HIKE- MARCUS LANDSLIDE- PEMBERTON LOOP (McDowell Mountains)

 

 

 



This hike offers great views and cool rock formations, plus interpretive geology signage.

Our hikes are generally at a pace conducive to social banter of interest to heathens, and allowing for time for photography of the local geology and wildlife. Expect this hike to last 3-4 hours.

Here is a trail map. It can be enlarged to view our route more easily.

http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Assets/Public+Website/preserve/North+Half+Preserve+Trails.pdf

We will follow the loop counterclockwise… Marcus to Boulder to Pemberton to Rock Knob back to Marcus and trailhead.

Although this is a 6 mile loop, some hikers could opt to make it an out and back only on the Marcus Landslide Trail… a 4.6 mile hike.

Here are photos from another hiking group’s hike here:

http://www.grayhawkhikingclub.org/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=11681252

500,000 years ago around the peak known as East End, highest in the McDowell Mountains, a rock avalanche of granite, vegetation, and soil flowed to the present day area known as the Marcus Landslide.

Central Arizona's climate at the time of the Marcus Landslide was much different than today with cooler and wetter conditions at the end of the last ice age. The trigger for the event was likely a heavy rain, bolt of lightning, or earthquake weakening the granitic rock along a joint.

Since then, streams have eroded away clay while leaving the granite boulders standing in their original position. This erosion from underneath creates grottos and caverns popular with hikers and rock climbers. Experts believe some of the native plants and animals of the time are buried underneath the landslide including mammoths, giant sloths, saber-tooth cats, camels, and horses.

HIKE SUMMARY:

Distance: 6 miles

Time: 3-4 hours

Difficulty: moderate depending on distance

Trail: smooth

Trailhead Elevation: 2800 ft.

Elevationgain: 400 ft. accumulation

Parking: BIG lot & bathrooms . .. no water

Tailhead GPS: [masked], [masked]

Entry fees: no

Dogs: OK on leash

REMINDERS:

Always carry and drink plenty of water!

Sunscreen and insect repellent is advised.

Supportive footwear is also advisable.

SAFETY FIRST… we have no medical provisions.

Hike at your own risk.

How to find us: Meet at trailhead parking lot (FOLLOW DIRECTIONS BELOW… DO NOT USE GPS) If lost or late, call cell[masked]-5945.

 

TO GET THERE:

GPS IS WRONG! --- Follow these instructions:

From Scottsdale Rd, or Pima Rd, turn East onto Happy Valley Rd.

Follow Happy Valley Rd. (becomes 118th St.) about 2 miles past (farther than) Alma School and turn right (East) onto Ranch Gate. This would be about 4.3 miles east of Pima Rd.

Follow signs to Tom Thumb Trailhead.

Proceed about 1.3 miles on Ranch Gate and then turn right (South) onto 128 St.

In a mile or so you'll arrive at the trail head.

 

It should take about at about 40 minutes from either the 101 & 17 OR the 101 & 202 to get there:

MESSAGE FOR CARPOOLERS:

Carpooling can save gas but also enhance the social experience. If you’d like to carpool, you must contact others for arrangements. You could email members or post comments on this announcement page.

Following the hike: We will reconvene for rehydration and food locally.

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  • Bill

    Thanks for the response Tyger! I agree with what you said, but they are fast, and ours like all the others, have a mind of their own and darted out of the door quickly. We had an abyssinian cat that was so fast that when it was twenty feet from the front door. I watching her before I opened the door and got out as fast as I could---she was waiting outside on the porch---and took off. She wasn't faster than a car though. Having it come straight at me was exhilarating for sure. I have never seen a bird that upset before. I love the sound they make---like the Call Of The Wild. Take care! Bill

    February 14, 2013

  • Tyger G.

    I enjoy seeing hawks, whether in a suburban location or out in the wilderness. To have to dodge one would make it even more fun. I always advocate for keeping cats indoors all the time. The presence of large predator birds, especially in groups, is even more of a reason to do so. My best wishes for your kitty. With any luck at all, he's just been out doing a little hunting on his own.

