Monday, June 4, 2012

Hiking at Tonto Natural Bridge

Last weekend, our family enjoyed driving up near Payson, AZ and hiking at the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.  It was the perfect day hike because the drive was under two hours each way, and the hike itself was long enough to be "worth it," but not too long that our kids were complaining :)  There were some "tricky" sections of the trail... the scariest part being when you pass under the bridge there is a very narrow ledge that everyone has to cross which also happens to be on wet, slippery, steep rock that would plunge you right into the water below if you lost your footing.  I will admit, my heart was beating a little fast as we (well... Micah) got the kids across.  Our son is not a risk-taker at all, so he was pretty much freaking out the entire time we were on the ledge which obviously just added to the chaos of the situation, lol!  But, he made it across and was pretty proud of himself.  Once past that, the rest of the trail involved lots of boulder climbing, and creek hopping, which was pretty fun... though we still had to give the kids extra "help" in quite a few spots. :)  Here are some pictures of our adventure...

There it is!
A nice park ranger offered to take our picture...
"Look waaaaayyyy up there!"
Love these three!
Time to hike through to the other side... look how tiny the people look compared to the boulders!
You can see the "scary" area up ahead of this line of people... we got very wet hiking under the bridge!  Water was constantly dripping down on us :)
Creek hopping!
"Mountain" Climbing
Sometimes the only way to go was... UP
A bridge crossing marks the end of the trail
Time to climb lots of stairs...
Rewarded with snacks at the top!
Waterfall
We definitely plan to go back and enjoy this hike again sometime in the future...
beautiful scenery + family + great weather + getting "away" = perfect day!