Event Calendar

See Also: Fee Schedule (Revised Fees)      See events at Arizona State Parks further down on this page.

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Experience unique adventures at Arizona State Parks! Click on a month above or read our complete listing below to learn about upcoming events and activities. To learn more about a park, including downloading park maps and getting step by step driving directions, follow the link to the park's web pages. Note that the “External Link” symbol means a link to an external site that opens in a new window. To learn more, read our External Link Disclaimer. Schedule subject to change.

November 2014

November 20 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Advanced 'pine needle coiling'  Gourd Art Class

10am. Sign up soon for either of two informal & fun art classes – a basic class for beginners-intermediates, or the advanced class in pine-needle coiling for experienced gourd artists. Each is a four-hour workshop where participants have the use of tools and art supplies to burn, paint, etch and emboss decorative gourds with coaching from mixed-media artists Gerald and Vicki Johnson. Enrollment for the beginners class is $35-$45 and includes a gourd, use of paints and brushes, tools and art supplies for the day, plus four hours of coaching and inspiration from Vicki & Jerry. Enrollment is $10 more to learn the art of pine needle coiling; with the additional fee for specialized materials and instruction.
Basic Gourd Art repeats Dec. 13 & Jan. 3;  Pine Needle Coiling repeats Dec. 14, Jan. 4 & Feb. 7. Fees are from $35-$55. have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll http://ag.arizona.edu/bta

November 21 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Daily Guided Walking Tours

BOTH Walking Tour11am. Where is the Fall color at Peak - and which trees are the most camera-ready? What bird left foot-long wing feathers in the eucalyptus grove? 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 guided walked of the 1.5 mile long main trail each day, starting at 11:00 am from the breezeway lobby of our visitor center.


November 22 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park Geology Walking Tour

Geology walking tour Saturday with Rich Leveille

1:30 PM. Professional geologist Rich Leveille is our special guest tour guide for this once-a-month walk on November 22, a chance to 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. Tours during Fall-Winter start at 1:30pm from the visitor center. Tour repeats Dec. 27 with Scott McFadden as our guide http://ag.arizona.edu/bta

November 22 - Lost Dutchman State Park

Star Night PartyStar Party Astronomy Event
7 - 9 pm.
see planets, stars, comets, galaxies, and more through Astronomers telescopes! Bring a folding chair, red light, sweater or jacket, enthusiasm to enjoy and conserve our beautiful night skies! Event supported by the Superstition Mountain Astronomical League! Camping is available at the park (additional fee). Reserve campsites online.
Or Learn about Star Parties, watch video, and see other park event dates

November 23 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Guided Bird Walk at 8:30am with Cindy Marple

8:30am. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Green-tailed
Towhee were reported on recent birder checklists; Read recent bird checklist reports, and join us for November guided walks to learn basic bird identification skills, and where to find birds at BTA. Fall bird walks continue November 23 with Cindy Marple, November 29 with Anne Leight and Cindy Marple; December 6 with Mark Ochs and December 13 with Anne Leight, Read recent bird checklist reports http://ag.arizona.edu/bta/events/birdwalks.html

November 23 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Fall Foliage Photography Class With John Aho

Fall Foilage Clas9am. Enrollment $30, with a credit card ready, call 520.689.2723. Few photographers have captured Autumn's changing leaves as vividly as Tempe artist John Aho -- the Arboretum's featured guest in our Visitor Center art gallery for November. John's also coaching a special Fall Foliage photography class, a morning workshop starting with an indoor presentation and slideshow of Fall Color photography and discussion of camera settings, composition and techniques -- followed by a shoot "in the field" capturing autumn color in the Arboretum's famous Chinese pistachio trees - see the link below for a sneak preview of the glorious foliage. Enrollment's $30, with your credit card ready, call 520.689.2723.  See more BTA photography classes http://arboretum.ag.arizona.edu/photoclass.html

November 23: Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Walk Guided By Dave Morris

BOTH Edible Plants Walk1:30 pm. Explore the Curandero Trail on this slow-paced guided walking tour, a one-hour walk where ethno-botanist Dave Morris shares his knowledge about the ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than 1,000 years. ** Please note: this tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers. This tour repeats Dec. 13 (Saturday) at 1:30 pm with Apache Junction Author Jean Groen as guide. Included with $10 daily admission.

BOTH Fall Foilage Festival

November 26 - Lost Dutchman State Park

Exploring Siphon Draw
9 a.m.
Join us at Siphon Draw Trailhead for a 4.2 mile round trip hike to the basin (slick rock waterfall area). Along the way we will pass some remnants of an unsuccessful mining attempt, identify strangely named rock formations, and look at layers of rock from the volcanic explosion that make up this portion of the Superstition Mountain. All of this while hiking the steady uphill grade on a less than smooth trail. Elevation change: 1030 ft. Wear sturdy trail or hiking shoes, carry at least 2 bottles of water and bring a snack for a 3 hour moderately strenuous hike. Led by volunteer hiker Barb.

November 29 - Lost Dutchman State Park

Amazing Night Under the Skys
7-9 p.m.
Join Dr. Sky, a radio/TV journalist based in Phoenix, for An Amazing Night Under the Skies. What planets will we see in the dark desert sky? Dress warmly and be prepared to be amazed at the sightings. Palo Verde Day Use area (weather permitting).

