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, February 17, 2022

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Thursday Morning Trek: Baker Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: 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.

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Thursday Morning Trek: Baker Canyon
Date:
Thu, 02/17/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Equestrian Ride: Discover The Natural Wonders Of Weir Canyon

Equestrian
CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Equestrian Ride: Discover The Natural Wonders Of Weir Canyon

Be prepared to experience the beauty and wonder of Weir Canyon, steeped in history and lore, on this morning equestrian ride. The ride will travel through Weir Canyon, where the trail weaves its way through a beautiful oak woodland inhabited by deer, coyote, bobcat, and many different birds. You will travel the route of the Butterfield Stage and see a monument dedicated to the Mexican ox cart drivers. If time permits, we will climb to the Two Tower vista point to look at distant views. This ride travels on wide trails with several easy to moderate climbs. Equestrians who have trail riding experience and their own fit and able horse are welcome. You will need to transport your horse to the staging area. Owners of unshod horses, please note that footing will include areas of gravel and distances over asphalt pavement. Please bring water on the ride.

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

CANCELLED due to Trail Conditions: Equestrian Ride: Discover The Natural Wonders Of Weir Canyon
Date:
Thu, 02/17/2022
Time:
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
5 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 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.

Evening Hike on Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Thu, 02/17/2022
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 has closed.
More Information  

Friday, February 18, 2022

Hike to The Sinks: Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Hike to The Sinks: Limestone Canyon

Come along with us on this fast-paced morning hike through beautiful Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve to visit The Sinks You’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of The Sinks as well as sweeping views of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains. This hike involves steep climbs and descents on both double and single-track trails.

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

Hike to The Sinks: Limestone Canyon
Date:
Fri, 02/18/2022
Time:
7:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
10 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

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.

Wild Tales
Date:
Fri, 02/18/2022
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, February 19, 2022

Trail Maintenance Day – Santiago Oaks

Trail Work
Trail Work

Lend a helping hand at maintaining the trails at Santiago Oaks Regional Park.

Partner with an OC Parks Volunteer as they guide you through the proper tool use to repair highly used and heavily washed out trails. Tools and safety talk are provided by Volunteers and/or Staff. Bring gloves and water if you have them. Sun protection is important and be ready to work up a sweat as we mend our trails for all to enjoy!

This is a physically high demanding volunteer opportunity. Please be prepared to hike several miles while carrying tools and gear as well as doing physical work.

For questions, please contact Resource Specialist Kelley at Kelley.Brugmann@ocparks.com

Trail Maintenance Day - Santiago Oaks
Date:
Sat, 02/19/2022
Time:
7:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Santiago Oaks Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
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. 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.

Explore Weir Canyon: Animal Signs and Tracks
Date:
Sat, 02/19/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Family Hike: Whiting Ranch

Interpretive
Family Hike: Whiting Ranch

Enjoy an early morning family hike in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. We will hike along the Borrego Canyon trail and the Red Rock Canyon trail to our destination for approximately 2 miles (4 miles in total). Total climbing elevation is around 500 feet. The hike will be 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.

Family Hike: Whiting Ranch
Date:
Sat, 02/19/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
4 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

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, 02/19/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
8
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Animal Tracking in Fremont Canyon

Interpretive
Animal Tracking in Fremont Canyon

Come search for evidence that animals leave behind in nature. Mule deer, bobcats, coyotes and even mountain lions call this hidden canyon home. Gain the basic tracking techniques as we search for evidence such as tracks, fur, bones, homes, and even scat. You never know what you may find! Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes that you do not mind getting a little dusty.

This program is focused on older children and adults.

Animal Tracking in Fremont Canyon
Date:
Sat, 02/19/2022
Time:
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

The Great Backyard Bird Count

Interpretive
Interpretive

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a national citizen science initiative sponsored by the Audubon Society, which allows anyone of any age to make a meaningful contribution to bird conservation and protection.

For this family friendly event, we will gather at the Muth Center and learn how to submit bird count data and then hit the trail to count some birds!

OC Parks staff will teach guests how to identify our local bird species as we go and loaner binoculars will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

Participants can expect to walk 2-3 miles over uneven terrain.

Minors aged 16 and younger must have legal guardian present at all times.

Rain will cancel the event.

Walk-ins are welcome, but space is limited, so registration is suggested.

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

The Great Backyard Bird Count
Date:
Sat, 02/19/2022
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
8
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Sunset Stroll: Fremont Canyon

Interpretive
Sunset Stroll: Fremont Canyon

Come for a relaxing sunset stroll in the wildlands of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. Experience the sights and sounds as dusk settles in while learning about the native plants and animals. We will be walking at a leisurely pace of 1.5 mph for an hour and a half on trails with little to no elevation gain. Please wear sturdy shoes, comfortable clothing, and be prepared for the cooler evening temperatures. Don’t forget to bring water, a flashlight, and binoculars if you choose.

Sunset Stroll: Fremont Canyon
Date:
Sat, 02/19/2022
Time:
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Restoration Day – Watering at Peters Canyon

Stewardship
Stewardship

Lend a helping hand to help improve native habitat in Peters Canyon Regional Park. Dedicate the morning to watering over 200 native plants in a habitat restoration area. Bring strong gardening gloves, trail snacks and water, and wear sun protection and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty in.

Please contact Resource Specialist Kelley Brugmann with any questions at 714-923-6625 or Kelley.Brugmann@ocparks.com

Restoration Day - Watering at Peters Canyon
Date:
Sun, 02/20/2022
Time:
7:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Where:
Peters Canyon Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

CANCELLED: Mesa Loop Nature Hike

Interpretive
CANCELLED: Mesa Loop Nature Hike

Join us for a moderately paced hike around the Mesa Loop Trail! On the way we’ll talk about some of the local flora and fauna that call the canyons their home, and take in the striking views that only this location can provide.  This area was heavily affected by the Bond Fire and we’ll have a chance to check out recovery and talk about adaptations for surviving fire.  It’s going to be warm, so please bring plenty of water

Total hike is approximately 3 miles and 300 foot elevation gain.

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

CANCELLED: Mesa Loop Nature Hike
Date:
Sun, 02/20/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
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, 02/20/2022
Time:
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
15 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  
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