Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tonto Natural Bridge a cool escape from Arizona summer heat

When it's sizzling in Phoenix and Tucson, it's a good time to escape to a cooler place.

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, surrounded by a forest of pine trees, could be a good choice--not only for its cool, but for it's natural scenic views, including the iconic natural travertine bridge, believed to be the largest in the world.

The discovery of this hidden valley between Pine and Payson was discovered in 1877 by a prospector who was being chased by Apaches. He hid out for three days in a cave under the bridge until the Apaches left, then he did what any prospector would do and claimed squatter's rights.

Visitors can hike to the top of the bridge as well as below it, to enjoy the beauty of the arch and the two waterfalls that cascade over the edge.

Visit the Tonto Natural Bridge website for more information and to watch a video describing the park.