Tours

DAILY TOURS AND ECO-STATIONS

At Tohono Chul, we know that the best way to learn about the Sonoran Desert is to experience it firsthand. That’s why we offer daily tours of our garden which cover a wide range of topics. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an art aficionado, or an aspiring botanist, there is a tour for everyone!

From wildflowers to reptiles, desert landscaping to weather patterns—we cover it all! A member of our trained docent team will lead you through the gardens and teach you everything you need to know about this unique ecosystem. Our daily tours are a great way to acquaint yourself with the grounds and take home some valuable information about the Sonoran desert.

All tours are included with the price of daily admission.

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When available, all public tours are included in the price of admission, no reservations are necessary. For bus tours, corporate, or destination management companies please contact marketing@tohonochul.org.

Check out our events calendar for more fun things to do during your visit to Tohono Chul!


Featured Tours Happening Now

Birds of Tohono Chul

Mondays | Wednesdays | Fridays | Saturdays
8:30 am

It’s time to get your birding on! On this tour, you’ll learn how to identify resident birds and those just passing through. You’ll also learn where they like to hang out and what their habits are, so you can be ready to spot them in their natural habitat.

View the Tohono Chul bird guide here.


Birds of Prey: Night & Day

February – April | 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of each month | 11 am – 1 pm
Children’s Ramada

Join naturalist and wildlife rehabilitator Kathie Schroeder as she introduces us to her avian friends Sueño the Harris’ Hawk, Falco, the American Kestrel, Poppy, the Western Screech Owl, and Banshee, the Barn Owl. Discover the different habits of birds of prey who hunt by night or by day, and get to know a collection of the most unflappable birds in town.


Butterflies and their Plants

Saturdays & Sundays at 11 am

Explore the seasonal world of butterflies and discover the plants favored by caterpillars and adults! This tour through the gardens provides a unique opportunity to observe these colorful creatures up close and personal in a natural environment—that is, if you know which plants caterpillars prefer and what flowers adult butterflies love!

View the Butterfly ID Guide here.


Reptile Ramble

BACK SPRING 2024!
March – May
Fridays | 10 am | Overlook

Mid-August – Mid-November
Fridays | 10 am | Overlook

Learn to identify resident reptiles and find the answer to the age-old question, “Why do lizards do push-ups?” Be prepared to meet a few non-venomous snakes, perhaps a lizard or even a tortoise.


Desert Landscaping

Every Saturday at 9 am

Get the scoop on how to use native and arid-adapted plants and tips for implementing water-saving landscapes. Unearth the best practices for creating a drought-resistant yard that’s both beautiful and functional.


Walk in the Gardens

October – April
Daily | 10 am
Monday – Saturday | 12 pm | 2 pm

May – September
Daily | 10 am

Experience Tohono Chul while learning some of the basics of the ecology of the Sonoran Desert. Join us for a Walk in the Gardens and get an intimate look at the plants and animals that call Tohono Chul home. During this guided tour, you’ll hear about desert wildlife and learn how to identify some of our most common plants as we take a stroll through the beautiful grounds. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about what makes Tohono Chul such a special place!


Weekly Tours & Happenings

MONDAYS

TOUR | Birds of Tohono Chul
Year-round: 8:30 am

ECO STATION | Winged Things | Overlook
May – September: 9 am to 11 am
October – April: 11 am to 1 pm

TOUR | Walk in the Gardens
May – September: 10 am
October – April: 10 am | 12 pm | 2 pm


TUESDAYS

ECO STATION | Ocean to Desert | Overlook
May – September: 9 am to 11 am
Oct – April: 11 am to 1 pm

TOUR | Walk in the Gardens
May – September: 10 am
October – April: 10 am | 12 pm | 2 pm

TOUR | Wildflowers: What’s Bloomin’?
March – April: 10:30 am

EVENT | Gallery Buzz | Exhibit House
October – April: 11 am


WEDNESDAYS

TOUR | Birds of Tohono Chul
Year-round: 8:30 am

ECO STATION | Rock & Ruins | Overlook
May – September: 9 am to 11 am
October – April: 11 am to 1 pm

