Best Remedy: Tonto Natural Bridge Arizona

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

A need to get outside and away, took us not too far from the Red Rocks of Sedona to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. A gorgeous crisp fall day in the Verde Valley, gave way to a gorgeous bit more crisper fall day in The Rim Country, as we climbed in elevation to the snow line just before Strawberry, and on through Pine. It had been over twenty years since our last visit.  What was once a steep drop of a maybe trail is now a well groomed series of steps built into the still steep decline, but for the most part the Tonto Natural Bridge remained reassuringly just as we left her.

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park  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. Located in a breath taking valley between Pine and Payson Arizona USA,  it was first documented in 1877 a prospector named David Gowan.  One  story goes that he was being chased by Native Americans from the Apache Tribe and  hid for two nights and three days in one of the numerous caves surrounding the bridge.  After safely leaving the  cave he explored the tunnel and valley, and promptly  filed ownership under squatter’s rights. I can only wonder what the Native American Apache Tribe thought of this.

In 1898 he persuaded his nephew, David Gowan Goodfellow, to bring his family over from Scotland  and settle the land permanently. After a week of difficult travel from Flagstaff, the Goodfellows arrived at the edge of the mountain and lowered their possessions down the 500 foot slopes into the valley by ropes and burros.

The Geology of the Natural Bridge  stretches back well over a million years. Not to worry,  I will only speak of the ‘recent’ geology. The western portion of   Pine Creek which flows through the area was formed by rhyolitic lava. As it eroded it left purple quartz sandstone. The layers of rock then lithified  (changed), shifted, and faulted. Approximately 1.7 million years ago the sea arrived to cover the entire area and leave behind mud and sand sediment. Next arrived more volcanoes covering the area with a lava basalt capping. The tectonic plates shifted, years of erosion ensued, and Pine Creek Canyon was formed. Rainwater began to seep underground through weak areas and fractures creating limestone aquifers. The Travertine Dam was formed from springs emerging and leaving behind an increasing amount of calcium carbonate. Pine Creeks water pressure built to the point of bursting through the dam, creating the Tonto Natural Bridge so many enjoy visiting today.

It’s a good healing thing to get outside and explore. It brings a sense of calm and clarity. We returned home with a decision to take a break from the TV, radio, and media for a few days.  I really do think Three Dog Night said it best with their music that invites us all to go Out In The Country.

Fill your weekend with peaceful moments everyone.

Today’s Music: Out In The Country- Three Dog Night



  1. Just beautiful, JoHanna! I remember visiting the Tonto Natural Bridge a few years ago. Such a pretty, peaceful place. It really does lift one’s spirits to spend time in nature. We had a lovely time in Arizona earlier this month. This weekend we will be taking a snowy walk in nature. Winter has arrived in the Midwest, and our first snow of the season is a big one! I’m so happy to find your blog and look forward to visiting often! ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much Dawn. It’s really an unsettling time right now worldwide, and I am just committed to promoting that we all get outside, spend time with the people we love, and embrace our creativity.

      Arizona has such a diversity of things to do and see. So glad you enjoyed your time here.

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      1. Kindred spirits, JoHanna! We are feeling the very same way. You have put this feeling into words so beautifully. My parents live in Mesa. So, now that I am retired, we visit as often as we can. I’m so happy to follow along on your adventures! ♡

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  2. A wonderful post full of beauty and gorgeous pictures.I agree going outside is a true remedy for what makes us feel low. It does connect us with the universe! The bridge sounds amazing!


  3. I never heard this song but do like the group very much. Really nice accompanying symphony, though they certainly were a low key part of the performance. Beautiful pictures, part of the country I never explored.

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  4. What an incredible place! And your photos are exquisite! After this dark season which is upon us, getting to go out to some of the ‘secret spots’ which surround us here in the Valley, will be that very needed respite. Meanwhile, I have your well chosen song and video to remind me of what lies ahead!

    Great post!

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