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

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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

Park is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. Daily admission is $10 for adults and $5.00 for ages 5–12.

Summer Hours: May – August

Starting May 1 the park is open daily from 6 am to 3 pm, with the day's final admission at 2 pm, one hour before closing time so the last-admitted guests of the day have a full hour to explore the gardens and trails.

Daily Guided Walking Tours at 11 am

11 am Visitor Center. Pentemons, poppies and primrose – oh my – it's wildflower season! What's new around the gardens this week? Every day of March & April guides lead a walk showing visitors the best spots to see and photograph spring color, to enjoy a look at the resident Northern Cardinals -- on a walk that includes a briefing on Arboretum history and information about plants, critters and geology.

Girl Scout Badge WorkshopsApril 5 - May 24: Saturday Girl Scout Badge Workshops

Learn more This season the park will host Girl Scout badge workshops, offering girls a chance to study a range of subjects. Includes a non-refundable down payment of $20, is required to hold a position for a scout or troop. Workshop/Admission Fees: $10 per Scout, $10 per Adult, $5 per Non-Scout age 5-12. To sign up and prepay, have a credit card ready and call Arboretum staff at 520-689-2723. Deadline to pre-register is two business days prior to the workshop date

When calling about Girl Scout workshops please be ready to tell 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, the number of scouts and chaperones attending, and provide a credit card. Girl Scout leaders or parents wanting more information are invited to email Lacey Pacheco at lpacheco(at)ag.arizona.edu to be added to Lacey's email alert list for scout troops, parents and educators (or call 520-689-2723). Learn more

See more upcoming Events below


Boyce Thompson Arboretum Video Tour

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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 12: Lizard Walk Guided By Wild Man Phil

9 am. Learn how to spot Ornate Tree lizards and Western Whiptails – and how to tell the different between a half-dozen commonly-seen species. Tours last about 90-120 minutes and circle the main trail – our most popular walk for kid (adults, too). Included with $10 daily admission.

April 12: Learn Your Lizards Guided Walk with 'Wild Man Phil'

9 am. Casa Grande naturalist and outdoor educator 'Wild Man Phil' Rakoci leads the first of our Spring-Summer weekend guided outings for kids -- and for adults, for all who enjoy Arizona's most common, colorful and charismatic little reptiles. Learn more and connect with Wild Man Phil on Facebook. Lizard walks are typically on the Second Saturday of each month from April-through-September.

April 12: Saturday Wildflower Walk

10 am. See, photograph and learn to ID wildflowers on a Saturday walk guided by Pat Pingel, or Sunday walks with Cass Blodgett of the Arizona Native Plants Society's Phoenix Chapter.

April 12: Edible & Medicinal Desert Plants Walk Guided By Jean Groen

1:30 pm. Explore the Curandero Trail on this guided tour offered twice each month, a one-hour walk where expert guides share their knowledge about the ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. April 27 our guide is Choctaw Nation member and ethno-botanist Dave Morris, sharing his knowledge about edible and medicinal uses for prickly pear cactus fruits and other Sonoran Desert plants. ** Please note: this tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers.

April 13: Guided Bird Walk with Anne Leight

8:30 am. See winter migrant birds and local residents on a walk guided by Anne Leight (she also volunteers as a bird-banding researcher at The Nature Conservancy's Hassayampa River preserve). Walks included with $10 daily admission. Walks continue April 19, 27.

April 13: Wildflower Walk Guided By Cass Blodgett

10 am. See, photograph and learn to ID wildflowers on a Sunday walk guided by by Cass Blodgett, co-president of the Arizona Native Plants Society's Phoenix Chapter.

April 13: Swiss Society Picnic

11 am - 1 pm. If you’re of Swiss descent – or wish you were -- and yearning to yodel, don a pair of lederhosen or feast on Swiss veal bratwurst and cervelat with zopf-bread -- don't miss the Arizona Swiss Society's annual picnic held outdoors. The Swiss flag will fly above the picnic tables starting early that morning, lunch is served buffet-style from 11:00-1:00 p.m. and events include Swiss games and music. Event organizer Christian Bucher says Swiss expats and those who "wish they were Swiss for a day" are welcome to participate, and all must RSVP in advance by email so organizers have enough bratwurst and buffet food to share. Info? Email christian_bucher@yahoo.com . “Arizona Swiss Society is for anyone, not only those with Swiss genealogy,” said Bucher, a Phoenix resident. “Join us!”

April 13: Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk

1:30 pm. The Sinai Desert lies roughly at the same latitude as our own Sonoran Desert; many of the same plants common in the Middle East thrive in our Arizona climate, and can be seen here at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Join Arboretum volunteers on a guided tour to learn about palms, pomegranates, figs, olives, and other plants of the Bible Land. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, and don't forget your sunscreen and water bottle. The tour, conducted at a leisurely pace, lasts about 90 minutes and proceeds along wheelchair-accessible paths. 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.

