Guidelines for a Pleasant Visit-Information Release-History

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

September Hours Daily 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
6 a.m. - 3 p.m. daily > No Entry After 2:00 PM
The Arboretum is open every day through September 30 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. Starting October 1 Fall-Winter hours return and we're open daily from 8:00 - 5:00.

Dragonfly Walk Season Finale with ASU Professor Pierre Deviche October 1
8:30 AM
Join this once-a-month odonate excursion , 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.

Guided Bird Walks October 1, 2, 9, 15, 29 - also November 13 and 19
8:30 A.M. Our resident Northern Cardinals were among dozens of species seen and heard around the gardens this past week --
Read bird checklist reports and join us for a birdwalk guided by Cynthia Donald & Pete Moulton October 1 (Saturday), or a Sunday walk with Charlie Babbitt starting at 8:30 a.m. Walks continue with Troy Corman October 9, Richard Ditch October 15, Charlie Babbitt October 29, Troy Corman November 13, Cynthia Donald & Pete Moulton November 19, Marceline VandeWater December 3.

Main Trail Guided Walks Saturdays October 1 and 22
11:00 AM tour start time during Fall - Winter months
Can you name the oldest tree or oldest plant in Arizona? How old is a five foot Saguaro...and can you identify a few edible desert plants? Hear the answers and learn about the Arboretum's history and mission on a relaxed, leisurely guided walking tour of the main trail guided by Arizona State Parks Volunteer Jim Shepherd. Jim’s leisurely tour departs from the visitor center at 9:00 am this month - then moves to 11:00 a.m. in October when our Fall-Winter schedule resumes and the Arboretum hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Jim's guided walk is free to BTA annual members, also free if you have an Arizona State Parks pass – and included with daily admission $10 for nonmembers. Arrive early and explore - during September the Arboretum opens at 6:00am; starting October 1 Fall-Winter hours return and we're open daily from 8:00 - 5:00.

Sunday History Walk - October 2, Again November 6
10 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? Learn about the life and times of Colonel William Boyce Thompson and his Arboretum -- read more

Home School Day Tours October 6, November 3 and December 1
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; themes range from Edible And Medicinal Desert Plants, with classroom and outdoor activities at 11:00 am on thursday, October 6 -- to our popular Plants of the Bible Lands day for home-schoolers on November 3. December 1 brings a workshop in geology and rock identification. 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

Book Club Friday, October 7 - Pigs In Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
9:00 a.m.
Pigs in Heaven by best-selling author Barbara Kingsolver is the sequel to The Bean Trees, one of our previous Book Club selections. Kingsolver’s novel continues the story of Taylor and Turtle and ties together the present and the past, examining along the way what defines family and the ties between mothers and daughterss. Our BTA book club showcases a new title each month, with a lively Friday morning discussion group. 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

October 7 Friday Fall Plant Sale ‘Members-Only’ Preview >sale opens to everyone October 8, Saturday
8am. Arboretum annual members get a special day of ‘sneak preview’ shopping for the most unusual plants one day before our annual Fall Plant Sale fundraiser opens to the public on Saturday – expect a big assortment of cacti and agaves, potted herbs, trees, shrubs, flowers and more. BTA annual members also save 20-percent during the opening weekend; memberships start at $50 for a couple for one full year, and may be purchased upon arrival. Want to know if a specific plant is in stock? Call during daytime business hours 520-689-2723.

Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Walk Guided By David Morris October 8
1:30 p.m. October 8 and 23 > note our Fall-Winter start time
Explore our Curandero Trail on a guided walk with Choctaw Nation member and ethno-botanist David Morris , a leisurely one-hour Saturday walk October 8 where you'll 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. Start time for this tour moves to 1:30 from October-through-April. Authors and desert plant enthusiasts Kathy and Tom McDonald, owners of Smiling Dog Landscapes in Gold Canyon guide the walk Sunday October 23.
** 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

October 15: Learn Basic Manual Camera Settings Including ISO, Shutter Speed & Aperture
8:30am. Learn not just the "how?" but also the ‘why?" of manual settings on your DSLR or compact camera.
Scottsdale Pro Photographer Lisa Langell
guides a four-hour workshop teaching how to set your camera’s aperture, shutter speed, ISO, aperture priority, shutter priority, and more. Sound daunting? Its not! Lisa has a warm, friendly, supportive approach during an interactive lecture and hands-on class that introduces you to the most basic three settings that help you control your camera to design and capture exceptional photographs. Learn how settings allow light into your camera and how they create artistic effects including depth-of-field, ‘bokeh,’ motion-blur, stop-action and more. This beginner-to-intermediate level class include a slideshow lecture, interactive activities, and hands-on practice in-the-field at BTA. Enroll online at

