Star Party and Solar Viewing at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park April 30

April 7, 2016

PHOENIX - Take a day trip to Payson and come out to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park on Saturday, April 30, 2016 for the third annual Star Night event, sponsored by J.D. Maddy, president of the Astronomers of the Verde Valley. The event includes a solar viewing from 1 to 5 p.m. and then Star Night Party from 7 to 10 p.m.

At the solar viewing from 1 to 5 p.m., participants will be able to view the sun through a telescope with a specialized lens that allows looking directly into the sun. The Star Night event from 7 to 10 p.m. will begin with a PowerPoint presentation at 7 p.m. At 8 p.m., stargazing will begin with astronomers who volunteer their expertise and telescopes to view an assortment of night sky attractions. For the night event please 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).

Night Sky Network will also be on site with a tent, handouts and displays. They are amateur astronomers sponsored by NASA and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, who regularly share their knowledge, time, and telescopes to bring amazing aspects of astronomy to the public.

Since Tonto Natural Bridge State Park closes at 5 p.m., reservations are required in advance for the night event. To make reservations please email Gavin at gerickson(at) or call (928) 476-4202. Reservations must be made in advance of the event, no later than 2 p.m. on the day of the event. The cost is the park admission fee of $7 per person for those aged 14 and up and $4 for children aged 7 to 13. There is no charge for children aged 6 and younger.

For more information visit or call (928) 476-4202. Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is located off Hwy 87, just 10 miles north of Payson. Tucked away in a tiny valley surrounded by a forest of pine trees, Tonto Natural Bridge has been in the making for thousands of years. It is believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. Today, visitors can stand on top of the bridge or hike down below to capture the true size and beauty of this geologic wonder.

For information about all 30 Arizona State Parks and Natural Areas, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Programs and State Historic Preservation Office call (602) 542-4174 or (877)-MYPARKS. Campsite reservations can be made online at or by calling the Reservation Call Center at (520) 586-2283. Open 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST. Follow AZStateParks on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. 


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