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.

    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.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Family Hike: Red Rocks/Black Star Canyon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Red Rocks/Black Star Canyon

Enjoy an afternoon family hike in Black Star Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. We will hike along a flat trail and cross a dry creek as we watch for red-tailed hawks and mule deer. The hike will average 3-4 miles round trip at an easy pace with a medium level of interpretation. This program is for participants who would enjoy a slower-paced and level hike. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes, and bring water for the hike.

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

Family Hike: Red Rocks/Black Star Canyon
Date:
Sun, 03/19/2023
Time:
3:00 PM - 5:30 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 03/11/2023
More Information  

Photo Journey Limestone Canyon: The Sinks, Loma Ridge Backcountry and Sunset

Interpretive
Photo Journey Limestone Canyon: The Sinks, Loma Ridge Backcountry and Sunset

Join us in the back-country wilderness for a journey filled with beautiful sights that are photographic and artistic sketching opportunities. Our journey begins in the afternoon. We will be deep in a secluded canyon, where time is measured in centuries, even millennia, in the sandstone cliffs of this ancient place called Limestone Canyon.
You will board a 4-wheel drive vehicle for a 13-mile tour of the canyon and hills surrounding it. We will stop frequently for 15-30 minutes to admire the views, take photos, sketch landscapes, and answer questions. Stops will include short walks with views of The Sinks, a trip up Cactus and Markel Spur, with optional, single track, one-mile hike into Box Springs or a 1.5 mile Markel Spur to East Sinks loop hike. Both the Box Springs and Markel Spur hikes provide the visitor a true back-country experience. An alternative, but similar, hiking trail may be used.

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

Photo Journey Limestone Canyon: The Sinks, Loma Ridge Backcountry and Sunset
Date:
Sun, 03/19/2023
Time:
3:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/11/2023
More Information  

Monday, March 20, 2023

Vernal Equinox Hike to Mini Moab: Fremont Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Vernal Equinox Hike to Mini Moab: Fremont Canyon

Join us on this epic hike to celebrate the Vernal Equinox. 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.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-5 activity on the land.

Vernal Equinox Hike to Mini Moab: Fremont Canyon
Date:
Mon, 03/20/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
14 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/12/2023
More Information  

Winter Birding Walk in Round Canyon

Interpretive
Winter Birding Walk in Round Canyon

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 OCParks’ 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.

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

Winter Birding Walk in Round Canyon
Date:
Mon, 03/20/2023
Time:
7:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/12/2023
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 OCParks’ 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.

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

Discover Hidden Canyons: Black Star
Date:
Mon, 03/20/2023
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 03/12/2023
More Information  

Baker Canyon Double Loop Equestrian Ride Through Black Star Wilderness Area

Equestrian
Baker Canyon Double Loop Equestrian Ride Through Black Star Wilderness Area

Come explore OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. This scenic equestrian ride involves steep climbs and descents on both double and singletrack trails and around 1100’ of accumulated elevation. This equestrian ride takes you through multiple landscapes of coastal sage and chaparral and rewards you with sweeping views of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks as well as the Santa Ana Mountains. On clear days you can see Catalina Island and even beyond Orange County into the Los Angeles Basin.

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

Baker Canyon Double Loop Equestrian Ride Through Black Star Wilderness Area
Date:
Mon, 03/20/2023
Time:
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/12/2023
More Information  

Spring Equinox Hike at Santiago Oaks

Interpretive
Spring Equinox Hike at Santiago Oaks

Spring into the new season at Santiago Oaks Regional Park. On Monday, March 20th, winter will transition into the spring season about 2:24 p.m. We will take a stroll to look for signs of spring and great the new season along the trails! Bring binoculars if you’d like, wear sturdy shoes, sun protection, and water for our stroll.

Program is free though there is a Park Entrance Fee per entry vehicle. Rain may cancel the event.

For questions, please contact Resource Specialist, Kelley Brugmann at 714-973-6625 or Kelley.Brugmann@ocparks.com

Spring Equinox Hike at Santiago Oaks
Date:
Mon, 03/20/2023
Time:
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Where:
Santiago Oaks Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
19 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 Monday night in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space for a fitness-focused hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road. During the spring, summer and fall, hikers will enjoy wonderful sunset views and a panoramic overview of Orange County. This hike travels about 3.5 miles, up to the top of Loma Ridge and back down. The hike is conducted at 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!

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

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Mon, 03/20/2023
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/12/2023
More Information  

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Early Morning Advanced Hike: Santiago Oaks to Weir

Hiking & Fitness
Early Morning Advanced Hike:  Santiago Oaks to Weir

Join us on this early morning advanced hike with Irvine Ranch Conservancy enjoying parks adjacent to OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space and through beautiful Weir Canyon Nature Preserve. You will go through two parks adjacent to the Landmarks, they are OC Parks managed Regional Parks (Irvine Regional, Santiago Oaks Regional)  We start in Irvine Regional Park, hike over to Santiago Oaks, and finish with a scenic hike down beautiful Weir Canyon. Distance is 8 miles with several steep climbs and descents.

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

Early Morning Advanced Hike:  Santiago Oaks to Weir
Date:
Tue, 03/21/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/13/2023
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 OCParks’ 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.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3/4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Tuesday Morning Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Tue, 03/21/2023
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 03/13/2023
More Information  

Buck Gully Loop Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Buck Gully Loop Hike

Come and explore Newport Beach’s Buck Gully Reserve trail system. Beginning from the Oasis Senior Center, we’ll hike up through the almost 3-mile length of the canyon, then along San Joaquin Hills Road for a bit, stopping at Canyon Watch Park where we will take in the panoramic view of the reserve and the Pacific coastline before descending back into the canyon along the Bobcat Trail. Please bring water, a light trail snack, sturdy closed-toe shoes and supplies to keep you safe during the journey. Sunscreen and a hat are highly recommended. This activity is conducted at a walking pace, approximately 3 miles per hour.

