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.

Irvine Ranch Conservancy is committed to providing a safe and respectful environment for all participants, volunteers, and employees. Certain offensive behaviors, including problematic language or attacks based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or veteran status will not be tolerated. Participating in certain offensive behaviors may lead to dismissal from activities.

 

    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.

Search & Filter Activities

Found 451 Events

Saturday, September 7, 2024

BioBlitz!

Interpretive
BioBlitz!

Come and learn how to be a scienstist by joining OC Parks in celebrating Biodiversity Day! Did you know California is a biodiversity hotspot! Help scientists and OC Parks Staff with documenting the species found in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. You will learn about California’s unique biodiverse flora and fauna and how to use iNaturalist. Then you will go out and hike on your own while documenting the species you find along the way!
This program is for ages 7 and older. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Participants should wear closed-toe shoes, sun protection and bring plenty of water. Download the iNaturalist app on your phone and create an account before arriving to the program! You will choose the trail you want to hike, whether that be easy, medium, or hard.

Advance registration required. Please register all participants – including childern. Learn more and register here..

The program is free. Parking is $3 per vehicle. We will meet in the James Dilley Preserve parking lot.

Rain or muddy conditions will cancel the program.

For questions, please email shelbi.richardson@ocparks.com.

BioBlitz!
Date:
Sat, 09/07/2024
Time:
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
7
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

Special Events
Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

Black Star Canyon, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, offers pleasant introductory trails for beginner hikers and families as well as challenging experiences for seasoned trail users. Designated trails are available for self-guided hiking, biking and equestrian use. A variety of trail loops offer extended exploration throughout the canyons. Take time to explore the local plant communities and beautiful scenery in easy 30-minute walks or take in 7+ miles in a strong cardio trek.

Pre-registration is not required for this event, though it is available on the website. If you need driving directions, use the online registration to receive a map and instructions for getting to the Baker Canyon Staging Area. Parking is limited on Black Star Canyon Road and carpooling is strongly recommended. You will not be required to sign-in upon arrival, though an information booth with trail maps and suggested routes will be available in the staging area.

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon
Date:
Sat, 09/07/2024
Time:
8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/23/2024
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian

Equestrian
Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian

Black Star Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, offers pleasant introductory trails for beginner hikers and families as well as challenging experiences for seasoned trail users. Designated trails are available for self-guided hiking, biking and equestrian use. A variety of trail loops offer extended exploration throughout the canyons. Take time to explore the local plant communities and beautiful scenery in easy 30-minute walks or take in 7+ miles in a strong cardio trek.

There is limited space for equestrian parking along Black Star Canyon Road, carpooling is strongly encouraged. Riders must also have the ability to transport their horse to the staging area. It is a “first come, first serve” for trailer parking and therefore early arrival is HIGHLY recommended. Major crowds are typically present at the very start of the event. There are not typical equestrian amenities at the event such as hitching posts, steps to mount your horse or water troughs. Please be sure to time your arrival accordingly so you have plenty of time to enjoy the trails with your horse.  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian
Date:
Sat, 09/07/2024
Time:
8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/23/2024
More Information  

Nature Journaling: Birds

Interpretive
Nature Journaling: Birds

Nature journaling is a wonderful tool for nature observations, creating lasting memories and making deeper connections with the world around us. Each session will cover the basics of art theory and practices, journal anatomy and maximizing your senses. In honor of International Vulture Awareness Day, this month’s journaling theme is “Birds.”

The program will begin outside the Santiago Oaks Regional Park Nature Center.  Bring a nature journal and your own art materials such as pencils, pens, or watercolors. A portable chair is recommended along with sun protection, water and snacks. Be prepared to move along the trail a short distance and sit to document the beauty around you.

The program is free and parking is $5 per vehicle.

Advance registration required. 

Inclement weather will cancel the program.

For questions, please contact resource specialist Shelly Marshall at (714) 973-6625 or shelly.marshall@ocparks.com.

Nature Journaling: Birds
Date:
Sat, 09/07/2024
Time:
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Where:
Santiago Oaks Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 12:00am on 08/07/2024
More Information  

Family Hike: Round Canyon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Round Canyon

Enjoy nature with friends and family in Round Canyon. We hike along a fairly flat trail as we watch for red-tailed hawks and mule deer. This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. The hike averages 2-3 miles round trip at an easy pace with a medium level of interpretation. This program is for participants who would like a slower-paced and level hike. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes and bring water for the hike.

Family Hike: Round Canyon
Date:
Sat, 09/07/2024
Time:
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
5
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 12:00am on 08/23/2024
More Information  

Sunday, September 8, 2024

Advanced Distance Hike: Bommer Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Advanced 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.

Advanced Distance Hike: Bommer Canyon
Date:
Sun, 09/08/2024
Time:
6:30 am - 12:00 pm
Where:
Bommer Canyon Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
14 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/24/2024
More Information  

Demonstration Garden Maintenance: Native Seed Farm

Stewardship
Demonstration Garden Maintenance: Native Seed Farm

Visitors to IRC’s Native Seed Farm are first greeted by our Demonstration Garden, providing inspiration for regionally suitable plant gardens. Our garden hosts a variety of native plant species which support a healthy local ecosystem!

