Activities and Programs

The activities below are offered by a variety of organizations and their dedicated volunteers. All programs are FREE unless noted below. Programs led by IRC-Certified Volunteers require pre-registration, which closes at 4 p.m. on the day prior to the event.  No walk-up registrations will be permitted for these events. For policies of other organizations, please use the sign-up information provided. For mobility device policies click here.

Note: Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for these events. For programs requiring online registration, each adult and child must be registered.

Click here to learn more about IRC-Certified Volunteers.    •   Click here to learn more about the Difficulty Ratings.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Birding Walk in Round Canyon

Interpretive
hawks birds

Join us for a morning of bird watching in Round Canyon, on the northern border of Irvine. This fun morning walk will concentrate on new and intermediate birders. Come on out and learn about the joys of birding as we search for year-round residents and migrants that may be flying through our region. Bring your binoculars, if you have them, if not we will provide them. This is an easy two mile out-and-back walk along the Round Canyon trail.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the brown banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

Birding Walk in Round Canyon
Date:
Fri, 07/25/2014
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Category:
Interpretive
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Cancelled: Habitat Restoration – Silverado Canyon

Stewardship
Silverado-historic-marker

This event has been Cancelled

Please join Irvine Ranch Conservancy Staff at our new Silverado Canyon Restoration project, located within the Silverado creek bed and surrounding hillsides. Participants will first be introduced to the overall restoration project scope, and then hike into the area to get hands on experience with removing isolated stands of invasive plants such as Arundo, Pepperweed, and Fountain Grass.

Cancelled: Habitat Restoration - Silverado Canyon
Date:
Fri, 07/25/2014
Time:
8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Category:
Stewardship
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Limestone Ride to The Sinks

Equestrian
082313EQLimestone0900

Take a leisurely equestrian ride through beautiful Limestone Canyon, home of oak woodlands, grasslands, and coastal sage scrub.  View evidence of the old ranch days when cattle once roamed the area, and see some of the wild flowers that are native to our area.  You will also see The Sinks, a sandstone formation which is sometimes called the “Grand Canyon of Orange County.”

Riders should have trail riding experience and a fit and able horse.  They must have the ability to transport their horse to the staging area.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the brown banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land.

Limestone Ride to The Sinks
Date:
Fri, 07/25/2014
Time:
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Category:
Equestrian
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Cardio Hike: Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
DSC05051

Come along for a fast-paced hike (3.75-4 miles per hour) along the Quail Hill and Shady Canyon trails. The hike winds through the City of Irvine Open Space Preserve with breathtaking views of the city of Irvine and, on clear days, views of the ocean and Catalina.

The hike will travel at a very fast pace for a total of 10-12 miles, and includes steep climbs and descents with significant elevation gain (2700 ft. plus). Those in very good physical shape will enjoy this cardio fitness opportunity. Remember to wear appropriate shoes, a hat, sunglasses and bring plenty of water. Hiking poles are welcome as well. Under-prepared participants may be denied access to the event.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the brown banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-5 activity on the land.

Cardio Hike: Quail Hill
Date:
Sat, 07/26/2014
Time:
7:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Quail Hill
Category:
Hiking & Fitness
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
12 miles
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Habitat Restoration in Santiago Creek, Invasive Tree Removal

Stewardship
092213STFremont0800

Please join in and help Irvine Ranch Conservancy Land Stewards with manual removal of invasive pants and trees in the Santiago Creek area. We will be working in the wash areas and this activity requires strength and bending over to remove larger tree/plant growth.

 Habitat Restoration in Santiago Creek,  Invasive Tree Removal
Date:
Sat, 07/26/2014
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Category:
Stewardship
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
18
More Information  

Cardio Hike: Limestone

Hiking & Fitness
Irvine Ranch Public Access

Explore beautiful Limestone Canyon on this fast-paced cardio hike. Along the trail, you’ll pass through coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands. Multiple steep climbs and descents are included. Enjoy views of Saddleback Peak and the Cleveland National Forest along the way.

