Welcome to Denver Botanic Gardens' online registration and ticket purchasing site

Tours

Gardens staff, instructors and docents share with you their knowledge of and passion for plants, horticulture and art. We offer a variety of guided tours at our urban site and throughout the Front Range.

 

Tours at York Street:

Guided tours are an insightful view of the Gardens and its collections. These informative conversations also allow you to share your thoughts, ask questions, and uncover lesser-known spaces.

 

Offsite Tours:

Explore the beauty of Colorado! These guided walks take you away from the bustling of the city to learn from and reconnect with nature.

 

Tour Policy:

Payment for pre-scheduled tours is required upon registration.

Payment for private group tours requires a deposit (15% of your total cost) at the moment of reservation and payment of the balance five business days before your tour.

 

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations more than one business week prior to a tour are subject to a 15% cancellation fee.

Cancellations with less than one business week prior to a tour are non-refundable.

 

2018 Horticulture Garden Tour: Plains to Plains

Hike of Soapstone Prairie and Tour of High Plains Environmental Center with Panayoti Kelaidis and Jim Tolstrup

 

Price: $55, $49 member, includes lunch and transportation from Denver Botanic Gardens

Join Denver Botanic Gardens' Director of Horticulture Outreach Panayoti Kelaidis and High Plains Environmental Center Director Jim Tolstrup on a tour of preserved and restored prairie environments in Northern Colorado. Visit Soapstone Prairie, a Fort Collins natural area, featuring a pure herd of buffalo, 28 square miles of native grasses and wildflowers and one of the oldest archeological sites in North America.

At High Plains Environmental Center (HPEC), the group explores a native plant nursery and demonstration gardens featuring plants indigenous to Colorado, restored wetlands and grasslands with some remarkable wildflowers, all within an urban development. Plants are available for purchase from HPEC’s native plant nursery.

The last stop is tour of the Chapungu Sculpture Park in Centerra where stone sculptures created by the Shona People of Zimbabwe are surrounded by the largest plant select demonstration garden in Northern Colorado.

 

A Walk through Thyme Tour

Step back in time with plant stories that take you on a voyage from early life on the plains of North America to today. From common household herbs to grasses and favorite garden bulbs, plants are central to our lives and this is an opportunity to let them walk you through history. This is a one-hour tour led by docents.

 

Price: $14, $12 member, $10 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation.

Adams County Horticulture Field Trip with Panayoti Kelaidis

Adams County has historically been the “breadbasket” of Denver—with the highest concentration of truck farms and nurseries in the region. Join us to look behind the curtain at one of our greatest local nurseries in the heart of the county (Little Valley Wholesale Nursery) which has pioneered so many native trees, shrubs and wildflowers. We will tour the pastoral riparian woodlands of Adams County, enjoy a day of learning and engagement.

 

Tour led by Panayoti Kelaidis, Senior Curator and Director of Outreach, Denver Botanic Gardens

 

Group will meet at Adams County Fairgrounds

9755 Henderson Rd, Brighton, CO 80601

 

 

$46, $42 member

 

Beginning Mushroom Identification

 

Whether you want to collect mushrooms just to learn about them or to eat them, you will want to be able to identify them.

The two evening lectures will cover how to properly collect and identify mushrooms using their features and environment.

Then, join us for a field trip during which participants will collect mushrooms and practice identifying them. The location of the field trip will be based on Ed's scouting trip the day before to ensure there are mushrooms available to collect.

 

July 26th, evening lecture 6-8 pm

August 2nd, evening lecture, 6-8 pm

August 4th, scouting trip, 9am-1pm

 

Price: $67, $60 member

 

Instructor: Ed Lubow has been hunting mushrooms since the 1970s and has been volunteering in the Sam Mitchel Herbarium of Fungi at Denver Botanic Gardens since 2008.

Special Instructions: All levels welcome. Students will be notified of the location for the trip the day before the trip.

