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.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Equestrian Trail Ride: Fremont to Weir Canyon

Equestrian
Equestrian Trail Ride: Fremont to Weir Canyon

Experience the wonders of two preserve areas located on OCParks’ beautiful Irvine Ranch Open Space, Fremont and Weir Canyons. We begin our equestrian ride atop the Waterworks trail, an old filled-in V ditch that served to water the vast acres of the old Irvine Ranch of Orange County. We parallel Santiago Creek and enter the mouth of Fremont Canyon where native flora and fauna abound and find refuge from the sprawling urban environment. We turn and head toward Weir Canyon along the MWD trail and find ourselves gaining elevation and on little hills. As we head into the canyons we find hawks overhead and the coastal sage scrub turn into chaparral. We may find wildflowers or native grasses sprouting and certainly, we will hear sounds from Irvine Park. Serenity will be found as we enter the quietness of Weir Canyon where Oaks abound and restoration continues where Ox carts once traversed. After travelling back in time, we make our way back to the park and toward our original starting point going through Lower Weir Canyon and back into the park.

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.

Equestrian Trail Ride: Fremont to Weir Canyon
Date:
Thu, 03/16/2023
Time:
10:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
10 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/08/2023
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, 03/16/2023
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 03/08/2023
More Information  

Friday, March 17, 2023

Fremont Loop Distance Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Fremont Loop Distance Hike

Join us for an extremely challenging and strenuous hiking adventure in the scenic Fremont Canyon Wilderness Area. This 15-mile loop hike is for experienced, physically fit distance hikers. The hike is on fire/SCE dirt roads with numerous significantly steep, unrelenting climbs and descents. We hike the entire rim of Fremont Canyon, passing by an abandoned coal mine, the Fremont Weather Station and the remnants of a rare stand of Tecate cypress. Along the way we’ll have sweeping views of Orange County, the Santa Ana Mountains and surrounding mountain ranges.

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.

Fremont Loop Distance Hike
Date:
Fri, 03/17/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/09/2023
More Information  

Better Birding Basics: Birding by Ear in Agua Chinon

Interpretive
Better Birding Basics: Birding by Ear in Agua Chinon

Birds are often hidden from sight and yet can still be identified by their calls and songs. Knowing how to identify birds by ear is an important step in becoming a better birder. Join other birders as we search for birds by both ear and eye in the beautiful arroyo canyon of Agua Chinon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Restoration of this sensitive habitat has recently been completed, and we are watching to see if bird populations increase over time. Please wear sturdy shoes suitable for hiking, along with sun protection such as a hat and sunscreen.

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.

Better Birding Basics: Birding by Ear in Agua Chinon
Date:
Fri, 03/17/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/09/2023
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, 03/17/2023
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 03/09/2023
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, 03/17/2023
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 03/09/2023
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, 03/17/2023
Time:
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
23 of 30
More Information  

St Patty’s Day Evening Cardio Hike: Fremont Canyon Coal Mine

Hiking & Fitness
St Patty’s Day Evening Cardio Hike: Fremont Canyon Coal Mine

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, past an abandoned coal mine, up to the Fremont Weather Station. After enjoying the view, we’ll turnaround and hike back the same way to our starting point.

This challenging hike involves steep climbs and a 1200’ 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.

St Patty’s Day Evening Cardio Hike: Fremont Canyon Coal Mine
Date:
Fri, 03/17/2023
Time:
4:00 PM - 7:00 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 03/09/2023
More Information  

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Wilderness Access Day: Bommer Canyon

Special Events
Wilderness Access Day: Bommer Canyon

Enjoy self-guided access in the southern portion of Irvine’s Open Space Preserve. The entire southern Open Space Preserve trail network will be open for self-guided hiking and biking from 8 am to 2 pm. This includes the single-tracks in Shady Canyon and Bommer Canyon that are reserved for guided activities only. Registration is not required for this event, though it is shown on the website. If you need driving directions, please use the online registration to receive a map and instructions for getting to Bommer. The Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp will be available for parking, but please take note that your vehicle must be removed from the Cattle Camp area by 2 pm.

