Tonto Natural Bridge Locator Map

Elevation 4,530 feet   Fees

Contact the Park:
(928) 476-4202
Tonto Natural Bridge
P.O. Box 1245
Payson, AZ 85547
10 mi. N of Payson on Hwy 87


Visitor Center Restrooms Gift Shop Museum Exhibits Group: Day Use Areas Picnic Areas/Shelters Hiking Trails Swimming Wildlife Viewing

Nearest Services: 8 miles

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511 Speed Code

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Park's Speed Code: 4244#


Park Entrance Fees:
Adult (14+): $7.00
Youth (7–13): $4.00
Child (0–6): FREE

Fee Schedule

Friends Group

Friends of Tonto Natural Bridge

Friends of Tonto Natural Bridge, dedicated to preservation & enhancement

Enjoy scenic hikes down the Gowan Trail, to Pine Creek and explore the world's largest natural Travertive bridge at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.
Park Operating Hours

Open 7 days a week from 9 am - 5 pm daily, with last entry at 4 pm.

PARK UPDATE: (2/9 - Noon)

Park is currently OPEN. In addition to all viewpoints being accessible, the Gowan Trail is now open to the observation deck. The Waterfall trail is also open.


Saturday, April 30: 1pm-5pm & 7pm-10pm. There will be two separate viewings at the park, the first one being a solar viewing, the second will be the star viewing. Participants will be able to view the sun through a telescope with a specialized lens that allows you to look directly into the sun. This viewing will be open to the public at just our regular park entrance fee of $7 per person for everyone 14 and older, and $4 per person for everyone 7-13, 6 and under are free.

The second viewing will be the Star Night event. Tonto Natural Bridge State Park closes at 5 P.M. so reservations are required in advance for the night event. If you entered the park during the day, you will have to exit the park at closing and re-enter at 6:15 when the park will re-open for the night event. To make reservation please call (928) 476-4202 or email Gavin at gerickson(at)azstateparks.gov, reservations must be made in advance of the event, no later than 2 P.M. on the day of the event. Charges for the night event will be at a rate of $7 per person everyone 14 and older, with the $4 per person for everyone 7-13, 6 and under are free (note that if you paid your entrance during the day that you do not have to pay again, just keep the tag you were given upon entering the park to re-enter for the night event at no additional fee). This event will be from 7-10 P.M. and will begin with a PowerPoint presentation at 7pm. At 8pm. they will begin the stargazing where astronomers will volunteer their expertise and telescopes for visitors to view an assortment of night sky attractions. For the night event we ask that you bring a folding chair, a red light (to protect everyone’s night vision), a sweater or jacket (the temperatures will drop after the sun sets).

See the natural bridge from 4 parking lot viewpoints or hike down below to experience this geologic wonder. If you look closely at the photo you can see the lower observation deck with people who hiked down to the bottom. Photo by Tom Brossart for Arizona State Parks.

Tucked away in a tiny valley surrounded by a forest of pine trees, Tonto Natural Bridge State Park has been in the making for thousands of years. It is believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. The bridge stands 183 feet high over a 400-foot long tunnel that measures 150 feet at its widest point.

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.

In 1898 he persuaded his nephew, David Gowan Goodfellow, to bring his family over from Scotland and settle the land permanently. After a week of difficult travel from Flagstaff, the Goodfellows arrived at the edge of the mountain and lowered their possessions down the 500 foot slopes into the valley by ropes and burros.

Today, visitors can stand on top of the bridge or hike down below to capture the true size and beauty of this geologic wonder.

Time Lapse
Time lapse photograph of the night sky as seen through Tonto Natural Bridge. Photo taken August 2013 by Kevin Turner. Note: Staying overnight in the park is not allowed.

Friends of Tonto Natural Bridge State ParkHow did the Natural Bridge form?

Learn about the geology of Tonto Natural Bridge on the Science page, and read more about its history in the Feature Story.


Best Place to Hike Award

Tonto Natural Bridge Wins 3 Awards
Tonto Natural Bridge SP has won three Best of Rim Country awards, including Best Historic Site, Best Place to Hike, and Best Day Trip.
Read about all the awards given Here

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