Recommended Reading Materials:

Mushrooms of the Rocky Mountain Region by Vera Stucky Evenson & Denver Botanic Gardens

(this book can be purchased from lots of different places – it’s very widely available)

Easy Key to Common Gilled Mushrooms by Kit Scates

 

 

 

Cherokee Fall Nature Hike - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away. We have experienced toasty winter days that were breathless and surprisingly sunny, as well as blustery days in the summer. One thing is for sure you will never be bored on a Cherokee hike! This year we are starting much earlier for better birding. But the plants will already be awake!

 

In Fall the Sumac and plums are turning color in the gullies, and the oaks are showing some burnished bronze. Fall is a fabulous season on Cherokee Ranch: Senecio, Aster and Goldenrod are everywhere. Blazing star paints purple spikes in the tousled mats of buffalo grass. The Spotted Towhee bird can be overlooked in the spring and summer, is more visible now since many of the spring and summer residents have started their fall migration. Two species of Jays – Scrub and Steller’s can now get the attention they deserve. They can be “missed” in spring and summer as we look at the other species.

 

Tour Guides: Panayoti Kelaidis and Lynn Willcockson

Price: $25, $20 members

Special Instructions: Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure. Plants don't really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants.

 

Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike.

Hike location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

Cherokee Late Summer Nature Hike - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away. We have experienced toasty winter days that were breathless and surprisingly sunny, as well as blustery days in the summer. One thing is for sure, you will never be bored on a Cherokee hike! This year we are starting much earlier for better birding. But the plants will already be awake!

Late summer is an excellent time to observe the bounty of both flora and fauna rolling through the hills of Cherokee Ranch: Aster and Goldenrod are everywhere. Blazing star paints purple spikes in the tousled mats of buffalo grass. Mid- summer bird activity continues at Cherokee as well. It is possible to see three species of hummingbirds as they stop to feed to store up energy on their way to Central America for the winter. The Mountain and Western Bluebirds have finished nesting and the young (juveniles) are seen throughout the Ranch property. There is no better place to soak up the sun than on a late summer plant hike and bird watching adventure at Cherokee Ranch.

 

Tour Guides: Panayoti Kelaidis and Lynn Willcockson

Price: $25, $20 members

Special Instructions: Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure. Plants don't really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants.

Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike.

Hike location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

Cherokee Winter Nature Tour - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away. We have experienced toasty winter days that were breathless and surprisingly sunny, as well as blustery days in the summer. One thing is for sure—you will never be bored on a Cherokee hike! This year we are starting much earlier—for better birding. But the plants will already be awake!

 

Whoever says winter is the “dormant” season? Wise naturalists know that nature does not sleep, you can now SEE those birds flitting in the bare branches. Buds are set on everything, and there is much more than just bark, branches and berries to liven a walk. You can see two species of Chickadees and Nuthatches that never stop in their search for food and there are a few last lingering hints of flowers. You will be surprised at how many evergreens there really are; not just pines and junipers and Oregon Grape, but many of our native shrubs and forbs keep living foliage and rosettes through the winter: they are still hard at work chlorophyll pumping! You might also be surprised to know that some Dark-eyed Juncos fly all the way from the Pacific Northwest and even Canada to winter at Cherokee. Other winter species include Flicker, Woodpeckers and a resident Red-tailed Hawk. What better time and place than Cherokee Ranch in the bright, winter light.

 

 

$20 member, $25 non-member.

 

Tour Guides: Panayoti Kelaidis and Lynn Willcockson

 

 

 

* Plants don’t really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors –i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants

* Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure

*Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike

 

 

Curator Conversations – Pixelated: Sculpture by Mike Whiting

Pixelated: Sculpture by Mike Whiting features brightly-colored sculptures created within the pixelated aesthetic of "Pac-Man" and other 8-bit vintage video games. Enjoy a unique opportunity to view the exhibition with the insight of a curator and learn about the development of the exhibit and the surprising intersections between 8-bit pixel graphics and minimalist sculpture. Explore the relationship between the natural world and the artificial world of digital media, and see several new works created to complement and contrast the Gardens’ landscapes.

