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

Click icons for more info

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

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Winter Hours 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.

See more upcoming Events below


Boyce Thompson Arboretum Video Tour

After you start the video, change resolution to 480 for High Quality.


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

November 8: 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 Nov. 23 (Sunday) at 1:30 pm with ethno-botanist Dave Morris as our guide. Included with $10 daily admission.

November 8: Girl Scout Badge Saturday Workshops: ‘Letter Boxer’ badge for Brownies

9 am. Girl Scouts from Brownie through Cadette can earn badges during group workshops on Saturdays this Fall at the Arboretum. For specific details e-mail Lacey at [lpacheco@cals.arizona.edu] or call her at 520.689.2723 during daytime business hours. Scheduled are the 'LetterBoxer' for Brownies Nov. 8, and the 'Arizona' badge for Cadettes/Seniors Nov. 15.

November 9: Live Music Festival

10 am - 4 pm. Veterans Day Weekend Sunday. Included with $10 for adults, $5 ages 5-12. Enjoy a day of live music outdoors around the gardens; performers include Bernie Haley on didgeridoo; the Trio Rio band and more. Included with $10 daily admission.

November 15: Girl Scout Badge Saturday Workshops: ‘Arizona badge for Cadettes/Seniors

9 am. Girl Scouts from Brownie through Cadette can earn badges during group workshops on Saturdays this Fall at the Arboretum. For specific details e-mail Lacey at [lpacheco@cals.arizona.edu] or call her at 520.689.2723 during daytime business hours.

November 15: John Aho "Painting With Light" High-Power LED Night Shoot

6 pm. $30 BTA members, $40 non-members. Familiar plants and scenery are rendered a candy-colored rainbow of colors after dark by custom-made, high-power LED light boxes strategically placed and arranged by artist and local luminary John Aho. His Saturday night painting-with-light nighttime shoots are limited to 12 photographers. The $30 fee for these special-access evenings is a fundraiser for the Arboretum ( $40 for nonmembers). Have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723 to reserve your spot.

November 15: Plants of the Bible Land Saturday Guided Walk

1:30 pm. 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. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, and don't forget your 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. Included with $10 daily admission.

November 16: Tree Tour With Jeff Payne

1:30 pm. So, just what is an Arboretum? BTA staffer and Certified Arborist Jeff Payne leads this walk where visitors learn the answer to that often-posed question during a relaxed and leisurely guided tour through the forested areas of the Arboretum. Join Jeff for a chance to learn about the Arboretum's collection of oak and olive trees, native hackberry, mesquite and many more. Included with $10 daily admission.

November 23: Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Walk Guided By Dave Morris

1:30 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.

November 29 & 30: Thanksgiving Weekend Fall Foliage Finale Festival & Live 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 6: 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 13: 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.


Top of Page (Top)     Park Rules & FAQ (Next)