April 13 & 14: Gourd Art Classes

10 am. 'Beginners' gourd art April 13 ($30-$40), advanced "pine needle coiling" April 14 ($40-$50). Have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll. Sign up soon for either of these back-to-back informal and fun art classes -- a four-hour workshop and your chance to burn, paint, etch and emboss decorative gourds with coaching from Mesa artists Gerald and Vicki Johnson. Enrollment for the Wednesday beginners class is $30-$40 and includes a gourd, use of paints and brushes, tools and art supplies for the day, plus four hours of coaching and inspiration from Vicki & Jerry. Thursday enrollment is $10 more to learn the art of pine needle coiling; with the additional fee for specialized materials and instruction.

April 19: Guided Bird Walk with Kathe Anderson

8:30 am. See winter migrant birds and local residents on a walk guided by Scottsdale educator Kathe Anderson. Walks included with $10 daily admission. Anne Leight & Nathan Williams guide this month's final walk on April 27.

April 19: Saturday Wildflower Walk

10 am. See, photograph and learn to ID wildflowers on a Saturday walk guided by Pat Pingel, or Sunday walks with Cass Blodgett of the Arizona Native Plants Society's Phoenix Chapter.

April 19: Spring Break Saturday Science & Stories

10 am. Ages 5-8 (grade K-3. )Looking for activities during Spring Break? A new 'Saturday Science and Stories Hour' continues with two April dates. Parents: sign up your children for Science and Stories with an email to Lacey at lpacheco@ag.arizona.edu, or call 520.689.2723. Have ready the number of children you would like to enroll, their ages, the number of parents, and which session(s) you would like to participate in. Due to the limited space available we ask that parents only sign up if they and their child are able to attend. Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult chaperone during the program. Programs are admission-free but space is limited and pre-registration is required. April science and stories hours feature 'Bugs' and lessons about insects, stories about insects, and real live ones, too.

April 26: Saturday Wildflower Walk

10 am. See, photograph and learn to ID wildflowers on a Saturday walk guided by Pat Pingel, or Sunday walks with Cass Blodgett of the Arizona Native Plants Society's Phoenix Chapter.

April 26: Spring Break Saturday Science & Stories

10 am. Ages 9-12 (grades 4-6). Looking for activities during Spring Break? A new 'Saturday Science and Stories Hour' continues with two April dates. Parents: sign up your children for Science and Stories with an email to Lacey at lpacheco@ag.arizona.edu, or call 520.689.2723. Have ready the number of children you would like to enroll, their ages, the number of parents, and which session(s) you would like to participate in. Due to the limited space available we ask that parents only sign up if they and their child are able to attend. Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult chaperone during the program. Programs are admission-free but space is limited and pre-registration is required. April science and stories hours feature 'Bugs' and lessons about insects, stories about insects, and real live ones, too.

April 26: Geology Walking Tour

1:30 pm. Geologist Rich Leveille is our special guest guide for this once-a-month walk, a chance to 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.

April 27: Edible & Medicinal Desert Plants Walk Guided By Dave Morris

1:30 pm. Explore the Curandero Trail on this guided tour offered twice each month, a one-hour walk where expert guides share their knowledge about the ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. Guide is Choctaw Nation member and ethno-botanist Dave Morris, sharing his wealth of knowledge about edible and medicinal uses for prickly pear cactus fruits and other Sonoran Desert plants. ** Please note: this tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers.

April 27: Tom Boggan Camera Basics Photo Class

2 pm. Enrollment $20 for Arboretum members, $30 nonmembers. Call 520-689-2723. Do you have a fancy new digital SLR, or even a digital point-and-shoot camera that you're eager to learn to use more effectively? Once-a-month photo workshops with Scottsdale artist Tom Boggan offer that chance all four seasons of the year at BTA. Improve your camera skills on a relaxed outing surrounded by beautiful gardens and alongside a pro -- and with plenty of chances to ask questions about the dials, settings and controls on your own camera. Learn basic photography skills including composition, lighting, white balance and aperture-exposure.

April 28: Digital Photo Post-Processing Basics With Rim

10 am. $20 BTA members or $30 nonmembers. with a credit card ready call 520-689-2723. OK, you have pictures in your camera -- now what? If you've wanted to learn to easily and efficiently download, organize and archive your JPG or RAW files -- including basic digital imaging skills such as resizing, cropping and simple editing, East Valley photographer 'Rim' Vidziunas offers a two-hour workshop in post-processing and work-flow. A bargain at $20 for BTA members ($30 for nonmembers) this workshop will cover skills such as transferring RAW or JPGs from camera-to-computer to basic image archiving, work-flow, resizing and basic photo editing. Bring your laptop - this will be a hands-on class; no camera required. Rim will also discuss and demonstrate basic functions of popular software ranging from Adobe Photoshop Elements to Lightroom.

May 9: FREE admission on National Public Gardens Day

6 am. Celebrate National Public Gardens day with FREE admission at Boyce Thompson Arboretum SP.

 


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