Pine Creek Loop #280
Length: 3 miles roundtrip
Managing Agency: Tonto National Forest
**Kid Friendly Hike**
Directions to Trailhead:
From Mesa go north on AZ 87 to mile marker 210.7 (the Ballentine Trailhead is 8 miles south of Sunflower). Trailhead is well marked just off the highway.
From parking lot, you have the option of going clockwise or counter-clockwise. Take clockwise loop for easiest trip which is described here. Trail gently climbs as it parallels the highway. Road noise is a distraction, but it doesn't last long. After .5 miles, the trail turns east and continues to climb gently while paralleling Pine Creek. At 1.5 miles the trail reaches a pass and the junction to the Ballentine Trail. The Ballentine Trail offers opportunity for longer hikes.
The loop trail then turns west and follows the ridge line, passing over two small summits before descending back down to the parking lot.
We did this during a freak snowstorm in April 1999. Stunning. Our trip took about 1.5 hours.
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