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.
Read the full event descriptions HERE
October 10: Learn About Butterflies -- A Special Monarch Morning for Kids
9 am - noon. Kids ages 5-12 who are pre-registered for the 10 a.m. ‘Science & Stories’ workshop get free admission as a bonus, with a chance to learn the amazing migration and life cycle of monarch butterflies. Full description & Signup HERE
October 10: Edible & Medicinal Desert Plants Walk with Kathy & Tom McDonald
1:30 pm (repeats Oct. 25 with Dave Morris as guide). Explore the Curandero Trail on a one-hour Saturday walk guided by desert plant enthusiasts Kathy and Tom McDonald; authors, Arizona State Parks Volunteers and owners of Smiling Dog Landscapes in Gold Canyon. Full description & Signup HERE
October 10: Trio Rio in Concert: ‘Americana’ in the Garde
12:30 pm. Pack a picnic and invite friends to hear these accomplished musicians; bandmates include Ron Rutowski plays fiddle, Ronnie Glover on guitar and vocals. Full description & Signup HERE
October 11: Bird Walk with Anne Leight
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 lead guided by Anne Leight Oct. 11; Cynthia Donald & Pete Moulton are joined by photographer Cindy Marple Oct. 17, then Troy Corman and Rich Ditch guide Oct. 25. ASU Professor Dave Pearson and Anne Leight guide a Halloween walk Oct. 31, Charlie Babbitt guides our bird walk Nov. 7, Troy Corman and Anne Leight Nov. 8, Kathe Anderson Nov. 21, Cindy West Nov,. 22 - and then Kathe Anderson & Mark Ochs Dec. 13. Check this page again in mid-September for our updated list of Fall bird walk dates and guides.Full description & Signup HERE
October 16 - Nov. 1: Fall Plant Sale
8 am. If you're not already among annual members at the Arboretum - Fall is a prime time to buy annual membership at BTA, where members save 20-percent on plant purchases during the opening weekend of this fundraising sale of trees, shrubs, herbs, flowers, cacti and succulents. Full description & Signup HERE
October 17: Bird Walk with Cindy Marple
8:30 am. 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 three guides: Cynthia Donald & Pete Moulton, also photographer Cindy Marple Oct. 17. Full description & Signup HERE
October 17: Fantastic Fungi Lecture
10 am. Symbiotic Farm's Clinton White and Mike Montiel present a three-part lecture series about mushrooms, discussing the involvement of fungi in a healthy ecosystem – and exploring a variety of fungi including Saprophytes, Mycorhizals, Endophyts, and how these microscopic organisms support larger systems. Clinton and Mike will also explain how current science and technology is harnessing the powers of these amazing organisms for sustainable agriculture and eco-engineering. Lectures continue Nov. 22 and Dec. 19.
October 17:Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk
1:30 pm. (repeats on 3rd Saturday each month). 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. Full description & Signup HERE
October 23-25: Painting Workshop for Beginners
1-4 pm all three days. $225 for 3-day workshops, with credit card ready, call 520.689.2723 to enroll. Learn the fundamentals of painting with acrylics in two different levels of three-day workshops coached during afternoon hours from 1:00 - 4:30 PM. Full description & Signup HERE
October 24: Butterfly Walk Season Finale with Adriane Grimaldi
9:30 am. This relaxed and slow-moving walk that explores our Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, Demonstration Garden and Children's Garden collections. See, photograph and learn about colorful butterflies at the Arboretum, ranging from Empress Leilia to Queen, Spring Azure and more. Full description & Signup HERE
October 24: General Tour of the Main Trail Saturday
11am. 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? Full description & Signup HERE
October 24: Geology walking tour Saturday with Rich Leveille
1:30 pm. Learn about rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a guided tour with Geologist Rich Leveille. Full description & Signup HERE
October 25: Bird Walk guided by Troy Corman & Rich Ditch
8:30 am. 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 AZ Game & Fish migratory bird researcher Troy Corman, along with Rich Ditch guiding the walk Oct. 25. Full description & Signup HERE
October 25: Mesquite Flour Cooking Class
10 am. Included with daily admission, no class registration needed. Mesquites are legumes – and native trees that thrive in our corner of the Sonoran Desert. Each year mesquites drop tons of ripened seed pods that are a favorite of coyotes and cattle, were a staple of Apaches and O'odham; and today the sweet are ground into flour for baking - even fermented as a brewer's adjunct for beer and wine. Full description & Signup HERE
October 25: Edible & Medicinal Desert Plants Walk with Dave Morris
1:30 pm. (repeats Nov. 22) Explore the Curandero Trail on a one-hour Sunday walk guided by Choctaw Nation ethnobotanist Dave Morris - sharing anecdotes about prickly pear cacti, ratany, agaves, jojobas -- and explaining ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. Full description & Signup HERE
October 31: Bird Walk with ASU Prof. Dave Pearson
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 ASU Professor Dave Pearson and Anne Leight guiding a Halloween walk Oct. 31. Full description & Signup HERE
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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