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-speccific 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.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fitness Hike at Little Sycamore

Hiking & Fitness
Fitness Hike at Little Sycamore

Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation in partnership with OC parks. Raise your heart rate and your spirits on this difficult, strenuous and fast-paced, 4.8 mile hike (400-ft. elevation gain) over very steep, uneven terrain with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers. Ages 15 and up. Not for beginners. Hiking poles suggested. 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. Donation: $2/person.

Fitness Hike at Little Sycamore
Date:
Thu, 12/18/2014
Time:
8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Minimum Age:
15
More Information  

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Habitat Restoration at Quail Hill, Invasive Artichoke Thistle Removal

Stewardship
Habitat Restoration at Quail Hill, Invasive Artichoke Thistle Removal

Dislike artichoke thistle? This is the activity for you! One of the most problematic weed species in Orange County, Artichoke thistle (Cynara cardunculus) aggressively competes with our native plants for resources and spreads rapidly once established. Therefore, removal of artichoke thistle helps suppress new invasions and creates opportunities for native species to thrive. Past efforts to remove artichoke thistle at Quail Hill have made a difference but eradication can only happen with further support. Training, tools, gloves, and chaps will be provided to ensure your safety and comfort.

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Habitat Restoration at Quail Hill, Invasive Artichoke Thistle Removal
Date:
Thu, 12/18/2014
Time:
8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
20 of 20
More Information  

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Morning Nature Hike – Bommer Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Bommer.EastFork

This week in the Irvine Open Space, we’ll be in Bommer Canyon, once part of the historic Irvine cattle ranch where corrals and ranch equipment still stand. The hike is a seven-mile loop with some climbing, but rewards you with fantastic views overlooking the ocean and many Irvine locales. Please bring water, a trail snack, sunscreen, hat and any other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail.   Get your boots out and register to hike the loop through the Laguna Coast Wilderness and back to Cattle Camp.

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.

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Morning Nature Hike - Bommer Canyon
Date:
Thu, 12/18/2014
Time:
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
20 of 25
More Information  

Slow-Paced Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
080613HFLimestone0600

Enjoy an evening fitness hike through stunning rock formations and fragrant native plants as you listen to the sounds of nature.

This hike is done at your own pace as a walk, jog, or run (speed range typically 2.5 to 3.5 mph), so is suitable for beginners who are just starting their fitness program as well as more experienced hikers who are looking for a workout.

This out-and-back program travels the 3.5 mile route to scenic Loma Ridge (450′ elevation gain) and back down, with most participants completing the route in about 1.5 hours.

The hike is family-friendly, but children must be closely supervised by an adult and able to hike with the group, or be safely carried by a strong adult or secured in a jogging stroller.

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.

Slow-Paced Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Thu, 12/18/2014
Time:
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
22 of 30
More Information  

Friday, December 19, 2014

Habitat Restoration in Mule Deer

Stewardship
Irvine Ranch

We invite you to join Irvine Ranch Conservancy staff at our two acre Mule Deer restoration site in the City of Irvine. Efforts are focused on restoring cactus scrub, coastal sage scrub, and native perennial grassland communities. Strong emphasis on restoring habitat for the locally threatened Coastal Cactus Wren. Help us get our native communities back on track by maintaining winter plantings and removing invasive weeds. There is a lot to cover so your assistance is greatly appreciated!

Habitat Restoration in Mule Deer
Date:
Fri, 12/19/2014
Time:
8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
9 of 10
More Information  

Habitat Restoration in Santiago Creek – Invasive Tree Removal

Stewardship
Stewardship

Please joining Irvine Ranch Land Stewards in removing invasive plants and trees along the Silverado Creek bed at the mouth of Fremont Canyon. This particular area is important as it is new to the restoration process, so you can be part of helping and watching the land transition.

This event is perfect for anyone wanting to get involved in restoration projects. Tools, gloves, instruction, and guidance will be provided. Please note this activity requires some strenuous work, bending over, and walking along a somewhat rocky creek bed.

Habitat Restoration in Santiago Creek - Invasive Tree Removal
Date:
Fri, 12/19/2014
Time:
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
5 of 5
More Information  

A Morning Stroll to Barbara’s Lake

Interpretive
A Morning Stroll to Barbara’s Lake

Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation in partnership with OC parks. Enjoy an outdoor stroll to Barbara’s Lake (Orange County’s only natural lake) on this leisurely paced, level, 2-mile hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists. All ages welcome! Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/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. Donation: $2/person.

A Morning Stroll to Barbara’s Lake
Date:
Fri, 12/19/2014
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
1
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Canyon Explorers: Menagerie of Mammals

Interpretive
Kelley.with.kids

Bobcats and coyotes and squirrels…Oh, my! For lovers of furry creatures of all kinds, come and explore the menagerie of mammals at home in Bommer Canyon. We’ll compare and contrast the biology and behavior of Bommer’s many fluffy residents – even feeling their fur and studying their bones! We will go on an exploration hike to look for some of our animal friends, their homes and their tracking evidence they leave behind.

This program is a perfect afternoon adventure for children ages 6 – 10 years of age. We will spend time exploring our program’s topic, maybe create a craft or play a game, before we head out on the trails to practice what we learned. Our hike will be a gentle one mile trek along uneven terrain. Off road strollers are welcome to join the fun! Parent or guardian must register and attend along with their child.

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-1 activity on the land.

Canyon Explorers: Menagerie of Mammals
Date:
Fri, 12/19/2014
Time:
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
1
Distance:
1 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
11 of 25
More Information  

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Winter Solstice Hike

Interpretive
Interpretive

Join Crystal Cove State Park docents for a Winter Solstice hike on Saturday, December 20 at 5:30pm.  Enjoy the shortest day of the year on this moderate 2 hour hike.  Meet at the Berns Amphitheater (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park.)  Wear sturdy shoes, bring water, and dress in layers

Flashlights should have red lenses. 

Winter Solstice Hike
Date:
Sat, 12/20/2014
Time:
12:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Crystal Cove State Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
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.

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

Cardio Hike: Limestone
Date:
Sat, 12/20/2014
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
22 of 25
More Information  

Keep It Wild Volunteer Day

Stewardship
Keep It Wild Volunteer Day

Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation in partnership with OC parks. Come on out and help restore the wild lands we so enjoy! There’s no better way to start a Saturday morning than by joining Laguna Canyon Foundation and OC Parks staff in an invigorating project of non-native plant removal and/or planting native plants. Help us make a healthier environment for the native wildlife and for ourselves. Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/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: Free for Keep It Wild Volunteers!

Keep It Wild Volunteer Day
Date:
Sat, 12/20/2014
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
15
More Information  

Mountain Bike Ride in Bommer Canyon

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

Join us for a docent-led mountain bike ride through the Irvine Open Space Preserve. This moderate-paced mountain bike tour through the picturesque hills of Bommer and Shady Canyons includes a combination of ranch roads and multiple intermediate and advanced level technical single-track trails, with many steep climbs and descents. Over 2700 feet of accumulated climbing elevation is experienced on this route.

Please note, this program is an intermediate-to-advanced ride featuring only a few short rest stops, steep climbs and rocky descents. It requires above average fitness and mountain biking skills, and a mountain bike with a minimum of 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-5 activity on the land.

Mountain Bike Ride in Bommer Canyon
Date:
Sat, 12/20/2014
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
13 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
24 of 25
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day- Bommer Canyon

Special Events
Bommer-Canyon-3662

Enjoy self-guided access in the southern portion of Irvine’s Open Space Preserve. Designated trails will be open for self-guided hiking and biking from 8 am to 2 pm. Registration is not required for this event. The Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp will be available for parking, but please take note that your vehicle must be removed from the Cattle Camp area by 2 pm.

