Arizona Hiking Gallery
Ballantine Trail Hike
Tonto National Forest, AZ
January 18, 2009
Gallery contains 41 photos
Gallery last updated: 2/12/2009

This hike starting from the Ballantine Trailhead was a little over 6 miles, out-and-back, to an area known as The Boulders. The trail passes by some wonderful and unique boulder fields and formation. Much of the hike parallels Camp Creek, which on this day had a bit of water running probably from snowmelt up on Four Peaks.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 1
From the trailhead we've hiked up the Pine Creek Trail to the intersection with the Ballantine Trail. Were headed up the trail toward Boulder Flat and the area known as The Boulders.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 2
Wiry Lotus (Lotus rigidus) aka Desert Rock-pea or Shrubby Deervetch.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 3
A little distance along the Ballantine Trail a boulder outcropping makes an appearance.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 4
More of the boulder field.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 5
More boulders.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 6
Diamond Mountain rises behind Black Mesa in this view to the north from the Ballantine Trail.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 7
Boulder field.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 8
Last year's spent flower stalk of a Sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri).

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 9
Toothed leaves of Sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri) a member of the agave family. Sotol is also known as Desert Spoon.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 10
A pair of Pincushion Cactus (Mammillaria microcarpa).

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 11
The Ballantine Trail follows along Camp Creek. It looks dry, but there was actually water flowing in this desert stream.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 12
Bouldery Camp Creek. In the center you can see a little trickle of water flowing among the boulders.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 13
A Saguaro cactus skeleton rises out of a pile of boulders.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 14
A granite boulder covered with a thick layer of bright greenish-yellow lichen.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 15
A large boulder on a ridge line points skyward behind an Ocotillo.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 16
A wonderfully bouldered hillside.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 17
A granite spire towers over the surrounding landscape.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 18
Granite statuary.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 19
Saguaro cactus skeleton.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 20
Granite spire.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 21
A view looking back down Camp Creek.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 22
It doesn't take much to get a desert dweller excited about a little bit of water in a creek.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 23
Granite boulder pile.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 24
A trio of charred Sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri) has survived a wildfire that swept through the area a few years ago.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 25
A granite boulder field at our lunch and turnaround spot along Camp Creek.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 26
A trickle of water flows among the sand and rocks in Camp Creek.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 27
Wonderful patterns created as crystal clear water flows over a rocky bottom.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 28
The waters of Camp Creek flowing among the boulders.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 29
Camp Creek.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 30
Camp Creek.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 31
Interesting bubbly pattern/texture as water flows through boulders.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 32
Water over granite.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 33
Water over granite.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 34
Closeup of smooth granite rock.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 35
Closeup of smooth granite rock.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 36
Stone statue ala Easter Island.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 37
Ridges in the Mazatzal Mountains.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 38
Ocotillo against a backdrop of boulders.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 39
A bouldery ridge with the Mazatzal Mountains in the background.

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 40
A wonderful many-armed Saguaro Cactus (Cereus giganteus).

Ballantine Trail Hike: Image 41
A view across Highway 87 into the Mazatzal Mountains taken just above the trailhead.

All images Copyright ©2009 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.