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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Found 372 Events

Wednesday, April 17, 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 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  

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Thursday Morning Trek: Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
Thursday Morning Trek: Quail Hill

This week in the Irvine Open Space Preserve, we’ll be in Quail Hill, once part of the historic Irvine cattle ranch. The hike is seven and a half miles with some climbing but rewards you with fantastic views overlooking Laguna Canyon 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 Quail Trail and Shady Canyon singletrack trails.

Thursday Morning Trek: Quail Hill
Date:
Thu, 04/18/2024
Time:
7:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
1 of 20
More Information  

Open Space Invaders: Invasive Plant Removal at Santiago Creek

Stewardship
Open Space Invaders: Invasive Plant Removal at Santiago Creek

Non-native and invasive plant species are invading our native habitat and open spaces. They aggressively compete with our native plants for resources and spreads rapidly once established. Monitoring, management, and removal of these plant species is an important aspect of land management and habitat restoration.

Help us to manage populations of invasive plants and remove them from the habitat. No previous experience is necessary, just a desire to work outside and get dirty! Snake chaps, gloves, and tools will be provided but please feel free to bring your own if you have them. Please wear long pants, long sleeved shirts, close toed shoes, and protective sun protection. Note: This is a wilderness area, there are natural hazards. Snakes, including rattlesnakes, are occasionally seen here.

Open Space Invaders: Invasive Plant Removal at Santiago Creek
Date:
Thu, 04/18/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
3 of 4
More Information  

What’s Buzzing at the Native Seed Farm? Native Plants and their Pollinators!

Interpretive
What's Buzzing at the Native Seed Farm? Native Plants and their Pollinators!

Join us as we explore the native seed farm while learning about plants, pollination, and pollinators. We’ll focus on the native plants grown at the farm as we talk about, and identify, the pollinators we find on them. Closed-toe shoes and water are required for the walk. Hats and sunscreen highly recommended.

What's Buzzing at the Native Seed Farm? Native Plants and their Pollinators!
Date:
Thu, 04/18/2024
Time:
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Native Seed Farm COI
Difficulty Rating:
1
Distance:
1 miles
Minimum Age:
10
Spaces Left:
11 of 15
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:
Thu, 04/18/2024
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
1 of 25
More Information  

Friday, April 19, 2024

Distance Hike to Mini Moab: Fremont Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Distance Hike to Mini Moab: Fremont Canyon

Join us on this epic hike to Mini Moab. We’ll hike from the bottom of Fremont Canyon to the bold, sandstone outcrops marking the ridgeline locally known as “Mini Moab.” This extremely challenging out-and-back hike is for experienced, physically fit distance hikers. We climb steeply along ranch roads past an abandoned coal mine, the Fremont Weather Station, remnants of a rare stand of Tecate cypress, and Lizard Rock. Less than a mile after entering the Coal Canyon Ecological Reserve, we reach our destination. The view from Mini Moab is nothing short of spectacular! After a break for snacks and to enjoy the view, we’ll retrace our steps back to the Fremont Staging Area.

Distance Hike to Mini Moab: Fremont Canyon
Date:
Fri, 04/19/2024
Time:
6:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
14 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
6 of 15
More Information  

Better Birding Basics: Birding by Ear in Agua Chinon

Interpretive
Better Birding Basics: Birding by Ear in Agua Chinon

Birds are often hidden from sight and yet can still be identified by their calls and songs. Knowing how to identify birds by ear is an important step in becoming a better birder. Join other birders as we search for birds by both ear and eye in the beautiful arroyo canyon of Agua Chinon, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Restoration of this sensitive habitat has recently been completed, and we are watching to see if bird populations increase over time. Please wear sturdy shoes suitable for hiking, along with sun protection such as a hat and sunscreen.

Better Birding Basics: Birding by Ear in Agua Chinon
Date:
Fri, 04/19/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
15 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 Spring? 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! 

Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm
Date:
Fri, 04/19/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Native Seed Farm OCP
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Spring Morning Yoga Hike at Bommer Cattle Camp

Hiking & Fitness
Spring Morning Yoga Hike at Bommer Cattle Camp

Join us at Bommer Canyon for a moderate 3.5 mile hike before experiencing a gentle yoga practice at the newly reopened Cattle Camp. This historic old west setting connects us with the history of The Irvine Ranch and the barn’s outdoor dance floor is perfect for yoga. The hike is highlighted with beautiful views of the canyon and 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 a positive effect on mental, emotional and physical health. If you have never been to the Cattle Camp before you will be surprised how connected you feel to the cowboys that worked on this land. Please bring water, a yoga mat plus a large beach towel and wear shoes appropriate for hiking (no cowboy boots please).

Spring Morning Yoga Hike at Bommer Cattle Camp
Date:
Fri, 04/19/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Bommer Canyon Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Create in the Park: Expressive Underpainting Washes

Art creating is back! Join our professional artist to learn about expressive underpainting washes. This a a fun and loose application of pigment that will be the foundation for a painting. Watercolor, pastel, oil, or acrylic can all be used. If you have never tried this technique, there will be some materials provided for you to explore as well as a demonstration of how to get started. You may also just join the group and work in your own method.

Upon registration, a recommended list of materials is available for you to bring to this free program. No materials are provided, only art instruction. A tour of the house and background of Madame Modjeska’s artist life is highlighted.

This program welcomes all who are interested and love the arts, from beginning to advanced artists. Come experience an OC Park in a new way.

Create in the Park: Expressive Underpainting Washes
Date:
Fri, 04/19/2024
Time:
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Helena Modjeska Historic House and Gardens
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
8 of 12
More Information  

Seasonal Science Series: Spring Social Butterfly Habitat Enhancement

Interpretive
Seasonal Science Series: Spring Social Butterfly Habitat Enhancement

Join us for a slow-paced interpretive hike related to current IRC projects focused on research, monitoring, and conservation.  The series will rotate through the landscape based on the season and projects.

For this series, we will spend the spring morning hiking along beautiful Limestone Canyon where we will focus on the butterflies in Limestone Canyon, and the newly created butterfly habitat plots.  These plots were seeded and planted with a variety of both host and nectar plants to aid the documented, declining population of butterflies in the canyon. We will hike through Limestone canyon plot by plot, and up to Dripping Springs, a natural water source dripping out of an earthquake fault and down a gorgeous fern-covered rock face.

Seasonal Science Series: Spring Social Butterfly Habitat Enhancement
Date:
Fri, 04/19/2024
Time:
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
2 of 12
More Information  

Baker Meadow Stewardship

Stewardship
Baker Meadow Stewardship

Spend your morning watering, mulching and weeding the newly planted Coast Live Oak seedlings within a beautiful oak woodland in Baker Canyon. No experience necessary.

Baker Meadow Stewardship
Date:
Fri, 04/19/2024
Time:
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
15
Spaces Left:
4 of 6
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.

The program and parking are free. Advance registration is required.

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

Toddler Treks
Date:
Fri, 04/19/2024
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  

Nature Journaling in Baker Canyon

Interpretive
Nature Journaling in Baker Canyon

Nature journaling is a wonderful tool for nature observations, creating lasting memories, and making deeper connections with nature. Build upon your own sense of place to maximize mindfulness and relaxation. Each session will cover the basics of art theory and practices, journal anatomy, and immersing your senses in the wonders of nature.

Bring a nature journal and your own art materials such as pencils, pens, or watercolors. A portable chair is recommended along with sun protection, water, and snacks. Be prepared to move along the trail a short distance and sit to document the beauty around you.

Nature Journaling in Baker Canyon
Date:
Fri, 04/19/2024
Time:
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
13 of 15
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 and should be able to hike steep hills.

Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike
Date:
Fri, 04/19/2024
Time:
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
11 of 20
More Information  

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Native Plant Nursery Volunteer Day – Willow

Stewardship
Native Plant Nursery Volunteer Day – Willow

Join Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers in beautiful Laguna Coast Wilderness Park 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 plant containers, and help maintain the nursery. Gain hands-on experience with habitat restoration while working alongside other zany and interesting plant lovers!

