According to Wikipedia, the Arboretum at Flagstaff is home to over 2.500 plant species that are representative of the high-desert Colorado Plateau. I have never been there and was motivated to check it out by a great friend who thought it would make a great photography trip. She was right! First, it does not feel like a desert as the 200 acres include a generous pine forest and the open areas look like meadows. There is an abundance of wildflowers and birds, chipmunks, lizards and insects. There is also a raptor 'free flight' at noon and 2PM. Admission is reasonable and if you happen to be a member of Desert Botanical Garden take your membership card for free entry. They are closed on Tuesdays and through the winter months.
You can get wildflower photos along the roads around Flagstaff. The images below were captured along the road leading to the Arboretum.
If you are looking for a way to get out of the summer heat this is a good trip to take. There are picnic tables should you want to hang out for the day and take your lunch. You are sure to attract the attention of the birds as you unzip that lunch!! The Visitor Center offers some nice exhibits, books and an interesting assortment of things to buy (plus you can hang out there if there is a brief afternoon thunderstorm.