top of page

The World’s Largest Natural Travertine Bridge Is Right Here In Arizona And You’ll Want To Visit

Nestled in the heart of Arizona, the Tonto National Bridge stands as a testament to the wonders of nature. With its rich history and awe-inspiring beauty, this natural bridge attracts visitors from across the globe. Let us delve into the fascinating history of the Tonto National Bridge and discover why it is an absolute must-see for all who visit Arizona.

A Brief History:

The Tonto National Bridge, located in Gila County, Arizona, is an extraordinary geological formation that spans Pine Creek. It was discovered in 1877 by David Gowan, an adventurous prospector in search of gold. Gowan was exploring the area when he stumbled upon this hidden gem. The bridge was named after the nearby Tonto Basin, which in turn was named after the Tonto Apache Tribe that once inhabited the region.

Geological Wonder:

The Tonto National Bridge is classified as a natural travertine bridge, formed over millions of years. The bridge itself is composed of calcium carbonate, deposited by mineral-rich groundwater that once flowed through the area. The continuous process of deposition, erosion, and collapse led to the creation of this magnificent natural wonder.

Unique Features:

What sets the Tonto National Bridge apart from other natural bridges is its impressive size and remarkable preservation. Spanning a length of 400 feet (120 meters) and reaching a height of 183 feet (56 meters), it stands as one of the largest travertine bridges in the world. Visitors can explore the bridge and witness the powerful forces of nature at work, with Pine Creek still flowing below.

Visitor Experience:

Visiting the Tonto National Bridge offers a unique experience for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. The area surrounding the bridge has been transformed into a beautiful state park, complete with hiking trails, picnic areas, and interpretive exhibits. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the trails, enjoying the breathtaking views of the bridge and the surrounding canyon walls.

For the more adventurous, there are guided tours that provide insight into the bridge's formation, its flora and fauna, and the historical significance of the area. Exploring the bridge from various viewpoints allows visitors to marvel at the intricate patterns of the travertine rock, which has been shaped by centuries of natural processes.

The Tonto National Bridge is not only a natural wonder but also an example of successful conservation efforts of one Arizona's most magnificent landmarks.

Admission to the park is $7 adults (14+), $4 youth (7-13), free for children ages 0-6. Park hours vary by season. Trails may close earlier than the park. From Tuesday after Labor Day until the Friday of Memorial Day weekend the park hours are 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (last entry at 4:30 p.m.). Summer hours are from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (last entry at 5:30 p.m.).

Learn more on the official website of Arizona State Parks.


Featured Posts
Check back soon
Once posts are published, you’ll see them here.
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page