This hike is rated EASY.
Hike starts at 0545. Gate opens at 0520.
Please join me for a stunning, unusual hike on the Marcus Landslide Trail.
This was my very first hike with P2BH, hosted by Marshall back in November 2012. That was 91 hikes ago! And this hike absolutely remained my favorite for many months until I started exploring some other trails on my own.
Marcus Landslide Trail is a gentle 3-mile out-and-back hike with an optional .7-mile loop with some elevation gain. Be prepared for some exertion. This interpretive geology trail starts at the trailhead and ends beside or on top of the 2nd largest landslide in Arizona! (We will be going on top of the landslide.)
This hike takes you through a remote area of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve with many beautiful rock formations. Also, desert views are shockingly three-dimensional and clear.
Please note: There are restrooms at the trailhead lit by natural light so bring a small flashlight if you need to use them before we start. Also, NO WATER is available at this TH, so bring plenty of your own for the hike and consider what extra you will need for your dog before and after the hike.
There is a 34-hiker limit in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
This hike is cross-posted with Phoenix (2-Hour) Beginner Hikers.
If you have not been to this trailhead before you might want to give yourself extra time for arrival. Clear directions are below; the TH is easy to find if you follow them. I would recommend memorizing the directions or writing them down on paper if necessary. DO NOT rely on your GPS (Garmin, etc.)… it will get you lost! I have heard of countless hikers who were late or never made it to the trail because they were spinning aimlessly a few miles away thanks to their GPS devices.
As always, bring plenty of water and wear a hat or head-covering. We tend to lose the wind this time of year, especially during the mornings so sweat will be abundant.
DISTANCE: 3.8 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION GAIN: 280 feet
TRAIL STYLE: In-and-out, with a lollipop at the end
DURATION: 2.0 hours
DOGS: Yes, if leashed
FACILITIES: Restrooms at covered facility building; NO WATER
WEBSITE: Trail Map
The entrance address is 23015 N. 128th St, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
The directions map link above indicates you should take Pinnacle Peak to Alma School to Jomax… the route below is far simpler!
Get on E. Happy Valley Road in Scottsdale from Scottsdale Road or Pima Road. Head east. There will be a four-way stop sign at Alma School Road. Continue going east on E. Happy Valley Road. You will take a dip through Troon Village and then slowly turn to start heading north. Watch for E. Buckskin Trail and continue a short distance; you will make a right at the next 3-way intersection. Turn RIGHT on Ranch Gate Road to head EAST again. The road will at first be very smooth and then the pavement ends near the entrance to some model homes (Sereno Canyon). Continue east to 128th Street and turn RIGHT to head SOUTH. This road is not paved either but will be fine for all passenger vehicles. Please drive cautiously and slowly. The road is narrow, but two vehicles can pass each other easily. Continue about a mile until you see the entrance to Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. There are four sections of parking, so have fun choosing your spot! Small trails will take you from the further parking areas to the covered building at the TH.
If you are coming from Fountain Hills, take Rio Verde Drive to 128th Street and turn south.
Contact me via Meetup if you have questions.