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.

 

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.

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.

 

August 22nd, evening lecture, 6-8 pm

August 29th, evening lecture, 6-8 pm

August 31st, 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)

 

 

 

 

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. 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 Spring 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!

Spring comes gently on the Ranch: pasque flowers and Easter daisies greet us as well as penstemons and numerous members of the pea family. What a great way to launch the new season than to amble through the Gambel Oaks seeking out early flowers and experiencing Spring Migration of several species of birds.

 

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.

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.

 

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 Spring 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!

In the early months spring is in the air at Cherokee Ranch and Castle. Tree buds are welling buds and early flowers unfurl among the tattered grasses. Winter departs reluctantly, but this exciting season is when you can smell and almost taste spring everywhere. Snowbanks can still be lurking and mud puddles and morning fog suggests you should bring your parka and good boots!Don't forget your binoculars because many birds that left Cherokee in the  fall are starting to return including Western and Mountain  Bluebirds and many will nest in the over 200 nesting boxes which are spread over the six trails that are monitored by volunteers.  It is a great time to be outdoors at Cherokee.

Cherokee Ranch has 230 nesting boxes for Bluebirds which are spread out over six trails that are monitored by volunteers. We might even see a Swainson's Hawk which wintered in Argentina. Nesting birds will be singing to attract a mate and establish a breeding territory. It is a great time to be outdoors.

 

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 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. 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!

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

* 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 – Human | Nature: Figures from the Craig Ponzio Sculpture Collection

Human | Nature: Figures from the Craig Ponzio Sculpture Collection presents sculptures that explore the human form in both classical and abstract styles, from the early 20th century to today. Featured artists hail from around the world and include Eric Fischl, Jacques Lipchitz, Sassona Norton, Beverly Pepper, Auguste Rodin and Manolo Valdés.

From sculpture to selfies to dance, the power of the human figure conveys and conjures a range of emotions. Human | Nature shares the expressive capacity of the human form against the backdrop of the Gardens’ diverse botanical environments.

Learn behind-the-scenes information about how this exhibition came to be with one of our curators.

 

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. These tours are not available for private parties.

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.

 

March 7, 2 p.m.: Bromeliads with Scott Preusser, conservatory horticulturist

March 28, 10 a.m.: Spring garden preparation with Dan Johnson, associate director of horticulture and curator of native plants

April 26, 2 p.m.: Bulbs with Sonya Anderson, horticulture specialist, Plant Select/pollinator gardens

June 3, 10 a.m.: Hardy cacti with Nick Daniel, horticulture specialist, cactus and succulent collection

July 25, 9:30 a.m.: Medicinal plants with Blake Burger, specialty horticulturist

September 10, 11 a.m.: Bonsai with Larry Jackel, bonsai specialist

 

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.

Historical Uses of Edible and Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prarie Grasslands

Presented and managed by the City of Aurora.

Are you curious about the plants you see on the outskirts of the city? It may just be that those plants were once used to treat headaches, stop bleeding or aid in sleep. Take a hike to learn how these plants were once used by Native Americans and Western colonizers.

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.

Price: Adults $10 Child $10

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

 

Human | Nature: Figures from the Craig Ponzio Sculpture Collection Tour

Human | Nature: Figures from the Craig Ponzio Sculpture Collection presents sculptures that explore the human form in both classical and abstract styles, from the early 20th century to today. Featured artists hail from around the world and include Eric Fischl, Jacques Lipchitz, Sassona Norton, Beverly Pepper, Auguste Rodin, and Manolo Valdés.

From sculpture to selfies to dance, the power of the human figure conveys and conjures a range of emotions. Human | Nature shares the expressive capacity of the human form against the backdrop of the Gardens’ diverse botanical environments.

Explore the sculptures with a docent who can share information about the artists and their styles as well as stories behind the sculptures.

 

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.