Special Notice: Parking at the Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp is extremely limited due to ongoing construction, and will be available on a first come-first serve basis. Additional parking may be available at the Bommer Canyon Trailhead and Turtle Rock Community Park. Alternate parking options also include the Quail Hill Trailhead, Quail Hill Community Center and Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.

Wilderness Access Day: Bommer Canyon
Date:
Sat, 03/18/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/18/2023
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:
Sat, 03/18/2023
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 03/10/2023
More Information  

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

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

A slow-paced 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.

Afternoon Adult Beginner Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon to The Sinks
Date:
Sat, 03/18/2023
Time:
4:00 PM - 6:30 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 03/10/2023
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 in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space on the paved Hicks Haul Road. 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, 03/18/2023
Time:
5:00 PM - 7:00 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 03/10/2023
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.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

Starry, Starry Night
Date:
Sat, 03/18/2023
Time:
6:30 PM - 8:30 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 03/10/2023
More Information  

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Intro to Cardio Hike: Weir Canyon Rifle Range Loop

Hiking & Fitness
Intro to Cardio Hike: Weir Canyon Rifle Range Loop

Thinking the cardio hikes might be too fast for you? If so, join us in beautiful Weir Canyon for this slightly slower introduction to cardio hiking. Along the trail, you’ll pass through coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands where deer and bobcats are frequently observed. Multiple steep climbs and descents, and sweeping views, are included throughout this 6-mile hike. Please make sure you are in excellent physical condition! Even though this is a slower cardio hike, it is faster than a walk. You must be able to hike 3+ miles per hour the entire time without stopping.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land. Please review our Trail Tips and FAQ pages to ensure you arrive prepared for this hike.

Intro to Cardio Hike: Weir Canyon Rifle Range Loop
Date:
Sun, 03/19/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/11/2023
More Information  

Limestone Canyon Distance Hike: Panoramic Sinks View from the Water Tank

Hiking & Fitness
Limestone Canyon Distance Hike: Panoramic Sinks View from the Water Tank

Explore beautiful Limestone Canyon on this challenging distance hike to the “water tank” beyond the East Sinks viewing area. This distance hike rewards hikers with panoramic unobstructed views of The Sinks, an ancient and dramatic formation of exposed sandstone cliffs. Limestone Canyon is one of the most pristine wilderness areas in the county. In addition to providing sweeping views, the trail passes through coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands. This hike moves between 3 and 3.5 mph with multiple sustained climbs.

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

Limestone Canyon Distance Hike: Panoramic Sinks View from the Water Tank
Date:
Sun, 03/19/2023
Time:
7:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
12.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/11/2023
More Information  

Moderate Paced Mountain Bike Ride: Baker and Fremont Canyons

Mountain Biking
Moderate Paced Mountain Bike Ride: Baker and Fremont Canyons

Enjoy riding in the wilderness on empty trails? Then join us on a docent-led mountain bike ride that loops through Fremont, Baker and Black Star Canyons. The route features expansive views, as well as the flora and fauna of the Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve and Black Star Canyon Nature Park. If you are very physically fit and in excellent cardio shape, this is a great opportunity to enjoy this seldom visited wilderness of Orange County!

This is a moderate-paced ride designed for the experienced beginner to intermediate rider who is in excellent cardio shape and is physically fit, but sometimes needs to move slower on steep ascents/descents. We will ride both fire roads and largely non-technical single track trails. The ride will regroup and rest as needed and an opportunity will be provided for a snack break.

Please note, the ride is approximately 15 miles long with 2300 feet of elevation gain. The route has climbs with some extended steep sections.  The climb to Cathedral Rock is a 3+ mile climb that gains 1500+ feet in altitude (average 9% gradient with a number of steeper pitches).

Moderate Paced Mountain Bike Ride: Baker and Fremont Canyons
Date:
Sun, 03/19/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
15 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/11/2023
More Information  
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