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.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

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, 07/05/2022
Time:
6:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Buck Gully Upper Loop Evening Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Buck Gully Upper Loop Evening Hike

Explore the richness of Newport Beach’s Buck Gully Reserve as we hike during the beautiful early evening hours. The stream is running and the rich plant and animal life is enjoying the cool, shady canyon, making for a fantastic evening hike in a natural oasis amid the suburban surroundings. We’ll walk along San Joaquin Hills Road, which overlooks Buck Gully, for the first mile and then drop down into the canyon on the Bobcat Trail, looping back through the upper end of the gully along the Buck Gully Trail. 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 Upper Loop Evening Hike
Date:
Tue, 07/05/2022
Time:
4:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Where:
Buck Gully Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
4 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
8 of 20
More Information  

Twilight Hike in Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Twilight Hike in Limestone Canyon

Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve is a treasure waiting to be discovered. Join us for an evening, 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.

Twilight Hike in Limestone Canyon
Date:
Tue, 07/05/2022
Time:
4:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
10 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
8 of 25
More Information  

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Mid Week Hike: Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
Mid Week Hike: Quail Hill

Take a break and get some fresh air! Join us on a mid-week hike through scenic Quail Hill, part of the Irvine Open Space Preserve. 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 Southern Preserve. Several single-track trails, steep climbs and descents are part of the experience. There is over 2700 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 Quail Hill Trailhead.

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 Hike: Quail Hill
Date:
Wed, 07/06/2022
Time:
7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
12 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
9 of 20
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 Nature Preserve, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, and 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.

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.

Equestrian Ride: Discover The Natural Wonders Of Weir Canyon
Date:
Wed, 07/06/2022
Time:
9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
7 of 10
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 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, 07/06/2022
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Thursday, July 7, 2022

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’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. 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’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.

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, 07/07/2022
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Full
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, 07/07/2022
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
12 of 20
More Information  

Friday, July 8, 2022

Sunrise Hike: Fremont Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Sunrise Hike: Fremont Canyon

Come enjoy a fast-paced early morning hike in Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Our hike climbs steeply from the mouth of Fremont Canyon past an abandoned coal mine, up to the Fremont Weather Station where winds have been clocked at up to 100 mph. After enjoying the view, we’ll hike back the same way to our starting point. This hike involves steep hills and a 1200’ elevation change but the rewards are panoramic views of Orange County, the Santa Ana Mountains and surrounding areas as well as possible wildlife sightings. Please arrive 15 minutes early and come prepared with a sturdy day pack, water, snacks, closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail.

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.

Sunrise Hike: Fremont Canyon
Date:
Fri, 07/08/2022
Time:
6:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
6 of 15
More Information  

It’s Harvest Time! Collect Wildflower Seeds at the Native Seed Farm

Stewardship
It's Harvest Time! Collect Wildflower Seeds at the Native Seed Farm

Looking for a way to give back to Nature this summer? Come help us behind the scenes at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s one-of-a-kind Native Seed Farm in Irvine! We will be harvesting seeds from beautiful native plants, like Buckwheat and Leafy Fleabane. 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.

It's Harvest Time! Collect Wildflower Seeds at the Native Seed Farm
Date:
Fri, 07/08/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Native Seed Farm COI
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
3 of 15
More Information  

Wild Tales

Interpretive
Interpretive

Upper Newport Bay’s long running and popular story time is back! Wild tales will be offered every Friday and include an outdoor story time in our newly renovated amphitheater, an age appropriate hike, and a craft project in our classroom. Each session will have a new story, hike theme, and craft project.

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

Current CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be observed.

All Minors under 16 must be accompanied by a parent of guardian at all times.

Rain or heat advisory will cancel the event.

Wild Tales
Date:
Fri, 07/08/2022
Time:
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Bats: Heroes of the Night

Interpretive
Bats: Heroes of the Night

As the day starts to settle into the night in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, bats awaken, stir and streak into the evening sky. Come hear fascinating tales of our flying mammals. 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 enjoy an extended period of time listening for bats that fly about in the night.

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

Bats: Heroes of the Night
Date:
Fri, 07/08/2022
Time:
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Animal Tracking in Fremont Canyon

Interpretive
Animal 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 Tracking in Fremont Canyon
Date:
Sat, 07/09/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
15 of 20
More Information  

Bridges of Buck Gully Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Bridges of Buck Gully Hike

Be inspired by both the natural beauty and recent history of Newport Beach’s Buck Gully Reserve, as we explore this protected area and the collaboration that made it possible. Buck Gully is a natural coastal canyon that opened to the public in 2012 with the installation of four bridges to provide safe public access. The bridges allow exploration of the entire Buck Gully Reserve, and also provide unique vantages and viewing platforms from which to pause and observe the abundant life in and around the stream that runs through the gully year-round. Our guided program starts with a short walk from the Oasis Senior Center to the beginning of the Buck Gully trail, with a visually dramatic entrance into this special canyon. We’ll cross two bridges on the first section of our walk, and then enter the canopied singletrack portion of the trail as we pass by the third bridge. At the fourth and last bridge, we will pause to enjoy the shaded beauty of this hidden refuge, and then retrace our route back to the Oasis.

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.

Bridges of Buck Gully Hike
Date:
Sat, 07/09/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Buck Gully Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
3 of 20
More Information  

Family Hike: Round Canyon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Round Canyon

Enjoy nature with friends and family in Round Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. 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 Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. 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.

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: Round Canyon
Date:
Sat, 07/09/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

Special Events
Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

Black Star Canyon 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, 07/09/2022
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:
126 of 200
More Information  
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10