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

Buck Gully Loop Hike
Date:
Tue, 03/21/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Buck Gully Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/13/2023
More Information  

Monarch Butterfly Stewardship in Bommer

Stewardship
Monarch Butterfly Stewardship in Bommer

Please join IRC staff water milkweed and nectar plants for the Monarch butterfly in Bommer Canyon. With your help we will create islands of Milkweed and nectar plants that will help support the seasonal migration of Monach butterflies. We may be using shovels and small handheld tools. No experience necessary.

Monarch Butterfly Stewardship in Bommer
Date:
Tue, 03/21/2023
Time:
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
0.5 miles
Minimum Age:
15
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/13/2023
More Information  

Toddler Treks: Springtime Babies

Interpretive
Interpretive

Spring has sprung in Irvine Park and that means there’s more little baby animals! Not all baby animals look like their parents; some may have spots like a fawn or look completely different like a tadpole to a frog! Hear a fun tale about springtime and let’s go on a walk to look for signs of spring.

This fun program is geared for ages 2 – 6 years. Space is limited; parents/guardians must register themselves and each child. Program is free though there is a Park Entrance Fee per entry vehicle. For questions, please contact Resource Specialist, Kelley.Brugmann@ocparks.com at 714-973-6625.

Please note the program may take place to the left of the nature center in front of the stage at the Deer Den picnic tables. Inclement weather may move the program indoors or will cancel.

Toddler Treks: Springtime Babies
Date:
Tue, 03/21/2023
Time:
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Irvine Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
2
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 12:15am on 02/21/2023
More Information  

Twilight Beginner Cardio Hike in Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Twilight Beginner Cardio Hike in Limestone Canyon

Limestone Canyon is a treasure waiting to be discovered. Join us for an early evening, moderately-paced, 5.5-mile beginning cardio hike. The hike may include a few short rest stops along the way and will be a great introduction to fitness, cardio-style hikes as well as OCParks’ magnificent Irvine Ranch Open Space.  Views of Limestone Canyon, and the surrounding wilderness, from Limestone Ridge will be the highlight of our tour.

Please bring a minimum of 48 oz. water. Come prepared with a pack, sturdy closed-toed hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail for this beginner cardio-paced (3-3.5 mph with very few stops) hike in a wilderness area. Each participant must carry his or her own pack and water.  Under-prepared participants may be denied access to this program.

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

Twilight Beginner Cardio Hike in Limestone Canyon
Date:
Tue, 03/21/2023
Time:
4:45 PM - 7:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/13/2023
More Information  

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

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

Join us every Wednesday night in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space for a fitness-focused hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road. During the spring, summer and fall, hikers will enjoy wonderful sunset views and a panoramic overview of Orange County. This hike travels about 3.5 miles, up to the top of Loma Ridge and back down. The hike is conducted at an average of 3-3.5 miles per hour, but you may travel a bit faster or slower, at a walk, run, or jog depending on your comfort level. Most participants finish the route in about 1 hour. Because of the paved surface of the road, you may wear regular running or walking shoes. Trail shoes are fine, but not required. Please bring adequate water!

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

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Wed, 03/22/2023
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/14/2023
More Information  

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Pulling Together at Quail Hill

Stewardship
Pulling Together at Quail Hill

North African Knapweed, Centaurea diluta, is a recently introduced invasive plant and we need your help to get rid of it! Invading weeds degrade habitat for wildlife, exacerbate wildfire risks, and reduce overall biodiversity. Help us keep wildlife healthy by weeding North African Knapweed from Quail Hill in Irvine.

This activity takes place on some uneven terrain, and sturdy hiking boots are highly recommended. Training and tools will be provided to ensure your safety and comfort. Rattlesnakes are occasionally seen here and generally avoid people, but protective gear will be provided.

We will meet at the Quail Hill Trailhead parking lot, then walk 15-20 minutes on a bikeway adjacent to the 405 Freeway to the work site.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

Pulling Together at Quail Hill
Date:
Thu, 03/23/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/15/2023
More Information  

Thursday Morning Trek: Agua Chinon and The Sinks

Hiking & Fitness
Thursday Morning Trek: Agua Chinon and The Sinks

Come out and join us on a breathtaking hike from the Irvine Open Space Preserve into OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. This week’s docent-led hike begins in the Agua Chinon wash, continues to The Sinks, and may include a side trip to Box Springs, a natural year-round source of fresh water.

Maximum distance is just short of 7 miles, with some sustained climbing in one section. Participants must wear sturdy, closed-toe hiking shoes. Remember to pack plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat, and all other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail. This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space.

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

Thursday Morning Trek: Agua Chinon and The Sinks
Date:
Thu, 03/23/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/15/2023
More Information  

Evening Hike on Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
Evening Hike on Hicks Haul Road

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

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

Evening Hike on Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Thu, 03/23/2023
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/15/2023
More Information  

Friday, March 24, 2023

Epic Distance Hike in Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Epic Distance Hike in Limestone Canyon

Join us on this epic hike through the scenic canyons and along the ridges of Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. This distance hike involves multiple steep climbs and descents on a variety of trails, both double and single track. Though very challenging, the rewards are well worth the effort – a visit to Dripping Springs, both sides of The Sinks, and Box Springs; possible wildlife sightings and sweeping views of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains.

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

Epic Distance Hike in Limestone Canyon
Date:
Fri, 03/24/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 2:15 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/16/2023
More Information  
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