 

Tour and discuss Pixelated: Sculpture by Mike Whiting with a Gardens art curator as your guide.

 

Price: $17, $15 member, $13 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation.

Ecología de pradera (Prairie Ecology)

Presented and managed by the City of Aurora.

Únete a nosotros para una aventura en la pradera. Aprende sobre la vida salvaje y la ecología de la pradera mientras disfruta de en un divertido paseo en carreta en el Centro de Conservación de las Llanuras. El programa será completamente en español. Por favor traiga agua y protección contra el sol. Duración: una hora.

(Join us for a prairie adventure. Come and learn about prairie wildlife and ecology while you sit and relax on a fun wagon ride at the Plains Conservation Center. The whole program will be done in Spanish. Please bring sun protection and water. Duration: one hour.)

La misión del Departamento de Parques, Recreación y Espacio Abierto de la Ciudad de Aurora es alentar estilos de vida activos y crear ambientes saludables para las personas, la naturaleza y la comunidad.

(The City of Aurora Parks, Recreation & Open Space Department's mission is to encourage active lifestyles and create healthy environments for people, nature and community.)

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013

 

 

Garden Guru Tour

Immerse yourself in the Gardens with a horticulturist as your guide. Gain insight into living museum collections and walk away with gardening tips from an expert. Please note that every tour has its own emphasis and is led by a different horticulturist.

 

August 16, 5 p.m.: All About Bonsai with Larry Jackel

September 14, 10 a.m.: All About Trees with Angie Andrade

 

Price: $17, $15 member

 

Special instructions: Tours can be both indoors and outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance. Tours are one hour long.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation. These tours are not available for private parties.

Late Summer Bird Encounters at Adams County Regional Park

*This Class will be held at Adams County Regional Park

9755 Henderson Rd.
Brrighton, CO 80601

 

Join lifelong birder Kate Halstead for a leisurely walk through Adams County Regional Park to encounter the birds using the diverse habitats available where the prairie meets the Platte River. We’ll focus on resident birds that have spent the summer raising their young at the park, looking for late summer nests and newly fledged young birds amid the leaves and along the edges of ponds and river habitats. Kate’s speciality is “birding by ear”, and we’ll explore how to use your sense of hearing to enhance your birding experience and gain a deeper appreciation for the lives of birds. This walk will be enjoyable for experienced birders as well as beginners.

 

Price: $25, $20 member

Instructor: Kate Halstead first got hooked on birds at the age of ten in the mountains and woods of New England, and pursued that passion through a professional background in nature interpretation and field ornithology. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Ecology from the Evergreen State College and a Master of Science in Forest Science from Oregon State University. She has led bird walks and conducted bird research across the western US, as well as in Florida and Costa Rica. For Kate, there is nothing more wonderful than simply observing a bird, no matter how rare or common - even better when that experience is shared with others.

Special instructions: Please bring a pair of binoculars, water, sunscreen, good walking shoes, and a snack or lunch if desired

Lavender Festival - Chatfield Farms Gardens and Historical Tour

 

*This class takes place at Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms located at C-470 & Wadsworth*

This class takes place during Lavender Festival

 

Come and see the newly renovated gardens and learn about the history of Chatfield Farms. Our property has a rich history of pioneering and farming in Colorado that started long before Denver Botanic Gardens managed the land. Tours begin in the Colorado Native Plant Garden, continuing through Hildebrand Ranch, the Prairie Garden, the new Riparian Demonstration Garden and conclude in the Lavender Garden.

The one-hour tour is led by two Chatfield Farms horticulturists who share history, garden details and answer questions along the way.

Dress appropriately for walking and sun exposure. Please meet in front of the Hildebrand Ranch house.

This tour is free, but will be capped at 25 participants. It will display sold out here if it fills before the time of the event.

