This is probably the oldest bridge that has been posted since Rune invited us to join the first Bridges between... last March. You may have seen a bridge posted that was built by the ancient Romans or Greeks, but this is older than that. It has been in the making for many thousands of years.
When we arrived at Tonto Bridge State Park west of Payson, we first ate our picnic lunch, then started to wonder where the bridge was. The fact of the matter was, we were on top of it without even realizing.
Tonto Bridge is a natural bridge, "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," according to the Arizona State Park website, which also explains its history.
(Most of these photos will enlarge if clicked.)This sign explains a little bit about how it was formed.You can hike down from either side of the bridge. The sign says not to walk under it, but dozens of people were doing so.
We didn't hike through under the bridge as some others did, but came down the trail on each side.
Human built bridges in the desert sometimes seem like they would be unnecesary. Since the force of water formed this one, it is a good argument for the ones that cross dry washes.