Guidelines for a Pleasant Visit-Information Release-History

Most Special Events Included With Admission
$10 for Adults, $5 for Ages 5-12

Summer Hours June - July - August - September
6 a.m. - 3 p.m. daily > No Entry After 2:00 PM
During summer every day through September 30 the Arboretum is open from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is taken until 2:00 pm., visitors are not admitted after 2:00, so our final guests each day still have one full hour to walk the gardens and trails. READ MORE

Book Club meets July 1
Friday at 9:00 a.m.
Our BTA book club showcases a new title each month, with a lively discussion group. Our book for July 1 will be "Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico, The Diary of Susan Shelby Magoffin, 1846-1847" Edited by Stella M. Drumm In June 1846 Shelby Magoffin set out with her husband on a trek from Independence, Missouri, through New Mexico and South to Chihuahua, Mexico. Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico, edited by Stella M. Drumm, is Shelby’s journal describing the excitement, routine and dangers during her fifteen months on the trail. She wrote down in detail the customs and appearances of the places that she visited and of her meeting with Zachary Taylor. She gave birth to her first child during the journey and wrote “This thing of marrying is not what it is cracked up to be.” Shelby’s journal is valuable as a social and historical record, and also traces the growth of a pioneer woman coming to terms with herself.
Attendance at our once-a-month meetup is included with $10 daily admission if you're not already among our annual members, or don't have an AZ State Parks annual pass (and free, of course, to all who do). And each month's book is available in our gift shop. Stop by this week for your copy or order a copy by mail, have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723. RSVP that you plan to attend the book club meeting, please email meeting coordinator Vicki

Dragonfly Walks July 2, August 6, September 3
8:30 AM
Dragonfly enthusiast Justin Jones guides our once-a-month odonate excursion interpreted walking tour to Ayer Lake and garden water features -- a chance to learn about these beautiful, fascinating insect predators. Bring your camera because our guides safely net a few dragonflies for visitors to view and photograph close-up, before releasing the insects unharmed. Field guide authors Rich Bailowitz and Doug Danforth are special guest guides July 2, and then dragonfly researcher Joanna Henry is our special guest leader on August 6. ASU Professor Pierre Deviche leads the October 1 season finale walk. Check out colorful photos and read more about Flame Skimmers, Blue Dashers and Mexican Amberwings at this excellent website launched by Pierre:

Main Trail Guided Walking Tour July 2
9:00 am
Arizona State Parks volunteers guide this walk showcasing the beauty of Arizona's oldest Arboretum, nestled against Picket Post Mountain. Increase your understanding of plants and trees from around the world with an emphasis on flora of the Sonoran Desert. Find out about the history of the park, its founder, and his famous mantion on the ridge of volcanic rock. Tours depart from the visitor center at 9:00 am and are included with daily admission $10 -- free to BTA annual members, and also free if you have an Arizona State Parks pass. read more in our E-newsletter

Paint & Wine Art Class with Carla Keaton July 2
12:30 til 2:30 PM
$35 members ($45 non-members)
Twice in July we offers chances for you to experiment with art; this time with a glass of wine to help inspire creativity! The owner of the Keaton Fine Art gallery launched a new series of ‘paint & wine’ events at her gallery and also at clients’ homes.
“They’re loads of fun,” says Carla Keaton, “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.” Her holiday weekend 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
call her at 480-228-1500, or email keatonfinearts@gmail.come

Members-Only: After Hours Scorpion Lecture and Scorpion Walk July 2
6:30 til 9:00 PM
Our next members-only evening of special access after hours is Saturday, July 2 -- BTA will close at 3pm as usual on that Saturday, but we'll reopen the entry gate at 6:00 for our members to dine in the picnic area prior to Dave's 6:30 – 7:45 p.m. lecture about scorpions, followed by a half-hour break, then a 8:15 p.m. guided walk after dark in search of scorpions around the trails. Dave Oberpriller's colorful slideshow-lecture about scorpions filled our lecture room with an overflow crowd two years back – when it repeats on July 2 his lecture and nighttime walk will be limited to BTA members and their guests, in the air-conditioned comfort of our Lecture Room in the Smith Building. Its an after-hours event, please make sure to bring your BTA membership card - admission volunteers will ask to see them when you arrive. READ MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT IN OUR E-NEWSLETTER.

