Tonto 2

Tonto020BInside the Tonto National Forest is a national park that includes a cave like structure called “a natural bridge”. Here is a description from the parks website:

“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.”

Water runs through it, forming a interesting pool around the base of these rocks and out into a small stream. A park authorized trail leads down to the entrance and inside to a viewing area. The day I was there a Ranger was keeping a watchful eye.

This image is zoomed in, not showing the floor of the large room… the bottom of this photo is perhaps 65% down from the ceiling… I zoomed in to see the remnants of an old ladder. The Ranger on duty told me that native Indians had made a home in the indenture where the ladder is anchored. The two vertical pieces you see are each about 10 feet tall. Apparently the hole is deep enough for multiple families or one large extended group.

Moss & algae add contrasting colors to the native Arizona rock formations and soil giving the entire thing a very prehistoric feel. I visited the site while on a business trip and have longed to return, although with more photo equipment than I carried the first time ;-).


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I began my photography career in high school, 39 years later it's still what defines me more than anything else. I've had other jobs and many hobbies but just never was able to stay away from behind the lens.

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