Guidelines for a Pleasant Visit-Information Release-History

Most Special Events Included With Admission
$12.50 for Adults, $5 for Ages 5-12

Daily Hours 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. August and September
August and September are the final months of our Summer schedule, with hours daily from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and no entry after 2:00 so our final visitors have a full hour to enjoy the trails and gardens.
Summer hours end October 1 when the Fall-Winter schedule resumes


Final Days to See Roger Degler's Exhibit of Sonoran Sunsets
Pinal County photographer Roger Degler became captivated by Arizona's majestic sunsets four decades ago after moving to the Grand Canyon State; his art filled our visitor center gallery this month - his exhibit ends Thursday, August 24.
Opening Saturday is a collection of photography by Jill Cockrum; meet the artist at her exhibit opening reception Saturday September 2.

Geology Guided Walk August 26 , Saturday -- at 8:00 a.m.
Tour repeats September 23
Learn about rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a tour with professional geologist Scott McFadden as our guide on August 26. His lively 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 'Rock Star' among our guide cadre is Geologist Rich Leveille

Butterfly Walk August 26 , Saturday, at 8:30 a.m.
start time moves to 9:00 a.m. September 23
Join us for a guided butterfy walk each month this Summer -- a walking tour to see, photograph and learn about colorful species ranging from Empress Leilia to Queen, Spring Azure and more. This leisurely, slow-paced guided tour proceeds along paths that are wheelchair-accessible, exploring our Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, Demonstration Garden and Children's Garden collections. 8:30 a.m. is the start time and ASU Professor Ron Rutowski our special guest tourguide for the walk August. 26; tour start time moves to 9:00 Septembr 23 when our guide is Butterfly Wonderland's Education Director Adriane Grimaldi. She leads the season finale walk Oct. 28 when the tour moves to 9:30 a.m.

Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Walk Guided By Jim Shepherd August 27 - Sunday
starts at 8:00 a.m. -- and this tour will be guided by David Morris on September 24
Learn the edible and medicinal uses of native desert plants on a walk along our Curandero Trail guided by desert plants enthusiast Jim Shepherd. This leisurely one-hour walk is your chance to 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. Summertime tours start at 8:00 a.m. August 27with Jim; Choctaw Nation member and ethno-botanist David Morris returns as our special guest tourguide September 24.
                      ** 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

Guided Bird Walk Friday September 1
6:30 a.m.
Yellow-breasted Chats are among the most vocal of our Summer songbirds -- hear their chorus around the gardens this week, and sharpen your birding skills on a Friday bird walk September 1 guided by Lisa and Peggy, starting at 6:30 a.m.
What colorful birds are likely during Summer months?
Read the latest intel about BTA bird sightings at:

Book Club Friday, September 1: The Woman of the River
9:00 a.m.

Stopby our gift shop and get your copy of The Woman of the River by Richard E. Westwood. The wooden shade armadas in the Demonstration Garden here offer a great place to read beneath towering shade trees.
Book Club members will meet and discuss the book Friday, September 1 at 9 a.m. in our lecture room. The life story of Georgie White Clark, adventurer, raconteur, and eccentric. Georgie first came to know the canyons of the Colorado River by swimming portions of them with a single companion. She subsequently hiked and rafted portions of the canyons, increasingly sharing her love of the Colorado River with friends and acquaintances. She established a guide service to support her own river trips, and in time became perhaps the canyons' best-known river guide. Georgie helped transform an adventurous sport available to only a few into a major tourist activity. She was eighty years old when she guided her last boatload of passengers down the Colorado. Westwood's biography shows us a woman who wasn't perfect, but who loved the Colorado River and its canyons and who made it her life. Our BTA Book club we showcase a new title each month with a lively discussion that meets on the first friday each month. Attendance at our once-a-month meetup is included with $12.50 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). 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 an RSVP to Vicki Johnson:
email meeting coordinator Vicki

Dragonfly Walk on Saturday September 2
8:30 AM
Our once-a-month odonate excursion is an interpreted walking tour to Ayer Lake and garden water features -- a chance to learn about these beautiful, fascinating insect predators. Photographer and dragonfly fan Roger Racut guides the walk August 5; ASU Professor Pierre Deviche is our guide September 2. See colorful photos and read more about Flame Skimmers, Blue Dashers and Mexican Amberwings at this excellent website launched by Pierre:
Bring your camera - our guides safely net a few dragonflies for visitors to view and photograph close-up, before releasing the insects unharmed.

‘Paint & Wine’ Class with Carla Keaton September 2 , Saturday
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Carla Keaton, owner of the Keaton Fine Art Gallery, hosts seasonal ‘Paint and Wine’ classes and her next will be Saturday September 2. “They’re loads of fun,” says Carla, “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.”
Enrollment of $35 for Arboretum members and $47.50 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 business hours at 520.689.2723. see photos and read more about Carla,
Connect with Carla on Facebook or call her at 480-228-1500 or email

Pictures From Our Past - Slideshow & History Talk
September 3 at 10:00 a.m. , repeats November 4

10:00 a.m.
Phoenix historian and author Sylvia Lee guides monthly walking tours narrating nuggets of Arboretum history - and putting her anecdotes in perspective next to 1920s structures, and the very first trees planted here. On Sunday September 3, starting at 1:00 a.m., Sylvia will host another slideshow of vintage photos projected enlarged on a big screen - a chance to get better acquainted with Col. William Boyce Thompson and his Arboretum. This was also arranged for history fans who are physically unable to walk the 1.5 mile main trail. During an hour in our air-conditioned Lecture Room, Sylvia will show images of vintage historic structures and arboretum gardens while sharing her behind-the-scenes knowledge from spending the past decade researching the history of Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
READ MORE about arboretum history

Learn Your Lizards Guided Walk Season Finale Saturday September 9
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. 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. Guides include 'Wild Man Phil' Rakoci and his son Archi, joined by Arizona Game And Fish researcher Dan Leavitt and also Jamie Wisenall
watch a sneak preview of their Lizard Walk on Arizona Wildlife Views YouTube
See photos and read more

11th Annual Butterfly Count Saturday September 9
8:30 a.m. meets in the Visitor Center
Love butterflies? Join Central Arizona Butterfly Association (CAZBA) members and volunteers Saturday, Sept. 9, for their 11th Annual Butterfly Count at the Arboretum. Modeled after annual Christmas Bird Counts, the once-a-year butterfly census coincides with peak populations, and is conducted within a 15-mile circle that encompasses the Arboretum as well as the Oak Flat campground seven miles East; with enough volunteers, teams will also canvass Queen Creek, the Arizona Trail - and Queen Valley. The goal is a comprehensive one-day tally of as many butterfly species and individuals as can be seen within that perimeter, a 'snap-shot' of popu-lation dynamics that can be monitored over the years. One great thing about butterflies? They sleep in! Well, at least they get active a few hours later than dawn-chorusing birds... so butterfly counting starts at a leisurely hour of 8:30 a.m. when participants meet in the Arboretum visitors center to divide into teams. Another fun aspect of this count is that participants re-group for an lunch meetup – last year it was at Jade Grill restaurant in Superior, where Chef Lucy Wing served a tasty buffet of Asian food family-style, about $10 per person, a chance for teams to exchange findings, view each others photos, and chat about rarities seen that morning. Count partici-pants are not required to be CAZBA members; read more about this annual tally at; to RSVP as a participant or ask questions about the count, email census coordinator Ron Rutowski

Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit Class September 9
10:30 AM
Learn how to pick a peck o’ prickly pears, remove the spines and turn the bright red fruits into tasty jelly, ice cream – or margaritas. Opuntia expert Robert Lewis leads his audience for a short walk, and demonstrates proven techniques for picking and de-spining cactus fruit. Flagstaff ethnobotanist, author and farmer Patty West shares her unique uses for cactus pads and fruit during a demonstration that follows, near the Smith Building. No pre-registration necessary, just be in the Arboretum visitor center breezeway by start time.

Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk Saturday September 16
8:00 a.m. future dates are TO BE ANNOUNCED
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 staff horticultural specialist Chris Evans leads this tour narrating palms, pomegranates, figs, olives, and other Plants of the Bible Land. Tours usually move to 1:30 p.m. during Fall and Winter months; date from October-through-April are TO BE ANNOUNCED.
Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, bring sunscreen and water bottle. Read more about
Plants of the Bible Lands on Facebook
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.

Lightroom, PhotoShop & More - Digital PhotographersSeptember 16 , Saturday
9:00 a.m. in the lecture room
Photographers of all skill levels who enjoy digital image post-processing are invited to meet September 16 (Saturday) at 9:00 a.m. in the Smith Building Lecture room. Beginners are definitely welcome to attend this popular recurring meetup, which expands this year to include programs and platforms beyond LightRoom and Photoshop. There's no additional charge to attend, the meetings are free to BTA annual members and Az State Parks pass-holders, and included with $12.50 daily admission to nonmembers.
Planning to attend? This brief survey helps organizers plan their agenda each month
Monthly meetings usually include on-screen demonstrations of digital editing tools and techniques, discussion of artistic elements such as composition and lighting - and friendly critique of participants' photos. For more detail, Email Tim a brief RSVP, and feel free to mention your preferred editing software:

Tree Tour with Miguel Hernandez September 17 Sunday at 8:00 a.m.
8:00 am Summer start time - tours move to 1:30 p.m. October-through-April
Silviculturally-speaking, and since an Arboretum is by definition a living collection of trees - what guided tour could be more fitting here than a once-a-month "Trees of BTA" guided walk? We invite those who love all things sylvan and want to learn more about trees to be here for a relaxed, slow-paced afternoon tour featuring Arboretum staffer Miguel Hernandez, a chance to learn about trees both native to the Sonoran Desert and exotic, with a skilled professional's tips on tree care and horticulture.On alternate months this tour is guided by certified Arborist Jeff Payne

Bye – Bye Buzzards September 23
7:00-8:30 Vulture Viewing with ASU Professor Dave Pearson
8:30-10:00 Guided Bird Walk with Dr. Pearson and Friends
9:30 - 11:00 meet author Katie Fallon ("Vulture: The Private Life of an Un-loved Bird")
September brings the Autumnal Equinox, observed by cultures from the ancient Greeks to Aboriginal Australi-ans - at the Arboretum one sure sign of Fall is the departure of the seasonal resident flock of Turkey Vultures. Join ASU Professor Dave Pearson for a morning observing the big, black birds; events are included with adult admission of $12.50; free to BTA annual members and AZ state parks pass-holders. Arrive early for the 7am special Vulture Viewing Saturday to observe our famous flock of Turkey Vultures perched on the cliffs before they depart to spend their day soaring the skies; world-traveled ASU Professor ASU Professor Dave Pearson will be the guest 'Vulture-ologist' stationed near the Desert Legume Garden from about 7:00 am until 8:30 “talk-ing about TUVUs,” sharing a few jokes about the big black birds, answering questions and sharing his appreciation for the soaring scavengers until the vultures take to the skies -- typically by 8:30am. Dr. Pearson and other guides will lead a bird walk through the gardens at 8:30 in search of other birds, mammals and critters.
Author Kate Fallon Presents ‘Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird’
A special guest for the event is author Katie Fallon, her nonfiction book Vulture: The Private Life of an Un-loved Bird was released this year from the University Press of New England. A portion of the book’s last chap-ter is spotlights BTA’s annual festival, and two chapters take place in Arizona and southern Utah - highlighting the Hassayampa River Preserve, the Grand Canyon, the Vermilion Cliffs, and the town of Gila Bend. Fallon will sign and sell copies of her book in the visitor center following Dr. Pearson’s bird walk – from about 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Order copies of the book and read more about the author at

