Fall Hours are in Effect:
The park is open daily from 8 am. to 5 pm, with the day's final admission at 4 pm, 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.
February 8 - Guided Walking Tours of the Main Trail (Repeats Feb. 15, 22, 29)
11am. What bird molts foot-long wing feathers beneath the towering eucalyptus trees? How old is a 6-foot high Saguaro... and can you name a few edible desert plants? Hear the answers and learn about the Arboretum's history and mission on a relaxed, leisurely guided walking tour of the main trail with Arizona State Parks tourguides. Tours depart the visitor center at 11am and are included with $10 daily admission. Read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta
February 13 - Thunder Gourds (class repeats April 30)
9am. Make a gourd with a synthetic drum head and spring that makes a rumbling thunder-like noise when shaken. Enrollment of $85
includes a cleaned, cut gourd and also materials needed during the workshop. Instructors suggest that students have already taken the basic gourd art class (see above, on Jan. 2) to learn the basics before this advanced workshop, but that’s not required. Have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours to enroll and prepay. Read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta
Feb. 13 & 14: Valentine's Weekend Live Music 12 noon Saturday, 1:00 PM Sunday
12pm. Saturday; 1pm. Sunday. Need a romantic Valentine's Day weekend date? Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Parks has a relaxed, easy-listening live concert of cedar flute music in the gardens, lovely flute by Bernie Haley and friends Saturday Feb. 13 from Noon til about 1:30, plus a Sunday lunchtime concert by Minnesota-Arizona humorist Mark Fogelson starting at 1:00 PM. Does flute music ignite passion? Seamus Heaney thought so, writing: "from the start, when it was the instrument of the wood-god Pan, the flute has been associated with pure (some might say impure) energy. Its sound releases something naturally untamed..."
Music either day included with $10 daily admission (free with your AZ State Parks annual pass!) Confirm Concert times, read more and connect with musicians via Facebook at
February 13 - Edible & Medicinal Desert Plants Walk with Kathy & Tom McDonald (repeats Sunday Feb.28)
1:30pm. Explore the Curandero Trail on a one-hour Saturday walk guided by authors Kathy & Tom McDonald: desert plants who share anecdotes about prickly pear cacti, ratany, agaves, jojobas -- and explain ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. Ethno-botanist and Choctaw Tribal Nation member David Morris guides the Feb. 28 Sunday walk. ** Please note: this tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers. Read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta
February 14 - Guided Bird Walk (also Feb. 20 & 28)
8:30am. Resident Northern Cardinals were among dozens of species seen and heard around the gardens this week -- Read bird checklist reports and join us for a guided walk with Anne Leight on Feb. 14, Kathe Anderson Feb. 20 – then Troy Corman with Anne Leight Feb. 28. Recent bird sightings are posted athttp://ag.arizona.edu/bta/events/birdwalks.html
February 17 & 18 – 2-day Gourd Mask Class (same class repeats March 5 & 6)
9am. Make a mask using half-a-gourd over the course of this 2-day class. Day one is spent designing the mask, wood-burning and applying color. Day 2 you’ll add feathers and other adornments. Enrollment of $105 includes a prepared gourd and art materials for use during the workshop; students may bring special feathers, beads and personal adornments. Instructors suggest that students have already taken the basic gourd art class (see above, on Jan. 2) to learn the basics before this advanced workshop, but that’s not required.. Have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours to enroll and prepay. Read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta
February 20 - Guided Walking Tours of the Main Trail (Also Feb. 22, 26, 28 & 29)
11am. Can you name the oldest tree or oldest plant in Arizona? How old is a five foot Saguaro...and can you identify a few edible desert plants? Hear the answers and learn about the Arboretum's history and mission on a relaxed, leisurely guided walking tour of the main trail with Arizona State Parks tour guides. Tours depart from the visitor center at 11 am and are included with daily admission $10 -- free to BTA annual members, and also free if you have an Arizona State Parks pass. Read more in our E-newsletter.read more in our E-newsletter . Tours depart the visitor center at 11am and are included with $10 daily admission. Read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta
February 20 – ‘Wine Bottle Wind Chimes’ Craft Class
9am. Learn to cut recycled wine bottles to use as the base for a wind chime. Enrollment of $40 includes pre-cut and sanded bottles, as well as beads, chain and all materials. Students are encouraged to bring needle nose pliers and wire cutters if they have them. Students will leave with a completed project. Have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours to enroll and prepay. Read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta
February 20 - Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk (repeats March 19)
1:30pm. 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 https://www.facebook.com/groups/BTA.POTBL
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.
- 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