IRC Volunteers are invited to help at our monthly Garden Maintenance Day! Our tasks each day are to be determined, but we’ll be tackling whatever jobs are a top priority to keep our Garden teeming with native plant life. Weeding, clearing, cutting, digging, watering, whatever it takes! Activities may include bending, stooping, crouching, squatting, long periods of standing, reaching, pulling, grabbing, and pushing.

Demonstration Garden Maintenance: Native Seed Farm
Date:
Sun, 09/08/2024
Time:
7:00 am - 10:30 am
Where:
Native Seed Farm OCP
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/24/2024
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 Preserve. 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.

Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike
Date:
Sun, 09/08/2024
Time:
7:30 am - 10:00 am
Where:
Bommer Canyon Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/24/2024
More Information  

Land Tending with LCF – Laguna Coast

Stewardship
Land Tending with LCF – Laguna Coast

Join Laguna Canyon Foundation and OC Parks at one of our Land Tending Days 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, and/or planting of native plants. No experience is necessary and all tools will be provided. Come out and join the team to help restore the wild lands we all enjoy!

Please note the following safety precautions and protocols:

Pre-registration on lagunacanyon.org/events is required for this event. No walk-ups. Register here.
Each participant must register individually. For group registration or questions, please email Marjorie Rhodes at marjorie@lagunacanyon.org.
Group sizes will be minimized for safety purposes.
Participants must be at least 16 years old and those younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. A waiver, provided on arrival, must be signed by each participant at the start of the program.
Please wear long pants, closed- toed shoes and sun protection, and bring water.
In an effort to protect all employees, volunteers, and participants, please do not attend if you are not feeling well, have symptoms of illness or have been in contact with someone who was ill.

Location: Volunteers will be meeting at Laguna Canyon Foundation Headquarters (10 Phillips St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651) then shuttling to the restoration site with LCF staff.

Parking: Free for Keep It Wild volunteers!

Please note: Wet or muddy trail conditions may lead to cancellation of this event.

Land Tending with LCF – Laguna Coast
Date:
Sun, 09/08/2024
Time:
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
16
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 8 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, 09/08/2024
Time:
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Where:
Mile Square Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
25 of 25
More Information  

Nature Meditation Walk

Interpretive
Nature Meditation Walk

Do you want to unplug and relax into nature? Come on a “Nature Meditation Walk.” Join a Naturalist on a guided walk to truly be outside and allow your natural sense of wonder to take you to a mindful space outside.

We will walk (less than 1 mile) and take stops along the way to engage in playful “invitations,” activities to deepen our connection with the outside world and ourselves. Our walk will end with a tea ceremony (local herbs and honey) of reciprocity, a segue from the special, quiet space we share on our walk back to the busy world.

Disclaimer: This program involves making and drinking tea made from sustainably sourced native plants. If you have food allergies or sensitivities, please be sure to notify park staff upon arrival.

Please wear close-toed shoes, sun protection, and bring water. A yoga mat or portable chair is suggested. Sitting materials will be provided for those who need it. For the program, expect to quiet your cellphones.

Recommended for ages 10 and older. No experience necessary!

Pre-registration on lagunacanyon.org is required for this event. No walk-ups. Register here. Each participant must register individually. For group registration or questions, please email volunteer@lagunacanyon.org.

Parking is $3.

We will begin on the patio of Nix Nature Center. This is a 2-hour program. Please note that adverse weather may cancel the program.

Nature Meditation Walk
Date:
Sun, 09/08/2024
Time:
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
10
More Information  

Monday, September 9, 2024

Monday Morning Super Trek: Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
Monday Morning Super Trek: Quail Hill

Come start your week with us on our Super Treks in the Landmarks. Join us as we explore the City of Irvine’s Open Space Preserve, hiking Quail Hill and Shady Canyon trails. Our hike will climb through rocky terrain and reward us with spectacular views of the surrounding hills and nearby Irvine. There will be several steep ascents and descents. Participants must be able to hike 9 miles with an elevation gain of 2000 feet at an average moving rate of 3 miles per hour. All participants must carry their own water! Please come prepared with a pack, plenty of water, snacks, sturdy closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail. Under-prepared participants may be denied access to the event!

Monday Morning Super Trek: Quail Hill
Date:
Mon, 09/09/2024
Time:
7:00 am - 10:00 am
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
9 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/25/2024
More Information  

Hot Birds of Summer in Saddleback Wilderness – Bird Walk

Interpretive
Hot Birds of Summer in Saddleback Wilderness - Bird Walk

It’s easy to think many of the birds we see and hear look and act the same. But do they? Bring your binoculars and join us on a slow/medium paced walk in OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, as we search for resident and visiting birds of the local coastal sage scrub, oak woodland, riparian, and grassland habitats. We will discuss the diverse features of the birds we observe and how they match the season, their habitat and lifestyle. We will travel mostly on ranch roads, usually without shade. Beginners to advanced bird enthusiasts are welcome. Please wear sturdy shoes suitable for hiking and bring water, along with sun protection such as a hat and sunscreen. Bring a small birding field guide if you have one. A few binoculars will be available to borrow.