Remember, this cardio hike is much faster than a walk, and features a 1,300-foot elevation change. You must be able to hike uphill at an average pace of 3.5-to-4 mph without stopping.  Please make sure you are in excellent physical condition!

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the brown banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land.

Cardio Hike: Limestone
Date:
Sat, 07/26/2014
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Category:
Hiking & Fitness
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Afternoon Photo Journey – Limestone Canyon & Loma Ridge Backcountry

Interpretive

Join us in the backcountry wilderness for a journey filled with beautiful sights and photographic and artistic sketching opportunities. Our journey begins in the afternoon, deep in a secluded canyon, where time is measured in centuries, even millennia, in the sandstone cliffs of this ancient place called Limestone Canyon.

You will board 4-wheel drive vehicles for a 13-mile tour of the canyon and hills surrounding it. We will stop frequently for 15-30 minutes or so to admire the views, take photos, sketch landscapes, and answer questions. Stops will include short walks with views of The Sinks, a trip up Cactus Spur, and an optional, singletrack, half-mile hike into Box Springs. Box Springs provides the visitor a true backcountry experience.

From the Augustine Staging Area, we proceed up Hicks Haul Road, an old ranch road that was paved to provide access to Irvine Lake and the mines in Black Star Canyon. At the UCI research center, we head off-road up a narrow, windy, and sometimes bumpy trail to Loma Ridge and beyond. Bring your camera equipment, sketchbook, or just enjoy the ride.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the brown banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

 

Afternoon Photo Journey - Limestone Canyon & Loma Ridge Backcountry
Date:
Sat, 07/26/2014
Time:
4:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Category:
Interpretive
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Family Hike – Round Canyon

Interpretive

Enjoy nature with friends and family in Round Canyon. We will hike along a fairly flat trail as we watch for red-tailed hawks and mule deer.

The hike will average 2-3 miles round trip at an easy pace with a medium level of interpretation. This program is for participants who would like a slower-paced and level hike. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes, and bring water for the hike. Be ready to enjoy the sounds and smells of the early evening.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the brown banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

Family Hike - Round Canyon
Date:
Sat, 07/26/2014
Time:
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Category:
Interpretive
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Starry, Starry Night

Interpretive
Starry, Starry Night

Come join us for an interactive evening under the stars.  Immerse yourself in a scaled down version of our solar system.  Test your imagination in naming the constellations.  Reenact the struggle between Orion and the Scorpion.  The hike will average 2-3 miles round trip at an easy pace with a high level of interpretation. This program is for participants who would like a slower paced hike. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes and bring water for the hike.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

Starry, Starry Night
Date:
Sat, 07/26/2014
Time:
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Category:
Interpretive
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
6
More Information  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Moderate-Paced Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon via Hicks Haul Road and Loma Ridge

Mountain Biking
081413MBBommer0800

This is a moderate-paced ride designed for the intermediate rider who has experience and skills, but sometimes needs to move slower in more technical areas with steep descents/ascents. This program is for very physically fit riders in excellent cardio condition. The ride starts at the Augustine staging area and travels along the Hick’s Haul paved road, continuing to Loma Ridge, Box Springs, The Sinks, Raptor, and the adjacent oak woodlands. We will climb approximately 1500 feet over 13 miles in this 2.5-hour program.

Participants must wear a helmet and carry at least 100 ounces of water, snacks, and spare tubes and tools (in case of flats). Your bike must be trail worthy, with at least a front suspension, and in good working condition. We do NOT ride on bike paths, but rather on hazardous rocky, rutted, sandy fire roads and some singletrack. This is for adult riders only.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the brown banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land.

Moderate-Paced Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon via Hicks Haul Road and Loma Ridge
Date:
Sun, 07/27/2014
Time:
7:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Category:
Mountain Biking
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
11.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Western History Ride into Limestone

Equestrian
Cattle to Conservation

Explore Limestone Canyon on horseback while learning some of the history of the Irvine Ranch. This docent-led equestrian ride will visit scenic locations such as The Sinks, & Box Springs while sharing stories about earlier times on the ranch. This former ranchland, now preserved as a beautiful National Natural Landmark, is home for red-tailed hawks, mule deer, Mountain lion, oak woodlands and coastal sage, and provides the backdrop to this historical equestrian tour.

