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Enjoy a full range of educational classes and programs for learners of all ages!
Travel and Adventure
The Garden offers guided travel and adventure suited to a wide variety of interests and schedules. Hike riparian habitats and mountains of southwest Arizona or enjoy the summer exploring cooler climate areas. Watch the sun rise or set as you float along the Salt River. Marvel at thousands of cranes on one of our bird-watching tours. Expand your travel portfolio and learn from experts in the field. Watch feature locations come alive when paired with our rich and diverse programming.

Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights and Cactus Tour
Regular Price: $44.00
Member Price: $35.00
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Thursday / Jan. 18 / 9 - 11 a.m.

The Tovrea Castle garden contains more than 5,000 cacti of more than 100 varieties. Docents from the Tovrea Carraro Society will lead the tour of the castle main floor and basement, and an expert from the Garden will lead a private cactus garden tour. This is a walking tour. Participants must wear closed-toe shoes, long pants and be able to walk unaided over possibly loose and uneven footing. Transportation is not provided. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Thu, Jan 18, 2018 9:00AM - 11:00AM   WAIT LIST

Willcox Weekend: Cranes, Wine and Archeology
Regular Price: $749.00
Member Price: $599.00
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Willcox Weekend: Cranes, Wine and Archeology
Friday - Sunday / Jan. 26 - 28
Arrive Friday at 2 p.m. / Depart Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

Each winter thousands of sandhill cranes gather in the Sulphur Springs Valley of southeastern Arizona. Watch these majestic birds fly in to their midday resting area-one of nature's greatest wildlife spectacles. Wine tasting at a local vineyard is included as well as a private tour of the Amerind Museum in Dragoon, dedicated to Native American cultures and histories. Explore the Rex Allen Museum, dedicated to the last singing cowboy of Western movie fame with a local guide. Prominent author and naturalist Lynn Hassler, and Carlos Oldham, Garden docent and former president of the Audubon Society of Portland, Oregon, lead this weekend trip. Limit 7.

Three-day trip includes:
  • Lodging and breakfast at Willcox Holiday Inn Express
  • Lunch on Saturday
  • Dinner on Friday and Saturday
  • Professional guide services
  • Transportation for all group activities
  • Amerind Museum and Rex Allen Museum private tours
  • Wine tasting
  • Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages
Not included:
  • Transportation to and from Willcox
Session Winter 2018: Fri, Jan 26, 2018 - Sun, Jan 28, 2018 2:00PM - 11:30AM   WAIT LIST

Japanese Friendship Garden Tour and Tea Ceremony
Regular Price: $86.00
Member Price: $69.00
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Friday / Jan. 26 / 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Visit the tranquil Phoenix Japanese Friendship Garden for a specially arranged private garden tour and authentic tea ceremony. This beautiful garden, designed by landscape architects from Japan, features more than 1,500 tons of hand-selected stone, footbridges, more than 50 varieties of plants, flowing streams and waterfalls. Price includes garden walking tour, private tea ceremony and hand-picked confectioneries from Kyoto, Japan. Transportation is not provided. Participants should arrive at the Phoenix Japanese Friendship Garden by 9:45 a.m. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Fri, Jan 26, 2018 10:00AM - 12:00PM   (1 AVAIL)

Birding Hotspot: Hassayampa River
Regular Price: $249.00
Member Price: $199.00
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Saturday / Feb. 3 / 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

The Nature Conservancy's Hassayampa River Preserve, just south of Wickenberg, is a desert oasis. Towering cottonwoods shade the trails, making even a summer visit a pleasant retreat from the heat. The trip is timed to take advantage of wintering waterfowl, songbirds such as American robins, spotted towhees and various sparrows. Common desert species including woodpeckers, hummingbirds and raptors should also make appearances. Price includes round-trip transportation from the Garden, entrance fee and lunch. Transportation from the Garden departs promptly at 6:30 a.m. and returns at 1:30 p.m. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 10.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Sat, Feb 3, 2018 7:00AM - 2:30PM   (8 AVAIL)

Cienega Creek Natural Preserve and Colossal Cave
Regular Price: $311.00
Member Price: $249.00
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Friday / Feb. 9 / 7 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Combine the beauty of the lush riparian Cienega Creek Natural Preserve and the stunning Colossal Cave for a sensational adventure! You will explore one of the pristine riparian areas in southern Arizona, where breathtaking and unforgettable views await. Then we will visit Colossal Cave Mountain Park known for its beautiful formations of stalactites and stalagmites. On this private tour, your guide will share information on the cave's history, legends and geology as you walk up and down six and a half stories of the magnificent Colossal Cave. Price includes round-trip transportation from the Garden, expert guides, entrance fees and picnic lunch. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Fri, Feb 9, 2018 7:00AM - 7:30PM   (9 AVAIL)

Taste of Arizona: Page Springs
Regular Price: $411.00
Member Price: $329.00
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Friday / Feb. 23 / 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Travel with us to explore Arizona's booming wine industry in the Verde Valley. Enjoy a day of tasting award-winning wines at Page Springs Cellars while exploring their vineyards. Get a glimpse of the types of grapes grown and farming practices. A private lunch awaits in their vineyard where the menu highlights gourmet food preparation. Transportation from the Garden departs promptly at 8 a.m. and returns at 4 p.m. Limit 12.

Day-trip includes:
  • Round-trip transportation from the Garden
  • Lunch
  • Private tour
  • Wine tasting
  • Bottled water and snacks
Not included:
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities
  • Dinner
Session Winter 2017-2018: Fri, Feb 23, 2018 8:00AM - 4:00PM   (9 AVAIL)

Early Bird- Chiricahua Mountains
Regular Price: $999.00
Member Price: $799.00
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EARLY BIRD RATE: Register by the New Year and receive a 10 percent discount!

Thursday - Saturday / Apr. 12 - 14
Members: $879 / General Public: $1099

Join scientists from across the globe in the "Galapagos of North America" a fascinating wonderland of soaring peaks and riparian forests. One of the top birding places in the U.S. and home to the brilliantly colored elegant trogon, the Chiricahua Mountains will mesmerize you with hidden secrets specially designed for the Garden. Get to experience life as a naturalist as you stay and learn at the American Museum of Natural History, Southwestern Research Station. Participants must be able to walk at least two miles with moderate grade changes and uneven terrain.

Three-day trip includes:
  • Round-trip transportation from the Garden
  • Certified naturalist guide
  • Lodging for two nights
  • All meals during the trip
Not included:
  • Personal expenses
  • Alcoholic beverages
Session Spring 2018: Thu, Apr 12, 2018 - Sat, Apr 14, 2018 7:00AM - 5:00PM   (5 AVAIL)


Travel and Adventure program registration may be canceled up to two weeks prior to the start date minus 30% of the registration cost. If you are unable to attend a class/workshop, you may transfer your registration to an alternate participant with your confirmation. Desert Botanical Garden reserves the right to cancel programs at its discretion. Programs will run as scheduled, regardless of weather, unless participants are contacted directly by Garden staff either by phone or email. We reserve the right to substitute any instructors in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Please contact or call 480 481.8146 (Option 2).