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Merritt Draw Upper, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Clints Well
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 2.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,153 feet
Elevation Gain 519 feet
Accumulated Gain 569 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.8
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
10  2018-08-29 markthurman53
28  2018-08-29
Barbershop Merritt Draw Loop
markthurman53
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Mar, Apr → Early
Seasons   Early Spring to Early Winter
Sun  6:10am - 6:27pm
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Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Merritt - Barbershop Short Loop
0.3 mi away
5.0 mi
800 ft
McFarland Spring via 4WD - Mogollon Rim
0.6 mi away
1.0 mi
247 ft
Barbershop Cyn Upper - Merritt Draw Upper Loop
1.0 mi away
5.9 mi
800 ft
Camp Grasshopper - Mogollon Rim-C/Site#3
1.0 mi away
Maverick Canyon - Merritt Draw Loop
1.0 mi away
5.2 mi
648 ft
Merritt Draw Lower Loop - Mogollon Rim
1.0 mi away
5.8 mi
754 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna View Nearby
Abert's Squirrel
Atlantis Fritillary Butterfly
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Northern Flicker
Police Car Moth
Western Tanager
White Pine Butterfly
Flora View Nearby
Bigtooth Maple
Blue Spruce
Bracken Fern
Coulter's Lupine
Heal-All, Self-Heal
Hemlock-Parsley
Indian Paintbrush
Mexican Silene
Polypore Mushrooms and Conks
Quaking Aspen
Richardsons Geranium
Unidentified Mushroom or Fungi
Wild carrot
Geology View Nearby
Cross-bedding
Meteorology View Nearby
Autumn - Color Foliage
Lightning
Named place View Nearby
Barbershop Canyon
Drift Fence Spring
Maverick Canyon
Maverick Spring - Dane Canyon Quad
Merritt Draw
Merritt Spring
Tibber Tank
Whistling Spring
Culture View Nearby
Cairn
Campsite
Informational/Interpretive Trail Sign
Route - finding Labels
Trash Hauled Out
Unknown VV Triangle Marker
Canyon or Draw - what's in a name
by markthurman53

Overview
Not sure why some canyons get called a Draw and others a Canyon but this one is a Draw. At least we don’t have to deal with the term gulch on the rim. Merritt Draw ends where it empties into Barbershop Canyon and its origin to the south at Forest Service Road 139 (FSR139). This description covers the upper portion from Maverick Canyon to FSR139 and starts just down stream of Maverick Canyon and heads upstream. The trail Head on the upper end is along FSR139 and the lower end is along 139c. This route is mainly off trail but there are some sections where you can follow along old logging roads. When old logging roads are mentioned they are closed to motor vehicles, Forest Service Roads (FSR) are open to vehicles.


Description
From FSR139c I took an old logging road to the rim of Merritt Draw and then headed down hill into Merritt Draw just downstream of where Maverick Canyon enters. Looking down into Merritt Draw it appears it would be easy to navigate as the Canyon is fairly wide with level portions on either side of the creek. I will soon find out this won’t be the case for long. Ran into a bear at the junction with Maverick Canyon and since we were 50 yards apart we both spent a few seconds checking each other out. I was able to get some pictures. Heading upstream From Maverick Canyon the route gets really choked up with trees and very difficult to navigate. Merritt Canyon was not running at this point. At first I tried navigating the canyon bottom but this was too difficult then I tried climbing up the west wall of the canyon a bit to try to get around the debris in the canyon bottom and this wasn’t any better. After 0.4 miles from where I entered Merritt Canyon I called it quits. For the hardy die hards, you could continue up the creek and wrestle with the logs and brush. I headed up the East side of Merritt Canyon to an old logging road and followed it as it paralleled the creek for about a mile where it then crossed Merritt creek. Looks like you could drop back down into the creek a little before this but I opted not to. Once at the crossing I headed back up Merritt Creek which by now I would call it Merritt Meadows. From here to FSR139 the creek follows a large open meadow, reminded me of the Kaibab Plateau and the large meadows there, only not quite as big. On the lower end of the meadow is Merritt Spring and the upper end is Whistling Spring. Tall fences have been put around two portions of the meadow to keep animals out. There were also some fences around what looked like apple trees. Shortly after the meadow ends you follow a dirt road to FSR139 where Merritt Draw has its origin.

Recommendations
Like most Creek hiking you want to pick a time when they are not running too full or when they are dry. Too full makes them hard to navigate and too low and they aren’t quite as scenic. I like the monsoon season a few days after a good rain. On this route the upper half portion where it travels through meadows, winter with snow on the ground would be awesome.

markthurman53

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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 $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    Mogollon Rim Road Forest Service Road 300 to FSR139. For the upper end of Merritt Canyon FSR 139 to NF9735p. for the lower end of Merritt Canyon FSR139 to 139c to NF9735p. NF9735p is closed to vehicles park at junction with FSR139c.
    page created by markthurman53 on Aug 31 2018 1:53 pm
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