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Merritt Draw Loop (Lower) - Mogollon Rim - 5 members in 11 triplogs have rated this an average 3.4 ( 1 to 5 best )
11 triplogs
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11 Triplogs
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May 10 2021
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 60
 Routes 587
 Photos 8,276
 Triplogs 524

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Pinchot Cabin, AZ 
Pinchot Cabin, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 10 2021
DixieFlyer
Hiking13.40 Miles 1,775 AEG
Hiking13.40 Miles   6 Hrs   2 Mns   2.90 mph
1,775 ft AEG   1 Hour   25 Mns Break
 
I decided to head up to the Rim for a couple of days of hiking and one night of car camping at Camp Grasshopper Site #2. After setting up camp, we hiked over to Pinchot Cabin and back. When we got back to the campsite we decided to climb up the ridge to the west of the campsite and check out the Merritt Draw Riparian Area.

It was a nice day to be hiking up on the Rim. We saw a mountain biker at Pinchot Cabin, but did not see anyone else all day. At Pinchot Cabin we started hiking on the Houston Brothers Trail, thinking that we might go back to the campsite that way. However, after a bit of reflection, I figured that route would be longer than I wanted, so after a short distance on the Houston Brothers Trail, we turned around and went back the way that we came.

The Merritt Draw Riparian Area was really nice and is worthy of some more exploration.

The campsite was clean except for some TP that some moron had left not too far from the fire ring. You'd think that people could do better than that, but I guess not.

This is a nice area, and I hope to get back there later in the summer.
Named place
Named place
Pinchot Spring
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
Aug 11 2020
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 60
 Routes 587
 Photos 8,276
 Triplogs 524

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Pinchot Cabin from Camp Grasshopper, AZ 
Pinchot Cabin from Camp Grasshopper, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 11 2020
DixieFlyer
Hiking13.10 Miles 1,411 AEG
Hiking13.10 Miles   4 Hrs   59 Mns   2.76 mph
1,411 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I was wanting to check out a couple of cabins on the Cabin Loop that I had not been to, so I decided to camp at the excellent Camp Grasshopper #2 site on the rim, and hike for a couple of days.

This was day 1, so I drove in and set up my tent, and then I decided to hike to the Pinchot Cabin. I went north on FR 139C until it ended, and then made an off-trail descent down to a spring where Barbershop Canyon and Merritt Draw meet. There I picked up the U-Bar Trail and took it to Pinchot Cabin. This was a very nice trail to hike on. The cabin was nice to check out, but it sure needs a new roof.

I had thought about doing a loop by taking the Houston Brothers Trail south to the Barbershop Trail, and then taking FR139 and FR139C back to Camp Grasshopper. That would have added 2+ miles to the hike, and it was getting a bit late, so I decided to just retrace my steps back. Of course, I missed a turn to the trail and walked on a forest road longer than I should have. So I checked out my map and GPS track and went off-trail for a ways to FR139 just below the U-Bar Trail, and then took it back to U-Bar. I don't think that my mistake added more than 1/4 mile to the hike.

This is a nice area to hike in, and I imagine that I will go back there sometime for some more exploration. It did not look like anyone had been to Camp Grasshopper since my one-night stay there the previous week.
Fauna
Fauna
Garter Snake
Named place
Named place
Pinchot Spring
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
Aug 10 2020
chumley
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 692
 Photos 16,127
 Triplogs 1,618

48 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Barber Merritt, AZ 
Barber Merritt, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 10 2020
chumley
Hiking7.48 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking7.48 Miles   3 Hrs   45 Mns   2.16 mph
600 ft AEG      17 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
God help anybody who doesn't have a masters degree in Hazology to figure out where they've hiked here. Is it Merritt Draw Loop Lower or Merritt Draw Loop Mid-Lower? Or maybe just Merritt Draw? Is it a riparian area? :-k

It's a good thing I didn't look these things up ahead of time or I'd still be trying to figure them out and missed out on the hiking altogether! :sweat:

Kudos to @oregon_hiker who descended into Barbershop directly from Camp Grasshopper Mogollon Rim-C/Site#3 (don't worry, I linked that one too!). That's a steep and sketchy descent. One and done for that approach, thanks!

The canyon is pretty dry. Plenty of water, but not continual. We took a break at the U-Bar junction before heading up Merritt Draw (Lower?). There was no water in Merritt for the first mile but slowly more pools appeared which was great for Roshi to swim and cool off on what was a slightly warm day up there. Still beats the valley.

It was nice to cruise on the closed-to-driving road 9735P after miles of rock hopping in the canyon bottoms. It's nice to explore these drainages, and I don't think I had done this stretch before.

[I edited the 4,177 feet of gain that apparently I recorded :roll: ]
_____________________
33s over 45s
1 archive
Aug 03 2020
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 60
 Routes 587
 Photos 8,276
 Triplogs 524

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Merritt Draw Meander, AZ 
Merritt Draw Meander, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 03 2020
DixieFlyer
Hiking7.10 Miles 814 AEG
Hiking7.10 Miles   3 Hrs   38 Mns   2.21 mph
814 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I decided to escape the heat of the VOS, so I headed up to the Mogollon Rim to hike and car camp in an area that I had not been to before.

I drove up to Camp Grasshopper Site #2, and got my tent set up. Then I decided to hike north on FR 139C, following the Merritt Draw Lower Loop, and for a short ways the Merritt Draw Middle Loop and Maverick Canyon Loop. After a couple of miles or so I got to the end of 139C, and descended off-trail down to Merritt Draw. After the descent I was across from the Ubar Trail at a nice spring, with a pool of water deep enough to swim in had I been so inclined.

Then I followed the Merritt Draw Lower GPS track up Merritt Draw. The track went uphill after a ways, but it was really overgrown with some thorn bushes. I was wearing a short sleeve shirt with no gloves, and since I really wasn't looking to donate a pint of blood, I backtracked a bit and found a route up between cliffs. It was a bit steep in a couple of places, but it wasn't TOO bad. I then went south, in between FR 139C and @grasshopper's GPS track. I had intended to make my way back to @grasshopper's route, but there was some deadfall in front of me, and I decided to take the easy way, so I went uphill a bit back to FR 139C.

On the way back to the campsite I stopped to check out campsite #3 and campsite #2.5. Campsite #3 was almost, but not quite, as nice as campsite #2. Campsite #2.5 was also nice, but it did not have all the amenities of Campsite #2. Which is why @grasshopper charges less for site 2.5, so it has some appeal to more budget minded campers. otoh, @grasshopper charges an arm and leg for site #2, so you'd better have some deep pockets to stay there!...lol...I am just kidding of course!

Once I got back to Campsite #2, I walked up the hill on the other side of FR 139C, just to check it out. However, I decided to save any further exploration for another day.

This is a nice area, and I plan to come back and explore some more of Merritt Draw, and also hike on some of the Cabin Loop to check out the Pinchot Cabin and Buck Springs Fire Guard Station.
Culture
Culture
Swimming Hole
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
2 archives
Jun 14 2019
Grasshopper
avatar

 Guides 47
 Routes 487
 Photos 8,981
 Triplogs 551

76 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Merritt Draw Loop (Lower) - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 14 2019
Grasshopper
Hiking5.60 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking5.60 Miles   4 Hrs   47 Mns   1.71 mph
600 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Oregon_Hiker
On my recent 6nt/7day Mogollon Rim- Camping/Hiking trip (6/12 to 6/18), for my second full day outing this was my planned (a favorate :D ) moderate off-trail loop hike from camp to check out this scenic, pleasant, and always in June, lush-green with water flowing Lower Merritt Draw and an excellent choice it was for my HAZ milestone 500 !!

Since August-2012, this was my third time hiking this enjoyable loop and this visit having the most lush greenery and most flowing water :) . The only minor complication this visit was with the harsh Winter'19 season with record snow and Spring runoff, there were more down trees to navigate over, under, and around.

🙌 🙌
Named place
Named place
Drift Fence Spring Merritt Draw

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Drift Fence Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
_____________________
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
Jul 23 2016
tibber
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 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,590
 Triplogs 1,155

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Lower Merritt Loop - FR 139C, AZ 
Lower Merritt Loop - FR 139C, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 23 2016
tibber
Hiking5.50 Miles 515 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles
515 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
AZBeaver
Grasshopper
trekkin_gecko
Kelly met me at my house around 11 and we headed north to the cool weather country but not before enduring a whole lot of traffic on the 17; which seemed odd for this time of day.

