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 28, 2022

Evening Beginner Cardio Hike: Fremont Canyon Coal Mine

Hiking & Fitness
Evening Beginner Cardio Hike: Fremont Canyon Coal Mine

Come enjoy a scenic evening cardio hike in the remote Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Our hike climbs steeply from the mouth of Fremont Canyon, past an abandoned coal mine, up to the Fremont Weather Station. After enjoying the view, we’ll turnaround and hike back the same way to our starting point.

This challenging hike involves steep climbs and a 1200’ elevation gain but the rewards are sweeping views of Fremont at sunset. Please arrive 15 minutes early and come prepared with a sturdy pack, water, closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Evening Beginner Cardio Hike: Fremont Canyon Coal Mine
Date:
Sun, 08/28/2022
Time:
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/20/2022
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.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike
Date:
Sun, 08/28/2022
Time:
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/20/2022
More Information  

Monday, August 29, 2022

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 in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space for a fitness-focused hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road. 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!

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Mon, 08/29/2022
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 for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/21/2022
More Information  

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

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 in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. 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 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 hike for anyone who wants a “wilderness experience” without getting dirty! We will have two fairly steep 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.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level 4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Early Morning Fitness Hike on Hicks Haul Road: 6-miles
Date:
Tue, 08/30/2022
Time:
7:30 AM - 9:45 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/22/2022
More Information  

Twilight Beginner Cardio Hike in Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Twilight Beginner Cardio Hike in Limestone Canyon

Limestone Canyon is a treasure waiting to be discovered. Join us for an early evening, moderately-paced, 5.5-mile beginning cardio hike. The hike may include a few short rest stops along the way and will be a great introduction to fitness, cardio-style hikes as well as OCParks’ magnificent Irvine Ranch Open Space.  Views of Limestone Canyon, and the surrounding wilderness, from Limestone Ridge will be the highlight of our tour.

Please bring a minimum of 48 oz. water. Come prepared with a pack, sturdy closed-toed hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail for this beginner cardio-paced (3-3.5 mph with very few stops) hike in a wilderness area. Each participant must carry his or her own pack and water.  Under-prepared participants may be denied access to this program.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level 3 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Twilight Beginner Cardio Hike in Limestone Canyon
Date:
Tue, 08/30/2022
Time:
6:00 PM - 8:15 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/22/2022
More Information  

Wednesday, August 31, 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, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. 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. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Hike to The Sinks:  Limestone Canyon
Date:
Wed, 08/31/2022
Time:
6:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
10 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/23/2022
More Information  

Twilight Hike in Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Twilight Hike in Limestone Canyon

Limestone Canyon is a treasure waiting to be discovered. Join us for an evening, moderately-paced, 10-mile cardio hike. The hike may include a few short rest stops along the way and will be a great introduction to fitness, cardio-style hikes as well as OCParks’ magnificent Irvine Ranch Open Space.  Views of Limestone Canyon, and the surrounding wilderness, from Limestone Ridge along with a visit to the East Sinks will be the highlight of our tour.

Please bring a minimum of 70 oz. water. Come prepared with a pack, sturdy closed-toed hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail for this cardio-paced (3-3.5 mph with very few stops) hike in a wilderness area. Each participant must carry his or her own pack and water.  Under-prepared participants may be denied access to this program.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level 4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Twilight Hike in Limestone Canyon
Date:
Wed, 08/31/2022
Time:
4:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
10 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/23/2022
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 Wednesday night in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space for a fitness-focused hike on the paved Hicks Haul Road. 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 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. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Wed, 08/31/2022
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 for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/23/2022
More Information  

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Thursday Morning Trek: Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
Thursday Morning Trek: Quail Hill

This week in the Irvine Open Space Preserve, we’ll be in Quail Hill, once part of the historic Irvine cattle ranch. The hike is seven and a half miles with some climbing, but rewards you with fantastic views overlooking Laguna Canyon and many Irvine locales. Please bring water, a trail snack, sunscreen, hat and any other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail.   Get your boots out and register to hike the Quail Trail and Shady Canyon singletrack trails.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Thursday Morning Trek: Quail Hill
Date:
Thu, 09/01/2022
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/24/2022
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.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Evening Hike on Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Thu, 09/01/2022
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 for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/24/2022
More Information  

Friday, September 2, 2022

Sunrise Hike: Fremont Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Sunrise Hike: Fremont Canyon

Come enjoy a fast-paced early morning hike in Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Our hike climbs steeply from the mouth of Fremont Canyon, past an abandoned coal mine up to the Fremont Weather Station where winds have been clocked at up to 100 mph. After enjoying the view, we’ll hike back the same way to our starting point. This hike involves steep hills and a 1200’ elevation change but the rewards are panoramic views of Orange County, the Santa Ana Mountains and surrounding areas as well as possible wildlife sightings. Please arrive 15 minutes early and come prepared with a sturdy day pack, water, snacks, closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Sunrise Hike: Fremont Canyon
Date:
Fri, 09/02/2022
Time:
6:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/25/2022
More Information  

Agua Chinon Hike to The Sinks

Hiking & Fitness
Agua Chinon Hike to The Sinks

Come out and join us on a breathtaking hike into Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. The hike originates in the City of Irvine, and then heads into the Agua Chinon wash, continues to The Sinks, and may include a side trip to Box Springs, a natural year-round source of fresh water. Maximum distance is just short of 7 miles, with some sustained climbing in one section. Participants must wear sturdy, closed-toe hiking shoes. Remember to pack plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat, and all other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Agua Chinon Hike to The Sinks
Date:
Fri, 09/02/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/25/2022
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, 09/02/2022
Time:
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Family Hike: Agua Chinon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Agua Chinon

Enjoy an early morning family hike in Agua Chinon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. We hike a gradual climb of 500 ft elevation as we watch for red-tailed hawks and mule deer.  This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into 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. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Family Hike: Agua Chinon
Date:
Sat, 09/03/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/26/2022
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

Special Events
Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

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.

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, 09/03/2022
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:
175 of 200
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, 09/03/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Sunset Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road: Both Sides of Loma Ridge

Hiking & Fitness
Sunset Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road: Both Sides of Loma Ridge

You will enjoy a gorgeous sunset with panoramic views of Orange County while hiking on the paved Hicks Haul Road in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. This hike travels 6 miles, out and back crossing over Loma Ridge. This is the perfect activity for you to get your work-out in and view the sunset. The hike is conducted at an average pace 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. 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 4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Sunset Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road: Both Sides of Loma Ridge
Date:
Sat, 09/03/2022
Time:
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/26/2022
More Information  

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon

Come explore OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space on this scenic hike involving 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. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon
Date:
Sun, 09/04/2022
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 for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/27/2022
More Information  
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