Updated April 16, 2021
Boyce Thompson Arboretum, tucked into the foothills of Picketpost Mountain near Superior, AZ is a park like no other. The BTA, as it’s affectionately called by locals, is home to hundreds of species of desert-loving plants from around Arizona and other parts of the world.
Although plants are the stars of the arboretum, the place is literally crawling with critters, too. Geckos, lizards and snakes seek shelter in the shadows. Colorful birds (including hummingbirds) flutter from trees to flowers to berries, seemingly oblivious to the stream of humans flowing through their home. If you time your visit well, you might even see the resident Bighorn Sheep or Mule Deer surveying the landscape from atop the rocky cliffs.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum highlights:
- Founded in the 1920s by mining magnate Col. William Boyce Thompson
- Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden offers over 323 acres to explore
- 3 miles of well-maintained trails wind through a spectacular desert landscape with the towering Picketpost Mountain as a backdrop
- Interspersed with tall shade trees, unique rock formations, water features and historic buildings
- Home to more than 300 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians including mule deer, javelina, fox, raccoon, skunk, squirrel and rabbits
- Much of the arboretum is wheelchair accessible
Click any image for larger view.
Know before you go:
- Open daily year-round, except Dec. 25
- Hours: Oct – April 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; May – Sep 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Admission prices:
- $15 per person age 13 & over
- $5 per person age 5 to 12
- Age 4 and under free
- Remember to bring: Water, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
- Wear good walking shoes, not flip flops or sandals