After arriving at Camp Grasshopper Site 3 via a slight detour on 139A, Kelly wanted to do a little hike so we chose the Lower Merritt Loop and hiked down the road to the gully where you hang a left. We found a VV sign and took a pic to add to the HAZ collection. This little gully which is also an old road (veers to the west) is covered in what looks like little clover shaped ground cover; pretty cool. The skies were dark thru here but then lightened up as we rounded the corner to head up the loop as you follow the old grass-covered forest road. We did take a tour up to where it looked like there might be a spring. It was a pretty area.
As we got further up the road the thunder began to rumble and got more frequent the further we walked so we opted to skip the riparian area and head up to the ridge and back to camp. Kelly got way ahead so she missed out on the raspberry bush where we attacked it like a bunch of hungry bears (the darker colored raspberries were the sweetest).

After visiting for a bit at camp we decided to take a road walk up 139C as Kelly wasn't happy with the couple miles we did. Grasshopper joined us and instead of turning left at the clover covered road we continued straight (north). It was a nice hike with the sunlight dancing thru the tall trees of the forest on each side of us. We checked out an aspen candy section where Hank decided to turn around. Kelly and I continued on for a bit but then it started to get a little chillier and the road was a little wetter. It was also getting darker and since we didn't want to get back to camp after dark, we turned around.

A nice beginning to a very nice weekend! :) Video - https://youtu.be/vy ... MiN4

Camp Grasshopper: https://youtu.be/6l ... VZOQ
Named place
Named place
Tibber Tank
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
2 archives
Sep 02 2015
The_N
avatar

 Routes 54
 Photos 1,508
 Triplogs 325

35 male
 Joined Mar 18 2015
 Payson, AZ
Merritt Draw Loop (Lower) - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 02 2015
The_N
Hiking3.86 Miles 1,530 AEG
Hiking3.86 Miles   3 Hrs   3 Mns   1.93 mph
1,530 ft AEG   1 Hour   3 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Went for a little off-trail hike while the youngster and I were scouting out campsites for a group trip next week. From FR139C we started out west and down into the canyon where Merritt and Maverick come together and explored down creek a couple miles before exiting the canyon and walking the road back to the vehicle. We climbed a few hills while down in the canyon so we could check out some small caves. Stopped for a snack next to the creek and took a dip in two of the deeper pools. There was water flowing the entire length of our hike, likely due to recent rain. The vegetation was lush and mossy. Once back on FR139C we were greeted by 2 black labs (and then their owners) who finished out the road walk with us. They were bow hunters also scouting out the area. Temps remained cool in the low 60s, great little hike.
Flora
Flora
Common hop
_____________________
If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Jun 13 2014
Grasshopper
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 Guides 47
 Routes 487
 Photos 8,981
 Triplogs 551

76 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Merritt Draw Loop (Lower) - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 13 2014
Grasshopper
Hiking5.40 Miles 715 AEG
Hiking5.40 Miles   4 Hrs   25 Mns   1.47 mph
715 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My Hiking Loop Route today (which is different than the published Hike Desc Route):
I now recommend a "counter-clockwise" loop around to take advantage of the cooler morning temps with some shade to first hike the 2.3 mile pleasant and less traveled section of lower FR139C before the required route finding, off-trail -375ft downhill to intersect Barbershop Canyon Drainage at the lower most end of Merritt Draw.

It had been close to two years since I last hiked this pleasant loop with Oregon Hiker. I had planned on another hike visit to this area in year 2013 but I guess I was side-tracked last year :| . Anyway, another nice loop hike departing from my Camp Grasshopper Campsite #3 without having to drive to a TH location made it a good choice for this years' visit. This loop has a bunch of interesting areas to view some of which are detailed with way point locations on my posted GPS Route and further documented via pic captions on my posted picture set.

One of the interesting items I wanted to confirm was still in place was a special find I had made back in July'11 of a fully in-tack Bull Elk 10 Point Rack with skull http://hikearizona.com/photo=201908 . This was pretty 8) and a highlight for friends viewing that I had managed to semi-hide for two plus years from the human "elk trophy hunters" finding.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed to find that it had been discovered and taken since my last visit :(

Fortunately however, a special event sighting awaited me just around the next bend :D
http://hikearizona.com/photo=425746
(a minor "downer" with nice pics to remember and a huge new "upper" with new pics and lasting memories)
Fauna
Fauna
Black Bear
Culture
Culture
Memorial
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Drift Fence Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
This mostly reliable perennial spring had large pooling around spring source area (flow estimated to be probably less than a gallon/minute but more than a quart/minute).
_____________________
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
Aug 25 2012
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 392
 Photos 6,998
 Triplogs 520

