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, August 15, 2021

Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon

Come explore the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks in your backyard! This scenic hike involves steep climbs and descents on both double and singletrack trails and around 1100’ of accumulated climbing elevation. Though challenging, the hike rewards you with sweeping views of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks and Santa Ana Mountains. On clear days you can see Catalina Island and even beyond Orange County into the Los Angeles Basin.

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

Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon
Date:
Sun, 08/15/2021
Time:
6:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

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 morning n 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.

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 Landscape and Nature Photography
Date:
Sun, 08/15/2021
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Family Hike: Black Star Canyon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Black Star Canyon

Enjoy an early morning family hike in Black Star Canyon, part of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. 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. Be ready to enjoy the sounds and smells of early evening.

Family Hike: Black Star Canyon
Date:
Sun, 08/15/2021
Time:
8:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
4
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
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. 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:
Sun, 08/15/2021
Time:
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Bats: Heroes of the Night

Interpretive
Bats: Heroes of the Night

As the day starts to settle into the night, bats awaken, stir and streak into the evening sky. Come hear fascinating tales of our flying mammal. We will head out towards a popular roosting location as we watch our nighttime heroes begin their nightly adventures. This program is ideal to visually observe the bats in flight, though bat detectors are available to listen for their high-frequency calls.

Be prepared to walk about 1/2 a mile. Dress warmly as it may be a chilly evening. A camping chair is welcome as we will enjoy an extended period of time listening for bats that fly about in the night.

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

Bats: Heroes of the Night
Date:
Sun, 08/15/2021
Time:
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Monday, August 16, 2021

Discover Hidden Canyons: Baker Canyon Single Loop

Interpretive
Discover Hidden Canyons: Baker Canyon Single Loop

Discover the hidden canyons and trails found on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. These seldom hiked trails offer fantastic vista views, secluded oasis of oaks or rising rocky outcrops. Come take a stroll along the trails to discover the hidden gems of Orange County. We will listen to tales how the geology was formed underfoot to tales of the plants and animals that call these protected habitats home. Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes for our hike there will be a steady elevation climb on this hike.  Please wear layers as it gets cool in the canyon, but can warm up and  bring proper sun protection and water.

Discover Hidden Canyons: Baker Canyon Single Loop
Date:
Mon, 08/16/2021
Time:
8:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
13
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Early Morning Advanced Hike: Santiago Oaks to Weir

Hiking & Fitness
Early Morning Advanced Hike:  Santiago Oaks to Weir

Join us on this early morning advanced hike with Irvine Ranch Conservancy enjoying parks adjacent to the Landmarks and through beautiful Weir Canyon. You will go through two parks adjacent to the Landmarks, they are OC Parks managed Regional Parks (Irvine Regional, Santiago Oaks Regional)  We start in Irvine Regional Park, hike over to Santiago Oaks, and finish with a scenic hike down beautiful Weir Canyon Preserve in then Irvine Ranch Open Space.

Distance is 8 miles with several steep climbs and descents.

Early Morning Advanced Hike:  Santiago Oaks to Weir
Date:
Tue, 08/17/2021
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

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:

  • 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.
    • Bring and make use of recommended facial coverings.
    • 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.
    • You may be prevented from participating if you do not adhere to the above protocols

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, 08/17/2021
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:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Buck Gully Loop Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Buck Gully Loop Hike

Come and explore the entire Buck Gully Reserve trail system. Beginning from the Oasis Senior Center, we’ll hike up through the almost 3-mile length of the canyon, then along San Joaquin Hills Road for a bit, stopping at Canyon Watch Park where we will take in the panoramic view of the reserve and the Pacific coastline before descending back into the canyon along the Bobcat Trail. Please bring water, a light trail snack, sturdy closed-toe shoes and supplies to keep you safe during the journey. Sunscreen and a hat are highly recommended. This activity is conducted at a walking pace, approximately 3 miles per hour.

PLEASE NOTE: Poison oak grows in abundance throughout the entire Buck Gully Reserve trail system.

Buck Gully Loop Hike
Date:
Tue, 08/17/2021
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Buck Gully Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  
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