Owned and operated by the University of Utah, the Red Butte Garden and Arboretum is the perfect one-stop destination for student groups of all kinds and sizes. In the foothills of the Wasatch Range you'll find a botanical garden, arboretum, and an outdoor amphitheater where live shows are regularly performed and fun is never far behind.
The garden's mission is to connect visitors with the beauty and energy evident in all living things, including plants. What started as a 1930 pet research project of university botany professor Dr. Walter P. Cottam eventually evolved into what you see today, a gorgeous testimony to living landscapes. It wasn't until 1961 that the state of Utah officially recognized the professor's work and named his project landscape the State Arboretum. In 1985 the Garden officially opened to the public and later in 1994, the Walter P. Cottam Visitor Center.
On the grounds today, you'll find various collections of flora based on the plant type. The Arboretum section is devoted solely to trees while the Ecological collection houses plants native to Utah, and the Ethnobotanic maintains gardens of flora with a history of being used by humans. Unlike other botanical gardens where beauty is the main purpose, the Red Butte Garden and Arboretum shows that learning about the purposes, the science and the structure of a plant makes it no less fascinating to look at but in fact strengthens its personality. There are also floral gardens filled with your favorite flowers including daffodils, roses, orchids and more.
Explore the trails through the grounds and view the interpretive educational panels for more information or gather your group into a guided tour, a complimentary tram tour, or a specialty tour including the Greenhouse and other areas of the park.
Red Butte Garden and Arboretum is not just a garden, however. If you have the opportunity, taking in a show at the spectacular amphitheater area is highly recommended and a great way to round out a day of educational touring.