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.

Irvine Ranch Conservancy is committed to providing a safe and respectful environment for all participants, volunteers, and employees. Certain offensive behaviors, including problematic language or attacks based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or veteran status will not be tolerated. Participating in certain offensive behaviors may lead to dismissal from activities.

 

    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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Join us every Wednesday night in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space for a fitness-focused hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road. During the spring, summer and fall, 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 an average of 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!

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Wed, 02/28/2024
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Thursday, February 29, 2024

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Thursday Morning Trek: Bommer Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Thursday Morning Trek: Bommer Canyon

This week in the Irvine Open Space Preserve, 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, a 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.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Thursday Morning Trek: Bommer Canyon
Date:
Thu, 02/29/2024
Time:
7:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Bommer Canyon Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Butterfly Habitat Restoration in Limestone Canyon

Stewardship
Butterfly Habitat Restoration in Limestone Canyon

Spend your morning helping IRC plant and seed the new Butterfly Islands in Limestone. With your help we will be able to create “islands” of host and nectar plants for butterflies in decline in Limestone Canyon.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Butterfly Habitat Restoration in Limestone Canyon
Date:
Thu, 02/29/2024
Time:
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: The Lure and Lull of Limestone Canyon Equestrian Ride to The Sinks or Dripping Springs

Equestrian
CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: The Lure and Lull of Limestone Canyon Equestrian Ride to The Sinks or Dripping Springs
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 plants that are native to our area.  You will be touring the beautiful Natural Landmarks.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: The Lure and Lull of Limestone Canyon Equestrian Ride to The Sinks or Dripping Springs
Date:
Thu, 02/29/2024
Time:
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

CANCELLED: Fishing Derby Equipment Prep

Interpretive
Interpretive

OC Parks’ regional park fishing derbies have grown significantly in popularity and we need volunteer’s to help to prepare our 250 loaner fishing rods for the upcoming derby on September 16th. The rods are provided at no cost to derby participants who don’t have their own equipment and help make sure that these events are accessible to all.

Tasks include: identifying and tagging broken poles and reels, stringing fresh line on reels which need it, and tying on hooks and weights to each line.

For questions or more information contact Interpretive Programs Curator Nathan Taxel- nathan.taxel@ocparks.com, 657-322-2680

CANCELLED: Fishing Derby Equipment Prep
Date:
Thu, 02/29/2024
Time:
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Where:
Irvine Ranch Historical Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
More Information  

Twilight Cardio Hike: Fremont Canyon Lakeview

Hiking & Fitness
Twilight Cardio Hike: Fremont Canyon Lakeview

Come enjoy a scenic evening cardio hike in the remote Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Our hike climbs steeply from the mouth of Fremont Canyon along the Lakeview Trail overlooking Irvine Lake. Upon reaching our turnaround point, we’ll head back the same way, descending to our starting point. This challenging hike involves steep climbs and an 1100’ elevation gain but the rewards are sweeping views of Fremont at sunset. Please arrive 15 minutes early and come prepared with a sturdy pack, water, closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Twilight Cardio Hike: Fremont Canyon Lakeview
Date:
Thu, 02/29/2024
Time:
2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
4.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Evening Hike on Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
Evening Hike on Hicks Haul Road

Enjoy an evening hike through stunning rock formations and fragrant native plants as you listen to the sounds of nature. This hike in the Irvine Open Space Preserve is done at an easy walking pace. This out-and-back program travels 3.5 miles round trip to scenic Loma Ridge and back down. Please bring a red-tinted flashlight as the return portion of the hike may be after sunset.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Evening Hike on Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Thu, 02/29/2024
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Friday, March 1, 2024

Morning Hike at Saddleback Wilderness

Interpretive
Morning Hike at Saddleback Wilderness

Explore Saddleback Wilderness and hike some of OC Parks’ newest trails.

Learn about native plants and animals that call the area home and experience some of the best views the canyons have to offer. Wildflowers in this area are generally in full swing during March-April hikes. This moderate hike on unpaved dirt trails will be approximately 2.5 miles round trip with 200 feet of elevation gain. Highlights will include Saddleback Park racetrack and the habitat’s remarkable recovery since its closure almost 40 years ago.

Participants should come prepared with water, snacks, sun protection and sturdy walking shoes. Rain will cancel the program. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.

Advance registration required.

Morning Hike at Saddleback Wilderness
Date:
Fri, 03/01/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Saddleback Wilderness
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Winter Morning Yoga Hike at Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
Winter Morning Yoga Hike at Quail Hill

Enjoy a five mile out and back hike to warm up your legs before experiencing a gentle flow yoga practice in nature. The hike is highlighted with a short but steep climb at a medium pace and takes us to a 360 degree view of the Quail Hill neighborhood. The yoga is suitable for those with little or no experience; slower in pace and gentle in practice. Our focus on breath calms the nervous system and has positive effects on mental, emotional and physical health. If you have never done a yoga hike before you will be surprised how connected you feel to nature. Please bring water, your own yoga mat plus a large beach towel, and wear shoes appropriate for hiking on trails.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level 3 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Winter Morning Yoga Hike at Quail Hill
Date:
Fri, 03/01/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Toddler Treks

Interpretive
Toddler Treks

Spending time outside is one of the best ways to nurture curiosity and instill a love of the natural world. Bring your young ones and join OC Parks staff to learn all about the Newport Back Bay.

