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.

Need help? For the fastest answers, look for organization-specific contact information in each event listing (click More Information for full listing). If no contact information is listed, email info@irconservancy.org for assistance.

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

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Extreme Cardio Hike: Fremont-to-Tecate Cypress

Hiking & Fitness
Fremont-09

Join us for a strenuous, extremely challenging and fast-paced early morning cardio hike in Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve. We will be hiking in one of the most rugged and remote areas of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. Along the way we’ll be rewarded with a views of rocky outcrops, coastal sage and chaparral landscapes. This is an advanced up to 10 mile cardio hike, completed in 2.5 hours and includes up to 2000′ foot elevation change.  Trails have no shade and this hike is for experienced, physically fit hikers who enjoy the challenge of multiple steep climbs and descents.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-5 activity on the land.

Extreme Cardio Hike: Fremont-to-Tecate Cypress
Date:
Sat, 10/01/2016
Time:
6:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
9 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  

Distance Hike: Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
DSC05051

The title says it all. This is your chance to venture deep in the Irvine backcountry. Join us for a challenging and beautiful adventure. Hike distance is up to 14 miles and is designed for advanced hikers. Participants must be physically fit and have distance hiking experience. Singletrack trails, steep climbs and descents are numerous. Over 2800 feet of accumulated climbing elevation is experienced on this route. All children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-5 activity on the land.

Distance Hike: Quail Hill
Date:
Sat, 10/01/2016
Time:
7:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
14 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon Ranger Reserve Support

Special Events
Limestone-2088-1600x420

Come out and assist OC Park Rangers assigned to the Irvine Ranch Open Space (IROS) during this monthly special access event. The event takes place in Limestone Canyon among beautiful oak woodlands and rolling hills, with spectacular views of Orange County that only few get to see. Job duties include event set up, traffic control, visitor service/check in, post assignments, and trail patrol. Must be a current Ranger Reserve with OC Parks to sign up. No past area experience is needed, but welcomed.

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon Ranger Reserve Support
Date:
Sat, 10/01/2016
Time:
7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Nursery Plant Propagation and Care Day

Stewardship
IMG_1792

Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation in partnership with OC Parks. Join us at our native plant nursery as we care for native plants from their seed stage to their mature, ready-to-be planted stage. Volunteers may collect seeds, sow seeds in flats, bump plants up, plant at restoration sites, sterilize plan containers, and/or help maintain the facilities for the plants. Gain hands-on experience with habitat restoration while working alongside other zany and interesting plant lovers! Online reservations required are: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities. For questions, call 949-497-8324.

Nursery Plant Propagation and Care Day
Date:
Sat, 10/01/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
15
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon

Special Events
Limestone canyon trail users

Please note: Pre-Registration is now required due to limited parking capacity.

Start your weekend off by exploring the endless opportunities found throughout magnificent Limestone Canyon. Designated trails will be open for self-guided trail use in OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Trail routes vary in distance and level of difficulty with choices ranging from easy one-hour walks to strenuous 15-mile cardio treks. Whether traveling by feet, hooves or wheels, Wilderness Access Day in Limestone Canyon is a treasure waiting to be discovered by hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers alike.

Visitors to Limestone Canyon during Wilderness Access Day are able to visit to the newly opened East Sinks Viewing Deck, offering a view of the “backside” of The Sinks.

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon
Date:
Sat, 10/01/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon, Equestrian

Equestrian
limestone equestrian horses

Please note: Pre-Registration is now required due to limited parking capacity.

Come experience Limestone Canyon’s beauty from the back of your horse. Designated trails will be open for self-guided access hiking, biking, and equestrian use during Wilderness Access Day in Limestone Canyon. Equestrian riders who have trail riding experience with a fit and able horse will enjoy the historic ranch roads of days gone by. Take in the awe-inspiring vistas from the mighty ridge tops and drink in the cool canyon shade through the oak grove.

There is limited space for equestrian parking, carpooling is strongly encouraged. Riders must also have the ability to transport their horse to the staging area. It is a “first come, first serve” for trailer parking and therefore pre-registration is required. Major crowds are typically present at the very start of the event.

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon, Equestrian
Date:
Sat, 10/01/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  

Exploring Limestone Canyon: The Sinks

Interpretive
The Sinks, Limestone Canyon

Join us on a moderate-paced hike through the beautiful Limestone Canyon Canyon Nature Preserve. This month we will have a guided walk that is a 9-mile distance, and 800′ elevation gain, round-trip hike to introduce you to The Sinks, an iconic geological formation often compared to a mini-Grand Canyon for Orange County. Chat with your naturalist as you enjoy this out-and-back  trail as it meanders through the bottom of the oak woodland canyon, taking in the sights of hugging canyon walls, soaring hawks and possible hidden deer.

After our trek, you are welcome to enjoy the trails during Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon.

Review the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land.

 

Exploring Limestone Canyon: The Sinks
Date:
Sat, 10/01/2016
Time:
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  

Back Bay Drive Nature Walk

Interpretive
bbd walk

Led by Newport Bay Conservancy on behalf of California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Newport Bay Conservancy Naturalists lead a walk starting at the entrance to Shellmaker Island along Back Bay Drive. There are great opportunities to view shorebirds, waterfowl, and other birds while learning about this important estuary. Please call 949 923-2269 for reservations — which are encouraged — and directions. Bring sun protection and binoculars if you have them.