    February 13, 2013

  • Bill

    Hi Tyger! We were taking on the hike about how I don't see hawks around my yard anymore, well this morning my sdon and wife went up our street to look for our cat that hasn't come home yet. They saw five big birds in a neighbors yard and told me about it. I went up the street and there were five red-tailed hawks. One of them was getting mad at me and started to thump his feet on the neighbor's tile roof. As I was watching him through my binoculars he started to scream at me a swooped down and came at me.

    I had to duck so he wouldn't hit me. He went to the top of a tree still screaming at me. This is the first time I have seen five together. I found out that they hunt like the velociraptors did in Jurasic park movie. It doesn't look good for our cat. Bill

    February 13, 2013

  • Tyger G.

    An average hike made much more interesting by spectacular storm cloud formations that day. I had a lot of fun with everyone, regardless.

    February 11, 2013

  • Bill

    Amanda---Flat for you, but Dolly Parton to me. Huff & Puff Bill. He! He! I agree with the rest of what you said though.

    February 10, 2013

  • Amanda C.

    Wonderful hike: flat, gorgeous scenery, and fun people. What more could one want?

    February 10, 2013

  • Bill

    I'm glad you liked it Amanda, I try. Solitary AKA Bill

    February 9, 2013

  • Bill

    My wife and I had a good time, but the best was meeting such---I almost said nice, but I hate that term---pleasent people to be with. Again, I want to thank Tyger for his help. We are both sorry and disapointed we couldn't meet after, but we were too tired to think of anything but getting home and relaxing. My biggest problem was my lower back hurting that took it out of me. I have been sholvelling gravel and digging in my garden for two days. And I should have eaten breakfast---duh! Take care! You are all a great bunch of people to know. Thanks to all for being so kind. Bill PS Even though I am known as solitary, it's not because I was from Joliet. He! He!

    1 · February 9, 2013

  • Al T.

    looks like sunshine only ... "0% chance of rain"

    February 9, 2013

  • Jack S.

    Jim, I would be willing to do the Tom Thumb hike.

    1 · February 7, 2013

    • Tyger G.

      Since both trails start at the same place, you could probably find out if there are enough folks who would like to do Tom's Thumb as an alternate hike instead of another hike afterwards. I already did Tom's Thumb and liked it enough I would do it again, but maybe not tomorrow, since I haven't gone to the landslide yet.

      February 8, 2013

    • Jack S.

      I don't think I'd want to do both? The 'after-party' is 20-30 mins from the trailhead.

      February 8, 2013

  • Al T.

    weather reports are saying mostly sunny tomorrow during hike hours with only 10% chance orf rain

    February 8, 2013

  • Bill

    Where will we reconvene after the hike? My wife will drive me to the hike but will not take it. I can't expect her to wait around for 3-4 hours, and need to know where we will meet up after the hike so she can pick me up. And if I can get a ride to where we reconvene after it would be appreciated and make it easier for both of us. I don't want to miss out on meeting everyone and taking the hike.

    February 8, 2013

  • Scott R.

    Not going to make it. Daughters car broke down, i will be working on it

    February 7, 2013

  • Jim

    Posted on the Prescott Freethinker's site:

    http://www.meetup.com/Prescott-Freethinkers/events/103475882/

    Just curious: was anyone interested in the Tom Thumb hike?

    February 7, 2013

  • Al T.

    here is a u-tube of the first part of the hike:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BgyhmHwFtA

    February 5, 2013

    • Tyger G.

      So easy, even Mary Poppins and her baby can do it.

      1 · February 5, 2013

  • Bill

    Thanks for the vid! Should be fun. I love the our doors and nature. Bill

    February 5, 2013

  • Bill

    Thanks Tyger! I'm just glad I can even hike. Long story. Just glad I'm alive. I guess I'm a "real" survivalist; but I wish I wasn't a coward. He! He!

    February 4, 2013

  • Bill

    You will be easy on the old-timer won't you?

    February 4, 2013

    • Tyger G.

      Bill, a lot of us are old farts. You can set your own pace and always have someone to talk to while we hike and take photos.

      February 4, 2013

  • Bill

    Can't wait, like to hike and experience nature. Bill

    February 4, 2013

  • Tammy

    There is no entry fee.

    February 4, 2013

  • Tammy

    Hey. Should I follow the GPS, Google or Mapquest directions to get there

    February 4, 2013

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