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.

Friday, February 5, 2016

First Friday Habitat Restoration in Buck Gully

Stewardship
Buck Gully

Birds and other wildlife need healthy habitat to thrive. Simple things like planting and sowing seed of native plants and weeding and can greatly improve habitat for wildlife. You can be part of that positive impact while enjoying the beauty of Buck Gully near Newport Beach. This activity takes place on sloped terrain and sturdy hiking boots are highly recommended. All training, tools, and gloves will be provided to ensure your safety and comfort. Rattlesnakes are occasionally seen here and generally avoid people, but protective gear will be provided.

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

First Friday Habitat Restoration in Buck Gully
Date:
Fri, 02/05/2016
Time:
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Buck Gully Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  

Flow Yoga in the Hills

Hiking & Fitness
yoga stretching
Join us for this relaxing combination of hiking and yoga in Orchard Hills. This vinyasa-style yoga practice will have you continuously moving and flowing through different poses which will help keep you energized and your heart rate up. Participants will hike around a 1-mile loop, strolling through the local canyons and finding unity within nature. Then we will return to our yoga mats where we will be led in 45 to 60 minutes of guided yoga.

Please wear comfortable clothes and bring a durable yoga mat to rest on the dirt. An extra cloth or padding is highly recommended. Some mornings are chilly, so dress in layers that are flexible to move in; jeans are not recommended. Remember to wear sun protection for the hike such as a hat and sunscreen.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

Flow Yoga in the Hills
Date:
Fri, 02/05/2016
Time:
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Orchard Hills
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
1 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Introduction to Day-Hiking Skills

Hiking & Fitness
Hiking & Fitness

Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers in partnership with OC Parks. Join Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers in a classroom and outdoor setting to learn about outdoor hiking skills. The class will be followed by an easy 2-mile hike on level terrain. We will cover boots, day packs, poles, clothing and the ten most essential items to have in your pack. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405). Online reservations required: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities.html. For questions call: 949-497-8324. Parking: $3.

Introduction to Day-Hiking Skills
Date:
Sat, 02/06/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
More Information  

Long Distance Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Hiking & Fitness

Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers in partnership with OC Parks.
Explore the beauty and diversity of Willow Canyon, Bommer Ridge, and Emerald Canyon in the backcountry of the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. This will be a strenuous, 7.2-mile hike (650-ft. elevation gain) over rocky, steep, and uneven terrain. We will hike through sycamore and oak woodlands, coastal sage scrub, and along ridges with beautiful vistas. Participants should be fit and able to hike long distances. For your safety and comfort bring 2-3 liters of water, a hat, a hearty snack and proper hiking shoes. Ages 15 and up. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, just south of El Toro Road). Online reservations required: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities.html. For questions call: 949-497-8325.). Parking: $3.

Long Distance Hike
Date:
Sat, 02/06/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Minimum Age:
15
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon

Special Events
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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.

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon
Date:
Sat, 02/06/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
12
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon, Equestrian

Equestrian
limestone equestrian horses

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.

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon, Equestrian
Date:
Sat, 02/06/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
8
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
1 of 5
More Information  

Dig in! Plant Wildflowers with the Native Seed Farm

Stewardship
Planting together, photo for Jan nFeb

Want to have fun while giving back to Nature? Like to play in the dirt?

Sign up to help behind the scenes at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s one-of-a-kind native seed farm in Irvine! You will be working to helping us expand the Farm’s impact by planting new plants into our growing fields, and weeding to protect them while they grow. Tools, knee pads and training will be provided. No experience needed!

Dig in! Plant Wildflowers with the Native Seed Farm
Date:
Sat, 02/06/2016
Time:
8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Native Seed Farm
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  

Exploring Limestone Canyon: The Sinks

Interpretive
The Sinks, Limestone Canyon

Join an introductory hike through the beautiful Limestone Canyon Canyon Nature Preserve. This month on the guided walk, we will offer an 8-mile distance hike 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 flat 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.

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, 02/06/2016
Time:
8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
1 of 25
More Information  

Wildlife Walk at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary

Interpretive
2 HUMMINGBIRD AND MANZANITA IMG_5848 r

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. Our friendly naturalists will share the interesting relationships between plants and animals as we walk around the freshwater ponds, easy trails, and butterfly garden of this 300 acre freshwater wetland. Learn about bird migration, plant and animal adaptations, and more as we encounter egrets and herons, shorebirds, swallows, songbirds, raptors, white pelicans, lizards, butterflies, harlequin bugs, sycamores, bulrush, wild rose, bladderpod and more. Come prepared to touch, smell, and hear nature throughout the seasons! Please contact 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, 02/06/2016
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, 02/06/2016
Time:
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Minimum Age:
8
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Cleanup the Bay

Stewardship
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In partnership with California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Newport Bay Conservancy asks you to get ready to clean in the New Year. Since fall, the Bay has collected quite a bit of trash as our winter storms have been washing down the streets. We all know how much of a hazard this form of pollution can be to wildlife, recreation and human health, so let’s get together and make a dent in the amount of trash that will reach the ocean. Join us to help clean the bay. All supplies provided; make sure to come in clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty (close-toed shoes, boots a plus!). Great time for service hours. Email Carissa Macias at carissa.macias@newportbay.org to sign up.

