The Desert Botanical Garden is a 140-acre botanical garden located in Papago Park in Phoenix, Arizona. And boy, is it beautiful! We had the chance to visit the gardens when Tim’s parents were here visiting for our birthdays. 

There are five thematic trails that represent various areas of the desert – which includes everything from towering cacti, vibrant wildflowers, and lush trees.  The garden has been around for over 70 years and has more than 50,000 plants. I was amazed at how grand the gardens were – I had never seen cacti so tall.

In addition to wandering the beautiful trails, the garden is focused on education, research, and conservation. They have specialized tours, special events, seasonal exhibits, concerts, family activities, two restaurants/cafes, and the Garden’s gift and plant shop (I may have walked away with one plant…). 

When to Visit

Hours

General Admission: Daily | 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. (last admission at 4 p.m.)

Member Early Admission: An hour early (6 a.m. Wednesdays and Sundays.

Free Admission Days

Visit on community day – the second Tuesday of every month – where admission is free!

Closed for the Following Holidays

  • July 4
  • Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28)
  • Christmas Day (Dec. 25)

Costs To Visit

  • General Admission: From $24.95 – $29.95
  • Youth 3 – 17: From $12.95 – $15.95
  • Children under 3: FREE
  • Members: FREE
  • Active Military Personnel: FREE

These costs/times were accurate as of 5/12/19. Be sure to check their site to make sure times/costs are still relevant. 

What to Bring

  • Sunscreen – Apply before you arrive, and reapply during your visit.
  • Sunglasses / Hat – The trails are fairly exposed to the sun. You’ll enjoy your visit more if you can shade your eyes. 
  • Water bottle – You can bring your own water bottle in. Three are plenty of water fountains to refill them as needed. 
  • Camera 
  • Comfortable shoes – While the trails are flat and gravel, you’ll be doing a lot of walking. 
  • Trail guide – Pick one up on your entrance.  The trails are pretty intuitive, but there are a lot of loops with side trails so it’s nice to know if you’ve missed any!