If you have ever driven from Phoenix to Payson in Arizona, you’ve had the chance to enjoy the beauty of the Beeline Highway. This road will take you up from the low-land Sonoran Desert to the temperate forests of Payson, and past exceptional mountain ranges to match. It is one of my favorite drive in the state, and so it stands that you might wonder what trails might give you some extra exploration of the landscape. There are several, in fact, but two of my favorites are the Ballantine Trail and Barnhardt Trails. This Part 1 post about hiking on the Beeline Highway will cover Ballantine Trail.
This is the perfect desert trail for exploring the transition from the desert to the higher elevation grasslands. There are exceptional stone formations along the way, and awesome views of the Beeline itself. If you are looking for a little bit of a challenge, and want to explore a diverse part of the Sonoran Desert landscape, this is the trail for you.
5 Reasons Ballantine Trail is for You
If you don’t have a lot of time, or you’ve got a lot of trails on your bucketlist, here are 5 reasons that you might want to pick this particular path.
- You are looking for a biodiverse Sonoran Desert experience.
- You are looking for a winter, early spring, or late fall hike that isn’t too crowded or far out of town.
- You enjoy unique geology.
- You would like to explore more of the area between Phoenix and Payson along the beautiful Beeline Highway.
- You are looking to learn more about the impacts of fire on the Sonoran Desert.