Tucked away in a tiny valley surrounded by a forest of pine trees, Tonto Natural Bridge State Park has been in the making for thousands of years. It is believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. The bridge stands 183 feet high over a 400-foot long tunnel that measures 150 feet at its widest point. The discovery of the small and beautiful valley between Pine and Payson was documented in 1877 by David Gowan, a prospector who stumbled across the bridge as he was chased by Apaches. Gowan hid for two nights and three days in one of several caves that dot the inside of the bridge. On the third day, he left the cave to explore the tunnel and green valley surrounding it. Gowan then claimed squatter's rights. In 1898 he persuaded his nephew, David Gowan Goodfellow, to bring his family over from Scotland and settle the land permanently. After a week of difficult travel from Flagstaff, the Goodfellows arrived at the edge of the mountain and lowered their possessions down the 500 foot slopes into the valley by ropes and burros. Today, visitors can stand on top of the bridge or hike down below to capture the true size and beauty of this geologic wonder.

11 days ago

I am not a seasoned hiker & this was a fairly easy hike. Wear shoes that grip well, so small rocks at beginning of trail going down won't cause you to slide. Great photo opportunities & a good calorie burn on the hike back up. Bring water to drink & to squirt yourself down with on sunny days.

hiking
19 days ago

Its not as daunting as it sounds but still not for anyone sensitive to heat in the middle of summer. It is steep and rugged but a beautiful payoff

hiking
20 days ago

Amazing inside the bridge! The marsh on top makes it rain inside. A little steep on the way back up but plenty of resting points and well worth the trip.

hiking
24 days ago

Such a beautiful park with amazing views! We love all the trails throughout the park.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Great trail. Easy down to the bridge. Great views.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

I go here quite often. Great place to hike and enjoy the scenery

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful natural bridge! Well worth the steep but short trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful!

hiking
1 month ago

walking
1 month ago

Fun place to explore. It is a short walk down under the natural bridge. My 3 year old had no problem with it. It can be a bit packed but it is still beautiful and very family friendly.

on Gowan Trail

1 month ago