The billionaire mining tycoon who was born in Montana, schooled in the east and in love with the west left a beautiful and enduring legacy in the state of Arizona in the form of the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
The arboretum is full of a multitude of trails that all offer something beautiful and educational. There are high trails with spectacular mountain views and low trails with shady areas that make you forget you are in the desert.
William Boyce Thompson was not a great student in grade school in Montana but he matured after going to school in the east and studying engineering. He became enamored with the mining industry and began building a career in the industry and in mining investments. He made his first million in 1906 after investing in mining in Nevada, Arizona and Utah. In 1907 he purchased the Magma Mine in Superior Arizona and that is where he began his love affair with the high desert area surrounding the mine. He built a large home overlooking a canyon and made several land swap deals to obtain the property around the home.
In 1909 at the age of 40 he began his philanthropic endeavors with numerous endowments, scholarships and fellowships. He hired Franklin J Crider from the University of Arizona to establish the Boyce Thompson Southwest Arboretum. It survives to this day as an Arizona State Park that continues his educational and preservation directives.
There is a huge greenhouse located on the property where plants from arid climates all over the world are cultivated and grown.
A favorite trail among visitors is the Australian walk-about trail complete with an old and rustic cabin and....
...Australian native artworks.
There are quiet places to sit and read among the wildflowers.
One of my favorite places at the arboretum is the Demonstration Garden where there are several gardens set up in different styles and all suited for arid climates. The one above was especially beautiful.
I can sit in that area and enjoy the birds and bees and dragonflies all around.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum is located about an hours drive from Phoenix just outside of the mining town of Superior Arizona on the US 60 highway.