Boyce Thompson Arboretum is a treasure. I had been eyeballing it on the map for years, wondering if we could claim it for Southern Arizona. It is at the northern end of Pinal County and just a short hop from Florence. It is 64 miles from Phoenix, 100 miles from Tucson. We were able to shoehorn it in at the tail end of our road trip to Chaco Canyon one Christmas season.
Nestled just off Highway 60, Queen Creek runs through it and allows some almost lush environments by desert standards, including a small manmade lake used for irrigation. This is one of the differences between the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson and Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior. Boyce Thomson is just that, an arboretum. The paths are roughed out for the most part, not paved and much of the site is rustic. Around every corner is another surprise. No animals. Just plants. Oh, except for the pond. There are ducks. In contrast, the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum is more open, with wider views of the landscape.
NOTE: There is a new Desert Garden, the Wallace Desert Garden,with over 5000 desert plants provided by H.B.Wallace.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum
37615 E. Arboretum Way
Superior, Arizona 85173
Open almost everyday.