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Desert Botanical Garden

This Phoenix Garden is a Local Treasure

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Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ

© Judy Hedding

Desert Botanical Garden in Papago Park is not only a botanical garden, but it is also classified as a museum. Desert Botanical Garden covers about 50 acres, and in addition to the the vast array of native plants on display, the garden is home to over 21,000 plants representing 3,931 plant classifications in 139 plant families. Nationally and internationally renowned for its plant collections, research, and educational programs, Desert Botanical Garden has been operating since 1939.

What is there to see and do at Desert Botanical Garden?

There are six major trails/permanent exhibits to enjoy during your visit. See a video about visiting Desert Botanical Garden.

  1. Desert Discovery Trail
    This is the garden’s main trail with desert plants from around the world. You'll find the oldest plantings on this 1/3 mile trail.
  2. Plants & People of the Sonoran Desert Trail
    This trail will help you understand how the desert dwellers use desert plants for food, construction, tools, and basket-making. There are hands-on activities on this 1/3 mile trail.
  3. Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Trail
    Learn how colorful desert wildflowers, hummingbirds, and bees interact in the Sonoran desert. Enjoy this picture gallery of the Desert Wildflower Trail!
  4. Sonoran Desert Nature Trail
    A 1/4 mile trail where you can enjoy the big picture--desert, mountains, plants, and animals.
  5. Sybil B. Harrington Cactus & Succulent Galleries
    Beautifully arranged cacti and succulents from around the world.
  6. Herb Garden
    Visit the Wildlife Garden, Picante Garden, Tea and Culinary Gardens, and Medicinal Garden.

In the spring, don't miss the Maxine & Jonathan Marshall Butterfly Pavilion, where you can walk among hundreds of North American butterflies. I took some photos of the Butterfly Pavilion! In the fall the monarch butterflies arrive. There are special hours for both butterfly events, and there is an additional nominal charge for entering this exhibit.

Guided Tours at Desert Botanical Garden

If you want to make sure that you don't miss any important details, there are several docent led tours offered that are included with your paid admission to the Garden. There are general garden tours, tours that focus on Birds in the Garden, Ask a Gardener sessions and children's programs with hands-on activities. Here are the tour descriptions and schedules. For a small additional charge, the self-guided audio tours offer a new and fun way to enjoy the Garden at your own pace and on your own schedule.

So that's it?

Not by a long shot! Desert Botanical Garden has an incredible variety of classes, workshops, and events to enjoy. There are programs for kids, for adults, and even for professional landscapers, gardeners, and photographers. There are musical events, dinners, art programs, cooking classes, hikes and camps! In the winter, one of the most popular events, Las Nochas de las Luminarias, is held at the Garden. Visit the Desert Botanical Garden official website for more informational about classes and events.

Desert Botanical Garden Details

Where is it?
The Desert Botanical Garden is located at 1201 North Galvin Parkway in Phoenix. It's only about 10 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. You can see directions and a map here.

When is it open?
Every day except for July 4, Thanksgiving Day and December 25. The Garden opens early in the morning, and closes at 8 p.m. Some trails close early in the evening. There may be some days when the garden, or a part of the garden, closes for a special event.

What other amenities are there at the Desert Botanical Garden?
There is a cafe, a full service restaurant (Gertrude's), a reading library, and a wonderful garden shop where you can purchase gifts and live plants.

Next Page >> Desert Botanical Garden Tips

Schedule, Tips, Location, Admission, Photos and Special Events -- Your Guide to Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix

All dates, times, and prices indicated are subject to change without notice.

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