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.

 

2015 Horticulture Home Garden Tour

 

Have you ever wondered what our top horticulturalists' home gardens look like? Now is your chance to find out with a behind-the-scenes tour! This chartered bus tour focuses on the collections of native plants, many of them unique and rare and gathered from plant exploration travels around the world!

 

Three of our most experienced and popular members of our Horticulture staff, Panayoti Kelaidis, Mike Kintgen, and Mike Bone, will open up their gardens for this special opportunity.

 

Please chose from one of two tour times:

8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

or 1:30 - 5:30 p.m.

 

The tours will depart from and return to Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street. A chartered bus will escort all participants, the cost of the bus is included in the price of the tour. No self guided tours available.

 

$46 members, $51 non-members, includes bus transportation

 

 

Home Garden of Panayoti Kelaidis, Director of Outreach

Many thousands of plants are combined for four season interest in this Plant Collector's garden. The Western half of the property is planted with native trees, shrubs and many cacti and western Wildflowers - almost eliminating watering needs. The Eastern half includes a large vegetable garden, perennial borders with many unusual perennials and bulbs, and a woodland garden that encircles the alpine garden on the east side of the house. Late May is when many of the Daphnes and Rhododendrons bloom, along with a host of classic alpine plants like saxifrages, dianthus and penstemons. There are several hundred containers located everywhere in this garden, many filled with annuals that are beginning their show as well.

By matching plants to microclimate, and combining plants of similar growth rate, we are able to create plantings that persist over time and need less maintenance than one might suspect with such biodiversity!

 

Home Garden of Mike Kintgen, Curator of Alpine Collections

Mike Kintgen's garden started in 2009 with a bare canvas of dead bluegrass and a few overgrown junipers in the front yard. The dandelions, bluegrass, and junipers were removed to create a series of short berms in front of the house that made way for a Legacy buffalo grass lawn planted with spring and autumn flowering bulbs. The berms showcase a wide array of steppe and rock garden plants from around the world that are tolerant to Colorado's hot dry summers and cold winters. The back yard is a mix of more traditional garden elements, a large propagation area, a small vegetable garden, and various rocks gardens.. There is also a large collection of alpine plants in troughs and containers filled with annuals for season long interest.

The overarching mission of the garden is to showcase how xeriscapes and rock gardens can be interesting, beautiful and more sustainable than traditional landscapes.

 

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 sureùou will never be bored on a Cherokee hike! This year we are starting much earlieræor 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

 

$20 member, $25 non-member.

 

* Plants don´ 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 ©.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

 

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

 

Cherokee Spring Nature Hike - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

 

 

 

Cherokee 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!

 

At the beginning of Summer the grasses have greened up, although there may still be snow on the higher peaks, when we walk through meadows full of the bounty of early summer this is the peak season for many of the loveliest wildflowers; including One-sided Penstemon (Penstemon virgatus), lupines and Monument plant. It is also peak season for the Broad-tailed Hummingbirds that have made their way back from Mexico and Central America to nest at Cherokee. We will learn how to identify the male Broad-tailed Hummingbird just by hearing it fly as it darts between scarlet gilia trumpets. Two species of bluebirds and swallows will be active at this time as well as the tiny (4 ½ in) Blue-gray Gnatcatcher that has returned from its winter grounds as far away as Central America to nest at Cherokee. Summer is prime time for viewing the plant and bird life at Cherokee, folks!

 

 

$20 member, $25 non-member.

 

Tour Guides: Panayoti Kelaidis and Lynn Willcockson

 

 

 

Hike location -

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

 

* 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

 

 

 

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

 

 

COlorado COnnections Tour

Understand the climate, beauty, ecology and horticulture of the Rocky Mountain region with a guided tour of iconic gardens and plants in the West. Gain practical knowledge about water-smart gardening and take a closer look at the science and contemporary issues surrounding Colorado plants.

 

April 19 - May 9: Sundays at 4 p.m.

May 10 - September 27: Sundays at 5 p.m.

September 28 - April 31: Sundays at 2 p.m.