Back Bay Drive Nature Walk
Date:
Sat, 10/01/2016
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
6
More Information  

Wildlife Walk at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary

Interpretive
10 Red Admiral IMG_0384r

Led by Sea and Sage Audubon in partnership with the Irvine Ranch Water District, Wildlife Walks is a free monthly nature walk for all ages at the beautiful San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. Bring your whole family to celebrate autumn as you walk around the butterfly garden, deep ponds, and shallow ponds of the 300-acre freshwater San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. Witness first-hand the interactions between plants and animals as you explore with all your senses under the guidance of our experienced naturalists. Children under 11 must be accompanied by an adult. Bring water and sun protection for a walk around water. Come prepared to touch, smell, and hear nature throughout the seasons! Please go to www.seaandsageaudubon.org for further information, or speak with the Audubon House volunteer at 949-261-7963. There is no registration required.

Wildlife Walk at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary
Date:
Sat, 10/01/2016
Time:
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Kayak Tour

Water
kayaking lets go outside

The Newport Bay Conservancy offers a 2-hour guided kayak tour of the Back Bay in the heart of Newport Beach every Saturday. This is one of the best ways to appreciate Upper Newport Bay by getting out on the water. Kayaking in the Newport Beach Back Bay is fun and easy. Tours leaves from the Newport Aquatic Center at 10:00 am. They are great for both novices and experiences paddlers alike.

Kayak Tour
Date:
Sat, 10/01/2016
Time:
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Minimum Age:
8
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Explore the Bay – Family Hike

Interpretive
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In partnership with OC Parks, join Newport Bay Conservancy for an easy hike for all ages. Families will learn about the Bay and the trails around it. The hike will start on the patio and will last only an hour — dependent on weather — and will be on both paved and dirt trails. No formal program, as it’s a great introduction to the Bay and a Naturalist will talk about whatever you discover along the way. RSVP by calling 949-923-2269 or emailing info@newportbay.org.

Explore the Bay - Family Hike
Date:
Sat, 10/01/2016
Time:
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
2
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Family Hike

Interpretive
Interpretive

Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation naturalist volunteers in partnership with OC Parks. Come and enjoy an easy 2.5-mile family hike over moderate but uneven terrain (45-ft. elevation gain). Starting at the James Dilley Preserve, we will hike one of the most diverse areas of the park to Barbara’s Lake and back.

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (I-5 or 405 south to 133 south to stoplight at 73 toll road; make a U-turn, go 1 block. Dilley is on the right). Online reservations are required: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities. For questions call: 949-497-8324. Parking: $3.

Family Hike
Date:
Sat, 10/01/2016
Time:
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
11
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Orchard Hills Evening Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Orchard Hills Evening Hike

Come out and enjoy the evening with us on the Orchard Hills loop trail. This trail meanders around an avocado orchard on the edge of the open space preserve and provides fantastic ridge-top views of Irvine and the Pacific coastline.

The three-mile loop has several very steep climbs, but the hike is done at a moderate pace. The effort is rewarded with a beautiful, unobstructed view to the west. Please bring water and wear sturdy shoes. This hike is not suitable for children under 12.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land

Orchard Hills Evening Hike
Date:
Sat, 10/01/2016
Time:
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Orchard Hills
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  

Sunday, October 2, 2016

YIKING: Cardio Hike and Yoga

Hiking & Fitness
Irvine Ranch Public Access

Hiking combined with outdoor yoga adds a unique dimension to your fitness experience and yoga practice. YIKING allows the spirit to link with the natural environment. There will be instructor led yoga above the scenic Avocado Orchard with the West Loma Ridge rising along side. Views of the Pacific coastline peep through the trees at the landing (elevation gain 1640′) where we spread our mats and breathe deeply. The hike distance will be 6-7 miles, making your muscles more pliable, enhancing the yoga stretches. YIKING invokes a sense of harmony and flow, as you breathe deeply, refreshing your mind, body and spirit— all in a location with sweeping views of Irvine and the Pacific coastline.

YIKING: Cardio Hike and Yoga
Date:
Sun, 10/02/2016
Time:
7:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Orchard Hills
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
4 of 18
More Information  

Agua Chinon Geology Hike to Both Sides of The Sinks

Interpretive
L055

Come along with us to visit one of the most photographed and famous sites on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks – The Sinks. This interpretative program will begin with a hike along a riparian corridor currently being restored with native plants and will visit both sides of The Sinks.  Along the way we’ll talk about the geologic processes that over millions of years created the geologic features of The Sinks, Loma Ridge, and Agua Chinon Creek.

Agua Chinon Geology Hike to Both Sides of The Sinks
Date:
Sun, 10/02/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  

Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon

Mountain Biking
Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Hicks Haul Road to Limestone Canyon

We start our ride on the paved Hicks Haul Road, the extension of Jeffrey Rd north of Portola Pkwy. As we warm up on the climb to the top of the road, we enjoy increasingly beautiful views over Irvine. We then follow Loma Ridge to the East, with fantastic vistas of Orange County, the surrounding wildlands, and even Catalina Island on clear days. From Loma Ridge we fly down into Limestone Canyon and then visit the Sinks, Orange County’s own “Grand Canyon.”

Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon
Date:
Sun, 10/02/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
5 of 15
More Information  

Community Day at the Back Bay Science Center

Interpretive
Interpretive

Come visit the Office of Natural Resources, Recreation and Senior Services Department at the City of Newport Beach at the Back Bay Science Center (located at 600 Shellmaker Road, Newport Beach, CA 92660) every Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to experience the beauty of Upper Newport Bay while browsing a research and education facility! Explore tidepool touch tanks, observe coastal bay and estuary birds, or examine some biofacts in the Teaching Lab. No reservations are required for this free event and it is open to all ages. For any questions, please contact marineeducation@newportbeachca.gov.

Community Day at the Back Bay Science Center
Date:
Sun, 10/02/2016
Time:
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Newport Back Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  
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