Our Toddler Treks program is offered every Friday from 10:00-11:00am and includes a story time, an age-appropriate hike, and a themed craft. Each week will focus on a different topic that encourages young ones to learn about the outdoors.

The program begins at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center. Program content is tailored for the preschool level (ages 2-5), but all are welcome to attend. Please wear comfortable attire and closed-toe shoes.

Advance registration is required.

Adverse weather conditions may move the program indoors or cancel it.

Toddler Treks
Date:
Fri, 03/01/2024
Time:
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Portola to The Sinks

Hiking & Fitness
Portola to The Sinks

Do you want to explore the Sinks, a geological rock formation that has got its reputation as “Orange County’s miniature Grand Canyon”? Come out and join us on a hike from the Portola staging area to the West Sinks in OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Portola to The Sinks
Date:
Sat, 03/02/2024
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
1 of 20
More Information  

Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm

Stewardship
Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm

Looking for a way to give back to Nature this Winter? Come help us behind the scenes at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s one-of-a-kind Native Seed Farm in Irvine! Every day at the farm is different; depending on the needs of the farm we will be harvesting seeds from beautiful native plants, planting new seeds in the annual plots, working in our native plant demo garden, or tending to younger seedlings in our nursery.

Working with us at the Native Seed Farm is a great way to grow your community and cultivate knowledge about local plant and wildlife! Absolutely no experience or special equipment required! 

Reviewing the 1-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this Level 2 activity. Activities may include bending, stooping, crouching, squatting, long periods of standing, reaching, pulling, grabbing, and pushing.

Please note our Minors Policy for all public activities: All minors (under 18 years of age) must be accompanied by their respective parent or legal guardian. Both parent and their accompanying minor(s) must be registered for the Irvine Ranch Conservancy led activity they wish to attend.

Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm
Date:
Sat, 03/02/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Native Seed Farm OCP
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

Special Events
Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

Black Star Canyon, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, offers pleasant introductory trails for beginner hikers and families as well as challenging experiences for seasoned trail users. Designated trails are available for self-guided hiking, biking and equestrian use. A variety of trail loops offer extended exploration throughout the canyons. Take time to explore the local plant communities and beautiful scenery in easy 30-minute walks or take in 7+ miles in a strong cardio trek.

Pre-registration is not required for this event, though it is available on the website. If you need driving directions, use the online registration to receive a map and instructions for getting to the Baker Canyon Staging Area. Parking is limited on Black Star Canyon Road and carpooling is strongly recommended. You will not be required to sign-in upon arrival, though an information booth with trail maps and suggested routes will be available in the staging area.

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon
Date:
Sat, 03/02/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
117 of 200
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian

Equestrian
Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian

Black Star Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, offers pleasant introductory trails for beginner hikers and families as well as challenging experiences for seasoned trail users. Designated trails are available for self-guided hiking, biking and equestrian use. A variety of trail loops offer extended exploration throughout the canyons. Take time to explore the local plant communities and beautiful scenery in easy 30-minute walks or take in 7+ miles in a strong cardio trek.

There is limited space for equestrian parking along Black Star Canyon Road, 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 early arrival is HIGHLY recommended. Major crowds are typically present at the very start of the event. There are not typical equestrian amenities at the event such as hitching posts, steps to mount your horse or water troughs. Please be sure to time your arrival accordingly so you have plenty of time to enjoy the trails with your horse.  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian
Date:
Sat, 03/02/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Winter Bird Walk

Interpretive
Interpretive

Mile Square Regional Park has some of the highest bird diversity in Orange County and this gentle paced walk led by highly trained OC Parks Volunteers will help bird watchers of all experience levels discover what the park has to offer. All are welcome and loaner binoculars will be available.

Water, closed toe shoes and sun protection are recommended. This approx. 2 mile walk will begin in Parking Lot H.

Minors aged 16 and younger must have legal guardian present at all times.

Space is limited and advance registration is Required.

The event is free, but parking is $5.

Rain will cancel the event.

Winter Bird Walk
Date:
Sat, 03/02/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Mile Square Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
17 of 25
More Information  

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon

Come explore OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. This scenic hike involves steep climbs and descents on both double and singletrack trails and around 1100’ of accumulated climbing elevation. Though challenging, the hike rewards you with sweeping views of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks and Santa Ana Mountains. On clear days you can see Catalina Island and even beyond Orange County into the Los Angeles Basin.

Please arrive 15 minutes early, ready to hike; the Baker hiker entry gate will close promptly at 6:55 a.m.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon
Date:
Sun, 03/03/2024
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
7 of 20
More Information  

Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike

Experience the serenity of Bommer Canyon during this moderate-paced hike in the Irvine Open Space Preserve. We’ll experience mature coastal sage scrub and fantastic views overlooking the city of Irvine and the hillsides to the north. This hike is just over 3 miles and includes 700 feet of total climbing elevation with several very steep inclines. The steepest section ascends 300 feet in a quarter-mile. Participants must be in good physical condition.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike
Date:
Sun, 03/03/2024
Time:
7:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Bommer Canyon Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
12 of 20
More Information  

Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon

Mountain Biking
Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon

We start our ride through OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space 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 descend on a single track to Box Springs which provides year-round water for wildlife like deer.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering. Motorized recreation vehicles of any class or type are not permitted for use in the Nature Preserve.

Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon
Date:
Sun, 03/03/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
3 of 15
More Information  
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