 

Pricing:

Member: $7

Non-Member: $14

Student: $9

 

Remarks:

- The purchase of tour tickets includes admission to the Gardens.

- Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather.

- We recommend that you bring a bottle of water, sunglasses and sunscreen.

- Please bring your booking confirmation to expedite check-in.

- Access to the Gardens on the day of your tour will be through the Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center (Gardens main entrance).

- You will meet your guide in the lobby of Boettcher Memorial Center.

 

 

Don’t miss this season’s signature exhibition, “Deborah Butterfield: The Nature of Horses.”

 

 

Curator Conversations: Deborah Butterfield

Explore Deborah Butterfield’s sculptures with the keen eye of a curator. This one-hour tour will deepen your understanding of the artist, her artistic development, and what went into developing the exhibit. Be prepared to walk away thinking about horses in a novel way.

Tours are at 9 a.m. on June 11, July 9, August 13, and September 10.

 

Pricing:

Member: $10

Non-Member: $17

Student: $9

 

Remarks:

- The purchase of tour tickets includes admission to the Gardens.

- Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather.

- We recommend that you bring a bottle of water, sunglasses and sunscreen.

- Please bring your booking confirmation to expedite check-in.

- Access to the Gardens on the day of your tour will be through the Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center (Gardens main entrance).

- You will then meet your guide in the lobby of Boettcher Memorial Center.

 

Deborah Butterfield: The Nature of Horses Tour

Immerse yourself in artist Deborah Butterfield’s world of horses. Her passion and enthusiasm for these majestic animals is tangibly expressed in her fascinating sculptures. Explore the exhibition with a docent as your conversation guide.

 

May 23 - September 18 | Saturdays and Sundays at 9 a.m. & 6 p.m.

September 19 - October 18 | Saturdays and Sundays at 9 a.m. & 3 p.m.

 

Pricing:

Member: $7

Non-Member: $14

Student: $9

 

Remarks:

- The purchase of tour tickets includes admission to the Gardens.

- Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather.

- We recommend that you bring a bottle of water, sunglasses and sunscreen.

- Please bring your booking confirmation to expedite check-in.

- Access to the Gardens on the day of your tour will be through the Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center (Gardens main entrance).

- You will then meet your guide in the lobby of Boettcher Memorial Center.

 

 

Image Credit:

Deborah Butterfield, Lucky, 1996-97

Denver Art Museum Collection: Funds from the Enid and Crosby Kemper Foundation,

1996.198.3

Photograph © Denver Art Museum

 

Fiendish Flora Tour

Explore the dark side of plants and investigate a secret world of clever, ruthless, and sometimes deadly ecology. Plants, like humans, can be both delightful and villainous. This guided walk explores the dangerous defense mechanisms of plants.

 

Pricing:

Member: $7

Non-Member: $14

Student: $9

Child (12 years-old and older): $7

 

Remarks:

- The purchase of a tour ticket includes admission to the Gardens.

- Tours take place indoors in the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory, Marnie's Pavilion and the Orangery.

- The indoor spaces where the tour takes place are hot and humid; please dress accordingly.

- Children are the responsibility of their parents at all times.

- Please bring your booking confirmation to expedite check-in.

- Access to the Gardens on the day of your tour will be through the Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center (Gardens main entrance).

- You will then meet your guide in the lobby of Boettcher Memorial Center.

 

Mount Goliath Guided Wildflower Hike

Discover the life cycles and lore of the alpine tundra and the intense beauty of a natural garden that lasts only 40 frost-free days.

This is a trail of contrasts--awesome Rocky Mountain vistas of the Continental Divide peaks, delicate floral treasures, wind-sculpted, ancient bristlecone pines, cold summit winds and gentle summer breezes. The path winds through the exquisite blooms of the alpine tundra, talus slopes and subalpine meadows providing a delightful and educational tour in one of Colorado's most beautiful natural areas.

Mount Goliath docents lead the slow-paced hike down the stunning M. Walter Pesman Trail, a moderately difficult 1.5 mile downhill trek from 12,153 ft. to 11,540 ft.

