Gowan Trail is a 0.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Payson, Arizona that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 0.7 miles Elevation Gain: 190 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

cave

river

views

waterfall

rocky

no dogs

As of February 2020, bridge at the bottom that connects to the natural bridge is closed to flooding.

hiking
3 days ago

Trails are now Open! The lower observation deck is closed for repair.

hiking
1 month ago

It’s closed until further notice

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely love this trail! We hike it just about every year in late March or early April. I suggest taking the farthest trailhead from the Natural Bridge & hiking through the canyon finishing the hike under the bridge. There are parts of this hike that feel almost tropical!

2 months ago

Took the kids on 3/7/20. We took the Gowan trail down to the natural bridge and were able to explore under and through the bridge. Wooden observation deck is closed so we had to take the Gowan trail back out. Still a great time. Highly recommend.

hiking
3 months ago

The bridge and deck were closed.

3 months ago

2/3/2020 We were able to go down to bottom but that is all. The man made bridge at the bottom that connects to the the natural bridge was all closed off due to "flooding." We were able to see the cave but couldn't get up close. I called some ranger station in Payson off the website before going but she gave me bad info that the trail was open. Call the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park directly at 928-476-4202

hiking
4 months ago

1/4/20 - It’s currently the only trail open in the park. The observation deck is closed. A sign at the start of this trail states that there is no view of the bridge from this trail right now and it is more of a “nature walk”. Similar to another review, the park ranger also told us that it wouldn’t be worth it since we were looking for an actual hike. Save your money and time. Skip this place until Pine Trail and Waterfall Trail reopen.

hiking
no shade
8 months ago

This was beautiful view, but the observation deck was closed.

hiking
9 months ago

2 of the 4 trails are closed.

hiking
bridge out
rocky
scramble
11 months ago

Always a go to hike for me and my kids. It’s a short enough drive from the Phoenix area to make it an easy day trip. You can’t go on the man made bridge but you can still hike under the natural bridge. Even on warm days it’s nice and cool under the bridge thanks to the constant water raining from above. There is also a nice grassy area with picnic tables to hang out and enjoy the mountain air. No cell service or WiFi (my favorite part!)

hiking
11 months ago

Nice but busy

hiking
Wed May 22 2019

The observation deck is closed. The park rangers recommended skipping the trail. Not sure when the observation deck will reopen.

hiking
Tue Jan 29 2019

Tons of people. But a nice view from under the bridge. Lots of scrambling over rocks under the bridge.

hiking
Mon Dec 31 2018

A unique hike. Slippery but has some of the most picturesque views within the natural bridge.

Thu Nov 15 2018

Take away the INSANE foot traffic, the views are spectacular!

nature trips
Fri Nov 09 2018

The view was amazing! The hike was short but intense

hiking
Thu Nov 08 2018

I loved the bridge and all the amazing views there! There was a waterfall coming down from the top of the arch when I was there, and I chose to go all the way under the bridge and out and up on the other side instead of going back up the way I came. Watch the slippery rocks!

hiking
Tue Nov 06 2018

Such a beautiful place to visit, family friendly. Went in early November and it was the perfect time to visit, trees were changing color and the weather was perfect. Heavily trafficked, go as soon as it opens

Mon Oct 15 2018

In a fee area, restricted access, both time wise and physical areas and trails.

hiking
Tue Sep 04 2018

Fun hike down to the cave of the Tonto Natural Bridge! It wasn’t terrible however I would recommend good shoes for hiking as it’s loose gravel and fairly steep. Also if you go into the cave, good shoes with grub will be helpful as it’s wet and the rocks are slippery. You can go through the cave and meet another trail to get out (don’t have to go back up the same way).

hiking
Mon Sep 03 2018

Such a cool place! Definitely a must-see if you’re in the area. We took our daughter (6) and she handled almost everything without a problem! Pretty busy but it was Labor Day weekend so it was to be expected.

Sat Aug 25 2018

Beautiful! Easy for kids... my youngest is 4. I felt like I was in a fantasy land. Definitely going back!

hiking
Sun Aug 05 2018

Very Short, very heavily tracked, but absolutely beautiful!

hiking
Tue Jun 05 2018

Must do! Follow their advice: lots of water, snacks make it a pleasant afternoon. Hiking shoes and poles are great!

Sun May 13 2018

This is the second time I have been here. The waterfall this time wasnt to heavy but it is still a beautiful sight to see. My kids had a blast!

Sat Apr 07 2018

Amazing hike! Its very short and its kind of steep but with decent gym shoes you'll be fine. The rocks are slippery at the bottom but it's so worth it! I'd go back again. There's also a $7 fee.

hiking
Sat Mar 24 2018

Great hike and under the bridge is an amazing open cavelike feel with water spraying down from above. The wet rocks under the bridge are slippery but we’ll worth the effort.

hiking
Sun Feb 11 2018

Hiked down and through to other side. Easily worth the park entrance fee. Amazing. Rocks are wet, don’t be the idiots we saw wearing flip flops and tennis shoes if you want to pass through.

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