Location

Boyce Thompson Arboretum Locator Map

Elevation 2,400 feet   Fees

Contact the Park:
(520) 689-2811
Boyce Thompson Arboretum SP
37615 U.S. Hwy 60
Superior, AZ 85273

Facilities

Visitor Center Restrooms Gift Shop Exhibits Group: Day Use Areas Picnic Areas/Shelters Hiking Trails Wildlife Viewing

Nearest Services: 3 miles

Click icons for more info

511 Speed Code

511 logo

Park's Speed Code: 4202#

Fees

Park Entrance Fees:
Adult (13+): $10.00
Child (5-12): $5.00
Age 4 & Under: FREE

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Winter Hours in Effect:

The park is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm, with the day's final admission at 4 pm, one hour before closing time so the last-admitted guests of the day have a full hour to explore the gardens and trails.



Boyce Thompson Arboretum Video Tour

After you start the video, change resolution to 480 for High Quality.


A variety of plants from the world's deserts await you at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is the place to discover the intricate beauty and many faces of Arizona's oldest and largest botanical garden. Featured are plants from the world's deserts, towering trees, captivating cacti, sheer mountain cliffs, a streamside forest, panoramic vistas, many natural habitats with varied wildlife, a desert lake, a hidden canyon, specialty gardens and more.

The Arboretum was founded in the 1920s by mining magnate Col. William Boyce Thompson. In 1917 Col. Thompson served as co-leader of a Red Cross mercy mission to Russia, where he came to understand the importance of plants as the ultimate source of a large portion of mankind's food, clothing, and shelter. It was then, that he determined to use his great wealth to improve the use of plant resources. The Arboretum is one of his legacies.

Take a 360° Virtual Tour (Photo Gallery)

Encompassing 323 acres, the Arboretum is Arizona's oldest and largest botanical garden. It was the first purely botanical institution in the inter-mountain states. The Arizona State Parks Board entered into agreement with the Boyce Thompson Arboretum Board and the University of Arizona in 1976 to cooperatively manage the Arboretum.

Event Calendar

Look for Boyce Thompson Arboretum events on the Master Calendar of Events (Next)

 

The University of Arizona also maintains a website for this park, with additional park information and photos. Learn more. External Link

April 4 - Craft Workshop: Make-a-Terrarium (repeats April 30)

9am. $30-$40. Have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll. Create your own terrarium, an indoor garden, in a 3-hour workshop with artists-in-residence Vicki & Gerald. Materials included. Would your  craft circle or other community group like to schedule this activity as a private group? Contact Lacey at lpacheco@cals.arizona.edu. Confirm event times http://ag.arizona.edu/bta/

April 4 - Master Gardeners Present: "Butterfly Gardening"

11am. Included with $10 daily admission, no pre-registration needed. Did you know butterflies are nearsighted - that they don't like fresh water, and that they depend on a range of plants to mature from egg to adult? Volunteers with the Superstition Mountain Master Gardeners live in Gold Canyon, Apache Junction, Mesa and Florence - they've learned which "host plants” thrive in Pinal County gardens, while also adding color, accent and character to your landscape. For more info about the Master Gardeners group, their classes and volunteer work, call Carol at 602-438-4003 or email caparrott21@hotmail.com. Confirm other Arboretum guided tours and events at ag.arizona.edu/bta

April 4 - Camera Basics: "Moving To Manual" with Michael Madsen & Patty Van Herpen

1-4PM. $40; with credit card ready call 520-689-2723. Gilbert pro photographers Michael Madsen and Patty Van Herpen team-up to teach basic photography and composition -- here's a chance to learn camera functions and to practice what you have learned in the Demonstration Garden alongside two professionals, one expert with Canon camera, the other with Nikon. This class is designed for the beginner-to-intermediate photographer who is ready to harness the horsepower of a digital cameras by getting past the "auto" settings in favor of manually controlling their own aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance. "We will switch our cameras to manual mode and learn to take charge of our cameras, and explore the creative side of photography," says Madsen. "You'll be taught how to adjust your camera settings, and the photographic effects that occur based on these settings. Heading outdoors after lunch allows us to apply techniques we have learned in the classroom and experiment with camera settings together and one-on-one." Read a more complete description at http://ag.arizona.edu/bta/photoclass.html

