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.

Search & Filter Activities

Found 372 Events

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Demonstration Garden Maintenance: Native Seed Farm

Stewardship
Demonstration Garden Maintenance: Native Seed Farm

Visitors to IRC’s Native Seed Farm are first greeted by our Demonstration Garden, providing inspiration for regionally suitable plant gardens. Our garden hosts a variety of native plant species which support a healthy local ecosystem! Join in and help at our Garden Maintenance Day. Our tasks each day are to be determined, but we’ll be tackling whatever jobs are a top priority to keep our Garden teeming with native plant life. Weeding, clearing, cutting, digging, watering, whatever it takes! Activities may include bending, stooping, crouching, squatting, long periods of standing, reaching, pulling, grabbing, and pushing.

Demonstration Garden Maintenance: Native Seed Farm
Date:
Sat, 05/11/2024
Time:
7:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Native Seed Farm OCP
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 04/26/2024
More Information  

Restoration Day: Weeding

Stewardship
Restoration Day: Weeding

Calling all weed warriors! Lend a helping hand to help improve native habitat in Irvine Regional Park. Dedicate the morning to weeding current and future restoration sites and help our native plants and shrubs thrive. This month will be focused on removing Emex spinosa, also known as spiny Emex or devil’s thorn. Ouch!

Bringing strong gardening gloves, trail snacks, water, sun protection and wearing clothes you don’t mind getting dirty are highly recommended.

Program and parking are free. Please let the front entrance booth park attendant know you are registered for this program. This program will meet outside of the Irvine Regional Park Nature Center and then proceed to the restoration site.

Advance registration required.

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

Restoration Day: Weeding
Date:
Sat, 05/11/2024
Time:
7:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Where:
Irvine Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
10
Spaces Left:
15 of 15
More Information  

Agua Chinon and the Sinks Exploration Day

Special Events
Agua Chinon and the Sinks Exploration Day

Please note: Preregistration is required due to limited parking capacity.

Start your weekend off by exploring the Agua Chinon wash and the Sinks through this self-guided opportunity. Designated trails will be open for self-guided trail use in OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Trail routes vary in distance and level of difficulty with choices ranging from easy one-hour walks to a strenuous 9.5-mile trek. Whether traveling by feet or on two wheels, this exploration day is a treasure waiting to be discovered by hikers and mountain bikers alike. Visitors to the Open Space during this activity are able to hike or bike to the West and East Sinks viewing areas.

Please review our Trail Tips page and FAQ page to prepare for this challenging hiking and biking opportunity.

Agua Chinon and the Sinks Exploration Day
Date:
Sat, 05/11/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 04/26/2024
More Information  

Trail Stewardship – Lizard

Trail Work
Trail Stewardship – Lizard

If you use the wilderness parks for hiking, biking, photography or just relaxing, Trail Work might be right up your alley! Get up close and personal with the trails you use; you’ll see them in a whole new way. No experience necessary. This is FUN hard work. Whatever your skill level is, there is a job to do: clearing drains to get the water off of the trail, pruning vegetation back to keep users on the trail, moving dirt to rebuild eroded tread, and restoring impacted areas are just some of the tasks we will accomplish. We will be using tools such as loppers, picks, shovels, and McLeods to improve the user experience, protect the fragile habitat and increase the sustainability of our trails. Expect to hike up to 4 miles while carrying tools. Gloves and tools provided.

Please note: For safety reasons, we limit the number of participants for this event. If after you reserve your spot, you realize you cannot attend, please cancel your reservation and/or contact antonio@lagunacanyon.org so that the reservation will be available for another volunteer.

Please note the following safety precautions and protocols:

Pre-registration on lagunacanyon.org is required for this event. No walk-ups. Register here.
Each participant must register individually. For group registration, please email antonio@lagunacanyon.org for availability.
Each individual adult must sign the liability waiver – provided by the lead volunteers – when they arrive at the event.
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.
Participants must bring plenty of water, closed-toed hiking shoes, and sun protection.
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, Lizard trail

Rendezvous location: Cul-de-sac by Pacific Ridge Trailhead at the end of Ridge Park Rd in Newport Beach

Link to location on Google Maps

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

Trail Stewardship – Lizard
Date:
Sat, 05/11/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Gypsum Canyon Wilderness

Hiking & Fitness
Wilderness Access Day: Gypsum Canyon Wilderness

Come explore OC Parks’ newest trails at Gypsum Canyon Wilderness through this self-guided opportunity.

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

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. Visitors will have the opportunity to provide voluntary feedback about Gypsum Canyon Wilderness through on-site participation surveys and offer naming suggestions for several unnamed trails.

Advance registration is required.

 

Wilderness Access Day: Gypsum Canyon Wilderness
Date:
Sat, 05/11/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Gypsum Canyon Wilderness
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 12:00am on 05/03/2024
More Information  

Nature Journaling: Landscapes

Interpretive
Nature Journaling: Landscapes

Nature journaling is a wonderful tool to make observations, create lasting memories, and foster a deeper connection with nature. Each session will cover the basics of nature journaling, including basic art principles and journal anatomy. Monthly prompts will help guide your eyes and ears to the wonders in 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.

This program is geared for ages 12 and up. No experience necessary! We will begin outside of the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center. The program and parking are free.

Advance registration required. Rain or adverse weather will cancel the program.

