Arizona is home to the jaw-dropping Grand Canyon, crazy desert wildlife, and very hot summers.
#1 Tonto Natural Bridge is the largest natural travertine bridge in the world.
Travertine forms when water oozes through limestone, picks up lime particles along the way, and then redeposits them in a different spot later when the water evaporates. Layers and layers of this lime formed, with organic materials mixed in, eventually resulting in a huge bridge!
#2 Geologists estimate that the bridge may have been 1,000 feet long, way back in the day.
Today, it’s about 400 feet long, 150 feet wide, and 180 feet tall, which is still pretty impressive!
#3 Tonto Natural Bridge took thousands of years to form!
Millions of years of fire, lava, ice, earthquakes, and volcanoes resulted in the beautiful Arizona landscape we enjoy today.
#4 David Gowan discovered the area in 1877 and claimed squatters rights.
Gowan was chased by some Apache indians while prospecting, and hid for several days inside one of the caves on the inside of the bridge.
#5 Gowan had his nephew bring the entire family over from Scotland to settle the beautiful area.
This trip was hardly a short one, and when the family arrived, they had to use only rope and donkeys to transport themselves and their belongings sown the treacherous slopes.
#6 If you visit, you can view the bridge from the top…
They’ve got four parking lot viewpoints!
#7 Or you can hike down to the bottom!
From there, you can really appreciate the size of the bridge. Not to mention, you’re up close and personal with all of that geological history!
#8 Tonto Natural Bridge State Park has won multiple awards!
They’ve been named “Best of Rim Country,” “Best Historic Site,” “Best Place to Hike,” and “Best Day Trip.” How could you go wrong?
#9 The park is home to a variety of plants and wildlife.
They’ve got everything from Oak trees and cacti, to bobcats, Black Bears, and five species of bats.
#10 The natural bridge isn’t the parks only attraction.
You’ll find campgrounds, picnic tables, grills, the Gowan family’s restored lodge, and a gift shop.