Boyce Thompson Arboretum / Superior Arizona Day Trip
A short one hour drive from Phoenix to Superior Arizona you’ll find The Boyce Thompson Arboretum. The arboretum, which covers 320 acres, is crisscrossed with trails that lead through gardens of cacti, succulents and other arid-land plants. There are specific areas for plants of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, but you'll find plants from deserts all over the world. Some are rather strange looking! The Boojum tree from Mexico is one, towering over everything else. It looks like a large candle.
The main trail takes you around the arboretum past Ayer Lake-a desert area-and a palm grove. There is also a section called "Australian Walkabout," which has huge eucalyptus trees. There are a variety of birds to enjoy here, too. Have a seat in the Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden and watch the hummingbirds' antics. Click here to go to there website and plan your outing now!
If you are up for more hiking, Picket Peak, the backdrop to the arboretum, has a strenuous four-hour, four-mile hike to the peak. For a moderate 4.4-mile hike in the Superstition Mountains, take the Peralta Trail to the Freemont saddle for a stunning view of Weaver's Needle. For lunch, you can pick up a sandwich at the visitors center or drive to Superior, a few miles east on Highway 160.
Also if you go past the Arboretum and catch Highway 60 which is an official Arizona Scenic Byway and proceeds up and through Queen Creek Canyon, just five miles East of the Arboretum's main gate, before continuing through Devil's Canyon, Top-of-the-World, over the scenic Pinto Valley gorge, and on towards the historic copper-mining towns of Globe and Miami.
Take a virtual tour of the scenic drive with a visit to: arizonascenicroads.com (make sure you click the Gila-Pinal scenic byway link under "Phoenix & Central").
After recent rains make sure to watch for the impressive four-story waterfall in Queen Creek Canyon.
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