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:

  • Weather - Overcast with temperatures in the 60s Fahrenheit. (Full overview of the area)
  • Time on trail: 1h38
  • Distance hiked was 4.14 miles.
  • Elevation gain was 430 feet.

Strava Tracking: You can review the hike's stats on my Strava account by clicking here.

AllTrails Tracking: You can review the trail on my AllTrails account by clicking here.


Backpack Airflow System - Sweat Less in Arizona

For this trail, I took a light, Deuter 32-liter backpack (which I have right here) and equipped it with our Vaucluse Cool Dry Backpack Frame.

The really interesting point here is that I did half of the hike without the Cool Dry Frame and tracked my own back’s body temperature throughout, using a Govee Thermometer and Humidity Sensor (for Bluetooth).

I had this attached to the back, so I could see the temperature of my backpack as I hiked, and, as you've probably experienced if you hike, your body temperature starts rising, and, with a backpack on, your back temperature can start rising.

So I tracked this and found something very interesting…

I'm going to put up this graph so you can see how this is the first part of the trail. When I started my hike, my back temperature was around 69º F, and – little by little – you can see the increase. The blue line tracks the temperature increases, and the orange line tracks the percentage of humidity. So as I was hiking and this backpack was on me (you can see because I'll put the link below), it has a curve designed to (kind of) release some of that heat.

Meanwhile, the temperature just increased, increased, increased, all the way up to the low 80’s.

That’s when I paused and added my Cool Dry Frame, which you can see here. You've got some loops around the straps that take maybe a minute to attach. The Cool Dry Frame attaches to any backpack. I put the Cool Dry Frame on my backpack as, again, the temperature kept going up while I used the Govee to track how my back’s body heat was doing.

As you can see from the graph, there's this moment where the Govee registers a drop (because I'm fixing my backpack). Still, then… as I continue hiking, my back’s body temperature lowers and stays dramatically lower until it goes all the way down to 69ºF, the temperature my back was at when I started hiking.

After three hours of hiking, my back temperature was the same as when I started, and my back and clothing didn’t feel sweaty. It was incredible.

If you're looking for a better hiking experience and want to lower your body temperature because your body heat increases, your back sweats, and that’s uncomfortable. When you're looking to reduce heat on your back (and avoid sweat soaking into your clothes and pack), please check out my Cool Dry Frame.

You can attach the Vaucluse Cool Dry Frame to any backpack, and it's going to change how you hike because your body temperature will drop, your sweating will decrease, and you’ll enjoy the outdoors a lot more.

Thank you so much for coming along on this hike - let’s sweat less!

You can read our 5-star customer reviews by clicking here. Yes, this gear works.

Backpacking Airflow System Sweat Hiking
McDowell Sonoran Preserve

The Cool-Dry Frame by Vaucluse

It's your best way to stay cool and dry with a backpack.

This lightweight (only 6 ounces), soft, durable, and flexible frame attaches directly to your backpack and creates a natural airflow between you and the pack without using mesh or other material that soaks up sweat and retains heat. This design maximizes airflow to keep your back cool and dry.

Sweat Check