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Merrill Peak 9288
4 Photosets

2018-06-27  
2016-07-17  
2013-08-01  
2007-06-17  
mini location map2016-07-17
13 by photographer avatarAZHiker456
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Merrill Peak 9288Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 17 2016
AZHiker456
Hiking2.10 Miles 545 AEG
Hiking2.10 Miles   1 Hour   12 Mns   2.10 mph
545 ft AEG      12 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Day 3 (Hike 1) – At the end of Day 2 as I soaked my sore muscles in Riggs Lake, I looked up at the nearby Merrill Peak and it was really tempting… as was the idea of knocking off a ton of short summit hikes on Day 3 as I made my way back down the Swift Trail / Rt. 366. That would be one fine day [and a fine way of breaking up that long drive]…

I car-camped at the Jesus-Goudy camp area about a mile down the road from the turn off for Riggs Lake and less than 1/2 mile from the point on the topo where I thought, ‘this would make a perfect approach for Merrill Peak…’ Had I woken to hot temps, the voice of reason may have discouraged my big plans, but with morning temps that hung steady at 59 degrees, there was no way I was turning down the golden opportunity that presented. At close to 9,000’, the window of opportunity in this neck of the woods isn’t exactly very wide when trying to plan around ‘snow season’, ‘monsoon season’, and ‘snake season’ [and my work schedule]; so when perfect weather conditions presented that morning, I seized the opportunity and went on a peak-bagging frenzy as I made my way down the Swift Trail / Rt. 366.

Having deleted all of the bushwhacks, [and not having enough reception to import my ‘master file’ for routes I’d drawn up in the Pinalenos], I had to ‘wing-it’ for a few of the peaks… and there were even a couple instances of ‘really winging it’ thanks to the Route Scout topo not loading, which happens on occasion. However, given the short nature of the bushwhacks, the very generous terrain, and the many waypoints that are automatically displayed when using Route Scout topo, I never experienced any difficulties with route finding, even during the times I had to just aim for the waypoints when the topo failed to load... which I can’t help but admit added an element of FUN! :D

Merrill Peak proved to be the perfect opener to the day. While the slope of the peak that faces Riggs lake looks like it might get pretty brushy, you could not have asked for better bushwhacking conditions from the way I approached [where the Jesus Goudy Ridge Trail terminates at Rt. 366]. It was pretty much soft, pine-covered terrain with 0 brush to contend with, [aside from one very short section of blasting through some ferns]; and there was nothing overly steep/tiring in terms of the grade. There were a few downed trees but it was easy to skirt them or go over them.

Although the views from Merrill Peak did not make my Fab Five, they were still quite nice and I enjoyed this summit a lot more than the more popular Clark Peak. I spent a good several minutes searching for a summit register, but like the previous HAZ report, I was unable to find one.
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153 Photosets

  2016-07-22
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  2016-07-17
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  2016-06-26
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  2016-05-30
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