Location

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

Facilities

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

511 logo

Park's Speed Code: 4202#

Fees

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

EVENTS

September 24: Admission Free with Coupon from Smithsonian

6:00am.Promoting museums across America, the website smithsonianmag.com/museumday offers a coupon for FREE admission that you’ll receive by email, if you register for their free pass to visit Boyce Thompson Arboretum or a variety of other museums on “Museum Day Live!” (BTA admission’s $10 without the coupon).
And if you already have an AZ State Parks pass – please take a minute to email that link above to neighbors, friends, co-workers or family who have never visited Boyce Thompson Arboretum. ‘Museum Day Live’ offers a chance to explore the gardens, hike more than two miles of scenic paths and trails — attend either of two guided tours Saturday: a geology walk at 8am, or butterfly walk at 9am. See the complete list of participating museums online: smithsonianmag.com/museumday

September 24: Geology walking tour with Rich Leveille (tour moves to 1:30pm next month)

8:00am. Learn about rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a guided tour with professional geologist Rich Leveille starting at 8am.; 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. Please note the Sept. 24 walk is our final 8am. outing for the year, this tour moves to 1:30pm. on the 4th Saturday each month from October-through-April, when the the Fall-Winter schedule resumes Arboretum daily hours are 8am.-5pm. Confirm event times and read more at cals.arizona.edu/bta

September 24: Butterfly Walk with Adriane Grimaldi

8:30am. Adriane Grimaldi is the education director at Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale; on Sept. 24 she guides Arboretum guests on a walking tour to see, photograph and learn about colorful species ranging from Empress Leilia to Quen, Spring Azure, Pipevine Swallowtail and more. This relaxed and slow-moving walk explores our Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, Demonstration Garden and Children's Garden collections. Confirm event times and read more at cals.arizona.edu/bta

September 24: Bye-Bye Buzzards Migration Celebration

7am. September brings the Autumnal Equinox and change of seasons - the Arboretum has a morning filled with events starting the annual Bye Bye Buzzards seasonal viewing of Turkey Vultures before the birds head south for the Winter. Saturday begins with 7am Vulture Viewing hosted by world-traveled ASU Professor Dave Pearson, the special guest 'Vulture-ologist' from 7:00-8:30, talking about the big black birds, answering questions and sharing his appreciation for the soaring scavengers until the vultures take to the skies -- typically by 8:30am, when Dr. Pearson leads a bird walk through the gardens. Confirm event times and read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/

September 24: Carla Keaton's ‘Paint & Wine’ Classes (also Oct. 29)

12pm. Try your hand at art, with an optional glass of wine to help spark creativity. Carla Keaton launched a new series of ‘paint & wine’ workshops at her Keaton Fine Art gallery for beginners - and this Fall Carla brings art to the Arboretum once-a-month continuing Oct. 29, Nov. 12 & Dec. 3.
"They're loads of fun," says Carla, "and Arboretum participants will learn to paint very simplified scenes from the arboretum, taking home with them a piece of memorabilia of their experiences in the lovely gardens." Enrollment of $45 includes art supplies to use during the session, plus two hours of coaching and encouragement from Carla Keaton. Signup by phone; have a credit card ready and call Arboretum staff during daytime 6:30-2:30 business hours at 520.689.2723. See more of her work and connect with Carla at:
https://www.facebook.com/Keaton-Fine-Art-A-Global-Encounter-260382013992101

September 25 - Edible & Medicinal Sonoran Desert Plants Walk with Dave Morris

8am. Walk the Curandero Trail on a slow-paced, leisurely tour guided by David Morris, an ethno-botanist and member of the Choctaw nation, a desert plant enthusiast who explains ways prickly pear cacti, ratany, agaves and jojobas have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. Please note the Sept. 25 walk is the final 8:00 am outing, this tour moves to 1:30 pm from October-through-April, when the Fall-Winter schedule resumes Arboretum daily hours are 8am-5pm.
** 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 http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/

October 1: Fall/Winter Hours Return Today – Plus Saturday Dragonfly Walk

8:3 am. The Fall-Winter schedule resumes and daily hours are 8:00am to 5:00 pm starting Oct. 1; there’s also a special Dragonfly Walk today, guided by ASU Professor Pierre Deviche. Dragonflies are beautiful, fascinating insect predators and you’ll learn about their life cycle on this once-a-month odonate excursion – an interpreted walking tour to Ayer Lake and garden water features. Bring your camera because our guide usually nets a few dragonflies for visitors to view and photograph close-up, before releasing the insects safe and unharmed to continue patrolling and hunting over Ayer Lake. Check out colorful photos and read more about Flame Skimmers, Blue Dashers and Mexican Amberwings at this excellent website launched by ASU Professor Pierre Deviche: http://azdragonfly.net

October 1: Main Trail Guided Walking Tour

11am. Arizona State Parks Volunteer Jim Shepherd guides a walk showcasing the beauty of Arizona's oldest Arboretum, nestled against Picket Post Mountain. See plants and trees from around the world, with an emphasis on flora of the Sonoran Desert. Jim narrates a brief history of the park, its famous founder, and Thompson’s magnificent famous mansion on a ridge of volcanic rock. Tours depart from the visitor center at 11:00 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/

October 2: Guided Bird Walk with Charlie Babbitt

8:30am. Bright red Northern Cardinals are year-round residents at the Arboretum and can be seen along with dozens of species around the gardens. Learn to identify birds on a guided walk with Charlie Babbitt starting at 8:30 am. Find dates for other October-November bird walks and read bird sightings posted at http://cals.arizona.edu/bt

