Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park
Summer Hours are in Effect:
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.
Aug. 8 - Saturday 'Lizard Walk' guided by AZ Game & Fish researcher Abi King -- and "Wild Man Phil" Rakoci
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 8:00am start time. Arrive early and explore - BTA opens at 6:00am during June and July. Today's walk features two enthralling guides: reptile wrangler and researcher Abi King from the Arizona Game & Fish Department - along with Casa Grande outdoor educator 'Wild Man Phil' Rakoci. http://wildmanphil.com/. See photos and connect with Wild Man Phil on Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wildman-Phil/282933625679]. Abi & Phil return as guides August 8, then our season finale September 12 will be guided by Phil -- plus a special guest: Tucson author Larry Jones. Confirm event times and read more info
Aug. 15 - Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk
(repeats Sept. 19)
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. Join Arboretum volunteers on a guided tour to learn about palms, pomegranates, figs, olives, and other plants of the Bible Land. From May-through-September this tour moves to a morning start time of 8:00am to take advantage of cooler AM temperatures. 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. 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 info http://cals.arizona.edu/bta
Aug. 22: Geology walking tour with ASU Prof. Steve Semken
8am. Summer hours at the Arboretum are daily from 6am-3pm from through September; this tour starts at 8am during summer months, during cooler hours of the day. 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. Confirm event times and read more info http://cals.arizona.edu/bta
Aug. 22 - Butterfly Walk with ASU Prof. Ron Rutowski
8:30am. See, photograph and learn about colorful species here at the Arboretum, ranging from Empress Leilia to Queen, Spring Azure and more. This relaxed and slow-moving walk that explores our Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, Demonstration Garden and Children's Garden collections. Tour start time is 8:30am August 22 when our butterfly walk leader is ASU Professor Ron Rutowski (also Adriane Grimaldi); on September 26 our special guest guide for the walk is Gail Morris -- she's coordinator of the Southwest
Monarch Butterfly Migration research project, along with Jan Harding and Laura Miller.Confirm event times and read more info http://cals.arizona.edu/bta
Aug. 29-30 - Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit Classes
9:30am. Have you wanted to pick a peck o’ prickly pears, but didn't know how to remove the spines before turning the bright red fruits into tasty jelly – or margaritas? On this special weekend Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park offers back-to-back morning classes both Saturday and Sunday coaching the finer points of processing the ripe fruit of the season for fresh batches of jelly, jam, syrup and more. Workshops feature Chef Eric & Terri of Tall Order Catering, with their unique spin on Cactus Cuisine and lessons on de-spining & processing. No pre-registration is necessary for any of these classes, just be in the visitor center breezeway by the 9:30am start time. Over the years more than 2,000 have attended BTA’s unique series of cactus classes teaching “How To Juice Prickly Pears” -- a summertime series so popular it spawned a cactus culinary festival in the neighboring town of Superior. Our experts share proven techniques to pick, prepare, process and preserve these juicy, seasonal fruits of the Sonoran Desert -- with tasty, healthy prickly pear snacks shared at the end of each class. Learn from prickly pear pickin’ pros! Rading this prior to Aug. 22? Mark your calendar and attend the 4th Annual Prickly Pear Festival in Superior Aug. 22. Superior’s culinary celebration of cactus cuisine includes guided desert hike, a pancake breakfast - complete with prickly pear syrup, of course; vendors and guest speakers. Read more, and see links to the Superior Prickly Pear Festival at http://cals.arizona.edu/bta
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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.
- 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