TOUR | Walk in the Gardens
May – September: 10 am
October – April: 10 am | 12 pm | 2 pm

EVENT | Birds of Prey – Night & Day | Children’s Ramada
October – December: 2nd & 4th Wednesdays | 11am – 1pm (please note there will be no event on Nov. 22)
February – April: 2nd & 4th Wednesdays | 11 am to 1 pm


THURSDAYS

ECO STATION | Desert Chow | Overlook
May – September: 9 am to 11 am
October – April: 11 am to 1 pm

TOUR | Walk in the Gardens
May – September: 10 am
October – April: 10 am | 12 pm | 2 pm

TOUR | Wildflowers: What’s Bloomin’?
March – April: 10:30 am

EVENT | Gallery Buzz | Exhibit House
October – April: 11 am


FRIDAYS

TOUR | Birds of Tohono Chul
Year-round: 8:30 am

ECO STATION | Creepy Crawlies | Overlook
May – September: 9 am to 11 am
October – April: 11 am to 1 pm

TOUR | Walk in the Gardens
May – September: 10 am
October – April: 10 am | 12 pm | 2 pm

TOUR | Connecting Plants & People
Year-round: 11 am

EVENT | Reptile Ramble | Overlook
Mid-August to mid-November | 10 am
March – May | 10 am


SATURDAYS

TOUR | Birds of Tohono Chul
Year-round: 8:30 am

TOUR | Desert Landscaping
Year-round: 9 am

ECO-STATION | Plants and People | Overlook
May – Sept: 9 am to 11 am
Oct – Apr: 11 am to 1 pm

TOUR | Walk in the Gardens
May – Sept: 10 am
Oct – Apr: 10 am | 12 pm | 2 pm

TOUR | Butterflies & Their Plants
Year-round: 11 am

TOUR | Wildflowers: What’s Bloomin’?
Mar – Apr: 10:30 am


SUNDAYS

TOUR | Walk in the Gardens
Year-round at 10 am

TOUR | Butterflies & Their Plants
Year-round: 11 am

TOUR | Art in the Gardens
Oct – Apr: 12 pm

Activity Descriptions

Walk in the Gardens –

Experience Tohono Chul while learning some of the basics of the ecology of the Sonoran Desert.


Birds of Tohono Chul –

Learn to identify residents and those just passing through, plus information on habits and habitat.
Download Tohono Chul Bird Checklist (PDF)


Catch the latest look at our changing art and cultural exhibits.


Wildflowers: What’s Bloomin’? –

Bring your camera to capture the colors of spring and develop more than a nodding acquaintance with our annual wildflowers. View the Wildflower ID Guide here.


Reptile Ramble –

Learn to identify resident reptiles and find the answer to the age-old question, “Why do lizards do push-ups?” Be prepared to meet a few non-venomous reptiles, perhaps a lizard or even a tortoise, and a few venomous, rattlesnakes and or a Gila monster.


Connecting Plants and People –

Discover the edible and useful plants of the Sonoran Desert.


Butterflies and Their Plants –

Explore the seasonal world of butterflies and discover the plants favored by caterpillars and adults.


Desert Landscaping –

Unearth the how-tos for using native and arid-adapted plants in water-saving landscapes.


Art in the Gardens

Get to know the sculptures and art pieces that embellish our gardens.


Eco-Stations at the Overlook

These touch carts, staffed by Docents, feature hands-on Sonoran Desert learning opportunities for visitors of all ages. Stocked with everything from binoculars and hand lenses to mounted specimens and scientific models, and supplemented with an amazing array of feathers, bones, skins, and plant parts, these investigation stations allow for a full range of sensory experiences.


Winged Things – Mondays

From birds to butterflies, a look at the winged things of the skies


Ocean to Desert – Tuesdays

Explore the tide zones of the Gulf of California and witness how the desert changes as you travel inland


Rocks and Ruins – Wednesdays

Explore Tucson Basin geology and archaeology


Desert Chow – Thursdays

Follow the predator/prey trail and explore a tangled food web


Creepy Crawlies – Fridays

Sometimes scary, but always cool! – spiders, scorpions, snakes, and lizards


Plants and People – Saturdays

Living side by side for millennia, plant use has shaped people along the way