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Maverick Cny - Merritt Draw Loop, AZ
mini location map2015-08-15
17 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Maverick Cny - Merritt Draw Loop, AZ 
Maverick Cny - Merritt Draw Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 15 2015
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking5.13 Miles 596 AEG
Hiking5.13 Miles   4 Hrs   56 Mns   1.04 mph
596 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
This was another hike out of Camp Grasshopper on the third day of a seven day camp at this location. GH and I had planned on doing a loop hike up Maverick Canyon since it was about the only canyon near Camp GH that we had never been to. Unfortunately GH was compelled to remain in camp so I was on my own. I followed the abandoned FR9735P from its intersection with FR139C near Camp GH towards Merritt Draw. I've always liked the hike down this old road. It passes through a fern and grass covered forest glen with Ponderosa Pines towering overhead, a couple small clusters of Aspen and a sprinkling of what look to me like the Blue Spruce common to the Cascade Mtns of Oregon.

I dropped down into Merritt Draw about a mile from camp following a string of ancient cairns placed there long ago by GH as a guide. Once reaching the bottom of Merritt, I headed up the draw to where Maverick Canyon forks off to the right. Continuing up Merritt Draw from this point is very difficult because cliff walls narrow down to a log filled nightmare. I was afraid Maverick Canyon would have the same barriers but it ended up being a pleasant stroll although my feet did get soaked from the wet grass. This time I was wearing my non-Gortex desert hiking boots so my feet were quickly soaked. However on the plus side, these boots dried out quickly once back at camp while my heavy duty Gortex backpacking boots were still wet 5 days later.

The hike up Maverick was not strenuous and I took my time enjoying the scenery. It's nice to have a bushwhack hike once in a while that is this easy. I continued to the upper end of Maverick and crossed over FR9734P and down into the upper end of Merritt Draw near Whistling Spring. The upper end of Merritt Draw is one long continuous meadow with the grass grazed down by elk to the height of the grass on a golf course green in some areas. Large clusters of sunflowers added color to the meadows. I took my time and had a relaxing lunch break in the shade of a towering pine tree before heading over the ridge on the east side of the draw to Camp GH. The afternoon thunderstorms were starting to roll in and I was hesitant to go over the ridge top but got back to camp before the storm started.
Fauna
Fauna
Northern Flicker
Named place
Named place
Merritt Spring
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