Directions, hours, & etiquette

Click headings below for more information on each.

Hours & Admission

The Brenton Arboretum is open daily 9am to sunset.

The Brenton Arboretum is free for humans and $5 per dog per visit. Members’ dogs have free admission.

Location & Directions
The Brenton Arboretum
25141 260th Street
Dallas Center, IA 50063

From the western suburbs, take Hickman Rd (Hwy 6) west through Waukee. Turn north towards Dallas Center onto R Ave (R16). Turn left onto 260th St. The Arboretum entrance is 1.5 miles ahead on the right.

From the Des Moines metro, take I-80 west out of town. Take Exit 113 north towards Dallas Center. At Hwy 6 (Hickman Rd) turn left and then take an immediate right to stay on R16 (R Ave). Turn left onto 260th St. The Arboretum entrance is 1.5 miles ahead on the right.

Dog Policy
  • Dogs are welcome at The Brenton Arboretum.
  • Effective March 15, 2022, all dogs are required to be on a leash. Learn more about this new policy at the second link below.
  • Members’ dogs enjoy free admission, non-members’ dogs are $5 per dog per visit. To purchase dog passes, click the link below.
  • Please remember that other visitors do not know your dog and may become alarmed at an overly-friendly animal.
  • Keep dog waste off of trails.
  • Dogs may swim in ponds and streams, humans may not.
Arboretum Etiquette

During your visit to The Brenton Arboretum, please:

  • Take all trash with you when you leave.
  • Show respect for other visitors.
  • All dogs must be on a leash.
  • Supervise your children.
  • When parking along the gravel road please park with two wheels on the grass and two wheels on the gravel.
  • Do not drive any vehicles on the pedestrian paths.
  • All weddings of any size (including elopements) should be coordinated through our rental department.
  • Prohibited:
    • Smoking
    • Fishing
    • Swimming
    • Horseback riding
    • Camping

Professional Photography Policy

Photographers are welcome at The Brenton Arboretum. If you are an amateur photographer you are not required to adhere to the Professional Photography Policies listed here.

An amateur photographer can be considered visitors taking pictures of landscapes, wildlife, friends, or family while on a regular visit to the Arboretum. A professional photographer will be someone coming to the Arboretum specifically to take photos of people or products for the purpose of getting paid or promoting a product or service.

  • Photographers using the Arboretum grounds for paid portrait work must have a Photographer Membership.
  • Photography Policy
    • All vehicles must park in designated areas. You may not park on the grass, under trees, or off the gravel road. This includes vehicles used as props.
      • If you would like to coordinate special vehicle access please call ahead to coordinate with us.
    • You may not pick, clip, break, or permanently bend any part of the landscape (flowers, branches, grasses, etc.).
    • As photographer, you are responsible for your clients’ behavior.
    • Large photography sessions that include multiple props, staging, and costume changes will be considered professional sessions whether they are for-hire or not.
      • You are welcome to use the arboretum for promotional photography, personal favors, or “just-for-fun” sessions, but if your group looks like a professional session, it will considered as such and subject to all of the policies listed here.
    • If you are photographing a large party that will be arriving by bus, limo, or similarly large vehicle*, you must coordinate Arboretum access no less than three days before your session, call 515-992-4211 ext 4.
      • Exception to the above: If your clients have rented the Arboretum for their event prior coordination is not required.
      • *Note: Large vehicles face especially challenging roads and bridges at the Arboretum, coordinating ahead of time ensures that you and your clients’ visit will be as smooth and tow-truck-free as possible.
      • In addition to coordinating your large-vehicle visit in advance, please share the Bus Route Map found here with your diver.
    • To inquire about the ability to bring clients to the Arboretum outside of regular hours (9am to sunset), call 515-992-4211 ext 4. Note that closing time is the time of sunset as listed at
    • Prohibited:
      • Pyrotechnics of any sort
      • Helium balloons
      • Silly string, glitter, confetti, fake flower petals (real flower petals are permitted)
      • Open flames of any sort
    • Livestock (horses, ponies, llamas, goats, etc.) may be photographed at the Arboretum, but require an additional fee and appointment. To learn more call 515-992-4211 extension 4.
  • Photographers’ Etiquette
    • Please abide by the policy listed above.
    • Please be considerate of other Arboretum guests, including other photographers and their clients
    • Do not dominate choice photography locations for unreasonable amounts of time if there are other guests waiting to use that spot. For priority access to any photography location please consider one of our portrait photography packages.