Merritt - Barbershop Short Loop, AZ | HikeArizona
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Merritt - Barbershop Short Loop, AZ

Guide 6 Triplogs  1 Topic
  3 of 5 
no permit
107 6 1
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,425 feet
Elevation Gain -440 feet
Accumulated Gain 570 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.85
 Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Perennial Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
 Backpack Yes
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
22  2021-05-29 Oregon_Hiker
13  2020-08-10
Barber Merritt
33  2018-09-13
Merrit Barbershop Dane Lower Loop
28  2018-08-29
Barbershop Merritt Draw Loop
10  2015-08-13 Oregon_Hiker
1  2014-08-09 hikeaz
author avatar Guides 6
Routes 0
Photos 346
Trips 225 map ( 1,994 miles )
Age 66 Male Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Payson Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
Expand Map
Preferred May, Oct, Sep, Jun → 7 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:55am - 6:20pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2019 Hart Fire5k
🔥 2016 Pinchot Fire3.9k
🔥 2009 Tucker Fire2.6k
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥

a charm of it's own
by hikeaz

This short loop makes a decent introduction to off-trail hiking in this area. Most of the canyon bottoms in this area are similar in appearance, but each has its own charm.

From our camp on 139C, we descended the western embankment down a gradual slope. Once in the Merritt creek-bottom, we turned downstream, sometimes hiking in the creek-bed and sometimes on the benches next to the creek. This is a beautiful, healthy forest rife with ferns and tall pines as well as some oaks.

After about 1.75/2 miles, you will reach the 'confluence' with Barbershop Canyon - it will be the first canyon entering from the south-east, and water will be running in it. There are well-used campsites at this intersection, as this is where the U-Bar Trail crosses Barbershop Canyon. Turning up Barbershop Canyon, you will shortly encounter a metal signpost on creek-left (LDC) with a yellow triangle emblem on it. At this point, there is a trail back up to 139C. A couple of our group ascended this trail and road-walked back to our camp. (see dotted red line on my map)

Most continued up Barbershop Canyon passing a small but tall waterfall on creek-right (LDC) - It is a beautiful spring cascading down the rocks. As you continue, watch for a sharp left-hand bend in the creek-bed (see my map) at about 1.6/1.8 miles from the confluence. After rounding this bend, you will see on creek-left (LDC) a substantial elk trail heading upslope. It is a steep trail, but all-in-all not bad as these elk trails go. Once at the top, you will merely head west-ish across the flat pine-forest on a blanket of pine straw back to 139C and your starting point.

If you choose to continue up Barbershop Canyon past where we exited, the canyon walls will get shallower, making a hike out less arduous, but we were shooting to exit close to our starting point. If YOU choose to continue further up Barbershop, exit where you please and road-walk back to your starting point.

Hiking in these canyons does not require a GPS (pointless IN the canyon following the creek-bed), but a map does help. There are numerous elk trails offering ingress/egress, so just look for those; after all, these guys LIVE here and know the best routes.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2014-08-11 hikeaz
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

     Permit $$

    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From the PHOENIX area: Take the Beeline Hwy 87 north all the way past Payson, Strawberry, and past the small community of Clints Well; Continue on Hwy 87 past the right turn for signed Blue Ridge Reservoir, continue on Hwy 87 past the signed right turn for Moqui / Blue Ridge Campgrounds, continue on Hwy 87 past the Blue Ridge Ranger Station to the next signed FR right turn onto FR95; Turn Right onto FR95 at waypoint N34 36.785 W111 11.209 and follow signs for FR95 South, then a major downhill on FR95 to FR95/FR96 intersection after crossing East Clear Creek Bridge; "Stay on" FR95 (a ~right turn SSW) and continue uphill until you reach signed FR139; Turn left onto FR139 (Note: set your odometer to "0") and continue south on FR139 for ~6.6mls to signed FR139C on your left side at waypoint N34 26.535 W111 11.900; Turn Left onto unmaintained, easy to follow gravel FR139C for a tish more than 3 miles - the exact spot you start is immaterial.
    page created by hikeaz on Aug 11 2014 7:42 am

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