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 249 Events

Saturday, June 8, 2024

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:
Sat, 06/08/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Native Seed Farm OCP
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
11 of 15
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Gypsum Canyon Wilderness

Hiking & Fitness
Wilderness Access Day: Gypsum Canyon Wilderness

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 6 miles of new trails at Gypsum Canyon Wilderness through this self-guided opportunity.

Located within OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, Gypsum Canyon Wilderness features seven new trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Two lookout points offer sweeping views of the surrounding canyons and unique prehistoric rock formations. Multiple loop options that vary in distance and range from easy to moderate in difficulty are available for self-guided exploration.

Gypsum Canyon Wilderness is comprised of protected and preserved native habitats that a variety of wildlife, including mule deer, red-tailed hawks, California gnatcatchers and bobcats, call home.

Rain or inclement weather will cancel the program.

Gypsum Canyon Wilderness is located at 390 South Gypsum Canyon Road, Anaheim, CA 92887.

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

Wilderness Access Day: Gypsum Canyon Wilderness
Date:
Sat, 06/08/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Gypsum Canyon Wilderness
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Food Preservation Demonstration – Jam/Jelly

Have you ever wanted to learn about preserving and canning your own food? Join The Master Food Preservers of Orange County and OC Parks at George Key Ranch Historic Park for a new series of three upcoming food preservation demonstrations. On Saturday, June 8th we will be learning about making jams and jellies. You will have the opportunity to learn about what materials are needed, to witness the steps involved in the process, and get some tips from the experts.

Event and parking are free, but reservations are required due to limited parking onsite.

Food Preservation Demonstration - Jam/Jelly
Date:
Sat, 06/08/2024
Time:
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
George Key Ranch Historical Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
6
Spaces Left:
9 of 30
More Information  

Back yard Bugs

Interpretive
Interpretive

Insects are the most diverse group of animals on Planet Earth and make up 80% of all known species. There are more different kinds of bugs than all the other types of animals combined! Join us on a family friendly trek around the Mile Square Park Nature Area to learn all about these amazing animals who have perfected the art of ecological specialization. Insects may have a reputation for being icky, but in fact, they are essential pollinators who are needed to sustain life on our Planet

Participants should be prepared to walk on dirt trails and bring water, sun protection, and snacks.

The program begins begins in the overflow parking area, which is located in the gravel lot next to the Archery Range.

Walk ins are welcome, but space is limited so advance registration is encouraged.

Rain or heat advisory will cancel the program.

The event is free and parking is $5.

Questions? Contact Interpretive Programs Curator Nathan Taxel at nathan.taxel@ocparks.com or 714-972-6665.

Back yard Bugs
Date:
Sat, 06/08/2024
Time:
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Where:
Mile Square Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
7
Spaces Left:
25 of 30
More Information  

Nature Meditation Walk

Interpretive
Nature Meditation Walk

Do you want to unplug and relax into nature? Come on a “Nature Meditation Walk.” Join a Naturalist on a guided walk to truly be outside and allow your natural sense of wonder to take you to a mindful space outside.

We will walk (less than 1 mile) and take stops along the way to engage in playful “invitations,” activities, to deepen our connection with the outside world and ourselves. Our walk will end with a tea ceremony (local herbs and honey) of reciprocity, a segue from the special, quiet space we share on our walk, back to the busy world.

Please wear close-toed shoes, sun protection, and bring water. A yoga mat or portable chair is suggested. Sitting materials will be provided for those who need it. For the program, expect to quiet your cellphones.

Recommended for ages 10 and older. No experience necessary!

Pre-registration on lagunacanyon.org 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.

Parking is $3.

We will begin on the patio of Nix Nature Center. This is a 2-hour program. Please note that adverse weather may cancel the program.

Nature Meditation Walk
Date:
Sat, 06/08/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
10
More Information  

Family Hike: Round Canyon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Round Canyon

Enjoy nature with friends and family in Round Canyon. We hike along a fairly flat trail as we watch for red-tailed hawks and mule deer. This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. The hike averages 2-3 miles round trip at an easy pace with a medium level of interpretation. This program is for participants who would like a slower-paced and level hike. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes and bring water for the hike.

