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Desert Botanical Garden, AZ
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A beautiful surprise awaits anyone who visits the Desert Botanical Garden located just east of downtown Phoenix where Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix come together. After visiting the nearby Phoenix Zoo recently I became aware of this 145 acres of desert plants just up the road from the zoo and part of the Papago Park. We spent almost 4 hours there and all I can say is that I am very, very impressed with the presentation of every possible type of desert flower and plant that exists. Hundreds of desert plants are here; many that are endangered and, as photos show, many that are quite distinct and interesting looking.


At the admission gate you are given a very detailed trail map. There is a main trail that winds its way through the center of the garden and then there are 8 sub trails that one can take off of the main brick pathway. Each of the sub trails features special interest plants like herb gardens, flowers, cactus and succulents.

Although the trails are only about 2 miles for all of them, you must take your time to really inspect the many interesting plants. Of course there are lots of little lizards and butterflies and hummingbirds. I was told by a groundskeeper that they seldom see a rattlesnake because there are a number of King snakes on the property and they see to it that the rattlers are kept away. I guess they know their job!

We were extremely impressed with the upkeep and condition of the garden that show a great deal of care. While similar to the Boyce-Thompson Arboretum near the town of Superior, this beautiful area is basically right in the middle of a city. The trail network is not quite as long but the plant selection is excellent. Other than a constant stream of planes taking off and landing at Sky Harbor Airport, there is lots of quiet. At times you feel you are really in a desert oasis.

We think this entire display is very tastefully done and top quality. Every plant has a little sign telling what it is and it's botanical name. We noticed lots of school groups touring. Don't miss this great desert display. I am so used to the rocky trails in the Superstitions that I approached this with just mild interest until I got there. Now I am sorry I did not come here before. There is an entrance fee for adults. Very worthwhile!

2010-08-08 paulshikleejr
The Garden comprises five main loops (narrative text from official DBG literature, distance and AEG from GPS track):

Desert Discovery Loop Trail: 0.36 mile, 21 AEG
Follow the brick path: take the Garden's main trail and learn the unique characteristics of desert plants from around the world. The loop trail features outstanding displays and exhibits including the Sybil B. Harrington Cactus and Succulent Galleries and the Berlin Agave Yucca Forest. Along the way, explore the great diversity of form, texture and color found in this wondrous array of cacti and succulents from around the world.

Plants & People of the Sonoran Desert Loop Trail: 0.41 mile, 26 AEG
Discover how Sonoran Desert plants have been used for food, fiber, medicine and other cultural purposes. Pound mesquite beans into flour and step inside a traditional Akimel O'odham Roundhouse. Closed at sunset.

Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail: 0.24 mile, 29 AEG
Change your point of view on this trail which features dramatic vistas of distant mountains and up-close views of the surrounding desert. A variety of fascinating exhibits focus on both the plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert. Closed at sunset.

Steele Herb Garden: 0.12 mile, 7 AEG
Become familiar with a variety of desert-adapted herbs. Highlights include: A Wildlife Garden, Picante Garden, Tea and Culinary Garden, and a Medicinal Garden. Closed at sunset.

Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop Trail: 0.41 mile, 15 AEG
On this trail, you will see how wildflowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies (and people, too). Discover the beauty, color and diversity of wildflowers in North American deserts, and how they play a role in the desert's ecosystem. Closed at sunset.
Description 58 Triplogs  1 Topic
RatedFavorite  
Wish List 3
 Region
 
0
0
 Phoenix Central
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Multi-Loop 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,300 feet
Elevation Gain 50 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.25
Author OhOh7
Descriptions 15
Routes 2
Photos 1,591
Trips 81 map ( 435 miles )
Age 81
Location Gold Canyon, AZ
Co-Author paulshikleejr
Descriptions 20
Routes 74
Photos 468
Trips 364 map (1,287 Miles)
Age 51
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
21  2017-04-09 New2hyk
12  2017-03-17 New2hyk
4  2016-10-29 cindyl
39  2016-04-02 rrshort
60  2015-02-06
More Birding/Photography Trips II
outdoor_lover
20  2015-01-24 Widowmaker
7  2014-05-17 Crzy4AZ
44  2014-03-20
Chihuly in the Garden
FLYING_FLIVER
40  2014-03-19 New2hyk
12  2014-01-30 trekkin_gecko
27  2013-10-24 outdoor_lover
4  2013-07-06 Crzy4AZ
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Backpack   No
Preferred   Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr → 9 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:21am - 7:29pm
Dogs not allowed
Route Scout
import queue
Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Hole in the Rock - Papago Park
0.2 mi away
0.1 mi
71 ft
Papago Buttes - Papago Park
0.4 mi away
4.0 mi
100 ft
Tomb Trail
0.5 mi away
0.2 mi
15 ft
Papago Park Walking Path
0.5 mi away
3.2 mi
150 ft
Tempe Town Lake
1.9 mi away
Hayden Butte Summit (HBP)
2.1 mi away
0.3 mi
291 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna
Abert's Towhee
Anna's Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Black-tailed Jack Rabbit
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Cactus Wren
Cardinal
Common Buckeye Butterfly
Common Kingsnake - California
Common side-blotched lizard
Costa's Hummingbird
Curve-billed Thrasher
Desert Cottontail
Desert Spiny Lizard
Desert Tortoise
Eurasian Collared-Dove
European Starling
Flame Skimmer
Flower Crab Spider
Gambel's Quail
Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
Gila Woodpecker
Gilded Flicker
Great Egret
Great Southern White Butterfly
Greater Roadrunner
Harris Antelope Squirrel
Honey Bee
House Finch
House Sparrow
Julia Heliconian Butterfly
Lesser Goldfinch
Mallard Duck
Monarch butterfly
Mourning Dove
Northern Mockingbird
Orange-crowned Warbler
Painted Lady Butterfly
Phainopepla
Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly
Queen Butterfly
Round-Tailed Ground Squirrel
Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly
Sweat Bee
Unidentified Frog
Verdin
White Peacock
White-winged Dove
Yarrow's Spiny Lizard
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Zebra Heliconian Butterfly
Flora
African Daisy
Agave varietals
Banana Yucca
Bishop's Cap, Bishops' Hood
Blanketflower
Cardon
Chain Fruit Cholla
Claret Cup Cactus
Dune Primrose
Euphorbia
Fairy Duster
Fleabane
Gilled Mushrooms
Mexican Gold Poppy
Mountain laurel
Organ Pipe Cactus
Parry's Penstemon
Penstemon
Pincushion Cactus
Saguaro
Saguaro - Crested
Yellow Columbine
Yerba Mansa
Meteorology
Sunset
Named place
Camelback Mountain
Papago Park
Lush and amazing
by OhOh7 & paulshikleejr

A beautiful surprise awaits anyone who visits the Desert Botanical Garden located just east of downtown Phoenix where Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix come together. After visiting the nearby Phoenix Zoo recently I became aware of this 145 acres of desert plants just up the road from the zoo and part of the Papago Park. We spent almost 4 hours there and all I can say is that I am very, very impressed with the presentation of every possible type of desert flower and plant that exists. Hundreds of desert plants are here; many that are endangered and, as photos show, many that are quite distinct and interesting looking.


At the admission gate you are given a very detailed trail map. There is a main trail that winds its way through the center of the garden and then there are 8 sub trails that one can take off of the main brick pathway. Each of the sub trails features special interest plants like herb gardens, flowers, cactus and succulents.

Although the trails are only about 2 miles for all of them, you must take your time to really inspect the many interesting plants. Of course there are lots of little lizards and butterflies and hummingbirds. I was told by a groundskeeper that they seldom see a rattlesnake because there are a number of King snakes on the property and they see to it that the rattlers are kept away. I guess they know their job!

We were extremely impressed with the upkeep and condition of the garden that show a great deal of care. While similar to the Boyce-Thompson Arboretum near the town of Superior, this beautiful area is basically right in the middle of a city. The trail network is not quite as long but the plant selection is excellent. Other than a constant stream of planes taking off and landing at Sky Harbor Airport, there is lots of quiet. At times you feel you are really in a desert oasis.

We think this entire display is very tastefully done and top quality. Every plant has a little sign telling what it is and it's botanical name. We noticed lots of school groups touring. Don't miss this great desert display. I am so used to the rocky trails in the Superstitions that I approached this with just mild interest until I got there. Now I am sorry I did not come here before. There is an entrance fee for adults. Very worthwhile!

2010-08-08 paulshikleejr
The Garden comprises five main loops (narrative text from official DBG literature, distance and AEG from GPS track):

Desert Discovery Loop Trail: 0.36 mile, 21 AEG
Follow the brick path: take the Garden's main trail and learn the unique characteristics of desert plants from around the world. The loop trail features outstanding displays and exhibits including the Sybil B. Harrington Cactus and Succulent Galleries and the Berlin Agave Yucca Forest. Along the way, explore the great diversity of form, texture and color found in this wondrous array of cacti and succulents from around the world.

Plants & People of the Sonoran Desert Loop Trail: 0.41 mile, 26 AEG
Discover how Sonoran Desert plants have been used for food, fiber, medicine and other cultural purposes. Pound mesquite beans into flour and step inside a traditional Akimel O'odham Roundhouse. Closed at sunset.

Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail: 0.24 mile, 29 AEG
Change your point of view on this trail which features dramatic vistas of distant mountains and up-close views of the surrounding desert. A variety of fascinating exhibits focus on both the plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert. Closed at sunset.

Steele Herb Garden: 0.12 mile, 7 AEG
Become familiar with a variety of desert-adapted herbs. Highlights include: A Wildlife Garden, Picante Garden, Tea and Culinary Garden, and a Medicinal Garden. Closed at sunset.

Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop Trail: 0.41 mile, 15 AEG
On this trail, you will see how wildflowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies (and people, too). Discover the beauty, color and diversity of wildflowers in North American deserts, and how they play a role in the desert's ecosystem. Closed at sunset.
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Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

- &
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$
Special Use


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From the south off freeway 202, north on Priest drive that changes into Galvin Parkway as it enters Papago Park. From the north take McDowell and turn south on Galvin Parkway. There are many sign and the zoo and garden are at the base of the Papago buttes visible from all angles in Phoenix. Also see map.
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
stay out of the scorching sun
prehydrate & stay hydrated
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