Hiking At Tonto Natural Bridge In Arizona
Tonto Natural Bridge is a natural arch, believed to be the largest travertine bridge in the world.
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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.
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A Scotsman by the name of David Gowan discovered this natural bridge in 1877 while prospecting for gold in the area by Tonto Rim.
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Tonto Natural Bridge became a state park in 1969. Over 122,000 people visit this park annually.
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With several trails, you can get different vantage points of the travertine arch. The easiest trail is down to the observation deck.
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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.
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Under the bridge are several pools of water. As tempting as it may be, swimming is strictly prohibited.
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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.
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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!
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There is a cave you can look around as soon as you exit the arch.
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Take the Anna Mae Trail back up to the top, an easy trek after making it through the tunnel!
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Before you leave, stop by the historic Goodfellow Lodge which was built in the 1920s.
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Inside the lodge, you will find a ranger station, a gift shop, and historic exhibits.
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Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is a must-visit day trip destination in Arizona!
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