Arizona Hiking Gallery
Pine Creek Loop Hike
Tonto National Forest, AZ
December 30, 2005
Gallery contains 29 photos
Gallery last updated: 1/2/2006
Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 1
I'll take a clockwise loop on the Pine Creek Loop Trail heading out on the northern portion and coming back on the southern route.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 2
Two tall Saguaros (Cereus giganteus) stand sentinel over the Pine Creek Trail.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 3
The Pine Creek Loop Trail first heads north paralleling highway 87 for a short distance.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 4
This hillside is covered with Buckhorn Cholla (Opuntia acanthocarpa).

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 5
A thicket of Buckhorn Cholla.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 6
A view of dry Pine Creek as the trail turns eastward (away from the noisy traffic of Hwy 87).

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 7
A good view of Boulder Mountain from the north section of the Pine Creek Loop. The trail meanders around on hillside of the south side of the canyon.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 8
Closeup of Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) thorns. Although it may look dead, when the rains finally come the branches will be covered in bright green leaves.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 9
The south side of this canyon is scarred by a recent desert wildfire. Here you can see where fire retardant was laid down to stop the path of the fire.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 10
A burned Pointleaf Manzanita (Arctostaphylos pungens) showing signs of new life.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 11
More casualties from the wildfire.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 12
A burned and fallen yucca.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 13
A view of a boulder strewn hillside from the saddle where the Pine Creek Loop Trail intesects the Ballantine Trail.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 14
I'll head up the Ballantine Trail for a half mile or so before turning around and finishing the Pine Creek Loop.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 15
The pair of yucca did not make it through the wildfire either.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 16
An interesting granite boulder field.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 17
Granite boulders.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 18
The Ballantine Trail continues up through the boulders.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 19
A view looking down Camp Creek from the Ballantine Trail. The trail on the return follows the top of the ridge behind the yucca flowers.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 20
A wonderful view from the Ballantine Trail looking across a gorgeous boulder field into the Mazatzal Mountains.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 21
Another wonderful view. This is as far up the trail as I went. It's time to turn around and head back down.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 22
Bleached cactus bones. The woody skeleton of a saguaro cactus.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 23
Yet anonther burned yucca.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 24
I'm now back down to the Pine Creek Loop Trail intersection. To finish the loop I'll take the south trail back to the trailhead.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 25
A view from the ridge looking down on Highway 87 heading south toward Phoenix.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 26
Highway 87 framed by two suguaros.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 27
Granite rock surface.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 28
A view from the ridge looking down into (dry of course) Camp Creek.

Pine Creek Loop Hike: Image 29
A view to the northwest into the Mazatzal Mountains.

All images Copyright ©2005 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.