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, August 3, 2021

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. 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 group may spread out for social distance reasons but generally will remain together for the entire hike.

The footing on the asphalt paved road is smoother than dirt roads and single-track trails normally found in Limestone 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 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.

Please note that you will be asked to adhere to the following protective measures during the activity in order to participate:

  • Each individual adult must bring with them a signed liability waiver. Minors may be added to the waiver of their respective parent or legal guardian. The form will not be available on site.
  • The waiver can be accessed and downloaded for print at home use here:  IRC Liability Waiver 2020.05
  • Be registered in advance, no walk-up registration is permitted.
  • Arrive with all necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail, including water, proper attire, and closed-toe footwear, first aid, health needs etc.
  • Restrooms will be available, but facilities will not be sanitized for each individual.
  • You may be prevented from participating if you do not adhere to the above protocols.

Additionally, in an effort to respect and protect all employees, volunteers, and participants, please do not sign up or attend if you are not feeling well, exhibiting any symptoms of illness or have been in recent contact with someone who was ill.

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

Early Morning Fitness Hike on Hicks Haul Road: 6-miles
Date:
Tue, 08/03/2021
Time:
7:30 AM - 9:45 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Family Friendly:
Yes
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.

Buck Gully Upper Loop Evening Hike
Date:
Tue, 08/03/2021
Time:
3:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Where:
Buck Gully Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
4 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

CANCELLED: Mid Week Hike: Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
CANCELLED: Mid Week Hike: Quail Hill

Take a break and get some fresh air! Join us on a mid-week hike through scenic Quail Hill. 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.

CANCELLED: Mid Week Hike: Quail Hill
Date:
Wed, 08/04/2021
Time:
7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
12 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Fast-Paced Fitness Hike: Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
Fast-Paced Fitness Hike: Hicks Haul Road

Join us every Wednesday night for a faster-paced, fitness-focused, hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road. Hikers will enjoy wonderful sunset views and a panoramic view of Orange County. This hike travels about 3.5 miles, up to the top of Loma Ridge and back down. This fitness hike is much faster than a walk and some participants may speed walk or run. However, we will remain distanced as a group.

The hike is conducted at about an average of 3-3.5 miles per hour,  Most participants finish the route in about 1 hour.

Note that this paved surface is uneven and eroded. It contains cracks and dips in the road, you may wear regular running or walking shoes. Trail shoes are fine, but not required. You must be mindful while hiking, jogging, or walking. 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.

Fast-Paced Fitness Hike: Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Wed, 08/04/2021
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:15 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  

UCI Loma Ridge Global Change Experiment Study Talk Series-No. 4

Special Events
UCI Loma Ridge Global Change Experiment Study Talk Series-No. 4

Irvine Ranch Conservancy is proud to host a Zoom presentation led by Andie Nugent..  She is a Ph.D. candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Irvine with a published paper from her undergraduate work, focusing on earthworms: WORMSPREAD: an individual-based model of invasive earthworm
population dynamics, which kicked off her interest in soil ecology. 

We are pleased to introduce a series of talks surrounding the studies of climate change impacts from soil to landscapes, and lessons learned from the Loma Ridge Global Change Experiment. If you have hiked in the Limestone Canyon Preserve you may have seen the Loma Ridge Experiment site high above East Loma Ridge. Join us to learn more about what research takes place at the research site. Later in the series, learn more about upcoming hikes to tour the site.  

This fourth presentation in a series of four talks will be presented by Andie Nugent, Ph.D. Candidate on microbial response to global change at the Loma Ridge Global Change Experiment. She studies soil microbial communities that lie at the heart of many important ecosystem processes including nitrogen and carbon cycling. In her research, She seeks to understand how climate change and urbanization are affecting the function of soil microbial communities. She uses the global change experiment at Loma Ridge to explore the impacts of drought and nitrogen deposition on the soil microbiome and the potential consequences for ecosystem health. 

We are excited to share the complex interactions discovered on the Loma Ridge. After registering for this activity you will receive a Zoom link before this event date and time. Thank you for your support of the Irvine Ranch Landmarks.

UCI Loma Ridge Global Change Experiment Study Talk Series-No. 4
Date:
Wed, 08/04/2021
Time:
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Where:
Irvine Ranch Conservancy
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Thursday Morning Trek: Baker Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Thursday Morning Trek: Baker Canyon

This week in the Irvine Ranch Open Space, we’ll hike in Baker Canyon. This scenic hike includes steep climbs and descents on both single and double-track trails with about 1100 feet of accumulated climbing. We will enjoy sweeping views of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks and the Santa Ana Mountains. On clear days, we can see Catalina Island and even beyond into the Los Angeles Basin. Please wear hiking shoes/boots and bring water, a trail snack, sun screen, hat, and any other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail.

Participants must be able to hike 7 miles with an elevation gain of 1100 feet at an average moving rate of 3 miles per hour. Each hiker must carry his/her own water and supplies.

Thursday Morning Trek: Baker Canyon
Date:
Thu, 08/05/2021
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
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 is done at an easy walking pace. This out-and-back program travels 2.5 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.

Please note that you will be asked to adhere to the following protective measures during the activity in order to participate:

  • Each individual adult must bring with them a signed liability waiver. Minors may be added to the waiver of their respective parent or legal guardian. The form will not be available on site. The waiver can be accessed and downloaded for print at home use here:  IRC Liability Waiver 2020.05
  • Be registered in advance, no walk-up registration is permitted.
  • Arrive with all necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail, including water, proper attire and footwear, first aid, medications, hand sanitizer, etc.
  • Bring and make use of recommended facial coverings at all times when in the staging area. Facial coverings are also recommended during the activity.
  • Maintain proper physical distancing, a minimum of 6 feet, between yourself and all other members of the group at all times.
  • A contact-less arrival and sign-in process will be utilized to diminish touching and sharing items.
  • Restrooms will be available, but facilities will not be sanitized for each individual.
  • Group stops will be minimized and generally only done for safety purposes.
  • You may be prevented from participating if you do not adhere to the above protocols.
Evening Hike on Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Thu, 08/05/2021
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Friday, August 6, 2021

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.

Space is limited and priority will be given to those who are preregistered.

Wild Tales
Date:
Fri, 08/06/2021
Time:
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Saturday, August 7, 2021

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. 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.

Please note that you will be asked to adhere to the following protective measures during the activity in order to participate:

  • Each individual adult must bring with them a signed liability waiver. Minors may be added to the waiver of their respective parent or legal guardian. The form will not be available on site.
  • The waiver can be accessed and downloaded for print at home use here:  IRC Liability Waiver 2020.05
  • Be registered in advance, no walk-up registration is permitted.
  • Arrive with all necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail, including water, proper attire, and closed-toe footwear, first aid, health needs etc.
  • Restrooms will be available, but facilities will not be sanitized for each individual.
  • You may be prevented from participating if you do not adhere to the above protocols.

Additionally, in an effort to respect and protect all employees, volunteers, and participants, please do not sign up or attend if you are not feeling well, exhibiting any symptoms of illness or have been in recent contact with someone who was ill.

Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike
Date:
Sat, 08/07/2021
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Introduction to Nature Writing and Journaling

Interpretive
Interpretive

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve presents- Introduction to Nature Writing and Journaling. Join us for a classroom workshop followed by time in the field where participants will get an introduction to nature journaling, learn some basic nature observation techniques, and explore the art of creative writing. No experience necessary!

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.

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

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

Introduction to Nature Writing and Journaling
Date:
Sat, 08/07/2021
Time:
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  
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