The Garden classroom stays open year-round and hosts an array of programs led by experts who draw inspiration from our plant collections and the desert environment. Mobile users: Find the members login in the menu to the right.

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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.

Explore Aravaipa Canyon
Regular Price: $1,249.00
Member Price: $999.00
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Members: $999 | General Public: $1,249
Sunday - Monday | September 29-30

Revel in the mysteries of Aravaipa Canyon as you trace the footsteps of ancient peoples on a series of hikes through the flourishing ecosystems along the cool Aravaipa Creek. Catch glimpses of hummingbirds, heron, bighorn sheep and a host of skittering reptiles as you venture into labyrinthine side canyons, fueled by the fresh wilderness air and shaded by cottonwoods and towering cliffs. Break up the two-day trip with a peaceful night's stay at the Aravaipa Farms Orchard and Inn, where you will be replenished by a wholesome farm-to-table dinner. Suitable for most hikers, but requires ability to walk several miles through uneven terrain and some water. Limit 8.

Two-day trip includes:
  • Roundtrip transportation from the Garden
  • Professional guide services
  • Entrance fees and permits
  • Meals during the program
  • Lodging for one night at Aravaipa Farms Orchard and Inn
Not included:
  • Personal expenses
  • Alcoholic beverages
Session Fall 2019: Sun, Sep 29, 2019 - Mon, Sep 30, 2019 9:00AM - 5:00PM   (2 AVAIL)

Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights and Cactus Tour
Regular Price: $44.00
Member Price: $35.00
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Thursday | Oct. 3 | 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

More than an architectural marvel, Tovrea Castle boasts must-see gardens containing more than 5,000 cacti of 100 plus varieties. Docents from the Tovrea Carraro Society lead a tour of the castle main floor and basement, then a Garden guide gives a private cactus garden tour. This is a walking tour. Participants are required to wear closed-toe shoes, long pants and be able to walk unaided over possibly loose and uneven footing. Tovrea staff will turn away anyone not in dress code compliance. Transportation is not provided. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2019: Thu, Oct 3, 2019 9:00AM - 11:00AM   OPEN

Arcosanti Adventure
Regular Price: $249.00
Member Price: $199.00
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Thursday | Oct. 17 | 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Take an intimate look at Arcosanti during this guided site and architectural tour. Explore the grounds, get a detailed history of the project and begin to understand the ethos of their work. This site continues to be developed as an experiential learning center and a lifesize model of how to pursue efficient, lean alternatives to urban sprawl. Arcosanti follows the motto of “doing more with less” by using less energy, less pollution, less waste of space and material to create a more efficient community. After exploring the site, stay for a lunch buffet at the Café at Arcosanti before returning to the Garden. Please bring sunscreen and wear clothes that correspond with the season. Not all of the site is accessible by wheelchair and the cafe is located up stairs; contact rcosta@dbg.org for details. Transportation will leave from the Garden promptly at 7:30 a.m. and return at 3:30 p.m. Limit 10.
Session Fall 2019: Thu, Oct 17, 2019 7:30AM - 3:30PM   (10 AVAIL)

Rancho de los Caballeros
Regular Price: $249.00
Member Price: $199.00
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Friday | Nov. 1 | 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Established in 1948, Rancho de los Caballeros is a family-owned and operated ranch resort situated on 20,000 acres of beautiful Sonoran Desert in Wickenburg. Cowboy naturalist Richard Fredrickson leads a hike around the Hassayampa River Preserve located near the ranch. Get a first-hand look at the surprisingly diverse plant life, hundreds of bird species and other animals of the Sonoran Desert ecosystem. Be sure to bring along a sketchbook or camera. The loop walk is approximately one and a half miles long with minimal elevation change but does have some short selections of loose rocks and gravel. A delicious buffet lunch is included. Transportation from the Garden departs promptly at 7:30 a.m. and returns at 3:30 p.m. Limit 10.
Session Fall 2019: Fri, Nov 1, 2019 7:30AM - 3:30PM   (5 AVAIL)

Deer Valley Petroglyph Tour
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Friday | Nov. 15 | 10 a.m. - Noon

Visit the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve on a private guided tour, taking an in-depth look at the preserve, diverse regional wildlife and the 1,600 petroglyphs on site. Learn about Southwest archeology, rock art and the prehistoric cultures of Arizona who left their marks in Deer Valley thousands of years ago. Escape into the history, society, cultural diversity, art and science of the desert’s past. After the site tour, explore the museum for deeper context and a chance to find a souvenir to take home. Transportation is not provided. Participants should arrive at the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve by 9:45 a.m. A boxed lunch will be provided after the tour. Limit 20.
Session Fall 2019: Fri, Nov 15, 2019 9:45AM - 12:00PM   (8 AVAIL)

Sulphur Springs Weekend Trip: Cranes
Regular Price: $949.00
Member Price: $799.00
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Sulphur Springs Valley Weekend: Cranes, Wine and Archaeology

Friday - Sunday | January 10 - 12, 2020

Each winter, sandhill cranes gather in the Sulphur Springs Valley of southeastern Arizona. Watch these majestic birds fly into their midday resting area-one of nature’s greatest wildlife spectacles. We will seek many other species of birds and will have docent-led tours of the Rex Allen Museum and the extraordinary archeology exhibits at the Amerind Museum. Explore new tastes with tapas and wine at a local vineyard to round out the weekend. Prominent author and naturalist Lynn Hassler, and Garden docent and former President of Audubon Society of Portland Carlos Oldham, will lead this three-day trip.

Students meet at the Holiday Inn in Willcox on Friday at 2 p.m. Trip concludes at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. Limit 8.

Three-day trip includes:
• Lodging and breakfast at Willcox Holiday Inn
• Lunch on Saturday, dinner on Friday and Saturday
• Professional guide services
• Transportation for all group activities
• Private tours of Amerind and Rex Allen Museums
• Wine tasting
• Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages

Not included:
• Transportation to and from Willcox
• Alcoholic beverages
• Personal expenses
Session Winter 2019: Fri, Jan 10, 2020 - Sun, Jan 12, 2020 2:00PM - 11:30AM   WAIT LIST

Mexico: Monarch Migration, Gardens and Heritage
Price: $2,999.00
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Cost $2,999
Price for double occupancy. Single supplement is an additional $325. Rates do not include airfare.

For more information and to reserve your spot in this Garden expedition, please call Holbrook Travel at 877.907.5360 or go to www.holbrook.travel/desertbg-mx20.

Feb. 18 - 23, 2020

Each year, millions of monarch butterflies fly thousands of miles from North America to their winter home in Mexico's Sierra Madre Mountains. The migration is one of nature's most amazing phenomena-and you can be a part of it. Travel with Garden leaders Elaine McGinn, Director of Planning and Exhibits, and lepidopterist Dr. Kim Pegram. Hike and ride horseback along streams and through fir-covered mountains as you immerse yourself in the fluttering monarchs filling the air and covering trees with their bright orange wings. While in Mexico, enjoy the acclaimed National Museum of Anthropology and beauties of Chapultepec Park, among other historical sites and rich, regional meals.

Trip includes:
• Accommodations
• Educational programming
• Expert naturalist guide
• Entrance fees to attractions and historic sites
• Land transportation
• Meals and non-alcoholic beverages
• Carbon offsetting
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 registrar@dbg.org. For more information call 480.481.8146/480.481.8121.
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 adult.