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.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Distance Hike to Mini Moab: Fremont Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Distance Hike to Mini Moab: Fremont Canyon

Come along with us on this epic 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.

Distance Hike to Mini Moab: Fremont Canyon
Date:
Sat, 02/25/2023
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 02/17/2023
More Information  

Explore Weir Canyon: Animal Signs and Tracks

Interpretive
Explore Weir Canyon: Animal Signs and Tracks

Come join us as we hike 5 miles through the lovely Weir Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Before our hike starts a brief introduction to animal tracks and scats will be given. Along our journey, we will be looking for any signs animals might have left behind for us to find. Tracks, scats, and other signs are out there waiting for us to find them!

Please come prepared with plenty (50 oz) of water, closed-toe shoes, and a sturdy hiking backpack. 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.

Explore Weir Canyon: Animal Signs and Tracks
Date:
Sat, 02/25/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/17/2023
More Information  

Wildflowers of Waterworks

Interpretive
Wildflowers of Waterworks

Join an OC Parks staff-led interpretive nature hike along the “Waterworks Trail” in the Irvine Ranch Open Space.  We’ll depart from Irvine Regional Park “Lot P” and head towards the beautiful Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve, part of the Landmarks on the backside of the Irvine Lake dam before crossing Santiago Creek and heading back on the other bank of the creek. Beautiful views are plentiful on this route.

Route and mileage may change dependent on trail conditions.

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

Wildflowers of Waterworks
Date:
Sat, 02/25/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Full
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, 02/25/2023
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 02/17/2023
More Information  

Keep It Wild – Restoration at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Stewardship
Keep It Wild - Restoration at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Join Laguna Canyon Foundation and OC Parks at one of our habitat restoration stewardship events in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park as we learn and work together to create a healthier habitat for the native plants and wildlife that call the canyon their home. Depending on the time of year, volunteers will assist with various stewardship activities, including removal of non-native plants, seed collection, seeding and/or planting of native plants. No experience is necessary and all tools will be provided. Please wear long pants, closed-toed shoes and sun protection, and bring water. Come out and join the team to help restore the wild lands we all enjoy! To register and learn more: https://lagunacanyon.org/event/keep-it-wild-laguna-coast-2022-12-16-2023-02-25/

Keep It Wild - Restoration at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Date:
Sat, 02/25/2023
Time:
2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Distance Hike: Bommer Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Distance Hike: Bommer Canyon

The title says it all. This is your chance to venture deep in the Irvine Open Space Preserve. Join us for a challenging and beautiful adventure. Hiking distance is up to 14 miles and is designed for advanced hikers. Participants must be physically fit and have distance hiking experience. Singletrack trails, steep climbs and descents are numerous on this route, with over 2,400 feet of accumulated climbing elevation. Most months, the route stays in the Irvine Open Space Preserve for its entirety, but will occasionally feature hiking to the sea and back: beginning in Bommer, the hike will head into Crystal Cove State Park, then pass through Laguna Coast Wilderness Park before returning to the Irvine preserve.

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.

Distance Hike: Bommer Canyon
Date:
Sun, 02/26/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
14 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/18/2023
More Information  

Mountain Bike Clinic: Terrain Skills

Mountain Biking
Mountain Bike Clinic: Terrain Skills

If you are new to mountain biking and interested in getting started the right way, or if you just want to hone your existing skills developing terrain-influenced bike handling over several types of man-made features, this is the clinic for you! The class begins with a brief overview of rider fundamentals starting with platform position and weight transfer then covering equipment basics & setup, braking, gearing and a brief bike maintenance Q&A session followed by a series of exercises demonstrating terrain-influenced bike handling over a variety of man-made features including log piles, rock step-ups, A-frames and many more. These riding techniques will be taught and practiced at the Mountain Bike Skills Development area. 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-3 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Mountain Bike Clinic: Terrain Skills
Date:
Sun, 02/26/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/18/2023
More Information  

Weekly Nature Area Clean UP

Trail Work
Weekly Nature Area Clean UP

Join Mile Square Regional Park staff and volunteers in enhancing the Nature Area habitat for local wildlife. Activities may include non-native plant removal, planting natives, watering, trash cleanup, and Butterfly Garden maintenance.

