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

Click icons for more info

511 Speed Code

511 logo

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.


Check out the September BTA newsletter HERE...

September 1 - Dragonfly Field Guide Author

8:30am. For the past decade ‘Common Dragonflies of the Southwest’ has been the go-to field guide to Arizona Odonata. An excellent, convenient and pocket-size full-color guide, the durable little books became increasingly rare when authors Kathy and Dave Biggs moved to publishing e-Guides. Good news for dragonfly fans: their books are back in stock at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park (including just-released ‘Dragonflies of the Greater Southwest - Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah’)  even better, they'll visit BTA for a rare meet-the-authors book signing and guided dragonfly walk Tuesday morning, Sept. 1. Bring your dog-eared field edition to be personalized and autographed that morning – or pick up a pristine new copy; the pocket guide runs about $12, while the expanded new book is $24.  Attending the 9am guided tour with these odonate experts is free when you show your AZ State Parks annual pass - or included with $10 daily admission for all other visitors. Be in the visitor center breezeway lobby from 8:30-9am. for the book signing and informal ‘meet the authors” half-hour; the Tuesday special dragonfly walk begins at 9am. What’s possible this time of year? An August report last year included Red-tailed Pennant, Western Pondhawk, Neon Skimmer; Flame Skimmer, Straw-colored Sylph, Roseate Skimmer, Blue Dasher, Spot-winged Gliders, Mexican Amberwings, Black Saddlebag, Giant Darners – and about a dozen other species. See photos and read more about odonates of the Grand Canyon State at this excellent website http://azdragonfly.net

Guided Dragonfly Walk with Roger Racut at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park on Aug. 1, 2015 at 8:30am.September 5 - Guided Dragonfly Walk with Roger Racut

8:30am. Dragonfly enthusiast, photographer and AZ State Parks Volunteer Roger Racut guides this once-a-month odonate excursion, an interpretive walking tour to Ayer Lake and garden water features -- a chance to learn about these beautiful, fascinating insects. Check out colorful photos and read more about Flame Skimmers, Blue Dashers and Mexican Amberwings at this excellent website: http://azdragonfly.net. Bring your camera because Roger safely nets a few dragonflies for visitors to view and photograph close-up, before releasing the insects unharmed. Confirm nature walk times and read more info http://cals.arizona.edu/bta

September 12 - General Tour of the Main Trail Saturday

7:30am. What bird molts foot-long wing feathers? How old is a 10-foot-tall Saguaro? Can you name a desert plant that has a fruit, seed, or nut at its edible peak in mid-July? Arizona State Parks volunteer Jim Shepherd has the answers to a wide range of natural history questions - and shares anecdotes on an informal guided tour of our 1.5 mile main trail. Jim's once-a-month tours are included with daily $10 admission - and depart the visitor center breezeway at 7:30am. read more in our E-newsletter.

Lizard Walk with Wild Man Phil at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, Aug. 8, 2015 at 8am.September 12 - Saturday 'Lizard Walk' guided by "Wild Man Phil" Rakoci & Author Larry Jones

8am. This entertaining guided walk isn't just for for kids -- its popular with all who enjoy Arizona's most common, colorful and charismatic little reptiles. There's no additional fee, and no pre-registration necessary, just be in our Visitor Center breezeway at 8am. start time. Arrive early and explore - BTA opens at 6am. during September (next month daily hours revert to the 8am-5pm fall-winter schedule). Today's walk features two enthralling guides: Casa Grande outdoor educator 'Wild Man Phil' Rakoci. http://wildmanphil.com/. See photos and connect with Wild Man Phil on Facebook plus a special guest: Tucson author Larry Jones. Confirm event times and read more info http://cals.arizona.edu/bta

September 12 - Annual CaZBA Butterfly Count

8:30am. Central Arizona Butterfly Associations (http://www.cazba.org) experts will lead small teams of volunteers counting all the "flowers on the wing" which can be found today around the gardens of Boyce Thompson Arboretum and nearby areas during this annual census - the 8th Annual Butterfly Count. Counting starts at 8:30am. sharp; please arrive a little early in order to be assigned with a team. To sign-up or get more information email marceline@ermaroni.net. The count circle has a 15 mile diameter; during this one-day census participants will seek butterflies at Oak Flat and other spots within that circle; for lunch participants plan to meet for an inexpensive buffet in the town of Superior - about five minutes drive east in the nearby town of Superior -- or you can bring your own and picnic at the Arboretum. The record for most species observed in a single day is 44 by Marceline VandeWater during this same count a few years back! Xami Hairstreak is one of specialties that was confirmed this year at the Arboretum. Read more: http://www.cazba.org/

September 19 – “Bye Bye Buzzards"

7am-2pm. <Vulture viewing from 7:00-8:30> Guided bird walk 8:30am.-10am., and Fallen Feathers Wildlife Rehab living exhibit of raptors, reptiles & critters 9am-1pm.

September 26 – Smithsonian Museum Day FREE admission with Online Coupon

6am.-3pm. The Smithsonian Magazine online is offering a coupon that you'll receive by email for a free pass to visit the Arboretum -- or your choice of a dozen other AZ museums Sept. 26, which the Smithsonian promotes as ‘Museum Day Live’ nationwide.

September 26 - Geology walking with Scott McFadden, Steve Semken & Rich Leveille

8am. (moves to 1:30 pm October 24). Learn about rocks and volcanic formations along the Arboretum’s main trail on a guided tour with Geologists Scott McFadden and Rich Leveille.

September 26 - Butterfly Walk with Gail Morris, Laura Miller & Jan Harding

9am. (moves to 9:30am for the season finale Oct. 24). Butterfly walk leaders September 26 include special guest is Gail Morris -- coordinator of the Southwest Monarch Butterfly Migration research project, along with Laura Miller & Jan Harding.

September 26 - Pomegranate Class with Tall Order Catering

10am. Pomegranates ripen each September; the most common variety are named ‘Wonderful’ with good reason: these hardy fruits are loaded with anti-oxidants, they’re delicious, and they thrive throughout Central and Southern Arizona.

September 27 - Edible & Medicinal Desert Plants Sunday Walk with Kathy & Tom McDonald

8am. Start time moves to 1:30pm Oct. 10
Explore the Curandero Trail on a one-hour Sunday walk September 27 guided by desert plant enthusiasts Kathy and Tom McDonald; authors, Arizona State Parks Volunteers and owners of Smiling Dog Landscapes in Gold Canyon.

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



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