Please note the following safety precautions and protocols:

Pre-registration on lagunacanyon.org/events is required for this event. No walk-ups. Register here.
Each participant must register individually. For group registration or questions, please email volunteer@lagunacanyon.org.
Group sizes will be minimized for safety purposes.
Participants must be at least 16 years old and those younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. A waiver, provided on arrival, must be signed by each participant at the start of the program.
Please wear long pants, closed- toed shoes and sun protection, and bring water.
In an effort to protect all employees, volunteers, and participants, please do not attend if you are not feeling well, have symptoms of illness or have been in contact with someone who was ill.

Location: Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, just south of El Toro Road). You must arrive by 8 am.

Parking: Free for nursery volunteers – a pass will be provided upon arrival. Park and walk up the gravel trail 100 yards to get to the small native plant nursery, just before the trailers.

Please note: Wet or muddy trail conditions may lead to cancellation of this event.

Native Plant Nursery Volunteer Day – Willow
Date:
Sat, 04/20/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Saddleback Wilderness Access

Hiking & Fitness
Saddleback Wilderness Access

Access is first come first served until parking capacity is reached. No registration required.

Equestrians, while space is not guaranteed we encourage you to please email irvineranchopenspace@ocparks.com to coordinate parking.

Come explore 3.3 miles of new trails at Saddleback Wilderness, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, through this self-guided opportunity. Designated trails will be open for self-guided hiking, biking and equestrian use. There are multiple trail loop options which vary in distance and level of difficulty. Choices range from an easy one-mile loop to multiple figure-8 configurations for those looking to maximize their mileage. Regardless of distance, nearly all options feature scenic views including a destination vista point offering 360-degree perspectives from the mountains to the sea.

Please review our Trail Tips page and FAQ page to prepare for your experience in the wilderness area.

Saddleback Wilderness Access
Date:
Sat, 04/20/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Saddleback Wilderness
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Bommer Canyon

Special Events
Wilderness Access Day: Bommer Canyon

Enjoy self-guided access in the southern portion of Irvine’s Open Space Preserve. The entire southern Open Space Preserve trail network will be open for self-guided hiking and biking from 8 am to 2 pm. This includes the single-tracks in Shady Canyon and Bommer Canyon that are reserved for guided activities only. Registration is not required for this event, though it is shown on the website. If you need driving directions, please use the online registration to receive a map and instructions for getting to Bommer. 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, 04/20/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
126 of 200
More Information  

Earth Day at the Bay

Interpretive
Earth Day at the Bay

OC Parks and the Newport Bay Conservancy invite you to attend our annual celebration: Earth Day at the Bay.

This free, family-friendly event features environmental-themed exhibits from community partners and local artists. Booths will feature activities which include arts and crafts, science discovery and educational information. There will be live music throughout the day as well as a scavenger hunt complete with prizes. Be sure to enter the opportunity drawing as well!

Food trucks will be on site with tasty treats available for purchase.

For more information call (949) 923-2290 or email unbic@ocparks.com.

Earth Day at the Bay
Date:
Sat, 04/20/2024
Time:
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Wildflower Hike

Interpretive
Wildflower Hike

The heavy rains of winter have lifted and revealed a beautiful bouquet of California wildflowers. Join us for a casual hike along Peters Canyon’s North Loop and Cactus Point Trails with beautiful views of the reservoir. Along the way, we will peruse the petals of some of our favorite blooms currently sprouting this spring season along with some of the year-round favorites.

The walk will begin at the front of the Ranger Station, located near the parking lot, and travel approximately 3 miles.

Walk-ins are welcome, but registration is recommended.

Children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian during the program and strollers are not recommended. Sun protection, wearing sturdy footwear, and bringing water are strongly encouraged.

Inclement weather will cancel the program.

The program is free and parking is $5 per vehicle.

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

Wildflower Hike
Date:
Sat, 04/20/2024
Time:
2:00 PM - 3:45 PM
Where:
Peters Canyon Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
3
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  
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