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, July 31, 2022

Crafty Kids Sunday

Interpretive
Interpretive

Come join us for a fun themed craft project anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.!

Crafty Kids Sunday features FREE craft activities in the Muth Interpretive Center’s Discovery Classroom.

All ages are welcome, recommended for ages 2 to 10 years old. No registration is required. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

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

Crafty Kids Sunday
Date:
Sun, 07/31/2022
Time:
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

CANCELLED: Introduction to Landscape and Nature Photography

Interpretive
Interpretive

Fancy equipment and expensive software are not necessary to capture beautiful landscapes and nature scenes, especially here at Upper Newport Bay! In this introductory workshop we will focus on subject matter, composition and lighting to give participants the basics they need to make compelling photographs in the outdoors, no matter what type of equipment they use. The program will begin with a short classroom session which will then be followed by a walk along the bay to practice in the late afternoon light. Please note: guests must provide their own camera or photo capable smart phone to participate fully.

All ages are welcome, but this program will be geared toward adult learners.

Minors aged 16 and younger must have legal guardian present at all times.

Walk-in’s welcome, but space is limited, so registration is suggested.

For more information call (949) 923-2277 or email nathan.taxel@ocparks.com

CANCELLED: Introduction to Landscape and Nature Photography
Date:
Sun, 07/31/2022
Time:
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
37 of 45
More Information  

Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike

Experience the serenity of Bommer Canyon during this moderate-paced hike in the Irvine Open Space Preserve. We’ll experience mature coastal sage scrub and fantastic views overlooking the city of Irvine and the hillsides to the north. This hike is just over 3 miles and includes 700 feet of total climbing elevation with several very steep inclines. The steepest section ascends 300 feet in a quarter-mile. Participants must be in good physical condition.

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.

Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike
Date:
Sun, 07/31/2022
Time:
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/23/2022
More Information  

Evening Cardio Hike: Fremont Canyon Lakeview

Hiking & Fitness
Evening Cardio Hike: Fremont Canyon Lakeview

Come enjoy a scenic evening cardio hike in the remote Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Our hike climbs steeply from the mouth of Fremont Canyon along the Lakeview Trail overlooking Irvine Lake. Upon reaching our turnaround point, we’ll head back the same way, descending to our starting point. This challenging hike involves steep climbs and an 1100’ elevation gain but the rewards are sweeping views of Fremont at sunset. Please arrive 15 minutes early and come prepared with a sturdy pack, water, 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.

Evening Cardio Hike: Fremont Canyon Lakeview
Date:
Sun, 07/31/2022
Time:
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/23/2022
More Information  

Monday, August 1, 2022

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 OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, steeped in history and lore, on this morning equestrian ride. The ride will travel through Weir Canyon Nature Preserve, 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:
Mon, 08/01/2022
Time:
10:00 AM - 2:00 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 07/24/2022
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, 08/01/2022
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/24/2022
More Information  

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Early Morning Fitness Hike on Hicks Haul Road: 6-miles

Hiking & Fitness
Early Morning Fitness Hike on Hicks Haul Road: 6-miles

Join us for an exhilarating morning fitness hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. This hike is a 6-mile route as a group – which is 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 hike for anyone who wants a “wilderness experience” without getting dirty! We will have two fairly steep ascents and descents. 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 4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Early Morning Fitness Hike on Hicks Haul Road: 6-miles
Date:
Tue, 08/02/2022
Time:
7:30 AM - 9:45 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/25/2022
More Information  

Dripping Springs Trail Restoration

Stewardship
Dripping Springs Trail Restoration

Please join IRC staff and volunteers as we work along the Dripping Springs trail.  Spend the morning working through grassland, coastal sage scrub and woodland habitats and then hike to Dripping Springs, a natural water source dripping out of an earthquake fault and down a gorgeous fern-covered rock face. Your work on the trail will benefit the rare plants and animals that this unique feature supports!

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land.