75 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Merritt Draw Loop (Lower) - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 25 2012
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking5.80 Miles 754 AEG
Hiking5.80 Miles
754 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Grasshopper
mazatzal
Trishness
A very pleasant day for a hike. We started out from Camp Grasshopper on FR139C. I like hikes that start out from camp requiring no driving on narrow forest roads to reach a trailhead - you never know when you'll drive around a blind corner to find someone barreling at you at 50 mph. :scared: Of course I'm sure none of the HAZ members would drive like that. ;) We hiked a short distance from camp up FR139C until we reached an unused spur road that would take us over to Merritt Draw. We used Grasshopper's GPS track from the Merritt Draw Upper Loop hike and his cairns to guide us off trail down the hill side to the bottom of the draw.

The bottom of the draw at this point is fairly open and we made good time hiking down the draw towards Barbershop Canyon. Grasshopper was uncharacteristicly in a hurry. :o There was a cave on the east side a short distance down the draw. It looked to be deep so I went to investigate. The inside of the cave curved out of sight to the right. Not knowing what might be lurking back there I did not go in to investigate. There were frequent pools and flowing water throughout much of the draw. We saw at least three elk carcasses with the bones scattered over some distance. One still had some meat left on the bone and was located on the bank of a pool. Evidence that there is a large predator working this area. Further down the draw we encountered fallen logs and pools bordered by cliffs that slowed our progress. We stopped for lunch at the confluence of the draw with Barbershop Canyon. The U-Bar Trail crosses Barbershop Canyon at this point. There was flowing water coming down Barbershop - looked fishable but I didn't see any fish lurking in the depths.

After lunch we hiked up the canyonside to the end of FR139C. This required some route finding through gaps in the cliffs but we had Grasshoppers GPS track from previous explorations, elk trails and cairns to guide us. At the end of FR139C I found a small marble plaque on the ground behind a large oak tree in memory of Janice Leigh McNally who had died at the young age of 41 in 1998. :( We paid our respects and started the walk back to camp on FR139C. This is a pleasant scenic hike along the top of the ridge. We spooked 6 ducks off of a water tank beside the road which were the only wildlife we saw on this trek. Arriving back at camp we found Mazatzal and wife who had just arrived. We roused Trishness who was sound asleep in the back of her SUV and gathered at Grasshoppers kitchen tent to enjoy his vast and tasty selection of hors d'oeuvres - another benefit to using Grasshopper Camp as a starting and ending point for a hike.
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Aug 25 2012
Grasshopper
avatar

 Guides 47
 Routes 487
 Photos 8,981
 Triplogs 551

76 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Merritt Draw Loop (Lower) - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 25 2012
Grasshopper
Hiking5.80 Miles 754 AEG
Hiking5.80 Miles   3 Hrs   55 Mns   1.83 mph
754 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 
Partners partners
Oregon_Hiker
I first explored our "Merritt Draw Loop - Mogollon Rim" hike description area on 7/17/11 when I attempted to hike the entire lower draw to it's ending intersection with Barbershop Canyon at the U-Bar Trail #28 crossing. On this first attempt I made it to within ~.75 miles of its lower end when I thought it best to turn around due to threatening Monsoon weather. This is a very enjoyable draw to hike and I have always intended to return with the intent of completing this lower Merritt Draw section and to write-up a new Merritt Draw hike description to include it as a loop connecting off-trail with the lower end of FR139C.

With this 8/25/12 visit, my fourth hike within this middle to lower Merritt Draw area, I have now edited and documented this new hike description "Merritt Draw Lower Loop - Mogollon Rim":

"This moderate, pleasant, and partially off-trail loop hike enters scenic and riparian Merritt Draw with seasonal water flow, pooling, a perennial spring- Drift Fence Spring, and travels down the draw to its lower end at the intersection with Barbershop Canyon and U-Bar Trail #28. From here, following some well and not so well defined animal routes, the off trail route continues with ~350ft of elevation gain to connect with the lower end of scenic for hiking, biking, and driving FR139C for a ~2.2 miles hike back to TH Start to complete this loop."


I do highly recommend this loop and do hope others with consider it when car camping or planning a day hike or backpack in this area of our Mogollon Rim.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Drift Fence Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
A seemingly reliable and perennial spring with large water pools and some flow (this visit- maybe a little less than a gallon per minute but more than a quart per minute);
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(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
Aug 12 2012
nonot
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 Guides 98
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,067
 Triplogs 495

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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average hiking speed 2.12 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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