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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.

 

Cherokee Fall 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.One thing is for sure, you will never be bored outside at Cherokee! This adventure is a walking tour, allowing time to observe and learn about the plants and birds found in this environment.

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 member

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.

Children over10 years of age are permitted in this program.

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. One thing is for sure, you will never be bored outside at Cherokee! This adventure is a walking tour, allowing time to observe and learn about the plants and birds found in this environment.

Price: $25, $20 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.

Children over10 years of age are permitted in this program.

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

Tour location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

 

 

 

 

 

 

Container Gardens Tour

Do you need fresh ideas for your pots and containers? Here at the Gardens, we have outdoor containers year-round that go beyond the expected with novel texture and color combinations. Explore the variety of fun and unexpected container gardens at the Gardens with a docent-led tour to learn how to create your own edible, fragrant or pollinator-attracting containers.

 

Price: $16, $12 member, $10 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Masks are required.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation. For safety reasons, tours are currently limited to five participants.

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.

 

Wednesday, July 22, 10 a.m.: “Medicinal Plants” with Blake Burger, horticulture specialist

Tuesday, September 15, 9:30 a.m.: “Fall Garden Preparation” with Mike Bone, curator of steppe collections

 

Price: $19, $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. Tours are one hour long. Masks are required.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation. These tours are not available for private parties. For safety reasons, tours are currently limited to five participants.

Saturday Evening Guided Hikes at the Plains Conservation Center

Join us for engaging and educational evening hikes on the prairie with an experienced guide and end with one of the most spectacular sunsets in the Front Range. Hikes start at the Visitor Center, but our destination will change for each session based on the wildlife and weather at the Plains Conservation Center. For example, if the herd of pronghorn are out, we will hike in that direction to observe them and learn some cool facts about them; or we may hike to the tipis or homestead village and learn about the history of the Colorado prairie.

Participants should arrive prepared to walk up to 2 miles round-trip and bring sunscreen, hats, water, cameras, and if you have them, field guides and binoculars. Binoculars will be available to borrow if you don't have your own to bring, which will be sanitized before and after each use. Hikes can be for all ages, but participants need to be aware that there are unpaved paths, uneven ground, no shade and the hikes are all on foot.

All participants need to wear masks at all times while on the property and maintain appropriate social distancing from other hikers who are not part of their groups throughout the program. Preregistration is required for this program.

Dates: July 11, July 25, August 8 and August 22, 2020

Times: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Price: $10

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E Hampden Ave Aurora, CO 80013 (Entrance is at the corner of E Hampden Ave and S Picadilly Rd)

 

 

 

 

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: $16, $12 member, $10 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Masks are required.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation. For safety reasons, tours are currently limited to five participants.

 

Wagon and Walk Explorations at Plains Conservation Center: Geology

Visit an interesting rock outcrop at the Plains Conservation Center as you join us for a tour of the property that will include a wagon ride (weather permitting) and some walking to specific locations on the property to explore the topic in-depth. Appropriate for all ages. Closed-toe footwear, water bottle, sunscreen and hat recommended.

Price:  $10/person, ages 2 and under free

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

 

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