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Get inspired and learn new skills through one of our programs in art, gardening, photography, history, science, travel and wellness.
Gain skills and confidence to get the job done in all aspects of desert landscaping, plus earn a credential after you successfully complete all the certificate programs.
Families engage in hands-on, nature-based experiences in a fun and safe environment, and teachers can participate in professional development opportunities.
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.

Saguaro Lake Kayak Trip
Regular Price: $150.00
Member Price: $130.00
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Friday | March 20 | 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.  OR
Friday | April 17 | 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Join us for a fun and relaxing tour on Saguaro Lake, situated between the rugged Superstition Mountains and the towering Four Peaks. Try your hand at an inflatable kayak; participants may opt to trade watercraft with each other mid-tour or stick with one discipline. This scenic desert reservoir provides habitat for many important species of wildlife such as bald eagles, desert bighorn sheep and numerous examples of reptiles and amphibians. It is also one of the foraging areas of the famous Salt River horses, which are frequently seen along the shores. This tour is suitable for adults of all ages and ability levels. No previous experience is required. Lunch will be provided. Transportation from the Garden is not included. Limit 12

Biosphere 2
Regular Price: $170.00
Member Price: $150.00
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Friday | April 3 | 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

Travel to the incredible Biosphere 2 scientific research facility to take a private walking tour hosted by their expert staff. View the inside and outside of this marvel and experience what it would be like to live under the glass. The tour consists of traversing the various biomes including the tropical rainforest, the ocean overlook, coastal fog desert and underground technosphere. The tour does include approximately 150 stairs (up and down) and the route is just under one mile to walk round-trip. Bottled water is allowed on the tour and encouraged. After the tour, grab a bite at the Biosphere 2 Café before returning to the Garden. Transportation from the Garden is included. Limit 10. 
Session Spring 2020: Fri, Apr 3, 2020 8:30AM - 3:30PM   WAIT LIST

Colossal Cave and Empire Ranch
Regular Price: $170.00
Member Price: $150.00
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Saturday | April 11 | 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

Combine the history of a 140-year-old working cattle ranch and the stunning Colossal Cave for a sensational adventure! We will hike the half-mile Heritage Discovery Trail, where you will find majestic cottonwood trees, and many outlying historic structures. Then we will visit Colossal Cave Mountain Park. Colossal Cave is known for its beautiful formations of stalactites and stalagmites and was once used by Hohokam and Sobaipuri for shelter. On this guided 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 (the equivalent of 363 stairs) of the magnificent Colossal Cave. Limit 10.

Day trip includes:
• Expert guides
• Transportation to and from the Garden
• Entrance fees
Session Spring 2020: Sat, Apr 11, 2020 7:00AM - 6:00PM   WAIT LIST

Birds, History and a Bit of Spice
Regular Price: $1,300.00
Member Price: $1,100.00
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Monday - Wednesday | April 13 - 15, 2020

Join us on an expedition to some of the most famous birding locations in North America: Southern Arizona’s Madera Canyon, Rio Rico ponds, Kino Springs, Patagonia and Tucson Audubon’s Paton Center for Hummingbirds. Stay at the historic and stunning 500-acre Otero Ranch (now Tubac Golf Resort and Spa). Scheduled to avoid weekend crowds, we will bird in the mornings and explore historical sites in the afternoons. Visiting the Mission San Xavier del Bac, Mission Tumacacori and the Santa Cruz Chile and Spice Company will be the historical highlights on this tour. Led by author and naturalist Lynn Hassler and Carlos Oldham, Garden docent and former president of the Portland Audubon Society. Limit 8.

Three-day trip includes:
  • Professional birding guides
  • Lodging, taxes, and fees at the historic Tubac Golf Resort Monday and Tuesday evenings
  • Dinner on Monday, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Tuesday, breakfast and lunch on Wednesday
  • Transportation for all group activities
  • Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages
  • All entry fees to parks and historical sites
  • Gratuities for site docent guides at both missions
Not included:
  • Transportation to and from Tubac Resort
  • Personal Expenses
  • Alcoholic Beverages
Arrive Monday at 3 p.m. | Depart Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Session Winter 2019-2020: Mon, Apr 13, 2020 - Wed, Apr 15, 2020 3:00PM   WAIT LIST

CLASS CANCELLATIONS | 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. We reserve the right to substitute any instructors.
REFUND POLICY | To receive a refund, you must send a written request at least 14 days before the scheduled date of your class or program. Please send your written request to For more information call 480.481.8146.
AGE REQUIREMENTS | Children under 10 may not attend. Ages 10-14 may attend education programs with an adult and both must pay fees. Those 15 and older may attend without an adu