Greetings, my fellow hiker! Today I'm sharing an extraordinary hike where we’ll discover some rocks that look like man-made sculptures!
I’m Brice, president of Vaucluse hiking gear, where we love to sweat less and explore more. And today, I'm going to take you to the Marcus Landslide, located inside the McDowell Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona, just northeast of Phoenix.
There are some cool granite stones here that look like statues! So let's dive into the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, which, at 30,000 total acres, is considered the largest urban park in the United States. It's a natural reserve but – technically – part of the city of Scottsdale.
Hiking Review - Marcus Landslide and Mushroom Rock Scenic Point
Our starting point was Tom's Thumb Trailhead, which we took in the direction of the Marcus Landslide. I can tell you it was a very easy trail and well laid out. Anyone can hike this trail (you probably don't even need the best hiking shoes). This is the kind of trail where you can say, "Hey, I want to go hiking today." Take this for a walk outdoors. It's very, very nice.
As I mentioned, some rock formations here look like man-made statues. They are in mushroom shapes, and this particular type of formation happens because of the weathering of the granite stones. At one point, each formation started as a solid rock until naturally-occurring fractures began to happen within the granite (defining the sides, edges, and corners).
The water eventually penetrated these fractures and, after millions of years, eroded the granite stone into sand-sized particles. The different erosion rates are defined by the speed and intensity of the flowing water, which causes the unique oblong shapes. It’s extraordinary what millions of years can do to rocks then; fast forward to today, and you find these extraordinary shapes. Unbelievable!
The conditions were hovering around 62º F, and it stayed overcast until it started to rain at the very end of my hike. The total distance hiked was 4.14 miles, the elevation gain was just 430 feet (so not a lot), and the total hiking time was under two hours.
I tracked my details with the app, Alltrails; follow the links below.
Here are the hiking stats: