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. During May-through-September
From May-through-September the Arboretum follows a summer schedule, open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with no entry after 2:00 so our final visitors have a full hour to enjoy the trails and gardens.
Summer hours continue through September.


Geology Guided Walk May 27 , Saturday -- at 8:00 a.m.
** 8:00 a.m. -- please note Summer start time. Tour repeats June 24 with Phil St. George
Learn about rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a tour with Professional geologist Geologist Rich Leveille
as your guide for a lively tour that 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. Scott McFaddenis also among our guide cadre, and Phil St. George. Read more Arizona Geology with ASU Professor Steve Semken

Butterfly Walk May 27, Saturday, at 9:00 AM
start time moves to 8:30 a.m. June 24, July 22 and August 26
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. Ron Rutowski guides the season debut May 27 at 9:00 a.m., after that tours move to an 8:30 start time
June 24 with Marceline VandeWater as our guide, and Ron's our guide again July 22 and Aug. 26. Read more about butterflies in this interview with ASU Professor Ron Rutowski

Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Walk Guided By Dave Morris May 28
tour moves to 8:00 a.m. May 28 , June 25 , July 23
Learn the edible and medicinal uses of native desert plants on a walk along our Curandero Trail guided by desert plants enthusiast Choctaw Nation member and ethno-botanist David Morris . 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 move to 8:00 a.m. May 28 and also June 25 with Dave, and then
July 23 and Aug. 27 our special guest tourguide is Jim Shepherd. Dave Morris returns Sept. 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

May 28 Painting Class with Chuck Davison: ‘Lizards'
11am – 2pm
$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 lizard design. His first workshop will be Sunday May 28; 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). June 25 enrollees will complete a dragonfly painting. 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. Painting Classes Continue in June, July, August, September

Sunday Intro to Photography Walk May 28
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 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 photo walkabout, or sign-up for her next camera outing May 28 .
Read more and RSVP by Email or Phone

Guided Bird Walk June 2 - Friday - at 6:30 a.m.
Yellow-breasted Chats have returned, with a vocal chorus around the gardens. Sharpen your birding skills on a tour guided by Lisa and Peggy Friday June 2, Friday, at 6:30 a.m. What other colorful birds are likely? Read the latest intel about BTA bird sightings at:

Book Club Friday, June 2
9:00 a.m.

Our BTA book club showcases a new title each month, with a lively Friday morning discussion group that meets next on June 2. During May we'er reading River of Doubt by Candice Millard. After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon. The River of Doubt—it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indigenous people armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron. At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth. Our BTA book club showcases a new title each month, with a lively Friday morning discussion.
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). 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

Summer Rose Care Workshop June 3, Saturday
7:30 a.m.

Wilting heat and dry conditions take a toll on plants; rose expert Steve Sheard will host an informal session here June 3 coaching gardeners on "Summer Rose Care" tips and techniques. Sheard chairs the board that oversees the acclaimed Mesa Community College rose garden of approximately 10,000 bushes, and is an ARS-certified Master Rosarian. Describing the workshop, he said: "Roses are like teenagers, they love a little TLC to keep the bugs off, food and getting wet. They will then flourish and provide wonderful blooms in the fall". There's no additional fee to attend, the 7:30 informal workshop is included with $12.50 daily admission, or free to Arboretum annual members and also free if you have an Arizona State Parks pass.

June 3 Class with Lisa Langell: How to Win a Photo Contest -- and Protect Your Rights
$40 -- plus $12.50 daily Arboretum admission for non-members
If you’ve entered a photography contest and wondered whether your image would win; pondered just what elements make a compelling, award-winning image – or worried about your intellectual property after the contest – Lisa Langell has a June 3 session for you! Her session will coach participants how to recognize a ‘rights grab’ from a legitimate contest – and will include discussion of artistic approaches, lighting, composition – and the art of photography.
“Photography contests are more popular than ever, yet some are littered with questionable ethics,” warns Lisa, “it is critical to educate yourself on the joys and pitfalls – to learn how to separate the good, the bad, and the ugly of photography contests by analyzing the fine print. Then, when you find a good one -- learn how to WIN!”
Read a more complete class description and enroll online

Sunday History Walk with Sylvia Lee Date June 4, Sunday
Summer Tours move to 8:00 a.m. June 4 , July 2 and August 6
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. READ MORE about arboretum history

Learn Your Lizards Guided Walks June 10, July 8 - also July 29 and 30
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. Walks continue June 10 with 'Wild Man Phil' Rakoci; on July 8 Phil will be joined by Arizona Game & Fish reptile researcher Dan Leavitt and lizard enthusiast Jamie Wisenall watch a sneak preview of their Lizard Walk on Arizona Wildlife Views YouTube
July ends with a special weekend of reptile walks, Phil Rakoci guides Saturday July 29 and also Sunday July 30 when he's joined by Arizona Audubon naturalist Steven Prager and Cathy Wise. Phil, Dan & Jamie are a trio of guides for the walks August 12 and September 9. See photos and read more

‘Paint & Wine’ Class with Carla Keaton June 11, Sunday
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Carla Keaton, owner of the Keaton Fine Art Gallery, hosts seasonal ‘Paint and Wine’ classes ansd her next is Sunday June 11. “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

Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk Saturday June 17
8:00 a.m. repeats July 15, August 19
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. Dave is a Mesa resident and Bible scholar, and alternates a trio of themed tours. June 17 July his theme is ‘Food plants’ and in August Dave’s topic will be Trees. History, scripture and biblical botany are narrated during this relaxed, slow-paced walk through gardens that are all easily accessible for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, bring sunscreen and water bottle. Connect with David and Check out a few 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 Photographers Meet June 17 , Saturday
9:00 a.m. in the lecture room
Photographers of all skill levels who enjoy digital image post-processing are invited to meet June 17 (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 details or to RSVP that you plan to attend, email Jack Haskell

Tree Tour June 18 at 8:00 a.m.
8:00 am Summer start time; tour repeats July 16 with Jeff Payne as our guide
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 and certified Arborist Jeff Payne, 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.

Dragonfly Walks May - June July 2017
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. ASU Professor Pierre Deviche is our guide, 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.

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: