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.

Wednesday, March 1, 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, 03/01/2023
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 02/21/2023
More Information  

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Cardio Hike: Hangman’s Monument from Augustine

Hiking & Fitness
Cardio Hike: Hangman's Monument from Augustine

Join us for a strenuous, extremely challenging, cardio hike starting in Limestone Canyon. Along the way we’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Orange County and possible wildlife sightings. This is a 7.5 mile cardio hike, completed in 3 hours and includes a 1500 ft elevation change. This hike is for experienced, physically fit hikers who enjoy the challenge of multiple steep climbs and descents. There are no rest stops scheduled along the way, and the average 3.5 mile per hour pace can be difficult over steep terrain in the wilderness setting.

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.

Cardio Hike: Hangman's Monument from Augustine
Date:
Thu, 03/02/2023
Time:
7:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/22/2023
More Information  

Mid Week Distance Hike: Bommer Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Mid Week Distance Hike: Bommer Canyon

Take a break and get some fresh air! Join us on a mid-week hike through Bommer and Shady Canyons. This program is for those who just want to get out and hike away the stresses of the week. Enjoy the views and a little quiet time in Irvine’s beautiful Open Space Preserve. Several single-track trails, steep climbs and descents are part of the experience. There is over 2200 ft. of climbing elevation accumulated along the route, but it is done with a moderate pace, approximately 3 mph. Distance is 10-12 miles. Bring plenty of water (100 oz. minimum recommended) and wear comfortable, sturdy shoes. We will be meeting at the Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp.

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.

Mid Week Distance Hike: Bommer Canyon
Date:
Thu, 03/02/2023
Time:
7:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
12 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/22/2023
More Information  

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, 03/02/2023
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 02/22/2023
More Information  

Thursday Morning Trek: Fremont Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Thursday Morning Trek: Fremont Canyon

This week in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, we’ll hike in the remote Fremont Canyon. The hike is just under 6 miles and includes a steep hill. We will hike from the mouth of Fremont Canyon, past a historic coal mine, to the Fremont Weather Station. After enjoying a spectacular view, we will hike back the same way to our starting point. Please bring water, a trail snack, sun screen, hat, and any other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail and wear sturdy, closed-toe hiking shoes. Participants must be able to hike 6 miles with an elevation gain of 1200 feet at an average moving rate of 3 miles per hour. Each hiker must carry his/her own water and supplies.

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: Fremont Canyon
Date:
Thu, 03/02/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/22/2023
More Information  

The Lure and Lull of Limestone Canyon Equestrian Ride to The Sinks or Dripping Springs

Equestrian
The Lure and Lull of Limestone Canyon Equestrian Ride to The Sinks or Dripping Springs
Take a leisurely equestrian ride through beautiful Limestone Canyon, home of oak woodlands, grasslands, and coastal sage scrub.  View evidence of the old ranch days when cattle once roamed the area, and see plants that are native to our area.  You will be touring the beautiful Natural Landmarks.

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.

The Lure and Lull of Limestone Canyon Equestrian Ride to The Sinks or Dripping Springs
Date:
Thu, 03/02/2023
Time:
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/22/2023
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, 03/02/2023
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 02/22/2023
More Information  

Night Adult Beginner Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon to The Sinks

Mountain Biking
Night Adult Beginner Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon to The Sinks

A slow-paced nighttime beginner mountain bike ride for adults in Limestone Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, through sycamores, oaks, and habitat native to California. The route takes us to The Sinks, Orange County’s own mini “Grand Canyon.” Along the way, we will stop and talk about the local habitat, and hope to see some of our local native animals and raptors. For mountain bikers with a minimum of six months of trail experience who would like to join IRC-certified volunteers on an 8 – 9-mile ride with 400 – 800 feet of elevation gain.  This ride is for adult riders only. Allow up to 2.5 hours of riding time.

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

Night Adult Beginner Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon to The Sinks
Date:
Thu, 03/02/2023
Time:
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/22/2023
More Information  

Friday, March 3, 2023

Distance Hike: Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Distance Hike: Limestone Canyon

Join us for a scenic, fast-paced, challenging, distance hike in the beautiful Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. This hike is for physically fit hikers who enjoy the challenge of multiple steep climbs and descents. This 10–13 mile hike offers sweeping views of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains as well as possible wildlife sightings. This hike may include a visit to The Sinks and/or Dripping Springs.

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.

Distance Hike: Limestone Canyon
Date:
Fri, 03/03/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
13 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/23/2023
More Information  

Morning Yoga Hike at Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
Morning Yoga Hike at Quail Hill

Enjoy a 3.6 mile out and back hike to warm up your legs before experiencing a gentle flow yoga practice in nature. The hike is highlighted with a short but steep climb at a medium pace and takes us to a 360 degree view of the Quail Hill neighborhood. 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 positive effects on mental, emotional and physical health. If you have never done a yoga hike before you will be surprised how connected you feel to nature. Please bring water, your own yoga mat plus a large beach towel, and wear shoes appropriate for hiking on trails.

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.

Morning Yoga Hike at Quail Hill
Date:
Fri, 03/03/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
4 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/23/2023
More Information  

Baker Meadow Oak Planting Stewardship

Stewardship
Baker Meadow Oak Planting Stewardship

Spend your morning planting Coast Live Oak seedlings within a beautiful oak woodland in Baker Canyon. We may be using shovels and small handheld tools. No experience necessary.

