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.
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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.
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.
The University of Arizona also maintains a website for this park, with additional park information and photos. Learn more.
July 1: Arboretum Book Club Title: "Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico”
9am. The informal book club at Boyce Thompson Arboretum showcases a new title each month, with a lively discussion group. Our book for July 8 will be "Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico, The Diary of Susan Shelby Magoffin, 1846-1847" Edited by Stella M. Drumm In June 1846 Shelby Magoffin set out with her husband on a trek from Independence, Missouri, through New Mexico and South to Chihuahua, Mexico. Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico, edited by Stella M. Drumm, is Shelby’s journal describing the excitement, routine and dangers during her fifteen months on the trail. She wrote down in detail the customs and appearances of the places that she visited and of her meeting with Zachary Taylor. She gave birth to her first child during the journey and wrote “This thing of marrying is not what it is cracked up to be.” Shelby’s journal is valuable as a social and historical record, and also traces the growth of a pioneer woman coming to terms with herself. Attendance at our once-a-month meetup is included with $10 daily admission if you're not already among our annual members, or don't have an AZ State Parks annual pass (and free, of course, to all who do). And each month's book is available in our gift shop. Stop by this week for your copy or order a copy by mail, have a credit card ready and call (520) 689-2723. RSVP that you plan to attend the book club meeting, please email meeting coordinator Vicki.
July 2 : Dragonfly Walk with Field Guide Authors Rich Bailowitz & Doug Danforth (repeats August 6 with Joanna Henry)
8:30am. Arizona authors Rich Bailowitz and Doug Danforth celebrate publication of their new ‘Damselflies & Dragonflies of AZ and Sonora’ by signing copies and guiding a dragonfly walk at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park July 2. The definitive resource to Arizona odonatan, and quite literally from A-Z (that's Anisoptera to Zygoptera), the thorough book is illustrated with closeups that reveal subtle field marks and explain characteristics, distribution, and genera and species numbers. Their walk is included with $10 daily admission; free when you bring your AZ State Parks annual pass. Confirm event times and read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/
July 2: Main Trail Guided Walking Tour with Jim Shepherd
9am. Arizona State Parks Volunteers Jim guides a walk showcasing the beauty of Arizona's oldest Arboretum, nestled against Picket Post Mountain. Increase your understanding of plants and trees from around the world with an emphasis on flora of the Sonoran Desert. Find out about the history of the park, its founder, and his famous mansion on the ridge of volcanic rock. Tours depart from the visitor center at 9:00 am and are included with daily admission $10 -- free to BTA annual members, and also free if you have an Arizona State Parks pass. Confirm event times and read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/
July 9: Learn Your Lizards Guided Walk with Reptile Researchers (another walk July 30)
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. July 9 guides are AZ Game & Fish Department reptile researcher Dan Leavitt -- plus Tucson author Larry Jones (he wrote Lizards of the American Southwest). This walk is offerd again July 30, but with Casa Grande outdoor educator 'Wild Man Phil' Rakoci’ as the special guest tourguide on that Saturday. 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/
July 9: 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 and guided by Kathe Anderson July 9 and again August 7. Recent bird sighting checklist are posted at http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/
July 16: Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk (repeats Aug. 20)
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/
July 23: Geology walking tour with Rich Leveille
8am. Learn about rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a guided tour with professional geologist Rich Leveille starting at 8:00 am; his tour 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. Confirm event times and read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/
July 23: Butterfly Walk with Marceline
8:30am. Marceline VandeWater 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. Our guide for the Aug. 27 walk is Adriane Grimaldi – education director at Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale. Confirm event times and read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/
July 24: Edible & Medicinal Sonoran Desert Plants Walk
8am. Walk the Curandero Trail on a slow-paced, leisurely tour guided by desert plant enthusiasts who explain ways prickly pear cacti, ratany, agaves and jojobas have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years.
** Please note: this guided tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers. Confirm event times and read more
July 30 : Learn Your Lizards Guided Walk with ‘Wild Man Phil’
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. July 30 guide is Casa Grande outdoor educator 'Wild Man Phil' Rakoci’. 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/
- Alamo Lake
- Buckskin Mountain
- Cattail Cove
- Lake Havasu
- River Island
- Yuma Quartermaster Depot
- Yuma Territorial Prison
- Dead Horse Ranch
- Fort Verde
- Red Rock
- Riordan Mansion
- Slide Rock
- Verde River Greenway
- Boyce Thompson Arboretum
- Fool Hollow Lake
- Lost Dutchman
- Lyman Lake
- Tonto Natural Bridge