You must have your own horse fit for 3-4 hours over moderate terrain.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the brown banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land.

Western History Ride into Limestone
Date:
Sun, 07/27/2014
Time:
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Category:
Equestrian
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
11.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Zumba

Hiking & Fitness
Irvine Ranch Conservancy Public Use

Are you ready to try a new exercise that is fun and energetic while enjoying the great outdoors? Come dance to the fantastic aerobic workout, ZUMBA!! Join us as we take on a variety of Latin flavor moves through dancing the Salsa, Maringa, Flamenco and more! Different dance routines feature interval moves from fast to slow rhythms, adding in resistance training to tone and sculpt your body while burning calories. You don’t need to be a professional dancer, just have the drive to try! It’s high energy, it’s zesty…it’s ZUMBA!

Please wear comfortable workout clothes, closed toed shoes, bring plenty of water, and be ready to move! You are encouraged to bring a yoga mat or towel to lay on at the end of our zumba instruction for our cool down period. We incorporate appropriate stretches, core strengthening and overall toning to help wake up and stretch all of our muscles at the end of the program. Also, bring 1 – 2 pound weights for zumba toning.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the brown banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

Zumba
Date:
Sun, 07/27/2014
Time:
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Category:
Hiking & Fitness
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
12
More Information  

J.O.Y. for Nature: Exploring the Stars

Interpretive
Kelley.with.kids

Outer space is more enormous than we can ever imagine…but imagine we must! Let’s take a closer look at our planets and stars to see what it is like to live there, and hypothesize what it would be like to discover a planet and its inhabitants. We will become Astronomers to discover our out-of-this-world knowledge of space.

J.O.Y. for Nature (Juniors or Youths for Nature) is a monthly series dedicated to showcasing different career opportunities in nature for tweens. From examining tiny bugs to exploring outer space, each month will investigate a different nature-related profession. This series is geared towards students ages 9 – 12, who are interested in discovering more about the world around them.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

J.O.Y. for Nature: Exploring the Stars
Date:
Sun, 07/27/2014
Time:
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Category:
Interpretive
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
9
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Journey to the Middle of Nowhere and Back – Afternoon Photo Hike

Interpretive

Join us on a backcountry wilderness tour filled with great sightseeing, photographic, and sketching opportunities. Our Journey begins in the afternoon, at the foot of Santiago Dam and Irvine Lake, where you will board 4-wheel drive vehicles for an 11-to-17 mile tour of the hills surrounding Fremont Canyon.
We will stop frequently for 15-30 minutes or so to admire the views, take photos, sketch landscapes, and answer questions. From various vantage points (2,400 ft. elevation), you will view Lake Irvine, Orange County, Catalina Island (on a clear day), Los Angeles, Chino Hills and the San Bernardino Mountains.
 When not admiring the vistas, enjoy interesting rock formations, the wilderness setting, and rare Tecate Cypress. Depending on the season, fields of wildflowers will also present themselves. At some of the stops, there will be opportunities for short walks and an option to enhance your experience with a hike (2 miles R/T, 300 ft. elevation gain) to the rock summit with views of four counties. 
Bring your camera equipment, sketchbook, or just enjoy the ride. Be prepared, as an observer, to accompany the IRC docents on narrow, winding, bumpy (dusty) dirt roads with steep hills and slick rock surfaces. 
The number of spaces is strictly limited to 12.  Do not register unless you will attend.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the brown banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

 

Journey to the Middle of Nowhere and Back - Afternoon Photo Hike
Date:
Sun, 07/27/2014
Time:
4:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Category:
Interpretive
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Monday, July 28, 2014

History and Red Rocks of Black Star Canyon

Interpretive
Blackstar-Canyon-0669

This is a slow paced hike in Black Star Canyon, a two-mile flat trail with a fascinating history, noteworthy geological formations, and a wonderful variety of plants and wildlife. The changes over time in the terrain, occupancy, and flora will be discussed including habitation by Native Americans as well as the wonderful Red Rocks formation. Wear comfortable shoes and bring water and enjoy an early morning hike in this intriguing region.

