to explore Ballantine off the 87 midway between Payson and Phoenix. I love how easily accessible this trail is to any vehicle - the parking lot is literally right off the highway. From the trailhead I recommend the climb up to the right but the alternative is to begin the loop clockwise to the left but that follows closely with the highway for the first half mile or so. I had previously hiked 8.8 delightful miles here in January and knew immediately that I’d be revisiting!We expected mild temps but not rain, so when some serious clouds presented themselves on our drive in, Emily remembered we had some ponchos in the center console so we packed them just in case. I always stash a large trash bag for emergencies, but let’s just say the poncho was a huge step up and was used for 2/3 of our hike! In hindsight I would have packed the proper rain gear considering I’m always hoping for rain! Although our first 30 minutes were dry, once the rain started it basically continued for two hours! We weren’t deterred by the rain - the skies were beautiful, the air fresh and cool and crisp, and the snakes stayed underground! Additionally, the colors are so much more vibrant and enhanced by the rain that it’s a shame to not see everything wet! We hiked about 2.5 miles per AllTrails and decided to turn back and complete the loop to he car - I like the loop but you can avoid the stretch along the freeway if you just return the same route you came.... but then you miss seeing Pine Creek and other new scenery! The final 30 minute stretch was dry and sunny so our clothes had a chance to dry before our trip back to the Valley. We encountered one other hiker, but that was expected since this was a weekday. If you can book 4-6 hours trip time you’ll get deeper into the wilderness which I definitely recommend as the scenery is awesome!

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
8 months ago

Went counter clockwise (right trail) then went for 3 or so miles down Ballantine (didn't seem like much was different / going on / leading to something. Trail has an okay / moderately challenging grade. Paths are either Sandy, Rocky, or gravely. Brush encroaches on all sides. The grass and cactus will easily bite you if you aren't careful. I was constantly picking grass seeds and brambles out of my socks. View is good. Nice mountains on occasion. Saguaro and cacti aplenty. Some real good wild flowers. The path is sometimes strict because of bushes...we got trapped by a rattlesnake and had to go quite a ways to go around.

hiking
no shade
rocky
9 months ago

Pretty trail with cool rock formations. I went 7.2 round trip miles and did not reach “the boulders” quite yet- was maybe a mile off. Trail was HOT, as there really is no shade. Ran out of water and I had 2 liters with me, so bring extra if it’s hot out. The trail is quite rocky so I’d anticipate that some may find it on the harder side of moderate and a bit tough on knees on the way down.

hiking
no shade
rocky
9 months ago

3/10/19 beautiful. no shase, wear protection. once you get to the three way site. if you take a left. about 3/4 mile. there's a creek off trail down the hill to the right. crowded trail. dog friendly.

9 months ago

My dog and I only went about a mile in, but it was beautiful and the wildflowers are in full swing. If you're a Texan, you'll appreciate that there are bluebonnets everywhere! Highly recommend for a highway drive rest stop.

hiking
10 months ago

This was nice morning hike on a Saturday to get away from crowds. There was only 2 other cars at the TH and one was packing up to leave. It was nice with just Cooper and me, but about 1/4 mile or so up the Ballantine we turned back. Lots of boulders to hike through and seems like snake territory. Didn't want to risk that alone with the pup. We did finish the loop and that was nice. Good views of the creek and running water. Will come back with human company next time and finish the trail.

hiking
no shade
10 months ago

Nice trail. Counterclockwise approach seems the best. Some wild flowers. Beautiful creek. Only did 4 miles in.

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked this yesterday. Took Pine Loop counter clockwise, Ballantine Trail up to Boulder Flat, and spur over to Rock Creek. Probably around 9 miles. Some snow still on the ground in the upper part of the trail and on the surrounding mountains, but going fast. Lots of water/seeps on the trail and Camp Creek, Rock Creek and Pine Creek all flowing with lots of water. Beautiful day in shorts and t-shirt. Some wildflowers out. I'll definitely go back again!

hiking
11 months ago

Loved this hike! Very beautiful area. We got a late start so only went out 3 miles and then back. Hiking back down the very bouldery Ballantine trail was not as much fun as going up as we really had to watch our step and baby our creaky old knees. We took the Pine Creek trail counterclockwise on the way up and wound up dropping 100’ to intersection with Ballantine. Much rockier than north side of loop and we still heard the cars all the way till just beyond intersection. So will probably just skip the loop next time. Gorgeous sunny day. Not that many people on the trail. A few flowers starting to come out.

hiking
no shade
rocky
Tue Jan 15 2019

hiking
Wed Jan 09 2019

We hiked this trail on January 8th. We went 5 miles in, so ended up doing a 10 mile hike. The first mike was a little noisy, because of the highway, but once we got away from the road, it was beautiful. We were the only ones on the trail all day. We loved the saguaros and the boulders. We turned around at Camp Creek. We were surprised at how much water was in the creek. We would do this hike again. It was a new hike for us.

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