Sixty-one miles east of downtown Phoenix, near the town of Superior, Arizona, this 392-acre botanical garden has long been Arizona’s largest public garden featuring 2,600 different types of the world’s desert plants. Located at the base of 4,375-foot Picketpost Mountain where three miles of trails wind through fully mature cactus gardens, trees of the world’s deserts, wildflower gardens, and herb gardens, are all surrounded by a natural Sonoran desert environment. Most of the trails are level. More rugged trails climb higher into the surrounding mountains for spectacular views.
Everywhere you wander is something you’ve never seen before, like strange cactus with long blonde hair and bizarre boojum trees from South America. They look like Christmas trees with a huge ornament on top. Morning light filters through mesquite and spreading acacia trees framing massive clusters of golden barrel cactus that glow in warm backlight.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.