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

Baker Meadow Oak Planting Stewardship
Date:
Fri, 03/03/2023
Time:
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
15
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/23/2023
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 Winter? 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! 

Reviewing the 1-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this Level 2 activity. Activities may include bending, stooping, crouching, squatting, long periods of standing, reaching, pulling, grabbing, and pushing.

Please note our Minors Policy for all public activities: All minors (under 18 years of age) must be accompanied by their respective parent or legal guardian. Both parent and their accompanying minor(s) must be registered for the Irvine Ranch Conservancy led activity they wish to attend.

Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm
Date:
Fri, 03/03/2023
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Native Seed Farm OCP
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/23/2023
More Information  

Wild Tales

Interpretive
Wild Tales

Wild Tales is back!

Wild Tales will be offered every Friday. Each session will include a kid friendly hike, story time and craft project.

Activities are designed for ages 2-4 but all are welcome.

All minors under 16 must be accompanied by a guardian at all times.

Being that our easy hikes are on dirt trails, wearing clothes and shoes fit for such trail conditions are recommended.

Rain or heat advisory will cancel the event.

Wild Tales
Date:
Fri, 03/03/2023
Time:
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
10 of 30
More Information  

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Limestone Canyon Cardio Hike: East Sinks

Hiking & Fitness
Limestone Canyon Cardio Hike: East Sinks

Limestone Canyon is a treasure waiting to be discovered. Join us for a moderately-paced, 10-mile 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 along with a visit to the East Sinks will be the highlight of our tour.

Please bring a minimum of 70 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 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 4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Limestone Canyon Cardio Hike: East Sinks
Date:
Sat, 03/04/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
10 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/24/2023
More Information  

Ranger Reserve Support: Wilderness Access Day in Black Star Canyon

Stewardship
Stewardship

Come out and assist OC Park Rangers assigned to the Irvine Ranch Open Space (IROS) during this monthly special access event. The event takes place in Black Star Canyon among beautiful oak woodlands and rolling hills, with spectacular views of Orange County that only few get to see. Job duties include event set up, traffic control, visitor service/ check in, post assignments, and trail patrol. Must be a current Ranger Reserve with OC Parks to sign up. No past area experience is needed but welcomed.

Ranger Reserve Support: Wilderness Access Day in Black Star Canyon
Date:
Sat, 03/04/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
18
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

Special Events
Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

Black Star Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, offers pleasant introductory trails for beginner hikers and families as well as challenging experiences for seasoned trail users. Designated trails are available for self-guided hiking, biking and equestrian use. A variety of trail loops offer extended exploration throughout the canyons. Take time to explore the local plant communities and beautiful scenery in easy 30-minute walks or take in 7+ miles in a strong cardio trek.

Pre-registration is not required for this event, though it is available on the website. If you need driving directions, use the online registration to receive a map and instructions for getting to the Baker Canyon Staging Area. Parking is limited on Black Star Canyon Road and carpooling is strongly recommended. You will not be required to sign-in upon arrival, though an information booth with trail maps and suggested routes will be available in the staging area.

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon
Date:
Sat, 03/04/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
145 of 200
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian

Equestrian
Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian

Black Star Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, offers pleasant introductory trails for beginner hikers and families as well as challenging experiences for seasoned trail users. Designated trails are available for self-guided hiking, biking and equestrian use. A variety of trail loops offer extended exploration throughout the canyons. Take time to explore the local plant communities and beautiful scenery in easy 30-minute walks or take in 7+ miles in a strong cardio trek.

There is limited space for equestrian parking along Black Star Canyon Road, carpooling is strongly encouraged. Riders must also have the ability to transport their horse to the staging area. It is a “first come, first serve” for trailer parking and therefore early arrival is HIGHLY recommended. Major crowds are typically present at the very start of the event. There are not typical equestrian amenities at the event such as hitching posts, steps to mount your horse or water troughs. Please be sure to time your arrival accordingly so you have plenty of time to enjoy the trails with your horse.  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian
Date:
Sat, 03/04/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Sahara Mustard Removal in Upper Weir Canyon

Stewardship
Sahara Mustard Removal in Upper Weir Canyon

Sahara Mustard is an invasive nonnative plant on the OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Please join us in our efforts to reduce the spread and impact of this weed! Unfortunately, Sahara Mustard has made its way into Weir Canyon. Early and aggressive removal of this plant will help minimize the spread of this invasive species.

We will meet at Parking Lot C in Irvine Regional Park and use a safari type vehicle to drive to the site. 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.

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.

Sahara Mustard Removal in Upper Weir Canyon
Date:
Sat, 03/04/2023
Time:
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/24/2023
More Information  

Animal Signs and Tracking in Fremont Canyon

Interpretive
Animal Signs and Tracking in Fremont Canyon

Come search for evidence that animals leave behind in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Mule deer, bobcats, coyotes and even mountain lions call this hidden canyon home. Gain the basic tracking techniques as we search for evidence such as tracks, fur, bones, homes, and even scat. You never know what you may find! Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes that you do not mind getting a little dusty. This program is focused on older children and adults.

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.

Animal Signs and Tracking in Fremont Canyon
Date:
Sat, 03/04/2023
Time:
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/24/2023
More Information  
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