Hiking At Tonto Natural Bridge In Arizona
Tonto Natural Bridge is a natural arch, believed to be the largest travertine bridge in the world.
Located north of Payson, AZ, this bridge is 183 feet in height, 150 feet at its widest point, and 400 feet long. It’s also 60 feet thick at the top.
A Scotsman by the name of David Gowan discovered this natural bridge in 1877 while prospecting for gold in the area by Tonto Rim.
Tonto Natural Bridge became a state park in 1969. Over 122,000 people visit this park annually.
With several trails, you can get different vantage points of the travertine arch. The easiest trail is down to the observation deck.
You can continue onto a very challenging trek through the 400-foot tunnel over slippery rocks and streams of water. Rock climbing is also necessary.
Under the bridge are several pools of water. As tempting as it may be, swimming is strictly prohibited.
Extreme caution must be exercised while hiking under the bridge. It’s easy to slip. Wear a sturdy pair of shoes, go slow, and be careful.
Stop often and take in the beauty under the arch. Not only will you see pools, but small caves in some areas. It’s a remarkable place to explore!
There is a cave you can look around as soon as you exit the arch.
Take the Anna Mae Trail back up to the top, an easy trek after making it through the tunnel!
Before you leave, stop by the historic Goodfellow Lodge which was built in the 1920s.
Inside the lodge, you will find a ranger station, a gift shop, and historic exhibits.
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is a must-visit day trip destination in Arizona!
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