Wilderness Access Day- Bommer Canyon
Date:
Sat, 12/20/2014
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
2
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
286 of 300
More Information  

Big Canyon Nature Walk

Interpretive
Interpretive

Led by Newport Bay Conservancy on behalf of California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Newport Bay Conservancy Naturalists conduct highly informative themed plant and bird programs.These interpretive programs, which involve a short walk in an area where several habitats meet, provide a great introduction for those interested in identifying the birds and plants they see at the Bay. If a particular theme is not stated, the Naturalist will discuss items of special interest encountered by the group along the way, such as a bird in breeding plumage or a rare plant that is flowering at the time. Bring binoculars if you have them. There is no charge for the program, but reservations are requested. Please call 949-923-2269 for more information, directions, and to RSVP.

Big Canyon Nature Walk
Date:
Sat, 12/20/2014
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Distance:
1 miles
Minimum Age:
8
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Exploring Bommer: Our Canyons are Diverse Interpretive Hike

Interpretive
BommerInterp.EastFork

Venture into the Irvine Open Space on a beautiful, first weekend of winter morning. We’ll discuss biodiversity, its importance in our local ecosystem, our unique climate, and why our region is so special when it comes to our native plants and wildlife. We’ll especially be on the lookout for native shrubs thriving in the cooler, wetter conditions that our winters bring.

This program occurs concurrently with the monthly Wilderness Access Day. The trails will be available for self-guided access from 8am until 2pm.

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.

 

Exploring Bommer: Our Canyons are Diverse Interpretive Hike
Date:
Sat, 12/20/2014
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
23 of 25
More Information  

Four Seasons at the Native Seed Farm

Stewardship
16-300x199

Please join Irvine Ranch Conservancy at our native seed farm and plant nursery located in Orchard Hills. During this weekly Stewardship program you will learn about the plants native to this region and participate in a variety of activities that change with the seasons. Activities may include: planting, harvesting, invasive plant management, native plant propagation, and much more. All of the seeds and plants we work with will be used to restore habitat within the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. This activity is Level 1 on the Difficulty Rating. Work will be easy and on relatively level ground, but may require some bending, stooping, kneeling or crouching, and fine motor skills. Reviewing the 1-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this Level 1 Activity.

Four Seasons at the Native Seed Farm
Date:
Sat, 12/20/2014
Time:
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Native Seed Farm
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
7 of 11
More Information  

Markel Spur Trail Improvement

Trail Work
markel n end during  trail boss 02 09 2013 (18)

Join us for a morning in Limestone Canyon as we improve Markel Spur single track. Our main tasks will be repairing drainage structures and planting shrubs. This work will help keep the trail sustainable and enjoyable.

No previous trail work experience necessary … just the desire to work outdoors and get dirty!

Tools, gloves & light snacks will be provided. Please wear sturdy work shoes or boots, long pants, sun protection, & a hat. A small back pack is handy to carry water, gloves & snacks.

Markel Spur Trail Improvement
Date:
Sat, 12/20/2014
Time:
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
6 of 10
More Information  

The Flora and Fauna of Weir Canyon

Interpretive
Weir_Bobcat_0602186

Join us as we explore the beautiful oak woodlands of Weir Canyon, home to a wide variety of animal life including mule deer, bobcat, coyote, mountain lion, raccoon, red-tailed hawk and many others. We will learn about the plants and animals of this protected wilderness area and how they interact in this unique canyon. Please remember to bring plenty of water and adequate sun protection. Binoculars are recommended.

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.

The Flora and Fauna of Weir Canyon
Date:
Sat, 12/20/2014
Time:
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5 miles
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
16 of 25
More Information  

Beachside Ranger Chat

Interpretive
Interpretive

Learn about some of the fun and interesting animals that live in Crystal Cove State Park at the Education Commons in the Historic District with Crystal Cove State Park Ranger Jenn. Park in the Los Trancos lot (PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos then walk through the tunnel or take the shuttle). $15 day use fee.

Beachside Ranger Chat
Date:
Sat, 12/20/2014
Time:
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Crystal Cove State Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  
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