Sunday, May 26, 2013

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

Weather:  82°, sunny, slight breeze

About this hike:  Hiked all the trails at Natural Bridge State Park.  The Pine Canyon trail runs along Pine Creek and to the bridge.  Signs advise that it is strenuous, which I laughed at, because state park trails are rarely that challenging.  I was in for a surprise.  Mostly rocky path through dry portions of the creek bed leads to the bridge, which you can go under.  That's where it really gets interesting.  The rocks are very slick, and water rains from the top of the bridge constantly. It's basically like a cave.  There is a beautiful blue-green pool of water under the bridge, and I nearly slid into it by accident (swimming is forbidden by signs).  With skull-like formations and stalagmites coming out of the top, the bridge is really a site to see.

I explored the other trails in the park, most of which were just short walks to vantage points.  Interpretive signs line the trails, including one that compares the Virginia Natural Bridge (I actually used to live right near there when I was in VA) to the Arizona one.  All told I spent three hours at Natural Bridge Park, and have to say, the $5 admission fee was well worth it.

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