One of the most popular attractions in the Phoenix area, is the Desert Botanical Garden. The garden is in a beautiful setting-centrally located in Phoenix up against the Papago Buttes. It is a true gem in Phoenix and you can learn a lot about desert life and gardening here.
The Botanical Gardens was created in 1939 and is one of the few Botanical Gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. You can either take a guided tour of the gardens or a self-guided tour.
Desert Botanical Garden Trails
The garden is divided into several different trails including:
- Desert Wildflower Loop Trail and Butterfly Exhibits
- Desert Discovery Loop Trail
- Center for Desert Living Trail: Herb Garden
- Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail
- Plants & People of the Sonoran Desert Loop Trail
- Agave Yucca Forest
- Succulent and Cactus Houses
When you first enter the garden you can choose to veer left or right. If you veer right you will enter the Desert Wildflower Loop Trail and if you veer left you will be led to the main trail, Desert Discovery.
Our favorite route is to wander down the The Desert Wildflower Loop Trail first. The trail has a striking backdrop of the Papago buttes. You can view the colorful desert wildflowers and learn the importance they play in Arizona’s ecosystem. This trail is off the main trail, it is to the right of the entrance back behind the gift shop.
Desert Discovery Trail’s brick path is the Garden’s main trail and is has the Botanical Garden’s oldest desert plantings. From this path you can easily become sidetracked if you veer to your right you will enter the Herb Garden, which is a garden of desert adapted herbs. If you stay on the 1/3 mile path it makes a loop.
Follow the main path to the next trail. The Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail is a .25-mile loop. You will have beautiful views of the Saguaro Cacti.
The trail after the Sonoran Desert loop is Plants & People of the Sonoran Desert. This trail is more interactive and one of the kids favorite trails, some great views from here as well.
After viewing this trail find your way back to the main brick path and the Succulent and Cactus houses this will bring you full circle to the beginning of the Desert Discovery Trail.
The Botanical Garden has many seasonal exhibits throughout the year. Our favorites include the Spring Butterfly Exhibit (March-May) and the Monarch Exhibit (September-November). The butterfly exhibit is located off of the Desert Wildflower Trail.
Tip: The Botanical Gardens are next to the Phoenix Zoo and Papago Park both excellent spots to visit on the same day.
Address:1201 North Galvin Parkway Phoenix, AZ
Hours: Open seven days a week, year round, except for major holidays. Hours vary by season.
- Gardens in Arizona
- Gardening in Phoenix