Arizona is a land of many beautiful vistas, and some remarkable natural features as well, including the world’s largest natural travertine bridge, located at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, northeast of Phoenix.
Travertine, formed by rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate and solidified almost to the hardness of marble, surrounds the entry to a huge tunnel, almost 200 feet high and 400 feet long. Water flowing over the boulders of travertine at the tunnel entrance makes it especially slippery and hazardous for all the hikers that visit this natural wonder.
The natural bridge was discovered by a Scotsman (David Gowan) in 1877, as he hid from the Apache Indians tracking him. He was so impressed with the area that he moved his family here from Scotland and tried to claim the land by squatters’ rights. They lived near the arch until 1948.