Japanese Garden - History in the Details

Denver Botanic Gardens is home to the beautiful Shofu-en, or the Garden of Pine and Wind, a traditional Japanese stroll garden. Shofu-en draws inspiration from the climate and plants of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and features 130 character pines transplanted from the foothill region. It was designed by Koichi Kawana and built in 1979. This class explores the symbolism and culture that shapes Shofu-en’s design. Participants also explore the Ella Mullen Weckbaugh Tea House and the Roji, or tea ceremony garden, that surrounds it. Learn about the development of the tea ceremony, how its principles support and inform traditional Japanese arts and shape Japanese aesthetic and cultural values in the modern world. Tea and sweets are served as part of the gathering.

 

Price: $35, $30 member

Midsummer Nights Tour

In Elizabethan times in England, midsummer’s eve (also known as the summer solstice) was a night to revel. This tour celebrates the long days of summer by focusing on the edible, medicinal and mischievous properties of the plants that played important roles in Shakespeare's works. Guided by quotes from his plays, expect to hear about the life and times of Elizabethan England and of plants such as love-in-idleness, tickle my fancy, gillyvor and heartsease. This is a 75-minute docent-led tour.

 

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.

Petrified Wood Tour and Investigation - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

 

Join members of the Cherokee Ranch Science Institute on a tour of one of the oldest petrified wood sites in North America. Large trees were deposited along the meandering river 55 million years ago. This petrified wood preserved cell structure allows scientists to identify several different families of deciduous trees and to make assumptions about the climate during the Paleocene Epoch.

 

Price: $45, $40 member

Tour Guides: John McKinney and Peter Brown

Special Instructions: The hike is off trail and of moderate difficulty. Please wear appropriate clothing. Closed-toe hiking shoes and long pants are highly recommended. Please also bring plenty of water, your lunch, sunscreen and a hat.

 

Location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

 

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: Select Saturdays

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

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

 

 

Prairie Homestead Self-Guided Tour

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Join us at the Plains Conservation Center for a self-guided tour of our historical sod village and tipis. See what a Native American tipi camp might have looked like in the early 1800s. Immerse yourself in a replication of an 1880s prairie homestead village with authentic artifacts and, depending on the season, real farm animals.

Please Note: All guests must check in at the PCC Visitor Center with purchase confirmation prior to beginning self-guided tour in order to receive site condition updates and the actual self-guided brochure.

For a more in-depth experience, sign up for a guided tour or program! Schedule a private tour by contacting Denver Botanic Gardens at info@botanicgardens.org or 720-865-3500.

The City of Aurora's 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

 

Hours for Self-Guided Tours:

Monday-Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday-Friday: 2-4:30 p.m.

Saturday: Noon - 4:30 p.m.

Sunday: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

Relational Rewilding Hike: Bird Language and the Quiet Mind

 

We live in an era marked by increasing disconnection from nature, self and others. Rewilding hikes teach how to move in nature with more awareness, confidence, knowledge and reverence. Your naturalist instincts are sharpened to understand the language of birds and nature. The practice of using senses to interpret natural surroundings can enrich your life in practical and surprising ways. The hike shares tools to enhance your sensitivity to surroundings and may contribute to more successful wildlife watching, hiking and relationships. Integration of such knowledge can be beneficial for all.

 

Price: $30, $25 member

Instructor: Kimberly Beck is passionate about facilitating deep relationships between people, nature and animals. Kimberly holds a Masters degree in Counseling and a Bachelors 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: Lair O' the Bear. All location details and directions will be sent the week before class.

 

Relational Rewilding Hike: Survival and Edible Plants

 

Rewilding hikes teach how to move in nature with more awareness, confidence, knowledge and reverence. This hike focuses on survival and exploration of edible plants in the local foothills. Participants learn plant identification, foraging styles and responsible gathering principles through a rewilding lens. Plant and rewilding knowledge sharpens awareness and senses, is useful in the backcountry and fosters a deeper connection to your local ecology.

 

 

Price: $30, $25 member

Instructor: Kimberly Beck is passionate about facilitating deep relationships between people, nature and animals. Kimberly holds a Masters degree in Counseling and a Bachelors 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.

 

June 15: Corwina Park. Participants will be instructed to meet at a park-and-ride to carpool.

June 19: Meyer Ranch Park

 

 

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 early bulbs of spring or the crackling beauty of fall.

 

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.

 

Online Sales powered by Vantix Systems Inc