 November 23: Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Thanksgiving Weekend Fall Foliage Finale Festival & Live Music BOTH Fall Music
10 am - 4 pm. Pistachio trees around the Arboretum reach their peak color during the last two weeks of November – Fall Foliage gets a salute with this Thanksgiving Weekend event featuring live music by Scott Schaefer and guest performers; also arts-crafts vendors. Hot and spiced apple cider available for $1 - carry some cash as you walk into the gardens. Music included with $10 for adults, $5 ages 5-12.


December 2014

December 6 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Authors At The Arboretum Book Festival

10 am. Meet authors from across southern Arizona, writers from genres ranging from historical fiction and non-fiction, to mystery and suspense, memoir and children’s books. Arboretum Autumn foliage remains glorious in early December, here's a chance "to meet the person behind the pen" and take home personalized holiday gifts for bookworms on your list. Throughout the day, the schedule will feature readings by select authors, music; maybe even a writing workshop or two! Revisit this page in November for a more complete agenda and list of participating authors. For more information contact Kathy O’Dwyer McDonald at kathy@smilingdoglandscapes.com ; or by phone at 520.840.9766, or call Boyce Thompson Arboretum Gift Shop Director Lynnea Spencer at 520.689.2723

December 6 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Master Gardener Presentation: 'Art in the Garden'

11 am. Included with $10 daily admission, no pre-registration needed. Volunteers with the Superstition Mountain Master Gardeners program continue their once-a-month Saturday series of seasonal seminars with 'Art in the Garden' on the Smith Patio (indoors, in the event of rain). 

December 6 - Catalina State Park

Concert SeriesFirst Saturdays Concert Series

On the First Saturday of the month enjoy an evening concert at the Trailhead with standard park admission. Bring a chair, and your own food and water to enjoy these concerts! Concerts will be canceled during severe weather. Sponsored by the Friends of Catalina SP. External Link The Friends group will be distributing free popcorn. Tickets are $25 each;​five tickets​for $100. All proceeds will benefit the Friends group and Catalina State Park. We accept cash and personal checks.

December 6: 3:00 pm. The Jim Howell Band (Country, Rock, Soul/Blues)

December 7 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Arboretum History Walk Sunday with Sylvia Lee 

10 am. 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? Learn about the life and times of Colonel William Boyce Thompson and his Arboretum on a walking tour guided by Phoenix historian Sylvia Lee. Walks typically last about 90-minutes, departing at 10am from the Visitor Center breezeway. Correspond with Sylvia, or read more about it at: http://ag.arizona.edu/bta/history.html

December 7 - Lost Dutchman State Park

Beginner Mountain Bike Skills Clinic

9:00am-12:00pm Mark Funicello of Global Bikes will be hosting a Mountain Bike Skills Clinic.
Spend the morning with Mark learning the basics of Mountain Bike preparation, safety, maintenance, and riding techniques. Spend the afternoon practicing what you’ve learned navigating 4 miles of singletrack, negotiating tight turns, getting over obstacles, carving corners  and building endurance.
Enhance your experience, arrive early and plan to camp at LDSP on Saturday night.  Camping reservations may be made on-line or through our reservation hot-line (520) 586-2283.  You can ride the trail or really challenge yourself with a hike to the top of the FlatIron.  Don’t miss this unique opportunity to sharpen your cycling skills and renew your Spirit in the shadow of Superstition Mountain. 

Bring your Mountain Bike, water bottle and helmet. (And hiking boots if you want to explore some of the other trails in the park!) Check out Global Bikes at: globalbikes.info

Global Bikes’ Meetup event link:


December 13 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Walk Guided By Jean Groen

1:30 pm. Explore the Curandero Trail on this slow-paced guided walking tour, a one-hour walk where Apache Junction Author Jean Groen shares her knowledge about the ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. ** Please note: this tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers. This tour repeats Dec. 28 (Sunday) at 1:30 pm with ethno-botanist Dave Morris as our guide. Included with $10 daily admission.

January 2015

January 14 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Home School Day Tours

10 am. Homeschooling families are invited to gather and experience our most popular education programs on special Wednesdays where 10:00am tours are scheduled January 14, February 11 and March 11. Pre-registration and payment for Homeschool Days is required and is non-refundable. $2.00 per Pre-Kindergarten - High School student. (Ages 4-18) . $2.00 per adult limit two adults per family: additional adults $10 each. Space is limited. Families are asked to reserve in person at the Arboretum Admissions Window or by phone: 520-689-2723, no later than one week prior to each tour.
(Also Feb. 11, March 11)

February 2015

 March 2015

March 7 - Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park

2015 AZ Archaeology Expo

The Expo provides a special opportunity for visitors to learn more about why it is important to preserve archaeological sites and historic places; what archaeologists, historians, and tribal members do in their jobs; and the prehistory and history of Arizona. Archaeology- and/or history-related, hands-on activities, craft demonstrations, and other fun and educational events will be featured. In addition, Boy Scout and Girl Scout merit badge requirements can be fulfilled at the Expo. Special displays and booths by archaeological and historical organizations, museums, Native American tribes, state and federal agencies, and others will allow you to participate as an archaeologist might in their research today, or make crafts and tools that teach how prehistoric Native Americans and other early inhabitants survived in the Southwest. Demonstrations and interactive activities will help make the past come alive! In addition, information on archaeological sites, museums, and historical period parks in and around the local area will be highlighted.

The Expo will give visitors new insights into Arizona’s many prehistoric, historic, and contemporary cultures, and will help instill a sense of stewardship for our state’s fragile and nonrenewable heritage resources.

April 2015


 May 2015

May 13- 15 - Flagstaff

2015 Arizona Historic Preservation Conference



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