Hot Birds of Summer in Saddleback Wilderness - Bird Walk
Date:
Mon, 09/09/2024
Time:
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Where:
Saddleback Wilderness
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/25/2024
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 for a fitness-focused hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road in the Irvine Open Space Preserve. 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.

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Mon, 09/09/2024
Time:
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/25/2024
More Information  

Tuesday, September 10, 2024

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 OC Parks’ 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.

Tuesday Morning Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Tue, 09/10/2024
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 08/26/2024
More Information  

Bridges of Buck Gully Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Bridges of Buck Gully Hike

Be inspired by both the natural beauty and recent history of Newport Beach’s Buck Gully Reserve, as we explore this protected area and the collaboration that made it possible. Buck Gully is a natural coastal canyon that opened to the public in 2012 with the installation of four bridges to provide safe public access. The bridges allow exploration of the entire Buck Gully Reserve, and also provide unique vantages and viewing platforms from which to pause and observe the abundant life in and around the stream that runs through the gully year-round. Our guided program starts with a short walk from the Oasis Senior Center to the beginning of the Buck Gully trail, with a visually dramatic entrance into this special canyon. We’ll cross two bridges on the first section of our walk, and then enter the canopied singletrack portion of the trail as we pass by the third bridge. At the fourth and last bridge, we will pause to enjoy the shaded beauty of this hidden refuge, and then retrace our route back to the Oasis.

Bridges of Buck Gully Hike
Date:
Tue, 09/10/2024
Time:
8:00 am - 11:30 am
Where:
Buck Gully Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/26/2024
More Information  

Enjoy Nature’s Story, Vistas, and Special Places – Intro Hike in Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Enjoy Nature's Story, Vistas, and Special Places - Intro Hike in Limestone Canyon

Join us on a slow-paced hike along the back-country ridges and valleys of Limestone Canyon, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. We’ll travel on rough old ranch roads passing by woodlands of majestic oak trees and expanses of Coastal Sage Scrub. Enjoy wonderful vistas from Loma Ridge. Total round trip distance is 6 miles with an elevation gain of 1100 feet at an average moving rate of 2.0-2.5 miles per hour. Some of the hills are strenuous and we will take breaks as needed. Participants should be in good hiking condition and have previously completed a similar distance hike. Please come prepared with a backpack, plenty of water (at least 1 liter), snacks, sturdy closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid kit, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail. Each hiker must carry their own water and supplies. Under-prepared participants may be denied access to the event.

Enjoy Nature's Story, Vistas, and Special Places - Intro Hike in Limestone Canyon
Date:
Tue, 09/10/2024
Time:
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/26/2024
More Information  

Takedown Tuesdays: Weeding at the Native Seed Farm

Stewardship
Takedown Tuesdays: Weeding at the Native Seed Farm

Looking for a way to give back to nature this Spring? Come help us behind the scenes at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s one-of-a-kind Native Seed Farm! In this evening activity, attendees will learn about one to two (1-2) target species before assisting staff in weeding efforts around our native plant crops. 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 3 activity. Activities may include bending, stooping, crouching, squatting, long periods of standing, reaching, pulling, grabbing, and pushing.

Takedown Tuesdays: Weeding at the Native Seed Farm
Date:
Tue, 09/10/2024
Time:
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Where:
Native Seed Farm OCP
Difficulty Rating:
3
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/26/2024
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 in the Irvine Open Space Preserve 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:
Tue, 09/10/2024
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 for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/26/2024
More Information  

Wednesday, September 11, 2024

After Work Cardio Hike in Gypsum Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
After Work Cardio Hike in Gypsum Canyon

Prepare for an invigorating adventure in the newly opened Gypsum Canyon Wilderness with our Cardio Hike. This 4.5-mile, fast-paced trek is designed to get your heart racing as you conquer 800 feet of elevation gain. Immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness, where you may encounter breathtaking sights and wildlife as you push your limits. This Cardio Hike in Gypsum Canyon Wilderness is tailored for those seeking a heart-pounding, fitness-enhancing adventure in the great outdoors. Whether you’re an experienced hiker looking to challenge yourself or a newcomer eager to explore, this hike promises a dynamic blend of natural beauty, exercise, and possible wildlife encounters. As you ascend and descend the rugged trails, you’ll not only strengthen your body but also nourish your soul with the splendor of nature. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with the wilderness and improve your fitness. Join us for an unforgettable journey through Gypsum Canyon Wilderness on our Wilderness Cardio Hike!

After Work Cardio Hike in Gypsum Canyon
Date:
Wed, 09/11/2024
Time:
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Where:
Gypsum Canyon Wilderness
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
4.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/27/2024
More Information