Family Hike: Round Canyon
Date:
Sat, 06/08/2024
Time:
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
20 of 20
More Information  

Keep It Wild – Laguna Coast

Stewardship
Keep It Wild – Laguna Coast

Join Laguna Canyon Foundation and OC Parks at one of our habitat restoration stewardship events in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park as we learn and work together to create a healthier habitat for the native plants and wildlife that call the canyon their home. Depending on the time of year, volunteers will assist with various stewardship activities, including removal of non-native plants, seed collection, and/or planting of native plants. No experience is necessary and all tools will be provided. Come out and join the team to help restore the wild lands we all enjoy!

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: The Nix Nature Center (18751 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach 92651).

Parking: Free for Keep It Wild volunteers!

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

Keep It Wild – Laguna Coast
Date:
Sat, 06/08/2024
Time:
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Sunset Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road: Both Sides of Loma Ridge

Hiking & Fitness
Sunset Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road: Both Sides of Loma Ridge

You will enjoy a gorgeous sunset with panoramic views of Orange County while hiking in OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space on the paved Hicks Haul Road. This hike travels 6 miles, out and back crossing over Loma Ridge. This is the perfect activity for you to get your work-out in and view the sunset. The hike is conducted at an average pace 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. 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.

Sunset Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road: Both Sides of Loma Ridge
Date:
Sat, 06/08/2024
Time:
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
16 of 25
More Information  

Bats: Heroes of the Night

Interpretive
Bats: Heroes of the Night

As the day starts to settle into the night in OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, bats awaken, stir and streak into the evening sky. Come hear fascinating tales of our flying mammal. We will head out towards a popular roosting location as we watch our nighttime heroes begin their nightly adventures. This program is ideal to visually observe the bats in flight, though bat detectors are available to listen for their high-frequency calls. Be prepared to walk about 1/2 a mile. Dress warmly as it may be a chilly evening. A camping chair is welcome as we will have a short introductory presentation in the staging area before the walk.

Bats: Heroes of the Night
Date:
Sat, 06/08/2024
Time:
7:15 PM - 9:15 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Second Sunday Restoration

Stewardship
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.

Rain will cancel the event.

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

Second Sunday Restoration
Date:
Sat, 06/08/2024
Time:
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
50 of 50
More Information  

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Sunday Fitness Hike at Hicks Haul

Hiking & Fitness
Sunday Fitness Hike at Hicks Haul

Join us Sunday morning in OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space for a fitness-focused hike on the Hicks Haul Road, West Loma and Shoestring trails in Limestone Canyon. Hikers will enjoy wonderful views and a panoramic overview of Orange County. The hike starts at Hicks Haul Road staging area and will cover a distance of 8.5 miles, about 5 miles of the hike is on paved surface and rest on trails. Participants are expected to hike close to 3 miles per hour and come prepared with closed toe hiking boots or shoes, water, trail snacks, sunscreen, hat, day pack or fanny pack, and any other necessary equipment or supplies you might need to keep you safe on this hike.

Sunday Fitness Hike at Hicks Haul
Date:
Sun, 06/09/2024
Time:
6:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
23 of 25
More Information  

Weir Canyon Fitness Hike: Oaks to Overlook Loop

Hiking & Fitness
Weir Canyon Fitness Hike: Oaks to Overlook Loop

Enjoy miles of lush oak studded canyons, fascinating rock formations and sweeping views from the Overlook Trail in the tranquility of the Weir Canyon back country, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. On a clear day we’ll be rewarded with glorious views of the San Gabriel and Santa Ana mountains. This is a fitness hike and features an 1800 ft accumulated elevation gain. There are multiple steep climbs and steep descents. Please make sure you are in excellent physical condition! You must be able to hike uphill at an average pace of 3 mph without stopping. A backpack and water are required. Please bring snack, sun screen, hat and wear sturdy closed-toe shoes.