September 24 Painting Class with Chuck Davison: Prickly Pear Cactus
11am – 2pm
See Chuck's Paintings and Read more
$35 - $47.50 with credit card ready call 520.689.2723 to enroll (daytime business hours 630am-3pm)
Among the charms of downtown Superior are building brightened by colorful murals; perhaps you’ve recognized a signature whimsical style of Southwestern contemporary scenes from art magazines and event posters. This month artist Chuck Davison invites you to learn basic painting -- and take home your own unique piece -- following a beginners’ painting class where he’ll give step-by-step instruction and coaching to help beginners paint a colorful Dragonfly design. Enrollment of $35 for Arboretum annual members and $47.50 nonmembers includes all art supplies you'll need for the class (includes the day's admission, too, for nonmembers). Taught in the air-conditioned lecture room of the historic Smith Building from 11am-2pm, enrollment includes canvas, paint, brushes, embellishments - plus light refreshments. Children are welcome to register along with an adult chaperone; both must be registered and pre-paid for the class. To register have a credit card ready and call Arboretum staff during daytime business hours 6:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Intro to Photography Walk - September 24
10:00 a.m.
RSVP by email or phone to MiMi
Valley photographers MiMi, Jack, Tim, Mark and Kathy have photographed landscapes and people from Arizona to the Mediterranean, criss-crossing America, west to east and north to south exploring national parks, urban landscapes and exploring subjects through portrait, close-up photography. The quintet of photographers volunteer a day here at the Arboretum each month -- sharing their camera skills and coaching beginners. The goal is to share a few basic camera lessons while photographing the gardens. These photo walks include time for participants to learn basic camera functions ranging from aperture and exposure to white balance. In addition, participants will be able to ask their specific questions answered in a supportive small groups, each with a friendly camera coach whose goal is to "put the fun in camera functions, and eliminate aspects of photography that can be intimidating to beginners."
there's no separate fee to attend - these informal sessions are included with $12.50 daily admission; free to Arboretum annual members and Arizona State Parks pass-holders. RSVP by email to MiMi for the next photography walkabout
Read more and RSVP by Email or Phone

History Walk with Sylvia Lee Saturday October 7
10:00 a.m.
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? Phoenix historian Sylvia Lee narrates this two-hour walking tour focused on the life and times of Colonel William Boyce Thompson, and his Arboretum. Sylvia's tour moves to 10:00 a.m. and on Saturday October 7, the same month that Arboretum daily hours return to the 8:00 to 5:00 Fall and Winter schedule.
READ MORE about arboretum history

Fall Plant Sale Daily October 13 - 29
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily
Our 2017 Fall Plant Sale opens Friday October 13 with our special Members-Only preview day of shopping, and then continues daily through October 29. Wondering if we have specific plants in stock? Call our staff during daily business hours at
Fall Plant Sale brings a great selection, also a prime time to buy annual membership at BTA, our annual members save 20-percent on plant purchases during this fundraising sale of trees, shrubs, herbs, flowers, cacti and succulents. Need planting and landscaping advice? Arboretum staff are joined by helpful volunteers from Pinal County's Superstition Mountain Master Gardeners program there to advise and assist buyers with suggestions for trees and smaller plants ideal for awide range of landscaping projects. Special events during the October plant sale include lectures, guided tours and weekend wildflower walks; most are included with daily admission of $12.50. Experienced BTA horticultural staff and Master Gardeners grow many of the the plants we sell, and they maintain many of these same plants in the gardens and plant exhibits throughout the grounds - so they know firsthand how these plants perform, from nursery pot to maturity in your garden or landscape.

Pinal Master Gardeners Workshop DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
Fall, Winter and Spring Saturdays
Green-thumbed volunteers with Pinal County's Superstition Mountain Master program host a series of Saturday morning once-a-month outdoor workshops. For more information about our local Master Gardeners, their classes and volunteer work, call Carol at 602-438-4003 or email: