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Desert Botanical Garden, AZ

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Guide 63 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix Central
3.4 of 5 by 20
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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
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
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9  2019-04-18 Daytripper
2  2019-02-02 Tortoise_Hiker
21  2019-02-02 tibber
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
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
Author OhOh7
author avatar Guides 15
Routes 2
Photos 1,591
Trips 81 map ( 435 miles )
Age 83 Male Gender
Location Gold Canyon, AZ
Co-Author paulshikleejr
co-author avatarGuides 20
Routes 77
Photos 542
Trips 405 map (1,470 Miles)
Age 54 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr → 9 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:15am - 6:26pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
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Named place Nearby
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.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2007-04-12 OhOh7 & paulshikleejr
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    guide related
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.

Most recent of 11 deeper Triplog Reviews
Desert Botanical Garden
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More Birding/Photography Trips II
February was a busy Month.... :sweat: Got a couple of good Tidbits of News though and I got to see both come to Fruition this Month...I'll Post the Details with my March Trips...But as a Hint for one of them, a couple of Fellow HAZer's ended up getting their Backsides Published... :D
February Trips:
Desert Botanical Gardens X 2
Kiwanis Park
Papago Park X 4
Eldorado Park
Fountain Hills Park (I dumped my Mom and Sister at my Niece's Baby Shower and went Birding instead... :lol: )
Salt River
Tres Rios (Walked all the Way to the End of the Road at 91st and Back. I could see PIR only about 1 Mile away)
Desert Botanical Garden
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Went to see Shakespeare Midsummer Night Dream - "Fairy World" on Friday night with my aunt. Then Saturday went to Chihuly and had dinner at Gertrude's. Parking lot was total insanity on the way out around 8:30pm.
Gertrude's has the best food and drink - even if you are not going to the garden.
Drinks: Kir Violette (muddled edible violet with champagne and creme de violette (has a purple hue) then got a very strong White Dahlia (botanist gin, pear nectar, muddled strawberry).
Food: beet salad, cheese plate, risotto
Dessert: 3 of us got 4 desserts - donuts, chocolate mousse, peach galette, jalapeno cheesecake.
Ridiculously good - all of it.
Desert Botanical Garden
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a visit to the chihuly exhibit at the desert botanical garden with my mom
saw the first one a few years ago
we both like the glasswork
had coffee at gertrude's but had to save room for tots :)
funny that there's an official track for this
think we hit every path possible
Desert Botanical Garden
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Only the 2nd Time I've been here...1st Time was over 10 Years ago...You would think I would visit more often since I've lived within a Mile of it for over 20 Years....

Took ALL of the Relatives... :sweat:

Kind of Refreshing to see some of these Plants and actually enjoy them, instead of cursing at them out in the Wild somewhere...And there were Birds...And Butterflies...And Bunnies... :D

I won't be making a Habit of Posting Birding Trips, but for each new Location I'll post once. I figure you guys will get pretty bored with the Birding Photos, so I'll hide any return Trips and just post for the Mileage... :)
Desert Botanical Garden
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Took Caroline to the Flashlight tour, and we met up with 3 of her school friends. The tours are Thursdays and Saturdays starting at 7pm. They have stations set up and one of the stops is specifically for kids. The other stops are appealing to kids and adults. We brought our own head lamps (Hello Kitty and regular) but they will let you borrow flash lights too.

First stop is a speedy desert tortoise - had no idea they could move that fast. Agave station, mesquite station, scorpion/tarantula station, planets and star-gazing station. They had a king snake and fed it a dead mouse - which led to simultaneous can't-look-away jumps in all four girls when the snake's mouth got all the way around it.

We had ice cream at Gertrude's afterwards and ruined the fancy-pants 2 bottle of wine dinner of the people next to us. Sorry dude - get a private room if you want peace and quiet for your celebration.
Desert Botanical Garden
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I had a few spare hours before heading home, so I checked out what's new at the Botanical Garden. The giant insect sculptures are gone, replaced by abstract, vaguely organic sculptures made of wire and what looked like colorful plastic or fiberglass film. I like this place a lot, but I don't know why people don't pay this much attention to the uncultivated desert outside the walls.
Desert Botanical Garden
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spent a couple hours at the DBG with my mom and brother
really nice afternoon for it
the only time i was there before was during the chihuly exhibit, and i was so focused on the glass work at the time that i missed a lot of the regular stuff
enjoyed the cactus and succulent gardens, the section of organ pipe cactus, and the wildflowers the most
nice afternoon with family
Desert Botanical Garden
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This is a special place for Wendi and I. We liked it so much that we were married there under the Pratt Ramada. Todays trip was special because the Gardens is offering a unique experience with their "Flashlight Nights" every Saturday night in May and September, 7-9pm. In June, July, and August they also do it on Thursday and Saturday, same hours.

Along the path are different demonstrators who teach you about our desert's flora and fauna. We met Poppy, the Desert Tortoise, much smaller than mine and very cute. Stations included: Scorpions & Tarantulas, with living examples of both; Snakes, with a live Kingsnake and an impressively preserved and displayed example of a Western Diamondback; Pocket Mouse; Lizards; Agave. The list goes on.

I learned a lot and enjoyed the experience. Knowing that the Kingsnake is immune to the venom of the Diamond Back, enabling it to be a valuable predator of our venomous friends.

This little evening stroll was part of Wendi's birthday celebration which is coming up this coming Monday. The other half was dinner at Chandler's Brazilian Bull. This is an experience not to be missed if you are a meat lover. Picture 12 different skewers with as many different types of meat and each one is brought to your table in continuous rotation until you can eat no more or just need a break. They give a tri-colored dowel that allows you to tell the servers where you're at. The salad bar includes Calamari and Octopus. There is a 13th skewer that has roasted pineapple that is dee-lish.

I have to go, now. It is time find a really long, long hike for tomorrow. We have lots of fat to burn off.

Desert Botanical Garden
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Lauri was in town for a very short visit so we took advantadge of the free admission at Desert Botanical Gardens for "National Public Gardens Day". It was pretty crowded when we got there this morning, and at one point we heard there was a 45 minute wait to get into the butterfly exhibit, but after lunch the place had cleared out pretty well and we were able to walk right into the butterfly exhibit. It wasn't too hot until about 1:30 when we were leaving. We had a very nice visit - lots of cacti in bloom and plenty of critters to see ... the usual birds and lizards, white-winged doves enjoying the saguaro flowes, two roadrunners, a nighthawk hunting in broad daylight, phainopepla's, verdins, ladder-backed woodpecker, hummingbirds, bullfrogs at the pond, round-tailed ground squirrels, and my favorite - some very tame harris' antelope ground squirrels and rock squirrels who ate out of my hand at the patio cafe. The Santa Fe Wrap is delicious, by the way. I didn't have my camera, but I am sure that Lauri will have some nice photos to post when she gets around to it!
Desert Botanical Garden
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My 9 year old twins attended a field trip to the Garden. I went along as a chaperone. This was actually my first visit to the Garden. A good time to go as the plants were in full bloom. Took a few pics, but mostly had to just tag along with the group and keep the little ones in line.

Permit $$
Special Use

Map Drive
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.
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