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.

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Sunday, April 14, 2024

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: 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.

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon
Date:
Sun, 04/14/2024
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Intro to Cardio Hike: Weir Canyon Rifle Range Loop

Hiking & Fitness
CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Intro to Cardio Hike: Weir Canyon Rifle Range Loop

Thinking the cardio hikes might be too fast for you? If so, join us in beautiful Weir Canyon for this slightly slower introduction to cardio hiking. Along the trail, you’ll pass through coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands where deer and bobcats are frequently observed. Multiple steep climbs and descents, and sweeping views, are included throughout this 6-mile hike. Please make sure you are in excellent physical condition! Even though this is a slower cardio hike, it is faster than a walk. You must be able to hike 3+ miles per hour the entire time without stopping.

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Intro to Cardio Hike: Weir Canyon Rifle Range Loop
Date:
Sun, 04/14/2024
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: FREEKS Ride: Clockwise

Mountain Biking
CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: FREEKS Ride: Clockwise

Join us in OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space for a challenging docent-led mountain bike ride for very experienced off-road riders in excellent cardio shape. Climb challenging State Spur to Cathedral Rock, and then descend into Fremont Canyon while passing some of Orange County’s most spectacular geological formations. The ride continues out to Mini-Moab and then over to Sierra Peak, passing the Tecate Cypress forest, then past Sierra Peak, and over to the last descent down through historic Black Star Canyon. Motorized recreation vehicles of any class or type are not permitted for use in the Nature Preserve. 

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: FREEKS Ride: Clockwise
Date:
Sun, 04/14/2024
Time:
7:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
25 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Rocks are Rad: Geology Hike at Black Star Canyon

Interpretive
CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Rocks are Rad: Geology Hike at Black Star Canyon

Join us for a morning walk to one of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks’ iconic geologic features. We will walk out to the red-faced cliffs of Black Star Canyon.  The early morning light from the sun will make for striking pictures of this geological treat.  We will cross the dry Silverado Creek and examine its effects on the local geology.  Then, we will stop at the red rock cliffs and discuss its formation and its future.  Finally, we will stop at an alluvial fan and talk about how it came to be.  This hike is geared towards families with curious minds.

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Rocks are Rad: Geology Hike at Black Star Canyon
Date:
Sun, 04/14/2024
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

CANCELLED: Second Sunday Restoration

Stewardship
CANCELLED: Second Sunday Restoration

Join Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve staff and volunteers in enhancing the Bay’s habitat for local wildlife. Activities may include non-native plant removal, planting natives, watering, trash cleanup, and Butterfly Garden maintenance. No experience is necessary; please bring a hat, sunscreen, snacks, refillable water bottle, etc. Water and tools are provided.

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

The program and parking are free. We will begin in the main parking lot at the corner of Irvine Ave. and University Dr.

Space is limited, so please register to reserve your space (especially for groups.) Walk-ins are welcome but will be accepted based on availability.

Adverse weather will cancel the event.

CANCELLED: Second Sunday Restoration
Date:
Sun, 04/14/2024
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Weekly Nature Area Clean Up

Trail Work
Weekly Nature Area Clean Up

Join Mile Square Regional Park staff and volunteers in enhancing the Nature Area habitat for local wildlife. Activities may include non-native plant removal, planting natives, watering, trash cleanup, and Butterfly Garden maintenance.

No experience is necessary; please bring a hat, sunscreen, snacks, water, wear closed toe shoes and a long sleeve shirt is recommended. Tools are provided. Please arrive on time, as work will begin promptly at 8 am.

Please note, this is a weekly reoccurring activity and space is limited. Please park in the Overflow/gravel lot and meet at the volunteer shed just a few yards west of the Overflow/gravel lot entrance.

• Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
• Minors ages 16 and younger must have a legal guardian present at all times.
• Rain or heat advisories cancel the event

Weekly Nature Area Clean Up
Date:
Sun, 04/14/2024
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Mile Square Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Monday, April 15, 2024

Plants Among Us: Learning About Plants at Orchard Hills

Interpretive
Plants Among Us: Learning About Plants at Orchard Hills

Curious to learn about the plants among us, who’s sus and who’s not? Join us for a hike at Orchard Hills, part of the Irvine Ranch Open Space, where we’ll look at local flora, talk about native and non-native species, and learn how different plants impact our ecosystems. Learning to identify plants, both native and non-native, is a great way to cultivate knowledge about local flora and fauna!

