(Cox7 advertiser) The Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is located 15 miles north of Payson. It is the largest travertine bridge in the world. For Cameron Davis it is a magical place to visit and see how millions of years have transformed the landscape into what it is today.
Assistant Park Manager, Brandon Baeuerlen, explains the uniqueness of the natural bridge. There are 200 million cubic feet of travertine forming the natural bridge. He says people come to visit and enjoy the bridge; hiking through it and playing in the water outside the bridge during the summer weather.
The bridge was discovered by a prospector in 1877 while prospecting in Pine Creek. According to the story, he was being chased by Indians and hid in one of the many caves under the bridge. After a 2 day, 3 night stay, he emerged and saw what visitors know today as Tonto Natural Bridge.
Baeuerlen says the main draw to the area is hiking. He notes the trails are steep and strenuous and he recommends good shoes and water. The roundtrip on the trail takes about an hour, but it is demanding and varies depending on the individual. For those not hiking, there are viewpoints presenting spectacular views of the bridge and the beauty surrounding it. The park also offers ramadas and areas to sit and relax, take in the scenery and view wildlife.
Visit azstateparks.com/Parks/TONA or call 1-928-476-4202
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