Arizona Hiking Gallery
Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park
Superior, AZ
December 13, 2014
Gallery contains 60 photos
Gallery last updated: 1/8/2015

This hike was an easy ramble through the grounds of Boyce Thompson Arboretum just west of Superior, AZ on a drizzly and cloudy winter day. I strolled along the Curandero Trail, through the Demonstration Garden, out along the High Trail, over the ridge by Picketpost House with a loop though South American Exhibit and returning by Ayer Lake and through the wonderful Cactus and Succulent Garden.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park: Image 1
The main entrance path from the visitor center into the Arboretum grounds is bordered with wonderful succulents.

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A beautiful large agave. As with many agave species notice the imprints of the outer leaves on the inner leaves.

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Boyce Thompson Arboretum lies below Picketpost Mountain, here seen from the Curandero Trail with its summit cloaked in wintry clouds.

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Picketpost Mountain veiled in misty clouds as seen from the Curandero Trail.

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The trunk of a large Foothill Palo Verde (Parkinsonia microphylla) damp from the morning's rain. The Foothill Palo Verde is a member of the Legume Family and is native to the Sonoran Desert.

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Wavy Cloak Fern (Notholaena sinuata) is a member of the Fern Family and is native to the Sonoran Desert.

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Close up of Wavy Cloak Fern (Notholaena sinuata) spiral.

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Black-spined Agave (Agave macroacantha) and other succulents nestled among rocks.

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A wonderful Queen Victoria Agave (Agave victoria-reginae) with drops from the morning rain.

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Queen Victoria Agave (Agave victoria-reginae).

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Orange flowers of a winter blooming aloe.

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Orange flowers of a winter blooming aloe.

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Bean pod of Texas Ebony (Pithecellobium flexicaule) tree located in the arboretum's Hummingbird and Butterfly Garden.

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Entrance to the arboretum's Demonstration Garden.

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Cross the bridge into another world in the demonstration garden.

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Vines wrap around the metal support of an arbor in the demonstration garden.

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Rock staircase along the High Trail.

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A view of Magma Ridge from the High Trail.

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Toothed leaves of Desert Spoon (Dasylirion wheeleri).

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Close up of leaves of Desert Spoon (Dasylirion wheeleri) also known as Sotol.

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Moss and lichen growing over the rocks along the High Trail.

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Magma Ridge rises above the Berber Suspension Bridge crossing Queen Creek at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

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Looking west down flowing Queen Creek from the High Trail.

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A glimpse of the Picketpost House perched atop volcanic cliffs with a view of Queen Creek and the Berber Suspension Bridge.

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Hardware hold a suspension cable on the Berber Suspension Bridge.

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A view of the Berber Suspension Bridge which crosses Queen Creek in Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

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This hardware attaches the bridge structure to one of the main suspension cables.

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A suspension cable for the Berber Suspension Bridge.

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Signs of the Arboretum - Berber Suspension Bridge dedication plaque: "Berber Suspension Bridge Erected 2003-2004 Dedicated April 23, 2004 To Jim & Mary Faul"

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Fallen leaves blanket the ground along side the bridge.

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Winter leaves border the ramp leading from the Berber Suspension Bridge to the arboretum's main loop trail.

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Flower stalk of (Aloe rubroviolacea) a member of the Grass Tree Family and originating from the mountains of northern Yemen.

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Signs of the Arboretum - "THIS WATER IS UNSAFE FOR DRINKING"

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Signs of the Arboretum - "PUMP HOUSE". The pump house is used to pump water from Queen Creek up to Ayer Lake.

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Waterworks. Plumbing at the pump house.

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A narrow catwalk leads visitors around a cliff on Magma Ridge just above Queen Creek.

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Signs of the Arboretum - "RATTLESNAKES ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT"

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Signs of the Arboretum - "IMPORTANT BIRD AREA. This site is part of a global network of places recognized for their outstanding value to bird conservation. Audubon ARIZONA"

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Signs of the Arboretum - Blank Sign, but it could say, "Hey, fella, the trail goes that a way!"

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A volcanic crag rises toward the darkening skies.

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A view overlooking the riparian area along Queen Creek

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Picketpost House atop the volcanic cliffs. That's quite a retaining wall!

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Colonel William Boyce Thompson, the founder of Boyce Thompson Arboretum, built the Picketpost House beginning construction in 1923. The house has changed owners over the years, but in 2008 it was purchased by Arizona State Parks.

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Weaver's Needle in the Superstition Wilderness can be seen jutting skyward on the horizon in the center of this photo.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park: Image 46
Here's a bench to sit on and relax and take in the sights of Boyce Thompson Arboretum while an Agave flower stalk towers above its basal rosette with a backdrop of sun lit clouds.

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Ayer Lake sits among the volcanic tuff on the northeast part of the park. The water is pumped into the lake from Queen Creek and is used for the irrigation needs of the arboretum.

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On this quick pass by Ayer Lake I only saw one American Coot in the lake.

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Down into the Cactus Gardens. Here we have a bunch of Monstrose Totem Pole cacti (Lophocereus Schottii forma monstrosus) a native of Baja California.

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Close up of Monstrose Totem Pole cactus.

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A short and stubby Boojum Tree (Fouquieria columnaris). This is a member of the Ocotilla Family and is native to Baja California. It is related to the familiar Ocotillo of the Sonoran Desert.

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While the Boojum in the previous photo was short and stubby, this Boojum (Fouquieria columnaris) towers into the clouds.

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The swaying tentacles of the Octopus Agave () a native of Mexico.

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An incredibly large group of giant Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii).

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Snuggle up with Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) which are native to Mexico.

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Prickly Pear cactus sporting their red fruit.

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Texas Ebony (Pithecellobium flexicaule) shading cactus and other succulents in the cactus garden.

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Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) stand guard among the volcanic boulders above the cactus garden.

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Three white arched doorways and a bell adorn the rock facade of the Smith Interpretive Center at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

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The dark brown trunk of this tree nicely contrasts against a blanket of fallen yellow leaves

All images Copyright ©2014 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.