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


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

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Park's Speed Code: 4202#


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

Summer Hours are in Effect:

The park is open daily from 6am. to 3pm., with the day's final admission at 2pm., 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

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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


Learn Your LizardsJuly 30 : Learn Your Lizards Guided Walk with ‘Wild Man Phil’

8am. See Arizona's most common, colorful and charismatic little reptiles on a guided two-hour walk around the 1.5 mile-long main trail; weekend nature walks at the Arboretum are included with $10 daily admission – or free with your Arizona State Parks annual pass. Lizard walks continue August 13 and also September 10 with guides including AZ Audubon naturalist Steven Prager, and Arizona Game & Fish Department reptile researcher Dan Leavitt & Jamie Wisenall. See photos and read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/

Butterfly WalkAugust 6: Dragonfly Walk

8:30am. Dragonfly researcher Joanna Henry is the special guest guide for this once-a-month odonate excursion – and interpreted walking tour to Ayer Lake and garden water features. Join Joanna to learn about these beautiful, fascinating insect predators. Bring your camera because our guides usually net a few dragonflies for visitors to view and photograph close-up, before releasing the insects safe and unharmed to continue flying sorties over Ayer Lake. ASU Professor Pierre Deviche leads the October 1 season finale walk. Check out colorful photos and read more about Flame Skimmers, Blue Dashers and Mexican Amberwings at this excellent website launched by Pierre:http://azdragonfly.net

Guided Bird WalkAugust 7: Guided Bird Walk with Kathe Anderson

6:30am. Year-round resident Northern Cardinals were among dozens of species seen and heard around the gardens this week at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park. See vivid cardinals and more on a bird walk starting at 6:30 am. Recent bird sighting checklist are posted athttp://cals.arizona.edu/bta/

Learn Your LizardsAugust 13: Learn Your Lizards Guided Walk

8am. This entertaining guided tour around the gardens is not just for kids -- popular ‘Lizard Walks’ are for all who enjoy Arizona's most common, colorful and charismatic little reptiles. Lizard walks August 13 and also September 10 feature Arizona Audubon naturalist Steven Prager, Dan Leavitt & Jamie Wisenall. There's no additional fee to attend Lizard walks and other nature tours here, and no pre-registration necessary, just be in the Arboretum Visitor Center breezeway at start time. Confirm event times and read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta

Plants of the BibleAugust 20: Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk

8am. 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. Arboretum volunteer tourguide Dave Oberpriller leads this tour to learn about palms, pomegranates, figs, olives, and other plants of the Bible Land. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, bring sunscreen and water bottle. The tour, conducted at a leisurely pace, lasts about 90 minutes and proceeds along wheelchair-accessible paths. Check out a few Plants of the Bible Lands on Facebook. 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. Confirm event times and read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/

Butterfly WalkAug. 27: Butterfly Walk with Adriane

8:30am. Adriane Grimaldi guides Arboretum guests on a walking tour to see, photograph and learn about colorful species ranging from Empress Leilia to Queen, Spring Azure, Pipevine Swallowtail and more. This relaxed and slow-moving walk explores our Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, Demonstration Garden and Children's Garden collections. Don’t miss our walk – Adriane’s the education director at Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale. Confirm event times and read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/


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