Guided Bird Walks July 9 , August 7
6:30 A.M. Our 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 birdwalk with Kathe Anderson at 6:30 am on July 9 and again August 7

Learn Your Lizards Guided Walks July 9 and August 13
at 8:00 a.m.
This entertaining guided tour around the gardens is not just for kids -- our popular Lizard Walks are for all who enjoy Arizona's most common, colorful and charismatic little reptiles. June 11 Casa Grande outdoor educator 'Wild Man Phil' Rakociis our special guest Saturday tourguide. connect with Wild Man Phil on Facebook
Walks continue July 9 with Arizona Game & Fish Department reptile researcher Dan Leavitt and Tucson author Larry Jones ("Lizards of the American Southwest"); Wild Man Phil guides again July 30. Our walks on August 13 and also September 10 feature Arizona Audubon naturalist Steven Prager, Dan Leavitt & Jamie Wisenall. There's no additional fee to attend Lizard walks and other nature tours here, and no pre-registration necessary, just be in our Visitor Center breezeway at start time. See photos and read more
Arrive early and explore - during Summer months from May-through-September BTA opens at 6:00am.

Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk Saturday July 16 at 8:00 am
also August 20
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. 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.
Read a more complete description of our Plants of the Bible Land Guided Tour

Sunday Tree Tour - July 17
at 8:00 am - repeats August 21
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.

LightRoom 5 Users Group July 17, August 20, September 25
10:00 AM til Noon in the Smith Building Lecture Room
Theme for the month is "Anything About Lights" (Fireworks, Street or Car Lights) when photographers and digital photo editing enthusiasts assemble Sunday July 17 for the next once-a-month meeting of the LightRoom5 users group.
August 20 the group meets on a Saturday and the assignment is "Food and Summer Treats," and moderator Tim Wohlever will demonstrate Split Toning in Lightroom. September 25 the group once again meets on a Sunday morning and the assignment is for all participants to process the same RAW photo. Also during the September meetup
Moderator Jack Haskell will demonstrate portraiture setup and processing. These informal workshops are open to the public, free to BTA annual members and included with $10 daily admission if you're not among annual members. Connect with organizers and read more complete details on our Photo Class Page

Geology walking tour July 23 with Rich Leveille
** 8:00 am
Learn about rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a guided tour with professional geologist Rich Leveillestarting at 8:00 am. This 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.
Another engaging BTA geology tour guides is ASU Professor Steve Semken

July 23 Butterfly Walk with Marceline
8:30 AM; then August 27 with Adriane Grimaldi
Marceline VandeWater leads Arboretum guests on a walking tour to see, photograph and learn about colorful species ranging from Empress Leilia to Queen, Spring Azure and more. This relaxed and slow-moving walk explores our Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, Demonstration Garden and Children's Garden collections. Our guide on August 27 is Adriane Grimaldi ; she's also our guide September 24 when the start time moves to 9:00 am. Gail Morris leads the season finale walk October 22 at 9:30 a.m. Read more about butterflies in this interview with ASU Professor Ron Rutowski

Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Walk Guided By Kathy & Tom McDonald July 24 , Sunday
Explore our Curandero Trail July 24 on a one-hour walk guided by local authors and desert plant enthusiasts Kathy and Tom McDonald, owners of Smiling Dog Landscapes in Gold Canyon . learn about prickly pear cacti, ratany, agaves, jojobas -- and the ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. Another of our special guest leaders for this walk Choctaw Nation member and ethno-botanist David Morris
** Please note: this guided tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkersRead more about jojoba, creosote and prickly pears

Photography Class with Sue Tatterson - date to be announced
Gold Canyon photography instructor Sue Tatterson strives to tell new stories with each subject captured in her len; her early morning workshop here is timed to optimal natural light -- and will focus on 'behind the scene' photography, which she describes as: "getting to a deeper and more artistic truth of your subject, for example - not just capturing that beautiful façade of your favorite old weathered building - but inviting the viewer to think about the age and origin of the structure - who built it, who may have lived or raised a family there. It's said that every picture tells a story; my take is that truly memorable photos will spark a conversation." Read more

Sunday History Walk - Date To Be Announced
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 -- read more

Home School Day Tours Fall, Winter Spring DATES TO BE ANNOUCED
for details email Lacey at
Guided tours offered to public school groups are also available to home-schoolers on special Fall-Winter dates, ranging from $2 - $10 per person; and with themes ranging from geology to edible-medicinal desert plants, the Arizona tour, and our popular Plants of the Bible Lands day. 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 with this as your subject line:
Home School Days at BTA