Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ, displays the world’s finest collection of arid plants from deserts of the world in a unique outdoor setting. You probably do not think that the words desert and garden really come together, but you will be pleasantly surprised by the beauty of this oasis. Of course, no roses there, but you can explore not only a wide variety of cactuses but actual flowers too. The garden design allows for an enjoyable experience even in the heat of Arizona summers, so give it a try! In this post, you will learn all you need to know about visiting the Desert Botanical Garden.
I learned up close and personal how Phoenix summers feel like. With temperatures over 100 F almost every day, dropping down at night to about 95 F, the city is far from welcoming during this time of year. In my opinion, it ranks really high in a living hell category.
The air is so hot that any outdoor activity puts you in danger. Even walking from a store to your car presents a challenge. I spent there two grueling months during my cancer journey, and that obviously did not help with my overall impression. Still, I challenged myself to visit the Desert Botanical Gardens, and I managed to have a good time.
DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN IN PHOENIX, AZ
Desert Botanical Garden is a 140-acre botanical garden located in Papago Park, about 4 miles south of downtown Scottsdale, AZ.
“The Garden’s vision is to be the premier center in the world for the exhibition, research, and conservation of desert plants. The garden strives to be an indispensable resource for learning about cactus, agave, and other desert plants of the Sonoran Desert and the world.”
Like many other conservation projects, the Desert Botanical Garden started as a passionate initiative by local citizens who saw the need to protect the beautiful desert environment. In 1939 Swedish botanist Gustaf Starck made an effort public by posting a sign “Save the Desert.” Eventually the same year, with the support of social influencers of the time, the garden was established and started its journey.
The Desert Botanical Garden offers the world’s finest collection of arid plants from deserts of the world in a unique outdoor setting. This sprawling garden contains just about every desert herb, shrub, flower, tree, and cactus imaginable with carefully curated presentation and well-thought-out walking paths.
Beyond the flora, the garden hosts regular activities and exhibitions.
Visitors can stroll through five thematic trails to explore the fascinating beauty of Sonoran Desert plant life, from towering cacti and alluring succulents to brilliant wildflowers and lush trees. This map of Desert Botanical Garden will help you navigate.
SONORAN DESERT NATURE LOOP TRAIL
Hike to the top of this trail for a great view of the mountains that surround the Desert Botanical Garden and Phoenix. The Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail takes you among the tall saguaro cacti.
CENTER FOR DESERT LIVING TRAIL
This trial demonstrates ideas and strategies for efficient, sustainable, and harmonious ways to work with nature in a desert environment.
DESERT DISCOVERY LOOP TRAIL
Stroll through the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Desert Terrace Garden into the heart of Desert Botanical Garden.
HARRIET K. MAXWELL DESERT WILDFLOWER LOOP TRAIL
Revel in the explosion of desert wildflowers and blooming cactus along Garden trails during the height of the blooming season. You might even spot three species of hummingbirds that live in the garden.
PLANTS & PEOPLE OF THE SONORAN DESERT LOOP TRAIL
Explore this loop trail to see how Sonoran Desert plants have been used by native people for food, medicine, and building materials. The trail is brought to life through cultural examples of the Tohono O’odham, Western Apache, and Hispanic households.