Hike the Pine Creek Loop in Tonto Natural Bridge SP

Pine Creek Trailhead, AZ

The largest natural travertine bridge in the world. A 400 foot long tunnel with beautiful turquoise pools in the bottom that opens to a gorgeous riparian area.

There is a fee to enter this area. It was $7 when we went. There are 4 trails with many viewpoints from the parking lot, all of which are out and back. We followed the recommendation of the ranger working at the visitor's center and took the Gowan Trail down to the observation deck located in the creek bottom. This park can be very crowded on weekends and holidays. We went on a day that was a little bit rainy and had the place to ourselves.

The trail to the observation deck was steep in spots but very well maintained. From the end of the observation deck you can explore underneath the bridge which is full of deep turquoise pools. The travertine dissolved in the water is what causes it to have the turquoise color. There are some arrows painted to mark the best way to get through the 400 foot long tunnel. When you come out the other side you're in a beautiful riparian area. If you're lucky you might see some coatimundi while exploring here. You can then take the Anna Mae Trail for a short distance and then take the Pine Creek Trail back up out of the creek.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Camera
  • Appropriate footwear
  • The map they give out in the visitor's center
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RT Distance 1.8 Miles
Elevation Gain 300 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Not As Described

Place was gorgeous! Not dog friendly at all, and very regulated by the state. No swimming signs posted basically everywhere. This is beautiful, but totally one of those follow the pavement road and observe sort of place.

Awesome!

Great place to hike or just hang out


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