 

Lavender Festival - Farm Tour

 

*This class takes place at Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms located at C-470 & Wadsworth*

This class takes place during Lavender Festival

 

Take a closer look at food production at Chatfield Farms. We will explore the Market Garden and discuss small scale farming at a public garden. The tour will also cover the historical ranch area, the herb garden, cutting garden and farm animals.

Special Instructions: This is a 45 minute walking tour around the Hildebrand Ranch. Please bring water, sunscreen, bug spray and wear comfortable shoes. Meet in front of the Hildebrand Ranch house.

 

This tour is free, but will be capped at 25 participants. It will display sold out here if it fills before the time of the event.

 

Lavender Festival - Growing Lavender in Your Landscape

*This class takes place at Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms located at C-470 & Wadsworth*

This class takes place during Lavender Festival

Classes sell out quickly. Walk-ins will be accepted only if class is not sold out.

In this class, students will learn all about growing lavender in your garden. This class will explore the different attributes of the different species and cultivars that we can grow in the Rocky Mountains and high desert. We will explore how to maintain your plant to encourage long life, review watering, and pruning and growing requirements. Learn how to incorporate lavender in a xeriscape garden and which plants compliment lavender. Each student will go home with their own lavender plant, hand sickle, and growing guide.

 

Price: $35, $30 member

Instructor: Paola Legarre

Owner of Sage Creations Organic Farm, Paola Legarre has worked in organic farming and marketing for the last 25 years. In looking to continue Paola’s commitment to organic farming and raising her family in Colorado’s clean air and wholesome way of life, her and her family moved to Palisade in 2005.

Paola’s first lavender planting was in 2006. As her lavender fields grew, she extended her product line to include certified organic essential oil, bath and body products, and lavender plant starts. Sage Creations currently has 5 acres in lavender production and grows 3 species and 50 different cultivars of lavender. Paola manages the farm and maintains lavender fields, medicinal herb crops, heirloom vegetables and a cherry orchard by using sustainable farming practices; nourishing soil life, not using herbicides or synthetic fertilizers and encouraging the beneficial insects through diversified plant hedge rows, companion planting and insect releases.

 

Pixelated: Sculpture by Mike Whiting Tour

Pixelated: Sculpture by Mike Whiting features brightly-colored sculptures created within the pixelated aesthetic of "Pac-Man" and other 8-bit vintage video games. Stroll the gardens with a knowledgeable docent and learn about the surprising intersections between 8-bit pixel graphics and minimalist sculpture. Explore the relationship between the natural world and the artificial world of digital media, and see several new works created to complement and contrast the Gardens’ landscapes.

 

Price: $14, $12 member, $10 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation.

Plains Conservation Center Cultural History Tour

With stops at the Sod Homes and Cheyenne Camp, your group will experience what it was like to be a homesteader and a Cheyenne Indian living on the prairie in the 1800's. Tour the buildings in our Sod Homestead with a guide including the sod homes, schoolhouse and blacksmith shop. Then visit the Cheyenne Camp to learn about how the Cheyenne lived on the prairie and followed the bison as a seminomadic tribe.

*Please note: Tours are weather dependent. If a tour is cancelled due to weather you will be contacted.*

Date: Most Saturdays

Time: 12:30 p.m.

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013

 

Plains Conservation Center Prairie Wagon Tour

Get to know the prairie in a whole new way. On our ride across the plains, participants watch for wildlife in the landscape, from prairie dogs to pronghorn antelope or birds of prey, beneath the great stretching sky. Learn about the short grass prairie on your wagon ride.

Please note: Tours are weather dependent. If a tour is cancelled due to weather, you will be contacted.

Date: Most Saturdays

Time: 10 a.m.

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013

 

 

 

Plains Conservation Center Wagon Tour

Get to know the prairie in a whole new way. On our ride across the plains, participants watch for wildlife in the landscape, from prairie dogs to pronghorn antelope and birds of prey, beneath the great stretching sky while learning about the short grass prairie ecosystem along the way. With stops at the sod homes and Cheyenne camp, your group will experience what it was like to be a homesteader and a Cheyenne Indian living on the prairie in the 1800's. Take a guided tour of the sod homestead and see the sod homes, schoolhouse and blacksmith shop. Then visit the Cheyenne camp to learn about how the Cheyenne lived on the prairie and followed the bison as a seminomadic tribe.

