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.
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.
You could hardly call this a trail, but it is now one of my favorite places in all of Arizona. We left Phoenix early and stopped at the Buckboard Cafe in Superior. Then on to the park. The fee for a couple is a well worth the money, $18.00. Then off on the trail to see the deserts of the world. When we finished, I went back to the admissions booth and bought the year long pass, as I intend to return again and again.
The trails are very well kept. Best time to go it early morning before it get too warm. Nice picnic area, be sure to pack the cooler. A GREAT family experience. We saw everything from waterfalls to bunnies, and wonderful gardens of herbs & native plants. Funniest thing we saw was them watering the cactus gardens.
Ken S. on Boyce Thompson Arboretum Main Trail...
Great place for those who are new to the Sonoran Desert or for those who have been here for some time. Enjoyed seeing and learning about desert plants from around the world, not just local to Arizona. The plants from Australia were particularly interesting to see. Would recommend going in the early spring/late fall or winter as this is open desert without much shade. Nice views of the surrounding desert. Really enjoyed the park and well worth stopping for a short visit if you're traveling between Phoenix and Globe.