Directions To Sunday's Annual Camp Tontozona Scrimmage At 10:15 a.m.
Aug. 9, 2002
August temperatures in Phoenix, the Valley of the Sun, begin at 100 degrees and work their way higher!
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To escape the Phoenix area's late-summer oven, the Arizona State football team annually treks 100 miles northeast to Camp Tontozona, a University-owned recreation and camping area, for its preseason workouts.
Set within the cool mountain country near Payson, Ariz., the camp borders the Tonto National Forest, which provides the first two syllables of Tontozona. The state of Arizona offers the last pair.
Mountains skirt the camp with water, contributing much of the beauty to the area with clear-running Tonto Creek just a moment's walk from the practice field. As a matter of fact, the bubbling springs on the camp property are a popular place for a cold drink or a refreshing natural whirlpool after practice. But the creek is even more popular after drills. Three man-sized waterfalls and clear-bottom swimming holes serve as refreshers to the Sun Devils.
Wildlife is another prominent specialty of Tontozona; deer roaming the surrounding country and hawks circling the morning and evening skies are not uncommon sights.
Just minutes away by car are other attractions such as the recently renovated Zane Grey's cabin, the site that inspired many of the famous author's Western novels, the spectacular Mogollon Rim and its breathtaking view, and countryside that provides a haven for campers, horseback riders, hikers and picnickers.
Tontozona provides the Sun Devils with a unique setting for concentration and preparation for the new season ahead. Legendary Hall of Fame coach Frank Kush started taking his Sun Devil squads to Camp Tontozona in 1960.
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