Dripping Springs Trail Restoration
Date:
Tue, 08/02/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/25/2022
More Information  

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

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, 08/03/2022
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/26/2022
More Information  

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Thursday Morning Trek: Bommer Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Thursday Morning Trek: Bommer Canyon

This week in the Irvine Open Space Preserve, we’ll be in Bommer Canyon, once part of the historic Irvine cattle ranch where corrals and ranch equipment still stand. The hike is a seven-mile loop with some climbing but rewards you with fantastic views overlooking the ocean and many Irvine locales. Please bring water, a trail snack, sunscreen, a hat, and any other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail.   Get your boots out and register to hike the loop through the Laguna Coast Wilderness and back to 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.

Thursday Morning Trek: Bommer Canyon
Date:
Thu, 08/04/2022
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/27/2022
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, 08/04/2022
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/27/2022
More Information  

Friday, August 5, 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, 08/05/2022
Time:
6:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/28/2022
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, 08/05/2022
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  

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Family Hike: Red Rocks/Black Star Canyon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Red Rocks/Black Star Canyon

Enjoy an early morning family hike in Black Star Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. We will hike along a flat trail and cross a 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:
Sat, 08/06/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
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 07/29/2022
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon

Special Events
Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon

PRE-REGISTRATION is REQUIRED for this event. 

All participants are required to have, a printed copy or on their phone, the confirmation email to show through the window of their vehicle to drive through the entry gate.

You will need the confirmation email for you and your guests to enter the trail system.

Start your weekend off by exploring numerous opportunities found throughout magnificent Limestone Canyon. 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 strenuous 15-mile cardio treks. Whether traveling by feet or wheels, Wilderness Access Day in Limestone Canyon is a treasure waiting to be discovered by hikers and mountain bikers alike.

Due to sensitive raptor nests on Limestone Canyon trail, part of the trail will be closed during this event. Please look for signs redirecting you around the nests. This reroute will add 1/2 a mile and 500 ft elevation gain to your hike if you are going to the Sinks.

Participants will want to plan their day successfully by using Trail Tips to prepare.

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon
Date:
Sat, 08/06/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 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 07/06/2022
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon, Equestrian

Equestrian
Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon, Equestrian

PRE-REGISTRATION is REQUIRED for this event. 

All participants are required to have, a printed copy or on their phone, the confirmation email to show through the window of their vehicle to drive through the entry gate.

You will need the confirmation email for you and your guests to enter the trail system.

Come experience Limestone Canyon’s beauty from the back of your horse. Designated trails will be open for self-guided access hiking, biking, and equestrian use during Wilderness Access Day in Limestone Canyon. Equestrian riders who have trail riding experience with a fit and able horse will enjoy the historic ranch roads of days gone by. Take in the awe-inspiring vistas from the mighty ridge tops and drink in the cool canyon shade through the oak grove.

Due to sensitive raptor nests on Limestone Canyon trail, part of the trail will be closed during this event. Please look for signs redirecting you around the nests.

There is limited space for equestrian parking. Riders must also have the ability to transport their horse to the staging area.

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon, Equestrian
Date:
Sat, 08/06/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/06/2022
More Information  

Wolves and Coyotes

Interpretive
Wolves and Coyotes

Presented by staff from Wolf Haven International, the Wolves and Coyotes Education Program takes a close look at the differences and similarities between wolf and coyote biology, behavior, family pack, historical and current ranges, ecosystem roles, hiking in wolf country, and of course the latest updates on wolves in California.

They will also discuss coexistence with urban coyotes, and how our domesticated dogs compare and contrast to these wild canids.

Minors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or gaurdian at all times.

Walk-in’s are welcome, but seating is limited and preference will be given to those who register in advance.

Wolves and Coyotes
Date:
Sat, 08/06/2022
Time:
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
65 of 100
More Information  

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

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

You will enjoy a gorgeous sunset with panoramic views of Orange County while hiking on the paved Hicks Haul Road in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. This hike travels 6 miles, out and back crossing over Loma Ridge. This is the perfect activity for you to get your work-out in and view the sunset. The hike is conducted at an average pace of 3-3.5 miles per hour, but you may travel a bit faster or slower, at a walk, run, or jog depending on your comfort level. Because of the paved surface of the road, you may wear regular running or walking shoes. Trail shoes are fine, but not required. Please bring adequate water!

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.

Sunset Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road: Both Sides of Loma Ridge
Date:
Sat, 08/06/2022
Time:
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/29/2022
More Information  
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