This activity is geared towards participants who are curious about our local plants and ecosystem. Please bring water and all items needed to keep you safe during our walk. Hats and sunscreen are highly recommended as there is no shade along this route.

Plants Among Us: Learning About Plants at Orchard Hills
Date:
Mon, 04/15/2024
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Orchard Hills
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
1 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Spaces Left:
2 of 15
More Information  

Bright Birds of Spring in Limestone Canyon – Bird Walk

Interpretive
Bright Birds of Spring in Limestone Canyon - Bird Walk

Birds are among the most colorful and entertaining forms of wildlife on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. Bring your binoculars and join us on a slow/medium paced walk in OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon, as we search for resident and visiting birds of the local coastal sage scrub, oak woodland, riparian, and grassland habitats. We will discuss the diverse features of the birds we observe and how they match the season, their habitat and lifestyle. We will travel mostly on ranch roads, usually without shade. Beginners to advanced bird enthusiasts are welcome. Please wear sturdy shoes suitable for hiking and bring water, along with sun protection such as a hat and sunscreen. Bring a small birding field guide if you have one. A few binoculars will be available to borrow.

Bright Birds of Spring in Limestone Canyon - Bird Walk
Date:
Mon, 04/15/2024
Time:
2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
16 of 20
More Information  

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

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

Join us every Monday night for a fitness-focused hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road in the Irvine Open Space Preserve. 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 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!

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Mon, 04/15/2024
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Early Morning Hike: Whiting Wilderness Park

Hiking & Fitness
Early Morning Hike: Whiting Wilderness Park

Join us on this early morning hike in OC Parks’ Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. This hike involves steep climbs and descents on a variety of trails, both double and singletrack, and is done at an average moving pace of 3 mph. Though challenging, we are rewarded with canopied woodlands, sweeping views, and possible wildlife sightings. Hiking distance is 6-9 miles, depending on weather and trail conditions. Please come prepared with a daypack, 70 oz. (2 quarts) of water, trail snacks, closed-toe hiking shoes, sunscreen, first aid, and any other supplies needed to keep you safe on the trail. Each participant must carry his or her own pack and water. Under-prepared participants may be denied access to this program.

Early Morning Hike: Whiting Wilderness Park
Date:
Tue, 04/16/2024
Time:
7:15 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
9 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
5 of 10
More Information  

Tuesday Morning Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
Tuesday Morning Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Ready for a workout? Forget the gym for the day and head outside! Join us for an exhilarating morning fitness hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road in OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. 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 footing on the asphalt paved road is smoother than dirt roads and single track trails normally found in Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, but is beginning to show its age with cracks, crevices and an occasional dip. Otherwise, the terrain is smooth, so this is a great walk for anyone who wants a “wilderness experience” without getting dirty! The 6 and 8 mile routes experience two fairly steep ascents and descents. The 3 mile route takes you to the top of Loma Ridge and back down. 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.

Tuesday Morning Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Tue, 04/16/2024
Time:
7:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
16 of 25
More Information  

Bridges of Buck Gully Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Bridges of Buck Gully Hike

Be inspired by both the natural beauty and recent history of Newport Beach’s Buck Gully Reserve, as we explore this protected area and the collaboration that made it possible. Buck Gully is a natural coastal canyon that opened to the public in 2012 with the installation of four bridges to provide safe public access. The bridges allow exploration of the entire Buck Gully Reserve, and also provide unique vantages and viewing platforms from which to pause and observe the abundant life in and around the stream that runs through the gully year-round. Our guided program starts with a short walk from the Oasis Senior Center to the beginning of the Buck Gully trail, with a visually dramatic entrance into this special canyon. We’ll cross two bridges on the first section of our walk, and then enter the canopied singletrack portion of the trail as we pass by the third bridge. At the fourth and last bridge, we will pause to enjoy the shaded beauty of this hidden refuge, and then retrace our route back to the Oasis.

Bridges of Buck Gully Hike
Date:
Tue, 04/16/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Buck Gully Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
16 of 20
More Information  

Enjoy Nature’s Story, Vistas, and Special Places – Intro Hike in Limestone Canyon to East Sinks

Hiking & Fitness
Enjoy Nature's Story, Vistas, and Special Places - Intro Hike in Limestone Canyon to East Sinks

Join us on a slow-paced hike along the back-country ridges and valleys of Limestone Canyon, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. We’ll travel on rough old ranch roads to the East Sinks View Deck passing by woodlands of majestic oak trees and expanses of Coastal Sage Scrub and enjoy wonderful vistas. Total round trip distance is 9 miles with an elevation gain of 900 feet at an average moving rate of 2.0-2.5 miles per hour. Some of the hills are strenuous and we will take breaks as needed. Participants should be in good hiking condition and have previously completed a similar distance hike. Please come prepared with a backpack, plenty of water (at least 1.5 liter), snacks, sturdy closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid kit, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail. Each hiker must carry their own water and supplies. Under-prepared participants may be denied access to the event.

