Trailblazers on the Ballantine/Pine Creek Loop Trail.
|Neil, Greg, Barbara, Gail, Nick, DeAnn, Ken, Denise, Brian
kneeling: Steve and Rich.
On this warm October morning 13 hearty hikers gathered at the Ballantine/Pine Creek Loop
Trail located just 22 miles North of Fountain Hills, AZ.
This hike was led by Neil & Billie. We combined two hiking groups today.
The leaders had planned a 6.6 mile route which we have enjoyed twice in the past.
Today, a combination of heat, rocky, steep unmaintained trail overgrown with scratchy
Cat's Claw inspired us to turn around early.
We traveled an estimated 5 miles and were happy to get back to the cars and AC a bit
earlier than expected.
This area was badly burned in a wildfire in 2021 and it appears that most of the
vegetation which has filled in is not hiker friendly. The leaders each carried hand
held clippers so Neil and Rich attempted to clear the trail ahead of the group but
many of us still experienced scratches with some bleeding.
Aside from the challenges, we all enjoyed the day and each other.