With more than 1,100 species of perennials and 150 of native flora, the Alaska Botanical Garden is a great spot to learn about subarctic native plants and horticulture. Despite Alaska’s harsh climate, wildflowers and hardy perennials such as poppies, peonies, iris, lilies, and roses flourish in Alaska’s nearly constant summer daylight.
You can easily spend several hours browsing the cultivated gardens at Alaska Botanical Garden. The garden features a Gold Medal Peony collection, subarctic rock garden, wildflower trail, and re-creation of an old-style local Anchorage vegetable garden, and more. Adventurous visitors can walk the 2-mile Lowenfels-Hoersting Family Nature Trail down to Campbell Creek where you might see salmon running and ptarmigan foraging about.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Alaska Botanical Garden is a must-visit for outdoor lovers and naturalists.
- Photography is allowed in the gardens, but commercial photographers need a permit.
- The gardens feature many children’s activities and special events; check the events calendar before your visit.
- The main garden trail is stroller and wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Located about eight miles (13 kilometers) southeast of downtown Anchorage, Alaska Botanical Garden is easily accessible by car, bike, and bus. Take bus No. 25 from the downtown transit center, and then walk a few minutes to the gardens from the Tudor and Baxter stop. The Alaska Botanical Garden makes for a nice side trip on the way to Chugach State Park.
When to Get There
The Alaska Botanical Garden is open year-round. The most popular time to visit is in spring and summer when the gardens are in bloom, but the walking paths and nature trails can be enjoyed throughout the year. The garden features an annual holiday lights display, including craft nights for kids, live music in the greenhouse, and hot chocolates around a bonfire.
Alaska Botanical Garden Collections
The Alaska Botanical Gardens features several unique gardens, each with its own style and featured collections. Lile’s garden houses the American Peony Society Gold Medal Peony collection as well as a wide selection of tulips and primulas, while the lower perennial garden has an impressive display of peonies and poppies from late June through July. The herb garden showcases culinary and medicinal herbs and the rock garden features 350-plus species of high alpine plants.