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Marcus Landslide Day Hike
September 9, 2021
by Billie Horn
Trailblazers gather at first light.
Rodney, Diane, Julia, Pat, Billie, Robbi, Neil, Bill, Martha, Steve

Billie Horn led this hike.

Just as the sun rose over Four Peaks, ten hearty hikers started out on a four mile (+) jaunt through one of the most scenic, interesting areas in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

This trail features many amazing rock formations including huge balanced rocks that seem to defy gravity. How and Why—How did they get there, and Why did they come to rest there? One can only wonder at the power of nature.

... and we’re off, to see one of the geologic wonders of the age.
We pass a hill that is typical of the amazing rock formations.
Balanced rocks mean there aren’t many earthquakes around here.
Look but don’t touch!

All along the way, we took turns pointing out imagined shapes in the formations high on the ridgelines. Some of our descriptions include wine stopper, wine glass, giant turtle, baying coyote and even a couple that would have to be censored in this report. There are two large, aptly named Mushroom rocks and even a gigantic Submarine Rock.

Science and history tell us that some 500,000 years ago, nearly 26 billion pounds of rock, soil and vegetation came sliding down at speeds of 44 miles per hour. Rocks, dirt and debris were thrown skyward. It looks so serene and peaceful there now it’s hard to imagine the cataclysmic event so many years ago. There are interpretive signs and viewers which tell the story and point out the exact location of the slide.

The sun-catching ridge.
bugs moth
Three butterflies and a moth.
“Red on black is a friend to Jack, but red on yellow will kill a fellow.”
Hikers pause by an interpretive sign.
The Marcus Landslide.

Our camera-wielding hiker, Bill McCall, caught a great photo of a beautiful snake, the only one we saw today, even though a runner warned us of 3 more we might encounter on the way back to the trailhead.

All ten hikers returned safely to the cars as the heat began to set in at about 8:30.

10 hikers
4.35 miles
elev. gain 530'
2.5 hours

→   More pictures, by Bill
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated September 10, 2021