Sunday History Walk - October 2

10am. You may have walked the main trail a dozen times and never crossed paths with the Galapagos Tortoise pens. Take a moment to scan the horizon above Picket Post Mountain, can you imagine cavalry soldiers camped in this region in the late 1800s? Phoenix historian Sylvia Lee narrates a walking tour that includes the life and times of Colonel William Boyce Thompson and his Arboretum. Confirm event times and read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/

October 6: Home School Day Tours (also November 3 and December 1 )

11am. Guided tours offered to public school groups are also available to home-schoolers on special Fall-Winter dates, ranging from $2 - $10 per person. Thursday, Oct. 6, theme is Edible And Medicinal Desert Plants, with classroom and outdoor activities starting at 11:00 am. Home school days continue November 3 with the popular Plants of the Bible Lands day , then December 1 brings a workshop in geology and rock identification. Pre-registration is required; for more complete descriptions of each day, or to be added to our email list for the 2016-2017 schedule, contact education coordinator lacey at lpacheco@cals.arizona.edu with this as your subject line: Home School Days at BTA
Confirm event times and read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/

October 7: Fall Plant Sale ‘Members-Only’ Preview (sale opens to everyone Oct. 8)

8am. Arboretum annual members get a special day of ‘sneak preview’ shopping for the most unusual plants one day before the annual Fall Plant Sale fundraiser opens to the public on Saturday – expect a big assortment of cacti and agaved, potted herbs, trees, shrubs, flowers and more. BTA annual members also save 20-percent during the opening weekend – and membership can be purchased upon arrival. read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/

October 8: Science & Stories Creepy Crawlies

9:30am. October’s the month of Hallowe’en; learn about scary Sonoran Desert critters (scorpions, tarantulas and more) during a guided activity. For a complete description, and to be added to her email list for the 2016-2017 activities, contact education coordinator lacey at lpacheco@cals.arizona.edu with this as your subject line: Lacey - October Science And Stories. Confirm event times and read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/

October 15: Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk

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. From October-through-April BTA daily hours are 8am-5pm; the Fall-Winter schedule resumes, and this tour returns to a 1:30 pm start time. 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/

October 22: Butterfly Walk with Gail Morris (2016 Season Finale)

9:30am. Gail Morris studies the migration of Monarch butterflies from Arizona to Mexico, and will search for the colorful butterflies here Oct. 22 when she guides Arboretum guests on a walking tour to see, photograph and learn about colorful species ranging from Empress Leilia to Quen, Spring Azure, Pipevine Swallowtail and more. This relaxed and slow-moving walk explores our Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, Demonstration Garden and Children's Garden collections. Confirm event times and read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/

October 22: Main Trail Guided Walking Tour

11am. Arizona State Parks Volunteer Jim Shepherd guides a walk showcasing the beauty of Arizona's oldest Arboretum, nestled against Picket Post Mountain. See plants and trees from around the world, with an emphasis on flora of the Sonoran Desert. Jim narrates a brief history of the park, its famous founder, and Thompson’s magnificent famous mansion on a ridge of volcanic rock. Tours depart from the visitor center at 11:00 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/

October 29: Guided Bird Walk with Charlie Babbitt

8:30am. 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 8:30 am. Recent bird sighting checklist are posted at http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/

October 29: Carla Keaton's ‘Paint & Wine’ Classes

12pm. Try your hand at art; with an optional glass of wine to help spark creativity; Carla Keaton launched a new series of "paint & wine" events at her Keaton Fine Art gallery -- and now she's bringing art to BTA once each month through December (Aug. 27, Sept. 24, Oct. 29, Nov. 12 & Dec. 3). "They're loads of fun," says Carla, "and Arboretum participants will learn to paint very simplified scenes from the arboretum, taking home with them a piece of memorabilia of their experiences in the lovely gardens." Saturday's class will focus on hummingbirds. Enrollment of $35 for Arboretum members and $45 for nonmembers includes art supplies to use during the session, plus two hours of coaching and encouragement from Carla Keaton. Signup by phone; have a credit card ready and call Arboretum staff during daytime 6:30-2:30 business hours at 520.689.2723.
See more of her work and connect with Carla at: https://www.facebook.com/Keaton-Fine-Art-A-Global-Encounter-260382013992101 Or call her at 480-228-1500, or email: keatonfinearts@gmail.com

November 3: Home School Day Tours (also December 1)

10am. Guided tours offered to public school groups are also available to home-schoolers on special Fall-Winter dates, ranging from $2 - $10 per person; themes range from our popular Plants of the Bible Lands day for home-schoolers on November 3. December 1 brings a workshop in geology and rock identification. Pre-registration is required; for more complete descriptions of each day, or to be added to our email list for the 2016-2017 schedule, contact education coordinator lacey at lpacheco@cals.arizona.edu with this as your subject line: Home School Days at BTA

November 5: Main Trail Guided Walking Tour

11am. Arizona State Parks Volunteer Jim Shepherd guides a walk showcasing the beauty of Arizona's oldest Arboretum, nestled against Picket Post Mountain. See plants and trees from around the world, with an emphasis on flora of the Sonoran Desert. Jim narrates a brief history of the park, its famous founder, and Thompson’s magnificent famous mansion on a ridge of volcanic rock. Tours depart from the visitor center at 11:00 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/

November 6: Sunday History Walk

10am. You may have walked our trails a dozen times and never crossed paths with the Galapagos Tortoise pens. Take a moment to scan the horizon above Picket Post Mountain, can you imagine cavalry soldiers camped in this region in the late 1800s? Phoenix historian Sylvia Lee narrates this two-hour walking tour focused on the life and times of Colonel William Boyce Thompson, and his Arboretum. Confirm event times and read more http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/


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