Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, Arizona
Since I visit Arizona a lot I am always looking for new things to see and do. Luckily Arizona is filled with natural wonders (and has great Mexican food!). On this trip we visited the ghost/mining town of Jerome with the family and ventured to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park- just BC and I.
Tonto State Bridge Natural Park is closest to the towns of Payson and Pine, Arizona. There are two main routes from Phoenix which are approximately the same travel time (2 hours) from my sister’s house so we took one way out and the other way back for maximum sightseeing.
Tonto Natural Bridge is made of travertine and is thought to be the largest travertine natural bridge in the world. All I could think about was giant travertine tiles in homes all over the Southwest.
There are a few hiking trails into the gorge which are generally short but very steep. If you are not into exercise, there are observation decks for best viewing from above. But really you need to get down in there to see Tonto Natural Bridge at its finest.
It was hot when we were there! We found some shade to rest and take in the sights. Travertine is very slippery so be careful when walking under the bridge. I almost fell a few dozen times.
I love waterfalls so before we left I asked BC to climb into the gorge one more time to hike Waterfall Trail. Man, were we disappointed! I mean, I guess the trickle is a lot of water for Arizona.
BC inspecting the trickle:
The whole way back up BC made fun of me for making him do the trail and then reminded me that I also made him drive to Shoshone Falls in Idaho (only 5 hours out of our way) in the dry season to see the “most amazing waterfall” that had no water.
I made up for it by suggesting we grab a beer at a nearby brewery , THAT Brewery, recommended by my sister. I had my first pumpkin beer of the season (I love pumpkin beer!) and an IPA for him.
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park was a great little daytrip from Phoenix- adventure, outdoors, exercise, great sights, and a post-hike pumpkin beer. Many of my favorite things all in one day.
Reader Question: Pumpkin beer, IPAs, stouts, Mic Ultra? Anything post-hike? What beers are your favorite?