Please note: Tours are weather dependent. If a tour is cancelled due to weather, you will be contacted.

Date: Most Saturdays

Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013

 

 

Relational Rewilding Hike: The Art of Animal Tracking

 

Relational Rewilding hikes teach how to move with more grace, confidence, knowledge, and reverence in nature. On this hike we will focus on learning the Art of Tracking. Except for a chattering squirrel or fleeing mule deer, you may rarely see mammals in the wild. That’s because many are only active at night and quickly take cover when people come near. But you can often find evidence that animals have been around by looking at tracks and sign they leave behind. By exploring the who, what, when, where, and why of tracking, you become more attuned to which animals passed by, what they did, where they went, and much more. Seemingly barren ground becomes alive with a diversity of fascinating information.

Everyone is a tracker. And everyone leaves a track. Come awaken your senses and intuition, while building strong connections to your animal neighbors, local ecology, and yourself.

 

Price: $30, $25 member

 

Instructor: Kimberly Beck is passionate about facilitating deep relationships between people, nature and animals. Kimberly holds a Master³ degree in Counseling and a Bachelor³ degree in Outdoor Education and Plant Biology. Currently she is owner and operator of both The Canine Effect, her dog training business, and Relational Rewilding Nature Guiding. Kimberly has designed and led environmental and humane education programs at state parks, outdoor education centers and animal shelters throughout the country. She is a Master Naturalist, a Native Plant Master, and has participated in continuing education programs through Wilderness Awareness School, 8 Shields Institute, and The Tracking Project - training in cultural and natural awareness, animal tracking, plant studies, bird language, primitive skills, and community building.

 

Special Instructions: Hike will take place exclusively outdoors; please dress accordingly for weather, bring sunscreen, hat, water, and lunch if desired. Be prepared for walking and light hiking.

Class length does NOT include drive time to or from our meeting place to the hiking location.

 

Location: All location details and directions will be sent the week before class.

 

 

Relational Rewilding Hike: Wild Awareness and Belonging

 

Relational Rewilding hikes teach how to move with more grace, confidence, knowledge, and reverence in nature. On this hike we will explore nature connection routines that can be integrated into daily practice or taught to other children or adults in your life. Guided sensory practices, nature connection activities, games, and explorations in perception serve to quiet the mind, reduce stress, and inspire a greater sense of belonging and knowledge of place. By understanding our relationships with the animals, plants, weather, and various aspects of the natural environment around us, we can actually repattern our brain and nervous system to relax and to activate attributes of connection such as empathy, deep listening, vitality and gratitude. Find out how to integrate these practices into your life to become more deeply nature-connected and healthier in body, mind and spirit.

 

Price: $30, $25 member

 

Instructor: Kimberly Beck is passionate about facilitating deep relationships between people, nature and animals. Kimberly holds a Master³ degree in Counseling and a Bachelor³ degree in Outdoor Education and Plant Biology. Currently she is owner and operator of both The Canine Effect, her dog training business, and Relational Rewilding Nature Guiding. Kimberly has designed and led environmental and humane education programs at state parks, outdoor education centers and animal shelters throughout the country. She is a Master Naturalist, a Native Plant Master, and has participated in continuing education programs through Wilderness Awareness School, 8 Shields Institute, and The Tracking Project - training in cultural and natural awareness, animal tracking, plant studies, bird language, primitive skills, and community building.

 

Special Instructions: Hike will take place exclusively outdoors; please dress accordingly for weather, bring sunscreen, hat, water, and lunch if desired. Be prepared for walking and light hiking.

Class length does NOT include drive time to or from our meeting place to the hiking location.

 

Location: All location details and directions will be sent the week before class.

 

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