Important Remarks:

- Limited to 24 participants

- Tours are free of charge. However, YOU MUST PAY the amenity fee to the U.S. Forest Services at the Mount Evans Fee Station

- A Denver Botanic Gardens membership does not allow free access to the Mount Evans Recreation Area. Visitors to Mount Goliath and Mount Evans need to pay the amenity fee.

- Donations to the Gardens for Mount Goliath tours are accepted and you can do so by choosing to register with the $10 option below.

- Be aware: this is a downhill trek on a moderately difficult trail that starts at 12,100 ft. Before registering, please ensure that you are physically fit and medically able to participate in vigorous physical activity at high altitude conditions.

- Please come prepared for mountain weather and trail terrain (shoes for hiking, coats, hats, sunscreen, etc.).

- Tours are open to adults and children 10 years old and up.

- Tours with less than 10 participants are subject to cancellation.

- Mount Goliath tours are not available as private tours.

- For more information contact us at tours@botanicgardens.org

Please note - the Gardens does not manage the Mount Goliath recreational area, and questions not directly related to tours should be directed to the Clear Creek Ranger District in Idaho Springs.

 

Pollinators & Plants Tour

Plants have amazing ways of attracting their pollinators to get pollinated. Some methods are outright deceptive. Enjoy a stroll in the gardens as a docent points out some of the fascinating ways (landing pads, nectar, fragrances) that plants use to beckon pollinators to obtain pollen.

 

Pricing:

Member: $7

Non-Member: $14

Student: $9

 

Remarks:

- The purchase of tour tickets includes admission to the Gardens.

- Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather.

- We recommend that you bring a bottle of water, sunglasses and sunscreen.

- Please bring your booking confirmation to expedite check-in.

- Access to the Gardens on the day of your tour will be through the Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center (Gardens main entrance).

- You will then meet your guide in the lobby of Boettcher Memorial Center.

Seasonal Discoveries Tour

No matter the time of year, botanical treasures await your discovery with these guided tours of gardens at their seasonal peaks. Experience the Gardens’ landscape at its best, whether through the colorful bounty of summer, the crackling beauty of fall or the marvelous contrasts of winter.

April 25 - May 9: Saturdays at 4 p.m.

May 10 - September 27: Saturdays at 5 p.m.

September 28 - April 31: Saturdays at 2 p.m.

 

Pricing:

Member: $7

Non-Member: $14

Student: $9

 

Remarks:

- The purchase of tour tickets includes admission to the Gardens.

- Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather.

- Please bring your booking confirmation to expedite check-in.

- Access to the Gardens on the day of your tour will be through the Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center (Gardens main entrance).

- You will then meet your guide in the lobby of Boettcher Memorial Center.

 

Tour - Birds and Bees Walk

 

A tour of our Birds and Bees Walk led by horticulturist Sonya Anderson explores the woodland path to discover plants and design geared towards attracting birds, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Tour - Habitat Hero Garden (Chatfield)

 

Join Lauren Springer Ogden as she discusses her design process with an emphasis on specific plants in the designs: natives to the plains and Rocky Mountains that are important to many insects and birds. This is a wonderful opportunity for an up-close tour with one of the country’s leading garden designers!

Tour - Mushroom Foraging

 

Head into the Rockies with wild mushroom enthusiast Michael Heim for a woodland mushroom foray to gain a firm handle on the foundations of mushroom identification as you locate a variety of medicinal and edible fungi growing in the wild. Discover mushroom anatomy and learn the tools for contrasting mushrooms that may be poisonous with those that may inspire a dinner party.

 

Please note, Mother Nature is a wild beast and we cannot guarantee the number or variety of mushrooms we will find. Bring a positive attitude and your hiking apparel (i.e.: long pants, hat, good footwear), as well as water/snacks and an awareness that we will be walking at elevation. All participants should come prepared for weather in the high country. Capacity is limited.

 

Tour - Steppe Garden

Want a chance to hear from a Garden expert? Tour our internationally-acclaimed rock garden, home to a wonderful example of steppe gardening.

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