On day 2 I took the Barbershop Trail at FSR139 east to Barbershop Canyon and headed down stream. I was on this portion of the Barbershop Trail last week but it was raining so it was nice to see this part of the trail in a different light. The rains from a couple days ago had this stream running pretty good but has since subsided enough to make hiking this canyon easier. With grassy flats areas on either side of the stream the going was pretty easy. Steam crossing was a little difficult on the upper portion due to the lack of rocks to cross on but luckily there wasn't any need to cross over. Further down the rocks start showing up and also the need to cross over. Like Dane Canyon the scenery keeps you occupied and you travel pretty far downstream without realizing how far you have gone. At 2.5 miles down, the Canyon Gets a little narrow and pinches off with rock outcrops on either side of the stream that makes traveling further more difficult. This is where I bailed out by heading up the west side of the Canyon to the ridge and FSR139c. Much of the way along Barbershop Canyon you follow a faint game/human trail that makes the walking easier. At the point I exited the canyon there was a fairly good route up the side of the canyon that obviously the elk use to exit the canyon or to get to bedding areas up in the rocks on the side of the canyon.
Once on FSR139c I followed it to an old logging road that would take me toward Merritt Draw. From this road I went off trail down to Merritt Draw just below where Maverick Canyon enters. At the Junction of Maverick Canyon I ran into a bear about 50 yards ahead of me. Both of us took a few seconds to check each other out and this gave me a chance to get my camera out and get a couple of pictures. At first I was trying to frame the picture and zoom in but since the bear was moving I thought just shoot the picture or you'll miss it. Did get too photos but it would of been nice if I was able to zoom in a bit. Oh well can't have everything. Better than the bear I ran into in the Mazzies that was within 30 feet and took off immediately, so rude didn't even pose for a picture.
About .4 miles up Merritt Draw from Maverick Canyon the going gets really ugly, all choked up with trees and brush. made an attempt to stay high on the west side of the canyon but this was as hard as staying in the canyon. I decided this is where I exit this canyon and get on the old logging road that follows along the east side of this canyon from higher up. This road parallels the canyon for about a mile before crossing over the creek. From this point where it crosses to the upper end of Merritt Draw it should be called Merritt Meadow, resembles more the meadows of the Kaibab Plateau only smaller. Along these meadows are two springs, Merritt and Whistling Spring. Easy walking and great expansive views.
Great hike with the exception of the one mile portion of Merritt Draw. Looks like FSR139c is the road to take to do the lower Merritt Draw (which looks easier to navigate) and middle Barbershop Canyons. would make a nice loop trail which I believe someone has posted already.
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.