Sunday morning, F and I were figuring out our plans for the next week and gave Wilderness Dave a call to see what he was up to. He and Wilderness Wife were planning an outing up to the Payson area to check out some potential campsites and invited us to come along.
After passing through Payson, we continued north on Arizona 87. We realized that most of us hadn’t been to Tonto Bridge State Park and decided it was probably worth checking out. I blanched a little at the $5 a person entry fee but the consensus was that we really should check it out. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in a busy national or state park and was a little taken aback by how busy the parking lot and trail were.
After wending our way around the people on the Gowan Trail, we got our first glimpse of the natural bridge. It was pretty darn cool. The path continues under the bridge on a delightfully slippery path.
Back in the car, we pressed on to Pine to find lunch. At THAT Brewery we ordered a sampler and some food. It was nice to sit around talking beer and hiking (and plotting a Picaho Del Diablo trip). After lunch, we continued up onto the Mogollon Rim to take another short hike through the pines.
Post hike, we drove down to Camp Verde and circled back to Phoenix via I-17. Thanks so much to Dave and his wife for welcoming us on their Sunday drive, letting us shower and stay the night at their place!