April 8 - HomeSchool Day 'Plants of the Bible Land' Tour & Workshop

10 am. Education programs offered to public schools are also offered on three special days for HomeSchool families with a 'Plants of the Bible Land' tour and activity April 8. Pre-registration and payment for Homeschool Days is required and is non-refundable. Families are asked to register for the tour no later than one week prior to each 10am tour. $2 per student from pre-kindergarten through high school (ages 4-18) and $2 per adult, with a limit of two adults per family - additional adults pay regular admission of $10 each. Sessions continue Wednesday, April 8 with "Plants of the Bible Land". The Arboretum is home to several plants found in the Middle East. Using references in ancient texts, guides will describe how people of the Bible Land used plants as food, medicine, and shelter in ways similar to how native peoples of Southern Arizona continue to do so in modern times! (2 hours). To sign up and prepay have a credit card ready and call Arboretum staff at 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours. Make sure to pre-register at least two days prior to the workshop date. Read more via this informative PDF HERE

Mrs. Lincoln Band at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State ParkApril 11 - Concert - Americana with Mrs. Lincoln

11am. the Valley’s own “Mrs. Lincoln” live with an outdoor picnic area concert from 11am-1pm. Music i’s included with daily admission of $10; of course, though, its free to BTA annual members who help support the Arboretum – and also free if you have an AZ State Parks annual pass. Mrs. Lincoln is a self-described “eclectic attack of acoustic folk music,
down-home country rock & original singer-songwriting,” featuring Annrenee Jones, Marconias, Gram Benike, Chad Standlea & David Wells. Check ‘em out on Facebook HERE

April 11 & 12 - Gourd Mask Art Class

9am. Make your own colorful mask made of half of a gourd during this two-day class. On the first day of class, students will create their own design, burn it into the gourd and then color it and seal it with a topcoat. On the second day of class, students will learn how to add adornments such as feathers, wire and beads to complete their face mask. $95 includes all supplies, plus use of tools, brushes and paints during class. Enroll by phone; with credit card ready call (520) 689-2723. Confirm event times http://ag.arizona.edu/bta

April 12  - Arizona Swiss Society Spring Picnic

Yearning to yodel, strap on leiderhosen -- or feast on Swiss veal bratwurst and cervelat with Zopf-bread? Then don't miss the Arizona Swiss Society's Spring picnic, held outdoors in the picnic area at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. The Swiss flag will fly in the picnic area starting early that morning, lunch is served buffet-style from 12:00-1:30 p.m. and events
include Swiss games. Arboretum admission is $10 for the day, the Swiss Society asks an additional $10 to join their potluck - and please bring a dish to share. Event organizer Christian Bucher says Swiss expats and those who'd like to be Swiss for a day are welcome to participate. Swiss Society non-members are asked to sign up in advance so there will be enough bratwurst and cervelat for all. Sign up by email to azswiss@cox.net, and connect at http://www.arizonaswisssociety.com/ or on Facebook HERE

April 18 - Girl Scout Badge Saturday Workshop: "Arizona Badge"

9am. (new workshops April 25, May 9 & 16) Girl Scouts from Brownie through Cadette can earn badges during group workshops at the Arboretum. Spring 2015 workshops continue with the Flowers badge April 18, the 'Arizona' badge April 25, 'Bugs' May 23; May 16; and for Cadettes  Woodworker May 9. Download our Registration PDF [Here]. Registration of a non-refundable down-payment of $20 is required to hold a position for a scout or troop. Workshop admission fees are $10 per scout and $10 per adult chaperone; $5 for each non-scout between ages 5-12 (yes, these workshops are open to kids other than girl scouts – even boys). To sign up and prepay have a credit card ready and call Arboretum staff at 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours. Make sure to pre-register at least two days prior to the workshop date, and when you call please tell our staff the specific workshop and date you wish to register for, your Girl Scout troop number, your name (or the troop leader's name); contact phone numbers, and the number of scouts and chaperones attending. Questions? email Lacey at lpacheco@cals.arizona.edu or call her at (520) 689-2723 during daytime business hours. 

