This is Paul.
Paul is the go to guy for all things Bryce. There is nothing this man does not know about the Arboretum and he will make sure you have all the knowledge you need to make your visit memorable. He has so much information stored in his head, I'm surprised his hat doesn't fly off! And he is a really nice fellow. Make sure you find him before you start a hike.
This was my first visit to the Arboretum. I fell in love immediately. Head over heels. The desert is a real attention getter, but this place is drop dead gorgeous.
Come on, grab some coffee, and take a walk with me.
I left Phoenix before dawn. To get a sunrise shot over the Superstitions, you have to get there before the sun is up. I thought this was pretty spectacular.
Then I turned around and saw this!
Bryce Thompson Arboretum opens at 7:30 a.m and I wanted to make sure I was there when the sun was still low enough to cast nice shadows.
I have one of these in my front yard. Doesn't look this good though.
The is the front of the Smith Center on the upper trail. In front of this is the Rose Garden. To the right is a Children's Garden. The Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden are to the left. The main trail begins here and is a little over 1 1/2 miles around. The upper portion is pretty sunny, so that is where you want to be in the morning, before the sun gets serious.
Don't forget your water. Let's go.
Yep, vultures. I have no idea what this rock is named. I call it "Hitchcock Point". Seriously spooky birds, but I have no plans on falling down and being breakfast.
See what I mean? Drop dead gorgeous. The desert does demand respect though. Watch were you step and stay hydrated, even here.
Along the top portion of the trail, where this is, you can go into rougher terrain to the north and explore the Chihuahuan Exhibit, arranged on either side of the Silver King Wash.
To the north of the trail here is the South American Exhibit. In the far distance are the Superstitions. Somewhere up there is the Lost Dutchman Mine. If you want to try your hand at finding the gold, you had better know what you are doing. People still disappear up there.
This is a Boojum Tree. It's one of those really odd living things that you just know had to be around at the beginning of the world. Arizona skies (where have I heard that before?) really do look like this.
This is Ayers Lake, one of the reasons I'm here. There are dragonflies around. Lots of them. I was so drop jawed amazed by this place, a dragonfly could have easily flown into my mouth. Sometimes, you just have to sit and be quiet. This was one of those times.
Here is a handsome guy.
This is the former home of Bryce Thompson, who donated the property that became Bryce Thompson Arboretum. I am almost half way around the trail here and it's getting hot. I'm looking forward to the shady walk back.
But, the trail will go on for a while before I reach the cool spots beneath those green trees in the distance.
Ever onward. I just came from the other side of that rock and am headed towards the little hole in the foliage to the left. And I'm soaking wet. You just have to love that sky.
I passed the Wing Herb Garden, but was too tired to stop. Although I haven't hiked far, I've been stopping a lot to take pictures, so I've been at it a while. All along the south side of the trail here is a rougher hike called the High Trail. At the bottom is Queen Creek, although it is actually a wash.
The old Drover's Wool Shed is here. I imagine the truck is here to stay. Nice. It is very evocative, but it was a hard life. All around here is the Australian Desert Exhibit.
The shade is lovely. I have plenty of water and have almost finished 2 liters. Do not skimp on water. There are a few water stations on the trail, but it's much better to keep sipping as you go. You don't want to wait until you actually feel thirsty.
How about an artsy fartsy black and white image!
Don't you just love the light?
I'm done in for the day. Time to go back to the Visitors Center and hit the gift shop. OK, so I'm not that done in.
Here is another image of the Drover's Shed. This lady is from the Mesa Arts League and was giving a demonstration at the Entrance. Pretty good, isn't it!
I came here with the Az. Photographers Club of which I am a member. We had the best time here. I'm coming back. Often.
Bryce Thompson Arboretum
37615 E. Hwy. 60
Superior, AZ. 85273