No experience is necessary; please bring a hat, sunscreen, snacks, water, wear closed toe shoes and a long sleeve shirt is recommended. Tools are provided. Please arrive on time, as work will begin promptly at 9 am.

Please note, this is a weekly reoccurring activity and space is limited. Please park in the Overflow/gravel lot and meet at the volunteer shed just a few yards west of the Overflow/gravel lot entrance.

• Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
• Minors ages 16 and younger must have a legal guardian present at all times.
• Rain or heat advisories cancel the event

Weekly Nature Area Clean UP
Date:
Sun, 02/26/2023
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Mile Square Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
17 of 25
More Information  

Monday, February 27, 2023

Monday Morning Super Trek: Limestone Canyon to Box Springs and the Sinks

Hiking & Fitness
Monday Morning Super Trek: Limestone Canyon to Box Springs and the Sinks

Come start your week with us on our Super Treks in the Landmarks. Join us as we explore Limestone Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. We will hike across East Loma and enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding hills, out to the coast, and of Irvine Lake. We will continue to Box Springs and the west side of the Sinks before making our return to the staging area. Please wear hiking shoes/boots and bring water, a trail snack, sunscreen, hat, and any other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail. Participants must be able to hike 11 miles with an elevation gain of 1800 feet at an average moving rate of 3 miles per hour.

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.

Monday Morning Super Trek: Limestone Canyon to Box Springs and the Sinks
Date:
Mon, 02/27/2023
Time:
7:30 AM - 12:45 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
11 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/19/2023
More Information  

Beautiful Botany in Santiago Oaks

Interpretive
Beautiful Botany in Santiago Oaks

Discover what’s popping up in color at Santiago Oaks. Our annual wildflowers are giving a nice showing along the trails. Let’s search for the rainbow as we take a stroll through the park.

The hike will travel about 1 – 2 miles over moderate elevation gain. Program is free but 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

Beautiful Botany in Santiago Oaks
Date:
Mon, 02/27/2023
Time:
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Santiago Oaks Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
Full
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, 02/27/2023
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 02/19/2023
More Information  

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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, 02/28/2023
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 02/20/2023
More Information  

Stewardship Day at the West Sinks View Deck

Stewardship
Stewardship Day at the West Sinks View Deck

Please join us as we enhance habitat adjacent to the west viewing deck at the Sinks in Limestone Canyon. This area is characterized by beautiful geological formations that resemble a mini Grand Canyon. Volunteers will travel for approximately 20 minutes in an open air safari style truck to the project site. The morning will be spent watering native shrubs. We may be using small shovels and other tools. No experience necessary.

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

Stewardship Day at the West Sinks View Deck
Date:
Tue, 02/28/2023
Time:
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
1 miles
Minimum Age:
15
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/20/2023
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, 02/28/2023
Time:
3:45 PM - 6:00 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 02/20/2023
More Information  

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Distance Hike: Bommer and Beyond

Hiking & Fitness
Distance Hike: Bommer and Beyond

Grab your day pack and join us on a distance hike through scenic Bommer Canyon and beyond into Laguna Coast and Crystal Cove Parks. We stage at Cattle Camp, historically a center for cattle operations that occurred in the San Joaquin Hills up until the late 1990s, and now part of the Irvine Open Space Preserve. This hike involves multiple steep climbs and descents across a variety of trail types, including some narrow singletracks, with 2200+ feet of accumulated climbing elevation, but is done at a moderate pace, approximately 3 mph. Please bring plenty of water (100 oz. recommended), and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Hiking distance is 10-12 miles.

All participants must carry their own day pack and water! Please come prepared with a pack, sturdy closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail for the half-day of being out in the wilderness area. Under-prepared participants may be denied access to the event! Program may be cancelled or shortened due to adverse weather conditions.

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: Bommer and Beyond
Date:
Wed, 03/01/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
12 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/21/2023
More Information  
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