Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is located in beautiful and scenic Queen Creek Canyon, three miles west of Superior. Natural resource developer and philanthropist William Boyce Thompson established the Southwestern Arboretum in the mid-1920s. The inspiration to create an arid-region arboretum sprang from a lifetime of fervent interest in things botanical, horticultural, and natural. It was specifically inspired by Thompsons visit to Russia during the terrible famine years just after the First World War. Thompson, who was a Colonel in the Red Cross, came to realize how profoundly dependent human beings are on plants. It was Thompsons fervent desire to do something to enhance mans symbiotic relationship with members of the plant kingdom. A man of broad vision typical of the expansive can-do times, Thompson along with the Arboretums first Director, Franklin Crider, fashioned a mission for the Arboretum that was vast and global in scope with economic utility and aesthetic appeal being of primary importance in accessioning material to the collection.
Gorgeous park, has a little bit of everything. Trails not strenous for seasoned hikers but they are beautiful.
Gary H. on Boyce Thompson Arboretum Main Trail...
Nice trail for all levels. ..wear good shoes as the south trail is rocky. ..
Great place to spend a couple hours when you want to get out of town without going on a long trip. The staff was very friendly and the trails are well maintained. They have lots of little sections with small trails to look at different plants or you can stick to the main trail along he outskirts. They also had a nice butterfly garden and pretty lake, where we actually took Christmas pictures one year. It was moderately busy when we went on a Sat in Nov. Dog friendly and we did see both a coyote and a tarantula while we were there. I'd love to go back soon.
The drive is very pretty and serene as you notice the rock formation changes. The arboretum is a beautiful location to just take a leisurely hike and enjoy all the plants and exhibits set up within. I was so impressed I became a member.