TONTO NATURAL BRIDGE ADVENTURE ITINERARY

Find A Place To Stay


First before you start your adventure we would like to invite you to choose a place to stay in the area that you can call home base. Click here to visit the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce " Accomodations Directory" for suitable places to say.




How To Get There


Located off Hwy 87, just 10 miles north of Payson, Payson, AZ 85547 GPS Cordinates Decimal Degrees (WGS84)
Latitude: 34.334825
Longitude: -111.421065
Degrees, Minutes & Seconds
Latitude: N34 20 05
Longitude: W111 25 15
GPS
Latitude: N 34 20.090
Longitude: W 111 25.264
UTM 12N
X: 461269
Y: 3799362




Where To Eat Breakfast


Getting your adventure off on the right foot is very important and a trip to the Tonto Natural Bridge would not be complete without a hearty breakfast. Click here to find suitable locations for your eating pleasure.




What To Plan For


While visiting the park, please help us protect this special space for your future enjoyment.
General Information

• Please practice “Leave No Trace” and pack out what you bring in.
• For everyone’s safety, please drive your vehicle only on paved surfaces and stay on designated trails.
• For your safety, please don’t use glass containers in the park.
• All of our parks adhere to firearm and hunting regulations. Please familiarize yourself with this information.

Fires
• For your safety, please keep your fire attended to and only in approved, designated fire rings or grills.
• Firewood is for sale in our park store; you may not gather firewood in the parks.
• Please don’t use fireworks in the parks!
• You can find up-to-date fire restrictions at azstateparks.com/tonto.

Pets
• For the enjoyment of your visit and the consideration of our other guests, we ask that you keep your pet on a maximum six-foot leash at all times.
• For additional information related to pets, we encourage you to visit our website or ask park staff. We hope you have an enjoyable and safe experience in our parks! All guidelines for this park can be viewed on our website at azstateparks.com.




9:00 a.m. Arrival


Pay the fee to come in to the park and park your car in one of the large parking lots. **Important Question to Consider - Will you be staying in the park for Lunch? If so see the lunch portion of this itenery Park and Facility Hours
Park Entrance Fee Adult (14+): $7.00 Youth (7–13): $4.00 Child (0–6): FREE Saturday of Memorial Weekend – Labor Day CURRENT HOURS
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
(Last entry at 4:00 p.m.)
Tuesday after Labor Day – Friday Memorial Day Weekend
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
(Last entry at 4:00 p.m.)
Trails Saturday of Memorial Weekend – Labor Day
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tuesday after Labor Day – Friday Memorial Day Weekend
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Note: Dogs are not allowed on the trails




9:30 a.m. Pick A Trail


**IMPORTANT: Dogs are not allowed on the trails and they can't be left in the car.

Even though the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is a beautiful place it is also very rugged and wild. You will want to take a moment and pick the trail that best suits your family. For detailed information on the trails click here.

It is recommended that you do one trail in the morning. Have some lunch and then do on of the other trails in the afternoon to gain the full experience.




10:00 a.m. Arrive At the Bottom Of The Bridge


Depending on the trail you choose it could take between 30 minutes to an hour to arrive at the bottom. This is an amazing time as you get a chance to see the splendor of what nature can do over the course of millions of years.

  • Take time to soak it all in.

  • Find a rock or sitting area and enjoy the moment

  • Take your camera and take pictures or video

  • There is no internet access at the bridge, but we hope when you get back to civilization you will share your memories with us at https://www.facebook.com/discovergilacounty

  • Let the kids climb on the rocks and explore

  • Check out the stalactites that have formed the bridge over millions of years




11:30 p.m. Time To Hike Out


Pick one of the other trails to make your way out. Click here to see trail information. Go slow, depending on the trail you choose it may be quite a work out.




12:00 - 12:30 p.m. Time For Lunch


Once you get back to the top, now is time to take a break and have some lunch. If you planned ahead and brought your own pick nic lunch you can find tables through out the park to enjoy your lunch.

If you have a large group you may want to consider the following:

Group: Day Use Areas Day-use ramada reservation can be made by calling the park directly. The cost to reserve it is $40.00 plus a $5.00 non-refundable reservation fee. New Group Ramada: 20x40’ ramada with tables and grills. Please contact the park for ramada reservation information (fees apply). Cypress Group Ramada: 20x30 ramada with picnic tables and BBQ grills available on a first-come, first served basis. 10x10 Ramadas: Three ramadas with a picnic table and BBQ grill are available on a first-come, first served basis. No reservations.

For more details and to reserve call 1-877-My-Parks




1:30 Kids Become A Junior Ranger


If you're between ages 6–12, you can become a Junior Ranger at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park! Pledge to do your part to help preserve the beauty of the park for everyone to enjoy! There is some homework to-do before you get to the Park. Click here for more details. Bring your information with you and be sworn in as a bonified Junior Park Ranger!




2:30 Explore The Tonto Natural Bridge Goodfellow Lodge Museum


Interpretive exhibits located within Goodfellow Historic Lodge include artifacts on the history of Tonto Natural Bridge, plus information about travertine, prehistoric inhabitants, and the historic Tonto Lodge. Photographs and a painting of the Natural Bridge with a scenic slideshow are also available to visitors.




4:00 p.m. Departure


WOW what an Adventure! You are probablly tired from your days activities. There are serveral local resturants in Pine and Strawberry or if you want, Payson is only 15 miles away and has a lot of different places to eat. For a detailed list click here.





Adventure Highlights:  

  • Dogs are not allowed on the trails

  • 15 Minutes from Payson, AZ

  • The largest Travertine Bridge in the World

  • 3 available trails will take you to the bridge

  • 183 feet tall over a 400-foot long tunnel

  • The bridge measures 150 feet at its widest point

History:

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.

QUICK FACTS

DURATION
  • 1/2 or Full Day
     
DESTINATION

DATES & PRICES

ADVENTURE TYPE

  • Ups and downs

  • Rock Climbing

  • Trails 

  • Remote Wilderness

  • Possible weather (Could be hot or cold)

MINIMUM AGE
  • 5 and older

VIDEO

TRAIL DESCRIPTIONS

KIDS PROGRAMS

ITINERARY & MAP

Mogollon Rim Trails

Credit:  Cameron Davis

We have selected 4 of the most popular hikes in Rim Country.  Make your itinerary a multi-day adventure

Must Do Special Events

Credit:  Cameron Davis

Find a special event to add to your Itinerary.  We have selected 3 must do events.

Museum Tour

Credit:  Cameron Davis

Rim Country is rich in history and stories of the old west.  We have selected 3 museums you must see.

ADD MORE ADVENTURES TO YOUR TONTO NATURAL BRIDGE ITINERARY

Largest Travertine Bridge

Copyright: GEM Press Photos - All Rights Reserved