Cleanup the Bay
Date:
Sat, 02/06/2016
Time:
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Where:
Big Canyon Nature Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
6
More Information  

Marine Protected Area (MPA) Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Hiking & Fitness

Join the Office of Natural Resources, Recreation and Senior Services Department at the City of Newport Beach on a moderate 2.6 mile low-tide hike through the rocky intertidal zone of Newport Beach’s Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area. Hikes are 2 hours long and occur once a month on varying Saturdays as they are dependent on weather and surf conditions. Please wear close-toed shoes, bring water and sunscreen, and be prepared to get a little wet! Meet at Little Corona Beach next to Lifeguard Tower #7 to begin the hike. No reservations are required for this free event and participants must be 13 years and older. For any questions, please contact: marineeducation@newportbeachca.gov.

Marine Protected Area (MPA) Hike
Date:
Sat, 02/06/2016
Time:
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Where:
City of Newport Beach – Beaches and Parks
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
13
More Information  

Family Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Hiking & Fitness

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

Family Hike
Date:
Sat, 02/06/2016
Time:
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
n/a
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Buck Gully Upper Loop Evening Hike

Hiking & Fitness
BuckGully1

Explore the richness of Newport Beach’s Buck Gully Reserve as we hike during the beautiful early evening hours. The stream is running and the rich plant and animal life is enjoying the cool, shady canyon, making for a fantastic evening hike in a natural oasis amid the suburban surroundings. We’ll walk along San Joaquin Hills Road, which overlooks Buck Gully, for the first mile and then drop down into the canyon on the Bobcat Trail, looping back through the upper end of the gully along the Buck Gully Trail. This activity is conducted at a walking pace, approximately 3 miles per hour.

PLEASE NOTE: Poison oak grows in abundance throughout the entire Buck Gully Reserve trail system. If you are susceptible to poison oak, please plan accordingly.

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

 

Buck Gully Upper Loop Evening Hike
Date:
Sat, 02/06/2016
Time:
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Where:
Buck Gully Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
4 miles
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
1 of 25
More Information  

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Birding in Round Canyon

Interpretive
Red-tailed Hawk, bird raptor

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­For a bird watcher, every walk is filled with anticipation.  Birds are everywhere and provide one of the most exciting ways to connect with nature.  Whether you see them out in the open space or in your backyard, birds can bring wonder, beauty and song to your world.  Come join us on a leisurely walk and learn how to develop your birding skills as well as gain an understanding of why birds matter in our world. Bring binoculars, if you have them.  This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

Birding in Round Canyon
Date:
Sun, 02/07/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
1.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
9 of 25
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.”

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

After a snack break on the viewing deck, we continue to the Box Springs, which provides year round water for wildlife like deer. Oak trees provide shade and acorns, which the Indians used to grind into acorn meal. We can still find traces of their work. On our way back, we ride down on Limestone Ridge, a fun singletrack that leads us towards the Augustine Staging area, enjoying views of Saddleback and Santiago Canyon. From there we will follow the Shoestring Trail to climb back up to Loma Ridge, and then coast back down on the paved Hicks Haul Road to our starting point.

Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon
Date:
Sun, 02/07/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  

Trail Stewardship Day

Trail Work
Trail Work

Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers in partnership with OC Parks. If you enjoy using the park trails and aren’t afraid of a little hard work, this is your opportunity to give back by improving trails. You will also learn to see your favorite trails in a new way! Join Laguna Canyon Foundation and OC Parks for a morning of trail maintenance. We will be using tools such as loppers, picks, shovels and McLeods to clear brush out of trails, restore features that protect the trail, and/or build new features to improve trail sustainability. Ages 17 and up. Lunch and refreshments served. Laguna Coast Wilderness, Willow Staging Area, (I-5 or 405 to 133 south, just past El Toro Road intersection, on right-hand side). Online registration required: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities.html. For more information please call Alan at (928) 853-9467. Parking: Free for Trail Stewardhip Day volunteers!

Trail Stewardship Day
Date:
Sun, 02/07/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
17
More Information  

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. The rigorous cardio hike meanders around an avocado orchard on the edge of the open space preserve followed by a  steep ascent and descent to and from West Loma Ridge through Changala’s Pass. The hike distance will be about 4 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.

All participants must bring a yoga mat and carry it along on the hike to the hillside yoga site. Please wear clothes comfortable to stretch in. Hiking poles and sun protection are encouraged.

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

YIKING: Cardio Hike and Yoga
Date:
Sun, 02/07/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Orchard Hills
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
4 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Closed
More Information  
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