Weir Canyon Fitness Hike: Oaks to Overlook Loop
Date:
Sun, 06/09/2024
Time:
7:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
9.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
19 of 20
More Information  

Land Tending with LCF – Laguna Coast

Stewardship
Land Tending with LCF – Laguna Coast

Join Laguna Canyon Foundation and OC Parks at one of our Land Tending Days in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park as we learn and work together to create a healthier habitat for the native plants and wildlife that call the canyon their home. Depending on the time of year, volunteers will assist with various stewardship activities, including removal of non-native plants, seed collection, and/or planting of native plants. No experience is necessary and all tools will be provided. Come out and join the team to help restore the wild lands we all enjoy!

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 Marjorie Rhodes at marjorie@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: Volunteers will be meeting at Laguna Canyon Foundation Headquarters (10 Phillips St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651) then shuttling to the restoration site with LCF staff.

Parking: Free for Keep It Wild volunteers!

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

Land Tending with LCF – Laguna Coast
Date:
Sun, 06/09/2024
Time:
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
16
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 9 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, 06/09/2024
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Mile Square Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
25 of 25
More Information  

Monday, June 10, 2024

Monday Morning Super Trek: Limestone Canyon to Box Springs and the Sinks

Hiking & Fitness
Monday Morning Super Trek: Limestone Canyon to Box Springs and the Sinks

Come start your week with us on our Super Treks in the Landmarks. Join us as we explore Limestone Canyon, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. We will hike across East Loma and enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding hills, out to the coast, and of Irvine Lake. We will continue to Box Springs and the west side of the Sinks before making our return to the staging area. Please wear hiking shoes/boots and bring water, a trail snack, sunscreen, hat, and any other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail. Participants must be able to hike 11 miles with an elevation gain of 1800 feet at an average moving rate of 3 miles per hour.

Monday Morning Super Trek: Limestone Canyon to Box Springs and the Sinks
Date:
Mon, 06/10/2024
Time:
7:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
11 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 05/26/2024
More Information  

Discover Hidden Canyons: Black Star

Interpretive
Discover Hidden Canyons: Black Star

Discover the hidden canyons and trails found in Black Star Canyon, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. These seldom-hiked trails offer fantastic vista views, wildflowers, secluded oasis of oaks, and rising rocky outcrops. Come take a stroll along the trails to discover the hidden gems of Orange County. We will listen to tales of how the geology was formed underfoot to tales of the plants and animals that call these protected habitats home. Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes for our hike as well as proper sun protection and, please bring plenty of water.

Discover Hidden Canyons: Black Star
Date:
Mon, 06/10/2024
Time:
8:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 05/26/2024
More Information  

Bright Birds of Spring at Fremont Canyon – Bird Walk

Interpretive
Bright Birds of Spring at Fremont Canyon - Bird Walk

It’s easy to think many of the birds we see and hear look and act the same. But do they? Bring your binoculars and join us on a slow/medium paced walk in OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, 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 at Fremont Canyon - Bird Walk
Date:
Mon, 06/10/2024
Time:
2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 05/26/2024
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, 06/10/2024
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 05/26/2024
More Information  

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Bommer Canyon to Butterfly Valley Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Bommer Canyon to Butterfly Valley Hike

Join us as we explore the Irvine Open Space Preserve on this hike through Bommer and Shady Canyons. We’ll begin at the Cattle Camp, where ranch equipment of old still stands. After a steep ascent on the East Fork trail, we’ll make our way across part of Serrano Ridge and descend into Shady Canyon to the Butterfly Valley trail. Here, you’ll experience some of the most mature Coastal Sage Scrub in all of Orange County. After a short stop we’ll return the same way. Total round trip distance is 9 miles with an elevation gain of 1500 feet at an average moving rate of 2.5 miles per hour. All participants must carry their own water! Please come prepared with a pack, plenty of water, snacks, sturdy closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail. Under-prepared participants may be denied access to the event!

Bommer Canyon to Butterfly Valley Hike
Date:
Tue, 06/11/2024
Time:
7:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
9 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 05/27/2024
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, 06/11/2024
Time:
7:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 05/27/2024
More Information  
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