Oct. 15 Camera Basics II > Intensive Focus on Manual Settings ‘In The Field’ Workshop & Shoot
1:30 pm. (enrollees should have previously taken Lisa’s Beginner class – see above). Those who have completed Scottsdale Pro Photographer Lisa Langell’s Camera Basics Level 1 class have a solid foundation understanding the purpose and differences between aperture, shutter speed and ISO camera functions. If you've learned basic functions and are reasonably comfortable with controlling those on your camera, this class takes your skills to the next level. Class is predominately outdoors and ‘hands-on’. You'll be putting your camera to the test with specific field assignments designed to help you master these skills in a semi-controlled environment, supportive assistance, and additional instruction--beyond what you experienced in Level 1. Read a more complete description and signup online

Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk Saturday October 15
this tour moves to 1:30 Start Time October 15, and on the third SAturday each month
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. Arrive early and explore - during September the Arboretum opens at 6:00am; starting October 1 Fall-Winter hours return and we're open daily from 8:00 - 5:00.
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

Tree Tour with Miguel Hernandez October 16, Sunday
1:30 pm
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
Horticultural Specialist Miguel Hernandez on October 16, or next month with Arboretum staffer Jeff Payne, a and certified arborist. Here's your chance to learn about trees both native to the Sonoran Desert and exotic, with a skilled professional's tips on tree care and horticulture.

Butterfly Walk with Gail Morris October 22 -- Season Finale
9:30 a.m.
Gail Morris 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. Read more about butterflies in this interview with ASU Professor Ron Rutowski

Geology walking tour with Rich Leveille October 22
** 1:30 p.m. October 22, November 26
Learn about rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a tour with professional geologist Rich Leveille as your guide; our Fall and Winter start time for this tour is 1:30 p.m. from our visitor center breezeway October 22 and also November 26. 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. Phil St. George is another of our engaging BTA geology tour guides, and he leads the walk November 26. Read more about Geology with ASU Professor Steve Semken

LightRoom 5 Users Group October
10:00 AM til Noon in the Smith Building Lecture Room
Photographers and digital photo editing enthusiasts assemble for their once-a-month meeting of the LightRoom5 users group. For details email moderator Tim Wohlever. during the 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

Hummingbird Photography with Lisa Langell & Kim Gray October 23
$30 for Arboretum (BTA) Members / $40 for non-members (plus ticket processing fee)
This 3-hour class offers indoor coaching followed by an outdoor shoot where you'll learn to use manual exposure settings to capture hummingbird images beautfully. You'll need a camera with a lens that offers magnification/zoom; instructors Lisa and Kim will demonstrate how to capture images of hummingbirds in both natural light and with special flash setups (provided). This session is part-lecture and part-field work. You will be provided with instruction on how to improve your nature photography in general, plus specific focus will be provided on hummingbird photography. Read a more complete description, and signup online

Carla Keaton's ‘Paint & Wine’ Classes Monthly October 29, November 12 and December 3
12:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Try your hand at art; with an optional glass of wine to help spark creativity; Carla Keaton launched a new series of "paint & wine" events at her Keaton Fine Art gallery -- and now she's bringing art to BTA once each month through December (Oct. 29, Nov. 12 & Dec. 3). "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." Saturday's 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 business hours at 520.689.2723.
See more of her work and connect with Carla at:
Or call her at 480-228-1500, or email:

Gardening Workshops With Pinal Master Gardeners Resume November 5
Saturdays once-a-month November 5, December 3, February 4
Gardening for the Young at Heart is the topic November 5 when green-thumbed volunteers with Pinal County's Superstition Mountain Master program resume their informal series of Saturday morning once-a-month outdoor workshops. Do you have children, grandchildren -- or are you young at heart? Join the MGs November 5 at 11am for an enchanting tour of the Arboretum’s Children’s’ Garden where you'll see ways that color, patterns, annuals, smelly plants and whimsical garden art can make us young again.Next month brings “Coming to Your Senses” Saturday, December 3 (again at 11am); hHave you ever grown a daisy that smells like chocolate or a plant that sounds like a rattlesnake? Join us in planning a garden using plants that evoke the senses and know how to create your own special sensory collage. Workshops resume February 4, 2017, with
“Fruits of Your Labor” - which explains how, ever since man first tasted the apple, luscious fruit has become essential to our diet. In Arizona we can grow apples, oranges, lemons, peaches, figs, plums, apricots, pomegranates and more in our backyards and even patios! Make your desert garden more “fruitful.”

Tree Tour with Jeff Payne November 20
1:30 pm
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 (on alternate months, Horticultural Specialist 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

Spring 2017 Learn Your Lizards Guided Walks
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. expert guides include Arizona Audubon naturalist Steven Prager, along with with Arizona Game & Fish Department reptile researcher Dan Leavitt, and Jamie Wisenall; watch a sneak preview of their Lizard Walk on Arizona Wildlife Views YouTube
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

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