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 13, 2016

Limestone Ridge Extreme Cardio Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Limestone canyon trail users

Join us for a fast-paced, early morning hike in Limestone Canyon. This 8- mile cardio hike, completed in 2 hours, includes a 1100-foot elevation change, and is for experienced, physically fit hikers who enjoy the challenge of multiple steep climbs and descents. Along the way we’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Orange County, possible wildlife sightings, and the beautiful Limestone canyon and ridge.

You must be an experienced cardio hiker in excellent physical condition to participate in this program. There are no scheduled rest stops on this eight (8) mile cardio hike, and the average four (4) mile per hour pace is extremely 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-5 activity on the land.

 

Limestone Ridge Extreme Cardio Hike
Date:
Sat, 02/13/2016
Time:
6:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
8.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Adopt a Grassland – West Loma Stewardship

Stewardship

California native grasslands are a disappearing habitat that is home to many unique and endangered plants and animals. Please join Irvine Ranch Conservancy staff and volunteers for an opportunity to participate in a hands-on habitat restoration activity.  Come join the team and help native plants and wildlife so they may thrive in West Loma.

No experience is necessary other than a desire to explore and care for our open space. Participants will engage in plant identification, removal of invasive weeds, and planting native plants.  Sturdy footwear is recommended for walking on uneven terrain, kneeling, bending, and gardening in the wilderness.  All tools will be provided.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land.

Adopt a Grassland - West Loma Stewardship
Date:
Sat, 02/13/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Helping Nature to Keep Its Cool

Interpretive
bird

Join us for an informative and energizing hike in Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. We will begin at the beautiful Augustine Staging area traveling up the paved Hicks Haul Road, across East Loma and down Sandtrap, finally returning to the staging area via Limestone Canyon road. Along the way we will discuss the effects, both positive and negative that fire has had on this beautiful area. We will stop to see the restoration progress of the removal of non-native plants in the canyon. Restoring the native grasses and other plants will help the area be more fire resistant. There will be several stops, but the pace will be moderate and include several steep climbs and descents.
Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land.

Helping Nature to Keep Its Cool
Date:
Sat, 02/13/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Family Hike: Agua Chinon

Interpretive

Enjoy an early evening family hike in Agua Chinon, part of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. We hike a gradual climb of 500 ft elevation of  as we watch for red-tailed hawks and mule deer.  This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. The hike will average 3 miles round trip at an easy pace with a medium level of interpretation.

This program is for participants who would enjoy a slower-paced gradual climb hike. Hikers should be in good health able to do a beginning hike over a variety of terrains. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes, and bring water for the hike. Be ready to enjoy the sounds and smells of early evening.

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

Family Hike: Agua Chinon
Date:
Sat, 02/13/2016
Time:
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
8
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Slow-Paced Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon, Sandtrap to The Sinks

Mountain Biking

Join us in beautiful Limestone Canyon on this docent-led mountain bike ride beneath a canopy of coastal live oaks up to beautiful vistas and the viewing deck of The Sinks. This is a slow-paced ride designed for the intermediate rider who is in excellent cardio shape and physically fit, and who has experience and skills, but sometimes needs to move slower in more technical areas with steep descents/ascents. Riders must have a minimum of one year of mountain bike experience. It is very strenuous with difficult terrain and intended as a “hike-a-bike” ride.

If you are very physically fit and in excellent cardio shape, you won’t want to miss out!​

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land.

Slow-Paced Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon, Sandtrap to The Sinks
Date:
Sun, 02/14/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
10.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Family Beginner Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon to The Sinks

Mountain Biking

For families and children ages 12 and up who would like to join IRC-certified volunteers on a longer slow-paced, family-oriented ride through sycamores, oaks, and habitat native to California. The route takes us to The Sinks, Orange County’s own “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. The ride is 8 – 9 miles with 400 – 800 feet of elevation gain that may require hike-a‐bike for some riders.

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

The trail is a wide dirt fire road with natural hazards like sand, tree roots, ruts, rocks, dry creek crossings, and small hills. We will ride at the slowest rider’s pace, with numerous stops for resting, regrouping and/or interpretation.

Some trail side bike repair knowledge is appreciated. Allow 2 – 2.5 hours of riding time.To be able to ride with the group six months of trail experience is required. Riders need to have ridden in areas such as Peter’s Canyon, Chino Hills Telegraph Canyon, El Moro Canyon, and Aliso Woods. Riders must be able to ride/walk 10 miles on gradual uphill and downhill terrain. Riders must have their own mountain bike, helmet, 100 oz of water, and snacks. Parents, your child must be able to ride their own bike. Children’s bikes must have front shocks and 20 inch or larger knobby wheels. Please consider that this ride may be difficult for your child. Bring spare tubes for your child’s bikes as well as enough water and snacks for your family. Appropriate mountain bikes have knobby tires, multiple low gears and a front shock. Please do not bring road bikes, beach cruisers, BMX bikes, or attachments to your bike.

 

Family Beginner Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon to The Sinks
Date:
Sun, 02/14/2016
Time:
3:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Monday, February 15, 2016

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
Hiking & Fitness

Join us every Monday night for a fitness-focused hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road. During the summer, 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.

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Mon, 02/15/2016
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 has closed.
More Information  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Adopt a Canyon – Agua Chinon Stewardship

Stewardship

Are you a nature lover, hiker, gardener, or just need to get outside to refresh yourself? Does the idea of adopting a canyon across four seasons and being part of a longer term project interest you? Please come help Irvine Ranch Conservancy restore local habitat, native plants and wildlife so they may thrive in Agua Chinon.

After spending time restoring native habitats, the group will take a short ride to see The Sinks, a spectacular geological formation in Limestone Canyon.

No experience is necessary other than a desire to explore and care for our open space. Participants will engage in plant identification, removal of invasive weeds, and planting native plants. Simple tools will be provided for you as required. Sturdy footwear is recommended for walking on uneven terrain, kneeling, bending, and gardening in the wilderness.

This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.  From our conveniently located Portola staging area, come venture out for something big each month, adopt Agua Chinon!

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

 

Adopt a Canyon - Agua Chinon Stewardship
Date:
Tue, 02/16/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Tuesday Morning Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness

Ready for a workout? Forget the gym for the day and head outside! Join us for an exhilarating morning fitness walk on the paved Hicks Haul Road. 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.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3/4 activity on the land.

The road is paved and the terrain is smooth, so this is a great walk for anyone who wants a “wilderness experience” without getting dirty!  We will have two fairly steep hill 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.

Walkers should be confident in their ability to hike 3, 6, or 8 miles at a steady pace. Ages 16 and up. Low interpretation.

Tuesday Morning Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Tue, 02/16/2016
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
Hiking & Fitness

Join us every Wednesday night for a fitness-focused hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road. During the summer, 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 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.

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Wed, 02/17/2016
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Thursday, February 18, 2016

CANCELLED: Better Birding Basics: Raptors and Other Soaring Birds

Interpretive

This is the time of year when raptors think about romance – they pair up and display to their partners. We will be observing all birds on this walk, but pay special attention to the ones we see soaring. Please wear sturdy shoes suitable for hiking, along with sun protection such as a hat and sunscreen. Bring your binoculars, or borrow ours. This program is part of the continuing Better Birding Basics series.

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

CANCELLED: Better Birding Basics: Raptors and Other Soaring Birds
Date:
Thu, 02/18/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Friday, February 19, 2016

Loop Hike: Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness

Join us for a brisk half-day hike in the beautiful Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.  This loop hike is for physically fit hikers who relish the challenge of multiple steep climbs and descents.  The hike offers sweeping views of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains as well as possible wildlife sightings and may include a visit to The Sinks.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land.

Loop Hike: Limestone Canyon
Date:
Fri, 02/19/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
10.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Adopt a Canyon – Agua Chinon Stewardship

Stewardship

Are you a nature lover, hiker, gardener, or just need to get outside to refresh yourself? Does the idea of adopting a canyon across four seasons and being part of a longer term project interest you? Please come help Irvine Ranch Conservancy restore local habitat, native plants and wildlife so they may thrive in Agua Chinon.

No experience is necessary other than a desire to explore and care for our open space. Participants will engage in plant identification, removal of invasive weeds, and planting native plants. Simple tools will be provided for you as required. Sturdy footwear is recommended for walking on uneven terrain, kneeling, bending, and gardening in the wilderness.

This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.  From our conveniently located Portola staging area, come venture out for something big each month, adopt Agua Chinon!

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

 

Adopt a Canyon - Agua Chinon Stewardship
Date:
Sat, 02/20/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Tales and Characters of the Santa Ana Mountains

Interpretive
Interpretive

On this slow-paced hike through the oaks of scenic Limestone Canyon, join us as we share stories of the Native Americans who once made this canyon their home. The tales will include encounters with grizzly bears, cattle driving vaqueros, early American settlers, bandits, and stagecoach robbers. Come prepared with a spirit of adventure!

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

Tales and Characters of the Santa Ana Mountains
Date:
Sat, 02/20/2016
Time:
8:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Caminata Familiar/Family Hike to the Canyon (Bilingual Spanish)

Interpretive
fitness hike

Come and enjoy an easy stroll on Hicks Haul Road. We will hike a paved road as we watch for soaring hawks, Turkey Vultures, curious coyotes, and flickering bats. You and your family will also learn about native plants, and their uses by local native people. The hike will average 2 miles round trip at an easy pace with a medium level of interpretation presented both in English and in Spanish. Please 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-3 activity on the land.

Disfrute un atardecer con su familia en una caminata de camino pavimentado de dos millas ida y vuelta en Hicks Haul Road. Observe atentamente como los halcones se remontan a las alturas, curiosos coyotes, y murciélagos que pasan por arriba. Iremos con paso lento mientras un guía naturalista nos explica los más sobresaliente detalles del paseo. Este paseo está diseñado en inglés y español para que las personas disfruten de las bellezas del cañón. Por favor use ropa y zapatos cómodos y lleve su botella de agua.

Caminata Familiar/Family Hike to the Canyon (Bilingual Spanish)
Date:
Sat, 02/20/2016
Time:
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
8
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Cardio Hike: Limestone

Hiking & Fitness

Explore beautiful Limestone Canyon on this fast-paced cardio hike. Along the trail, you’ll pass through coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands. Multiple steep climbs and descents are included. Enjoy views of Saddleback Peak and the Cleveland National Forest along the way.

Remember, this cardio hike is much faster than a walk, and features a 1,300-foot elevation change. You must be able to hike uphill at an average pace of 3.5-to-4 mph without stopping.  Please make sure you are in excellent physical condition!

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land.

Cardio Hike: Limestone
Date:
Sun, 02/21/2016
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Sahara Mustard Pull at Loma Ridge

Stewardship

Sahara mustard is a nasty exotic that has invaded thousands of acres across Southern California and is just beginning to encroach upon the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. Now is the time to act! Over the last five years volunteers have been successfully keeping this plant at bay at Loma Ridge within the Irvine Ranch Open Space. Your help is needed to search for and remove new mustard plants that have come up from seed so that we can keep this weed from infesting our wild lands! This event will include bending, kneeling and walking across slopes and uneven terrain. All training and tools will be provided. We hope you can join us!

Sahara Mustard Pull at Loma Ridge
Date:
Sun, 02/21/2016
Time:
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Zumba

Hiking & Fitness
zumba fitness

Are you ready to try a new exercise that is fun and energetic while enjoying the great outdoors? Come dance to the fantastic aerobic workout, ZUMBA!! Join us as we take on a variety of Latin flavor moves through dancing the Salsa, Maringa, Flamenco and more! Different dance routines feature interval moves from fast to slow rhythms, adding in resistance training to tone and sculpt your body while burning calories. You don’t need to be a professional dancer, just have the drive to try! It’s high energy, it’s zesty…it’s ZUMBA! Please wear comfortable workout clothes, closed toed shoes, bring plenty of water, and be ready to move!

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

 

Zumba
Date:
Sun, 02/21/2016
Time:
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
10
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Dripping Springs Trail Restoration

Stewardship

Please join IRC staff as we convert Dripping Springs ranch road into a single track trail! Activities may include planting native plants along the trail side, weeding out non-native invasive species and watering newly planted plants.  Your effort will help to create a beautiful clear path for people as well as important habitat for wildlife. Spend the day 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 then down a gorgeous fern-covered rock face. This unique feature supports many rare plants and animals in the area. No previous experience is needed; however we will be hiking approximately 2.5 miles with heavy tools. Thank you for your continued support of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks!

Please review the Difficulty Ratings before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land.

Dripping Springs Trail Restoration
Date:
Sun, 02/21/2016
Time:
10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
10
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  
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