April 18 - "Plant Problems, Disorders and Diagnosis" Lecture & Lab Garden Classes

10am. Arboretum staffer and Certified Arborist Jeff Payne invites gardeners to the 4th and final of his new series of once-a-month horticultural lectures; they're included with daily admission of $10, no pre-registration required. What is wrong with my plant? Is my plant dead? Why are the leaves yellow? I found bugs on my plants are they good or bad? What can cause dieback? Join Certified Arborist Jeff Payne as he guides you through problems that occur or can go wrong with your plants in your own backyard and what to watch out for during an informative talk and hands-on field lab diagnosing common problems with plants at Boyce Thompson Arboretum that the Horticulture Staff encounter on a daily or seasonal basis.

April 30 - Craft Workshop: Make-a-Terrarium

9am. $30-$40. Have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll. Create your own terrarium, an indoor garden, in a 3-hour workshop with artists-in-residence Vicki & Gerald. Materials included. Would your craft circle or other community group like to schedule this activity as a private group? Contact Lacey at lpacheco@cals.arizona.edu. Confirm event times at http://ag.arizona.edu/bta


MAY

May 8 - Friday National Public Gardens Day - FREE ADMISSION at the Arboretum.

6am-3pm. Please note that Hours at BTA return to the Spring-Summer schedule in May, and the garden is open from 6am-3pm daily. Verify specifics about the Public Gardens Day free admission coupon at http://ag.arizona.edu/bta

May 9 -Saturday 'Lizard Walk' guided by Wild Man Phil & Steven Prager

8am. Sonoran Desert educator "Wild Man Phil" Rakoci and Arizona Audubon's Steven Prager guide a walking tour in search of Ornate Tree Lizard and Western Whiprtails, Desert Spiny and Side-blotched Lizards. Bring a camera for close-up pictures of these colorful little reptiles. See photos and read more http://ag.arizona.edu/bta

May 16 - Saturday Plants-of-the-Bible Land walk guided by Dave Oberpriller

8am. Pomegranates, figs, pines and palms are all plants referenced in scriptures -- they can also be seen in the gardens at BTA. See photos and read more HERE

May 23 - Geology walking tour with Scott McFadden (note 8am start time)

8am. Daily hours at BTA are 6am-3pm from May-through-September, and this tour moves to an 8am start time during summer months. See rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a guided tour that compresses almost two billion years of geologic history into just over one educational hour! Learn about Pinal schist, the  volcanic origins of Picket Post Mountain and the Apache Leap tuff. See photos and read more HERE

May 23 - Saturday Butterfly walk

9am. Central Arizona Butterfly Association volunteers Jan Harding and Laura Miller guide a walk in search of colorful butterflies around the gardens. Learn tips on how to ID them by color, patterns - and "host plants" essential to their life cycle. http://ag.arizona.edu/bta

May 24 - Sunday Edible & Medicinal Desert Plants walk with Dave Morris

8am. Explore the Curandero Trail on this slow-paced guided walking tour, a one-hour walk where ethno-botanist and Choctaw Nation tribal member Dave Morris shares his knowledge about the ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. **Please note: this tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers. http://ag.arizona.edu/bta


JUNE

June 13 - Saturday 'Lizard Walk' guided by Wild Man Phil and Steven Prager

8am. Sonoran Desert educator "Wild Man Phil" Rakoci and Arizona Audubon's Steven Prager guide a walking tour in search of Ornate Tree Lizard and Western Whiprtails, Desert Spiny and Side-blotched Lizards. Bring a camera for close-up pictures of these colorful little reptiles. See photos and read more http://ag.arizona.edu/bta

June 20 - Saturday Plants-of-the-Bible Land walk guided by Dave Oberpriller

8am. Pomegranates, figs, pines and palms are all plants referenced in scriptures -- they can also be seen in the gardens at BTA. See photos and read more HERE

June 27 - Geology walking tour with Scott McFadden (note 8am start time)

8am. Daily hours at BTA are 6am-3pm from May-through-September, and this tour moves to an 8am start time during summer months. See rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a guided tour that compresses almost two billion years of geologic history into just over one educational hour! Learn about Pinal schist, the  volcanic origins of Picket Post Mountain and the Apache Leap tuff. See photos and read more HERE

June 28 - Sunday Edible & Medicinal Desert Plants walk with Kathy & Tom Mcdonald

8am. Explore the Curandero Trail on this slow-paced guided walking tour, a one-hour walk where desert plant enthusiasts Kathy & Tom McDonald share their knowledge about the ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. ** Please note: this tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers. Read more http://ag.arizona.edu/bta


Top of Page (Top)     Park Rules & FAQ (Next)