The University of Idaho Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The jewel of the University of Idaho’s lush, landscaped campus is the 63-acre UI Arboretum and Botanical Garden which fills the valley south of the President’s Residence on Nez Perce Drive — against a backdrop of the tilled, rolling Palouse hills. The Arboretum is open from dawn to dusk year round with free admission. Free parking and a portable restroom are available at the south end of the Arboretum, 1200 W. Palouse River Drive; more limited parking is available at the north end in the golf course parking lot at 1215 Nez Perce Drive along with public restrooms in the golf course clubhouse.
Most of the Arboretum is organized into geographical groupings of Asian, European, Eastern, and Western North American plants, along with a section of display gardens at the south end of the site. The main gravel road makes a mile and a quarter loop through the Arboretum. The gravel surface and some steep slopes can make the loop challenging for anyone with disabilities. There are also several trails leading off of the road to spectacular views over the Arboretum and surrounding landscapes, clear to the Blue Mountains of Oregon. The Arboretum’s plant collections include more than 17,000 plants of more than 2,400 different taxa.
The following usage policies are established to promote protection of the plants in the Arboretum and the personal safety and enjoyment of all visitors.
- No pets at any time.
- Do not drink or play in the reclaimed water used in all sprinklers.
- Bicycles and jogging only on established roads and trails.
- Fires, athletic games, slack-lining, winter sports, fishing, hunting, swimming, or wading are prohibited
The University of Idaho Arboreta are outdoor museums maintained for the acquisition and proper curation of a living collection of native and introduced plants hardy in the Inland Pacific Northwest. As a primary reference collection, the arboreta will emphasize plant variation and genetic diversity. Highest priority of the arboreta is to develop, curate, and maintain a diverse collection of cultivars and species of known origin.
As educational facilities, goals of the University of Idaho Arboreta are to:
- provide a site for instruction in botany, horticulture, forestry, landscape architecture, environmental sciences, and other fields related to the living collection;
- encourage authorized research in fields such as plant hardiness, systematics, and hybridization;
- educate the public through field trips, lectures, and tours;
- provide to the public a restful, beautiful environment for the purpose of gaining knowledge and appreciation of the importance of plants.