Arizona Hiking Gallery
Pine Creek Loop Hike
Tonto National Forest, AZ
December 30, 2005
Gallery contains 29 photos
Gallery last updated: 1/2/2006
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.
Two tall Saguaros (Cereus giganteus) stand sentinel over the Pine Creek Trail.
The Pine Creek Loop Trail first heads north paralleling highway 87 for a short distance.
This hillside is covered with Buckhorn Cholla (Opuntia acanthocarpa).
A thicket of Buckhorn Cholla.
A view of dry Pine Creek as the trail turns eastward (away from the noisy traffic of Hwy 87).
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.
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.
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.
A burned Pointleaf Manzanita (Arctostaphylos pungens) showing signs of new life.
More casualties from the wildfire.
A burned and fallen yucca.
A view of a boulder strewn hillside from the saddle where the Pine Creek Loop Trail intesects the Ballantine Trail.
I'll head up the Ballantine Trail for a half mile or so before turning around and finishing the Pine Creek Loop.
The pair of yucca did not make it through the wildfire either.
An interesting granite boulder field.
The Ballantine Trail continues up through the boulders.
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.
A wonderful view from the Ballantine Trail looking across a gorgeous boulder field into the Mazatzal Mountains.
Another wonderful view. This is as far up the trail as I went. It's time to turn around and head back down.
Bleached cactus bones. The woody skeleton of a saguaro cactus.
Yet anonther burned yucca.
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.
A view from the ridge looking down on Highway 87 heading south toward Phoenix.
Highway 87 framed by two suguaros.
A view from the ridge looking down into (dry of course) Camp Creek.
A view to the northwest into the Mazatzal Mountains.
All images Copyright ©2005 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.