Nature Journaling: Landscapes
Date:
Sat, 05/11/2024
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
14 of 15
More Information  

Family Hike: Mesa

Interpretive
Family Hike: Mesa

Enjoy nature with friends and family on the Mesa. We start our program by climbing a small hill at an easy pace to reach the top. Once up on the mesa, we will hike along a fairly flat trail as we watch for red-tailed hawks and mule deer.  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 hike. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes and bring water for the hike. Be ready to enjoy the sounds and smells of the early evening.

Family Hike: Mesa
Date:
Sat, 05/11/2024
Time:
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 04/26/2024
More Information  

Starry, Starry Night

Interpretive
Starry, Starry Night

Come join us for an interactive evening under the stars.  Immerse yourself in a scaled-down version of our solar system.  Test your imagination in naming the constellations.  Reenact the struggle between Orion and the Scorpion.  The hike will average 2-3 miles round trip at an easy pace with a high level of interpretation. This program is for participants who would like a slower-paced hike. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes and bring water for the hike. This activity is designed with kids ages 5 – 12 in mind but, everyone is welcome.

Starry, Starry Night
Date:
Sat, 05/11/2024
Time:
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 04/26/2024
More Information  

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Sunday Fitness Hike at Hicks Haul

Hiking & Fitness
Sunday Fitness Hike at Hicks Haul

Join us Sunday morning in OCParks’ 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, 05/12/2024
Time:
6:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 04/27/2024
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, 05/12/2024
Time:
7:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
9.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 04/27/2024
More Information  

Nature’s Grocery Store

Interpretive
Nature's Grocery Store

Come enjoy and learn about the bounty of the local flora and fauna. We will talk about how the animals and early settlers of the area survived and thrived with what nature has to offer. We will discuss how over-grazing, weather, and seasonal patterns affected the daily availability of food in times when there were no grocery or convenience stores.  Buckwheat graham crackers, prickly pear jam, and lemonade berry drink are a few of the tempting treats that we will taste-test. After a few snacks, we will take a short stroll along Baker Canyon and take in all the bounty of nature.

Nature's Grocery Store
Date:
Sun, 05/12/2024
Time:
8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 04/27/2024
More Information  

Slow-paced Mountain Bike Ride – Limestone Canyon/East Sinks

Mountain Biking
Slow-paced Mountain Bike Ride - Limestone Canyon/East Sinks

Enjoy the relaxation of riding in the wilderness on empty trails. Join us on this docent-led mountain bike ride through Limestone Canyon, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. We will visit the East Viewing Platform for a panoramic view of the geological feature call The Sinks. The route to The Sinks will include a fun downhill ride on the Dripping Springs single track. The return route will take us on the Limestone Ridge single track with views of Limestone Canyon, Santiago Canyon and the Santa Ana Mountains.

 Motorized recreation vehicles of any class or type are not permitted for use in the Nature Preserve.

Slow-paced Mountain Bike Ride - Limestone Canyon/East Sinks
Date:
Sun, 05/12/2024
Time:
8:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
11 miles
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 04/27/2024
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, 05/12/2024
Time:
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Monday, May 13, 2024

Bright Birds of Spring at Red Rocks – Bird Walk

Interpretive
Bright Birds of Spring at Red Rocks - 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 Red Rocks - Bird Walk
Date:
Mon, 05/13/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 04/28/2024
More Information  

Discover Hidden Canyons: Limestone Canyon

Interpretive
Discover Hidden Canyons: Limestone Canyon

Discover the hidden canyons and trails found in Limestone Canyon, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. These seldom hiked trails offer fantastic vista views, secluded oasis of oaks or 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 bring proper sun protection and water.

Discover Hidden Canyons: Limestone Canyon
Date:
Mon, 05/13/2024
Time:
8:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
4 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 04/28/2024
More Information  

Equestrian Ride: Discover The Natural Wonders Of Weir Canyon

Equestrian
Equestrian Ride: Discover The Natural Wonders Of Weir Canyon

Be prepared to experience the beauty and wonder of Weir Canyon, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, steeped in history and lore, on this morning equestrian ride. The ride will travel through Weir Canyon, where the trail weaves its way through a beautiful oak woodland inhabited by deer, coyote, bobcat, and many different birds. You will travel the route of the Butterfield Stage and see a monument dedicated to the Mexican ox cart drivers. If time permits, we will climb to the Two Tower vista point to look at distant views. This ride travels on wide trails with several easy to moderate climbs. Equestrians who have trail riding experience and their own fit and able horse are welcome. You will need to transport your horse to the staging area. Owners of unshod horses, please note that footing will include areas of gravel and distances over asphalt pavement. Please bring water on the ride.

Equestrian Ride: Discover The Natural Wonders Of Weir Canyon
Date:
Mon, 05/13/2024
Time:
9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 04/28/2024
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, 05/13/2024
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 04/28/2024
More Information  

Tuesday, May 14, 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, 05/14/2024
Time:
7:15 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
9 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 04/29/2024
More Information  

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

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

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 passing by woodlands of majestic oak trees and expanses of Coastal Sage Scrub. Enjoy wonderful vistas from Loma Ridge. Total round trip distance is 6 miles with an elevation gain of 1100 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 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
Date:
Tue, 05/14/2024
Time:
7:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 04/29/2024
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, 05/14/2024
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 04/29/2024
More Information  
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14