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Tonto Natural Bridge


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Tonto Natural Bridge

Hiking Trail

Tonto Natural Bridge

by: Honza
Location:  Payson, AZ          Longitude:  -111.4564    Latitude:  34.3203
Tonto Natural Bridge is located in central Arizona near Payson. It is the largest natural Travertine bridge in the world. The bridge stands over 183 feet high, 150 feed wide, over a 400-foot long tunnel. There are three hiking trails, picnic areas and a group use area.
Features and Interests:   Largest travertine bridge in the world, interesting Geology in the region.
If you enjoy hiking a creek, you can hike the creek up-stream and down-stream of the bridge, very pleasant and fun!
Flora/Fauna on this Trail:
Upon entering the park you will find a number of large picnic places and plenty of parking. This place is great for families looking to spend the whole day relaxing, picnicing, some hiking and enjoying the beautiful nature.

Park Entrance Fees:
Adult (14+): $4.00
Youth (7–13): $1.00
Child (0–6): FREE

The park has 3 main trails:
- Bridge Trail - a route down the cliffs just below the bridge. This is quite steep and rather slippery in places but well worth the trip as it leads directly beneath, and in times of low water it is possible to walk through and link with the end of the River Trail. High above, a small waterfall cascades over the edge of the bridge with more trailing grasses and ferns.
- Waterfall Trail - a very short path down into the canyon above the bridge to a grotto with hanging greenery, seeping water and travertine formations.
- River Trail - a longer path alongside the west side of the creek to a viewpoint beneath the bridge, a good place to appreciate the stalagtite-like formations that hang from beneath the bridge and adorn the west-facing canyon wall - aptly described as an 'outdoor cave' by the park brochure. This trail has recently been extended to link with another path above.
Trail Distance:  .5 miles round-trip
Elevation:  4300ft - 4530ft   (change 230ft)
Trail Difficutly:  Moderate - requires some endurance, elevation changes
How Crowded:  Often frequented trail
Season:  March to November
Accomodations: (on site)   Toilets  Water  Ranger StationOnce in Payson, drive north 11 miles on the AZ 87, then look for a clearly marked turn-off into the park (FR 583). The road winds down into the park (steep road, use low gears).Paved road or trail to the trailhead
Fossil Springs Trail #18   -   Difficult : 7.9 miles long : 4270ft to 5600ft (change 1330ft)
Trail Ratings and Comments