Enjoy Nature's Story, Vistas, and Special Places - Intro Hike in Limestone Canyon to East Sinks
Date:
Tue, 04/16/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
9 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
11 of 20
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.

Evening Hike on Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Tue, 04/16/2024
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
11 of 25
More Information  

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Mid-Week Distance Hike: Fremont Loop

Hiking & Fitness
Mid-Week Distance Hike: Fremont Loop

Join us for an extremely challenging and strenuous hiking adventure in the scenic Fremont Canyon Wilderness Area. This 15-mile loop hike is for experienced, physically fit distance hikers. The hike is on fire/SCE dirt roads with numerous significantly steep, unrelenting climbs and descents. We hike the entire rim of Fremont Canyon, passing by an abandoned coal mine, the Fremont Weather Station and the remnants of a rare stand of Tecate cypress. Along the way we’ll have sweeping views of Orange County, the Santa Ana Mountains and surrounding mountain ranges.

Mid-Week Distance Hike: Fremont Loop
Date:
Wed, 04/17/2024
Time:
6:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
10 of 15
More Information  

Springtime Bird Walk

Interpretive
Springtime Bird Walk

Spring is in the air and birds are rejoicing! Join an experienced OC Parks Volunteer as you stroll through Peters Canyon searching high in the trees for our flittering friends and low in the scrubs for bouncing birds. Bring your binoculars, sun protection, comfortable shoes, and an eye for spotting our feathered friends!

This walk begins next to the Peters Canyon Ranger Station. Inclement weather will cancel the program. Parking is $3 per vehicle.

Walk-ins welcome, but registration is recommended.

For questions, please contact Resource Specialist Shelly Marshall at (714) 973-6625 or shelly.marshall@ocparks.com

Springtime Bird Walk
Date:
Wed, 04/17/2024
Time:
7:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Where:
Peters Canyon Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Native Happenings at The Farm; Pollinators

Interpretive
Native Happenings at The Farm; Pollinators

Explore the wonders of nature in our captivating new nature series at The Native Seed Farm! Each topic will be different; from the importance of pollinators to the resilience of native plants, each discussion unveils the beauty of the connections we make with nature. Come spark an interest at The Native Seed Farm for your next adventure!

Native Happenings at The Farm; Pollinators
Date:
Wed, 04/17/2024
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Native Seed Farm COI
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
18 of 20
More Information  

Wee Wonder Walks: Are You a Butterfly?

Interpretive
Wee Wonder Walks: Are You a Butterfly?

Do you have four wings, drink nectar, and flutter around? You may be a butterfly! Listen to a fun tale about becoming a butterfly and make a simple craft as we flutter around Bommer Canyon.

This activity is perfect for wee little ones, 2-6 years of age. We will spend the first half of the morning enjoying our nature topic, then make a craft or listen to a story, and end by exploring the trails on an easy-paced walk that is suitable for little eager feet. Parents/guardians must register along with their child(ren).

Wee Wonder Walks: Are You a Butterfly?
Date:
Wed, 04/17/2024
Time:
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Bommer Canyon Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Distance:
0.5 miles
Minimum Age:
2
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
1 of 30
More Information  

After Work Cardio Hike in Limestone Canyon – Dripping Springs

Hiking & Fitness
After Work Cardio Hike in Limestone Canyon - Dripping Springs

Leave the weekday chaos behind and dive into the peaceful beauty of OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon with a visit to Dripping Springs with our energizing after-work cardio hike. Forget about the day’s worries as we trek through stunning landscapes, breathing in the fresh air and taking in the scenic views. Come along for a journey through winding paths and picturesque vistas, where we can recharge and refresh ourselves in the tranquility of nature.

After Work Cardio Hike in Limestone Canyon - Dripping Springs
Date:
Wed, 04/17/2024
Time:
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
8 of 25
More Information  

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 OC Parks’ 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!

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Wed, 04/17/2024
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
9 of 25
More Information  
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