History and Red Rocks of Black Star Canyon
Date:
Mon, 07/28/2014
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Category:
Interpretive
Difficulty Rating:
1
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
More Information  

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
080613HFLimestone0600

Join us every Monday night for a fitness-focused hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road. During the summer, hikers will enjoy wonderful sunset views and a panoramic overview of Orange County. This hike travels about 3.5 miles, up to the top of Loma Ridge and back down. The hike is conducted at about 3-3.5 miles per hour, but you may travel a bit faster or slower, at a walk, run, or jog depending on your comfort level.  Most participants finish the route in about 1 hour.  Because of the paved surface of the road, you may wear regular running or walking shoes.  Trail shoes are fine, but not required.  Please bring adequate water! Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land.

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Mon, 07/28/2014
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Category:
Hiking & Fitness
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday Morning Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
Prickley Pear Cactus on HHR 2014

Ready for a workout? Forget the gym for the day and head outside! Join us for an exhilarating morning fitness walk on the paved Hicks Haul Road.

This hike allows you to choose between a 3, 6, or 8 mile route, all of which are conducted at the speed of about 3.0 to 3.5 miles per hour. The road is paved and the terrain is smooth, so this is a great walk for anyone who wants a “wilderness experience” without getting dirty!

We will have two fairly steep hill ascents and descents. Along the way, you will have sweeping views of much of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains. Various animals, like hawks, deer, and lizards are also frequently seen in this area.

Walkers should be confident in their ability to hike 3, 6, or 8 miles at a steady pace. Ages 16 and up. Low interpretation.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3/4 activity on the land.

Tuesday Morning Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Tue, 07/29/2014
Time:
7:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Category:
Hiking & Fitness
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Tuesday Evening Hike- Bommer Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Irvine Ranch Conservancy Public Use

Wind down your day with a hike in the beautiful Irvine open space. Enjoy the evening while hiking the East Fork and Ridge Route loop. This hike is just over 3 miles and experiences 700 feet of total climbing elevation including several short, steep inclines. Please be prepared with plenty of water and closed toe, sturdy shoes. The evenings are full of fun sounds and smells and this will be a great way to decompress after a busy day.

Tuesday Evening Hike- Bommer Canyon
Date:
Tue, 07/29/2014
Time:
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Category:
Hiking & Fitness
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
8
More Information  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mid Week Hike – Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
Quail.MidWeek

Take a break and get some fresh air! Join us on a mid-week hike through scenic Quail Hill. This program is for those who just want to get out and hike away the stresses of the week. Enjoy the views and a little quiet time in Irvine’s beautiful Southern Preserve. Several single-track trails, steep climbs and descents are part of the experience. There is over 2700 ft. of climbing elevation accumulated along the route, but it is done with a moderate pace, approximately 3 mph. Distance is 10-12 miles. Bring plenty of water (48 oz. minimum) and wear comfortable, sturdy shoes.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the brown banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land.

Mid Week Hike - Quail Hill
Date:
Wed, 07/30/2014
Time:
7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Quail Hill
Category:
Hiking & Fitness
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
12 miles
Minimum Age:
12
More Information  

Advanced Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone via Augustine

Mountain Biking
Irvine Ranch Conservancy Public Use

Discover one of Orange County’s most pristine and beautiful canyons on this advanced docent-led mountain bike tour of the oak woodlands and scenic vistas of Loma Ridge, The Sinks, and Limestone Ridge. This guided ride through Limestone’s richly diverse wilderness area includes multiple advanced-level technical singletrack trails, with strenuous climbs and descents over 2,500 feet of accumulated elevation.

This program requires advanced physical fitness and mountain biking skills, and features only a few brief rest stops. You must have a bike with front suspension.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the brown banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land.

Advanced Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone via Augustine
Date:
Wed, 07/30/2014
Time:
7:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Category:
Mountain Biking
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
12 miles
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  
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