Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

A view in the garden at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum was founded in the 1920's by Col. Boyce Thompson, an Arizona mining magnate. He had served as co-leader of a Red Cross mercy mission to Russia in 1917 and, while there, he had an epiphany in regards to the importance of plant life to the life of man. On his return, he used his wealth to build Arizona's first (and soon largest) botanical garden. His legacy contains towering trees, sheer mountain cliffs, a riparian forest, cacti from all over the world, many natural habitats filled with local wildlife, a hidden canyon, a desert lake... the list of his creations (and transplants) here is long while the main walking trail loop is only 1.5 miles. The Arboretum encompasses 323 acres and is jointly managed by the Boyce Thompson Arboretum Board, the University of Arizona and Arizona State Parks. All through the year there are environmental and ecological events planned commemorating such things as Australia Day, Wildflower Month, Earth/Arbor Day, Welcome Back and Bye Bye Buzzards, and others.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is on US Highway 60, about 3 miles west of Superior. The park is open daily (except Christmas Day) with winter hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (October 1 to April 30) and summer hours: 6:00 AM to 3:00 PM (May 1 to September 30). The Park offers a visitor center, demonstration garden, picnic area with tables, a gift shop, and restrooms.

A view through the trees at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park
A view to the south across Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park