Gowan Trail at Tonto Natural Bridge SP
Gowan Trail is a 2200 foot trail down to the natural bridge (and back up). It is very steep and rocky and has several steps. There is a warning sign at the trailhead that says if you have medical problems then reconsider taking the trail. Another warning sign specifically mentioned 1. Heart Problems; 2. Back Problems; 3. Leg Problems; and 4. Resperatory Problems. I have 3 of the 4 but I made it down and back up with no ill effects (I did stop once on the way back up). The view of the natural bridge from the bottom of the trail was worth the effort. So were some of the views along the way. Good hiking shoes, sunscreen, a hat, plenty of water.
Tonto Natural Bridge SP Pine Creek
Part of the forces that formed Tonto Natural Bridge over the years was Pine Creek. Part of the Gowan Trail follows the course of Pine Creek. If you follow the creek a distance from the bridge you come to an area where swimming is allowed (I did not go that far). Please note, however, that there are no lifeguards.
Basaic Payson Page
"Tonto Natural Bridge State Park"
One of the attractions near the town of Payson is the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. Tonto Natural Bridge 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 trail down to the bridge, and even more so back up is fairly steep and not recommended for people with medical problems (I had 3 of the 4 they mentioned but I did it anyway with no ill effects).
"Green Valley Park"
Payson is a town of over 13,000 people located just south of the Mogollon Rim. The Mogollon Rim is the second terrain feature in Arizona (after the Grand Canyon) that is visible from space. Payson boasts an award winning city park called Green Valley Park. Inside the confines of the park are three man-made lakes, the Rim Country Museum, and a recreation of Zane Grey's Cabin, where he wrote many of his ward winning books.
While in Payson, check out the small Historic District and go to the Chamber of Commerce to fine other items of interest in the area.
Did you ever wonder where residents of Phoenix go to escape the scorching summer weekends? I hope I'm not inviting their wrath by telling you one of them - Payson, Arizona and its environs. It's less than a hundred miles from Phoenix, but at an elevation of approximately 5,000 feet is in an entirely different temperate zone.
I have no photos of Payson to share, but a have several from some nice places to visit in the vicinity.