Video:Boyce Thompson Arboretumwith Judy Hedding
Take a tour of the Boyce Thompson Arboretum with Guide to Phoenix, Judy Hedding.See Transcript
Transcript:Boyce Thompson ArboretumHi. I'm Judy Hedding with About.com. Hikers, nature lovers and wildflower hunters will appreciate an often forgotten gem of the area, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
Where Is Boyce Thompson Arboretum?
Why forgotten? Well, it isn't quite as close as some other local attractions where you can get a taste of desert flora and fauna. The Arboretum is located in Superior, Arizona out past Gold Canyon Ranch on US60. That may seem far, but it's less than an hour's drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum & ASU
What is an arboretum? Technically, it is a collection of trees. More loosely defined it is a place where trees, shrubs and other plants are displayed and studied. Our Boyce Thompson Arboretum is managed by Arizona State University, where the stated mission includes "educational, recreational, research, and conservation opportunities associated with arid-land plants." ASU refers to the Arboretum as a 320-acre living classroom. A visit to the Arboretum might be in order if you want to learn more about the trees and plants of the desert, or, for members of the Arboretum, it might just be a great place for a brisk daily walk with a canine companion.
Sights to See
The Cactus and Succulent Garden is a favorite stop of mine. The High Trail has scenic views of the riparian area of Queen Creek Canyon. The herb garden, eucalyptus forest and demonstration garden are other popular spots. The programs and classes offered are a big draw, many of which are included with your regular admission. How about a Dragonfly Walk, a Geology Tour or a nighttime Scorpion Hunt? And, if you find yourself bemoaning the fact that we don't have a fall foliage season in Phoenix, you even can get that at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in late November.
In the spring, especially if we have had a wet winter, beautiful wildflowers bloom in certain parts of the Phoenix area. Take a trip to the Arboretum to see wildflowers -- it's easier than hunting for them on long hikes into the mountains!
When to Visit Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Even though the Boyce Thompson Arboretum is open all year long, wildflower season is a very popular time to visit. I highly recommend going out to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum for a different perspective on our desert environment. About half the area is paved, so if you'll be making a day of it, wear your sturdy walking or hiking shoes!To learn more about the desert, and to get hours and directions to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum visit us at About.com.
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