Desert Botanical Gardens: Everything You Need To Know

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If you have thought there could not be a desert wonderland, think again, there is one. The Desert Botanical Garden is a magical place with desert landscaping found in Phoenix, Arizona. Here you can find brilliant wildflowers with nature art to garden trails for the family to spend the day.

So head out to see some towering cacti equipped with your water bottle, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes.

More About The Desert Botanical Gardens

You can enjoy the beauty of desert plants outdoors spread over 140 acres at the Desert Botanical Garden. Throughout the garden, you can see plant displays with beautiful outdoor exhibits. Interestingly, the botanical garden is one of 24 accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

In addition, there are over 27,000 volunteer hours and 229 full-time staff members. The park receives partial funding from the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture with appropriations from the Phoenix City Council.

Things To Know Before Going To Desert Botanical Gardens

Desert Botanical Gardens

Before heading out to the gardens, we recommend planning your adventure by checking out the current trail map. The garden is in downtown Phoenix, accessible by wheelchair and stroller friendly. You can rent scooters, and wheelchairs are also available.

Hours and Days of Operation

  • 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Daily

  • 7 a.m.  Members-only Sundays and Wednesdays

GARDEN CLOSURES

  • Dec. 1 – 4, 9 – 11, 15 – 18, 20 – 23, 26 – 31 | Garden closes at 4 p.m. and reopens at 5:30 p.m. for a ticketed event.

  • Dec. 24 | Garden closes at 4 p.m.

  • Dec. 25 | Garden closed 

  • Feb. 24 | Garden closes at 3 p.m.

  • Feb 25 -26 | Closed for anyone without a Devour ticket

  • Mar. 24 | Garden closes at 3 p.m.

  • Apr. 22 | Garden closes at noon

  • July 4 | Closed 

Desert Botanical Garden Admission

  • General Admission | $24.95 – $29.95

  • Youth 3 – 17 | $14.95 – $16.95

  • CHILDREN UNDER 2 & MEMBERS | FREE

  • ACTIVE MILITARY PERSONNEL | FREE (with valid government ID for General Admission only)

Parking at the Desert Botanical Garden

You can find parking available if visiting Phoenix at the Desert Botanical Garden. The lot has space available for 400 vehicles. You will find it on the south side of the garden near the main entrance.

You can enjoy free parking if you are a member, but other visitors need to buy a ticket costing $7.

Pets at Desert Botanical Garden

The only dogs allowed are service animals, but pets are allowed on the biannual Dog’s Day in the Garden.

Photography Policy

photography policy at desert botanical gadens

Guests are more than welcome to take photos on the day of their visit but need to respect other visitors and remain on the trails all the time.

Desert Botanical Garden Location

The Desert Botanical is at 1201 N. GALVIN PARKWAY, PHOENIX, AZ 85008, and can be contacted at 480.941.1225 or [email protected]

Garden Collections

The Desert Botanical Garden has many garden collections for you to observe, from the Sonoran Desert Loop Trail to other desert plants from around the world.

Cactaceae Collection

cacti collection

Explore the natural beauty of more than 15,000 cacti plants. Here you can 2/3 of the total number of cactus family species in one place. You can follow the desert wildflower loop trail to see some Sonoran Desert beauties displayed.

The desert plant life includes giant cactuses to the smallest one available. You can even see the Saguaro cactus at home here with local flora.

Agavaceae Collection

agave collection

In the Agave genus, more than 186 known species are displayed. There are lush trees with Yucca, Hesperaloe, Hersperoyucca, Furcraea, and Manfreda.

Things To See Inside Desert Botanical Gardens

Desert Botanical Gardens

Still, the unique collections are not all you can see, as the Desert Botanical Garden offers much more.

The gardens also have miniature horses, a light trail to walk, five thematic trails, a culture pass, and Papago Park, with the Phoenix Zoo nearby.

Throughout the gardens, you find hydration stations to fill up your water bottle with refreshing water. So ensure to stay hydrated at all times when visiting the following places:

Butterfly Pavilion

butterfly pavillion @flickr

The Pollinator Conservation Research Program is available in a 3,200-square-foot open-air structure with lush garden plantings and water features. You will see thousands of butterflies at the Butterfly Pavilion.

The family can learn about the butterfly life cycle and interact with them. You will also see a butterfly exhibit for young and old.

Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail

sonoran desert

Here you can take the Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail up to the top mountain with spectacular views to see through the telescopes. Here you see the organ pipe cactus forest to see how these plants survive.

Center For Desert Living Trail

Explore fragrant herbs to vegetable beds with shady spots to unwind and take in all the senses. You can see what is growing and discover tips to create your water-wise home garden.

Desert Discovery Loop Trail

Desert Botanical Gardens

The Desert Discovery Loop Trail is the main trail found in the garden, with many desert plants that easily adapt to the environment. You can see a diverse cactus collection with alluring succulents and other historic plants with fascinating beauty.

Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop Trail

Along this trail, you find endangered species with brightly colored blooms to pollinators.

Garden Shop

The garden shop offers different indoor plants you can buy with interesting books to other handmade objects. The gift shop is a great place to find a present for family and friends.

Dining at Gertrude’s Restaurant

At Gertrude’s, you can enjoy brunch, lunch, dinner, cocktails, and kids’ meals. The food is delicious and fresh as she focuses on using ingredients from the farmer and the pastures. Another place to enjoy eating is the Patio Cafe on Ulman Terrace.

Weddings and Private Events Rental

wedding at Desert Botanical Garden

No matter the size of your wedding, the Desert Botanical Garden has something for you to host your special events. There are exquisite settings for daytime to sunset weddings to receptions for up to 110 guests.

Steele Herb Garden

At the Steele Herb Garden, your guests can enjoy the views of the Arizona sunset with the surrounding mountains and beauties.

Dorrance Center

The Dorrance Center provides a place to enjoy your ceremony at the Boppart Courtyard, Kitchell Patio, or Dorrance Hall.

Other Explicit Places

Or you can have your wedding at the Webster Center, Amphitheater & Binns Wildflower Pavillion. You can even enjoy a trailside wedding if you prefer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Every second Tuesday of the month, you can enjoy a free admission day at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden.

Exploring the garden can take an hour to two hours, as the trails range from a few hours to long, depending on how you explore this magnificent place.

The garden is fully accessible by wheelchair and scooter as it has paved and dirt paths to navigate easily. You can rent wheelchairs, and electric scooters on a first come, first serve basis.

For groups of ten and more, you can get generally discounted admission at certain times of the year, and best to inform with the gardens webpage.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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