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Merritt Draw Upper Loop - Mogollon Rim - 2 members in 4 triplogs have rated this an average 3.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jun 15 2013
Grasshopper
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 Guides 45
 Routes 473
 Photos 8,649
 Triplogs 535

75 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Merritt Draw Upper Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 15 2013
Grasshopper
Hiking1.60 Miles 172 AEG
Hiking1.60 Miles   1 Hour   10 Mns   1.92 mph
172 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This June 15th out and back hike is a deviation from the original hike description write-up further explained in the "information notes" section of my posted 6/15 GPS Route.

On the previous day, part-of my loop hike within Middle & Upper Merritt Draw included hiking to perennial "Whistling Spring" that resides in the upper section of Merritt Draw. After discovering that the newly beefed-up 7ft high Riparian Enclosure around this spring source appeared to not provide any gate or walk-in access, I thought that maybe I had just missed the entry access point..so on this day after and prior-to my planned drive and short hike to Aspen Spring/Cabin, I decided to hike back in to "Whistling Spring" this time from the upper end TH access for Merritt Draw and confirm or deny by hiking around the entire Riparian Enclosure.

Other than providing a little more hiking exercise on 6/15 in a pleasant area to be, my confirmation of findings on 6/14 were confirmed :(
Flora
Flora
Bigtooth Maple
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(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
Jun 14 2013
Grasshopper
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 Guides 45
 Routes 473
 Photos 8,649
 Triplogs 535

75 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Middle-Upr Merritt Draw Figure 8 LOOP, AZ 
Middle-Upr Merritt Draw Figure 8 LOOP, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 14 2013
Grasshopper
Hiking4.70 Miles 481 AEG
Hiking4.70 Miles   3 Hrs   25 Mns   1.94 mph
481 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 
1st trip
One of the enjoyable perks of my Mogollon Rim vehicle campsites is often not having to drive to a hiking TH. This Figure 8 Loop hike is one of those :)

Over the past three years I've hiked this family friendly and very pleasant, simple off-trail route finding section of Upper and Middle Merritt Draw loop hike a number of times. This trip I planned to check-out the three riparian enclosure sections within this area of Merritt Draw and report on the perennial flow status of a couple of the named map springs that were located on my planned hiking route (Whistling Spring and Merritt Spring).

As an unexpected benefit today, I located three (3) additional springs along my figure eight loop that are unnamed but had what appeared to be a perennial water flow. I have way point documented all these springs within my posted and geocoded GPS Route and further documented them via my posted picset with captions and tag notes.

The only disappointment to report on is that last year I was able to walk right up to the perennial flowing cement spring box of "Whistling Spring" (located in Upper Merritt Draw). This trip I noticed that over the past year some enclosure work had been done to reinforce and build-up the Riparian Enclosure around this spring with a seven foot high fence with "no" access :? I don't understand why they fully enclosed the cement spring box without having some type of human access. On my exit day 6/17, I stopped by the Hwy 87- Blue Ridge Ranger Station and leaving without a reason why..?
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Merritt Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
appears to be a perennial water flow with a cement spring box

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Whistling Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Appears to be a perennial water flow with a cement spring box "but" is presently inaccessible for filtering or treating due to being enclosed within a 7 ft high fenced-in riparian enclosure.
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(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
Aug 12 2012
nonot
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 Guides 93
 Routes 236
 Photos 2,001
 Triplogs 477

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
BarbershopCynMerritDrawLoop, AZ 
BarbershopCynMerritDrawLoop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2012
nonot
Hiking13.50 Miles 1,250 AEG
Hiking13.50 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   2.08 mph
1,250 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Parked along the Barbershop trail and headed down into Barbershop Canyon. Down Barbershop Canyon is initially easy, with good elk trails on benches. After awhile the going gets a bit tougher, but Barbershop Canyon is wonderful, with plenty of flowers, intermittent water, and two impressive springs along the way.

With monsoons clouds forming at the time I started the hike, it wasn't surprising I got rained on. After getting a bit wet, I finally found a spot out of the rain to wait out the second half. Thoroughly wet, I continued down the last part of Barbershop, where the elk trails got much better, and found the Ubar intersection.

Barbershop canyon is a true gem on the rim, probably the best hike anywhere in the area.

I went up Merritt Draw, which initially wasn't too bad but quickly required scrambling, bushwhacking, and crawling over many, many downed trees. After awhile of this the elk trails began to improve and I headed up the draw at twice the speed. Reaching Hank's "best entry point", I surprised two elk. One of the elk spotted me and ran away. The other elk didn't see me, but panicked when the other ran.

The elk happened to end up running right at me, not having spotted me. This was good and bad - the bad part was that I had 600 pounds of animal barreling right at me at 15 mph and about 1.5 seconds to react. What to do? Dive behind the tree! While moving, grab the camera, fire off a shot! I haven't checked, but I think I go it!

The rest of the trip wasn't as eventful, I used an elk trail to bypass a portion when I wasn't having any fun climbing over tree after tree and bushwhacking. I think I skipped about a quarter mile. The upper part of Merritt Draw has lots of fences to keep the elk out.

It was pleasant walking through the vast meadows of Merritt Draw. This part is an easy hike that anybody can do, and it goes on for quite a ways. Lots of flowers and green fields. Very nice indeed!

I continued all the way to the top of the draw, cross country to find the trail, and crossed through Barbershop canyon again to finish the loop.

Spring reports - the springs in Barbershop were flowing quite well. They are amazing, but not on the map!

Couldn't tell with the Merritt Draw springs - too many fences in the way.
Fauna
Fauna
Elk
Named place
Named place
Maverick Canyon Merritt Draw
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Sep 29 2011
Grasshopper
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 Guides 45
 Routes 473
 Photos 8,649
 Triplogs 535

75 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Merritt Draw Upper Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 29 2011
Grasshopper
Hiking3.00 Miles 311 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   2 Hrs   17 Mns   2.09 mph
311 ft AEG      51 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The last time I hiked in this area was with Angela and Jack back on August 16th which was also my last actual and posted hike until today :oops:

On 8/16 we started in from the designated TH Start for the main Merritt Draw Loop hike description (2.1 mls in on FR139C). Our loop hike that day took us into the middle sections of the draw and through the main draw riparian areas to Merritt Spring and beyond, but unfortunately due to the long drive back we were not able to hike an additional .5ml up Merritt Draw to confirm the status of "Whistling Spring".

Late this September I decided to quickly plan a one week car camping trip back in this area for 9/28 to 10/3. One hiking day during this stay, starting from a .45ml drive in on FR139C, I had planned to "off-trail" hike this upper most section of Merritt Draw to visit Whistling Spring to confirm its flow status and to also do more exploring of the draws uppermost end. I did a little pre-topo map research before departing and had a plan.

My actual hike on this 9/29/11 day turned-out to be a much more pleasant and enjoyable outing than I had originally expected, so I decided to do the full-Monte with a new HAZ short hike description, posted GPS track (for review & download), pics with detailed captions/tag notes and this trip log. I do hope that some might consider giving this one a try one day as it would be a good one to consider for those interested in sharpening up their off-trail map/GPS route finding skills :D
Named place
Named place
Whistling Spring
Meteorology
Meteorology
Lightning
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Whistling Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Appears to be a perennial spring with a spring box (see pics of spring under HAZ- "Named place" label);
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(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
1 archive
average hiking speed 2.01 mph

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.

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