Guidelines for a Pleasant Visit-Information Release-History

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

Summer Hours May - June - July - August - September
6 a.m. - 3 p.m. daily > No Entry After 2:00 PM
Our summer schedule resumed this month; 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

Geology walking tour May 28 with Rich Leveille
** 8:00 am geology walk -- repeats June 25
Learn about rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a guided tour with professional geologist Rich Leveille on May 28 starting 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. June 25 our guide is Scott McFadden, then July 23 Rich Leville returns. Another engaging BTA geology tour guides is ASU Professor Steve Semken

May 28 Guided Butterfly Walk with Marceline VandeWater
9:00 AM; then June 25 with earlier start time of 8:30 am
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. ASU Professor Ron Rutowski and Laura Miller lead the walk at 8:30am June 25. Start time remains 8:30 a.m. July 23 with Marceline VandeWater as guide, and also 8:30am on August 27 with Adriane Grimaldi ; she's also our guide September 24 when the start time moves to 9:00 am.

Book Club meets June 3 and July 1
Friday at 9:00 a.m.
Our BTA book club showcases a new title each month, with a lively discussion group. Friday, June 3, participants will discuss
"Daughters of the Earth, The Lives and Legends of American Indian Women" by Carolyn Niethammer. She was the guardian of the hearth and, on occasion, a ruler and a warrior, leading men into battle, managing the affairs of her people, sporting war paint as well as necklaces and earrings. She built houses and ground corn, wove blankets and painted pottery, played field hockey and rode racehorses. She mourned her dead by tearing her clothes and covering herself with ashes, and when she herself died was often shrouded in her wedding dress. She was our native sister, the American Indian woman, and it is of her life and lore that Carolyn Niethammer writes in this rich tapestry of America’s past and present, “Daughters of the Earth.”
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
Friday, July 8

Book for July 8 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.

Dragonfly Walks June 4 , July 2
8:30 AM
Dragonfly enthusiast Justin Jones guides our once-a-month odonate excursion interpreted walking tours to Ayer Lake and garden water features -- a chance to learn about these beautiful, fascinating insect predators. Bring your camera because Roger safely nets a few dragonflies for visitors to view and photograph close-up, before releasing the insects unharmed. 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:

Main Trail Guided Walking Tour Also June 4 & 18
9:00 am
Arizona State Parks Volunteers Naomi Pier and Jim Shepherd 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

Learn Your Lizards Guided Walks June 11, July 9 and August 13
with 'Wild Man Phil' Rakoci at 8:00 a.m. June 11, Larry Jones July 9
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. From May-through-September the Arboretum is open 6:00am to 3:00 pm, and start time for this walk is 8:00 am during summer monthsconnect 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"). 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.

Guided Bird Walk Summer Dates : June 18 , 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 June 18 guided by Mark Ochs and starting at 6:30 am; Kathe Anderson guides 6:30 am walks here July 9 and also August 7

Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk Saturday June 18 at 8:00 am
tour moves to 8:00 a.m. start time July 16, 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

LightRoom 5 Users Group Saturday June 18
9:00 - 11:00 AM in the Smith Building Lecture Room
Theme for the month is "Doors" when photographers and digital photo editing enthusiasts assemble Saturday June 18 for our once-a-month meeting of the LightRoom5 users group. 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

Tree Tour June 19
at 8:00 am
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.

Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Walk Guided By David Morris June 26 , Sunday
8am > next walk is July 24
Explore our Curandero Trail on a one-hour walk guided by Choctaw Nation member and ethno-botanist David Morris on June 26. 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. On July 24 our special guest leaders for the walk are local authors and desert plant enthusiasts Kathy and Tom McDonald, owners of Smiling Dog Landscapes in Gold Canyon
** 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

Camera Basics -- Photography With Sue Tatterson - Date To Be Announced
email to be added to waiting list for next date
Spend a couple hours learning camera basics from Gold Canyon artist Sue Tatterson; her beginners’ classes are a bargain at $30 for an afternoon's worth of instruction -- and participants have heaped praise on her relaxed, low-key instructional style. Kimberly described Sue as a “great teacher with knowledge and enthusiasm. Thoroughly enjoyed her class!” While Marge wrote: “She’s easy to work with, extremely helpful, fun and interesting,” and Richard saidshe’s “a natural teacher and a delight to spend time with in the field.” Enrollment includes Arboretum daily admission, so you can arrive early and spend the morning practicing around the gardens and grounds, get lunch in nearby town of Superior - and hone your skills that afternoon with coaching from Sue.
Read a more complete class description

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