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, September 4, 2022

Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon

Mountain Biking
Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon

We start our ride through OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space on the paved Hicks Haul Road, the extension of Jeffrey Rd north of Portola Pkwy. As we warm up on the climb to the top of the road, we enjoy increasingly beautiful views over Irvine. We then follow Loma Ridge to the East, with fantastic vistas of Orange County, the surrounding wildlands, and even Catalina Island on clear days. From Loma Ridge, we descend on a single track to Box Springs which provides year-round water for wildlife like deer.

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. Motorized recreation vehicles of any class or type are not permitted for use in the Nature Preserve.

Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon
Date:
Sun, 09/04/2022
Time:
7:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/27/2022
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 9 am.

Please note, this is a weekly reoccurring activity and space is limited.

• 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.

Mile Square Nature Area Parking Map

Weekly Nature Area Clean Up
Date:
Sun, 09/04/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Mile Square Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
10 of 10
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, 09/04/2022
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 08/27/2022
More Information  

Monday, September 5, 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, 09/05/2022
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 08/28/2022
More Information  

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

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 OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Distance is 8 miles with several steep climbs and descents.

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 Advanced Hike: Santiago Oaks to Weir
Date:
Tue, 09/06/2022
Time:
6:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/29/2022
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 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, 09/06/2022
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 08/29/2022
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.

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.

Buck Gully Loop Hike
Date:
Tue, 09/06/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Buck Gully Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/29/2022
More Information  

Morning Hike in Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Morning Hike in Limestone Canyon

Limestone Canyon is a treasure waiting to be discovered. Join us for a moderately-paced, 10.5-mile hike. The hike will include short rest stops along the way as we explore OCParks’ magnificent Irvine Ranch Open Space. Views of Limestone Canyon, and the surrounding wilderness, from Sandtrap Trail along with a visit to Dripping Springs and the West Sinks will be the highlights 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 half-day 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.

Morning Hike in Limestone Canyon
Date:
Tue, 09/06/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
10.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/29/2022
More Information  

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Mid Week Hike: Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
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 Open Space 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.

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.

Mid Week Hike: Quail Hill
Date:
Wed, 09/07/2022
Time:
7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
12 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/30/2022
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, 09/07/2022
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 08/30/2022
More Information  

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Thursday Morning Trek: Fremont Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Thursday Morning Trek: Fremont Canyon

This week in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, we’ll hike in the remote Fremont Canyon. The hike is just under 6 miles and includes a steep hill. We will hike from the mouth of Fremont Canyon, past a historic coal mine, to the Fremont Weather Station. After enjoying a spectacular view, we will hike back the same way to our starting point. Please bring water, a trail snack, sun screen, hat, and any other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail and wear sturdy, closed-toe hiking shoes. Participants must be able to hike 6 miles with an elevation gain of 1200 feet at an average moving rate of 3 miles per hour. Each hiker must carry his/her own water and supplies.

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: Fremont Canyon
Date:
Thu, 09/08/2022
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/31/2022
More Information  

Morning Yoga Hike in Baker Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Morning Yoga Hike in Baker Canyon

Enjoy a hike and gentle yoga practice in nature. The hike through Baker Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, includes some elevation and will be a nice warm up for a gentle morning yoga flow under a shaded canopy. Please bring water, your own yoga mat and large beach towel. Mats will not be provided; we will drop mats at secure location while hiking. Closed-toe shoes, water, hats and sunscreen recommended for the hike.

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.

Morning Yoga Hike in Baker Canyon
Date:
Thu, 09/08/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/31/2022
More Information  

The Lure and Lull of Limestone Canyon and The Sinks: Equestrian Ride

Equestrian
The Lure and Lull of Limestone Canyon and The Sinks: Equestrian Ride
Take a leisurely equestrian ride through beautiful Limestone Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, and home of oak woodlands, grasslands, and coastal sage scrub.  View evidence of the old ranch days when cattle once roamed the area, and see plants that are native to our area.  You will be touring the beautiful Natural Landmarks.
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.
The Lure and Lull of Limestone Canyon and The Sinks: Equestrian Ride
Date:
Thu, 09/08/2022
Time:
9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/31/2022
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:
Thu, 09/08/2022
Time:
5:00 PM - 7:30 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 08/31/2022
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, 09/08/2022
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 08/31/2022
More Information  

Friday, September 9, 2022

Birds of Fremont Canyon

Interpretive
Birds of Fremont Canyon

Join us in Fremont Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, as we observe the many species of birds that call it home. A wide variety of birds can be seen, such as Greater Roadrunner, Western Scrub Jay, California Towhee, Red-tailed Hawk, and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and many others. Please bring binoculars if you have them, though some will be available for use. Be ready to slowly walk along the trails to observe the birds of Fremont Canyon.

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.

Birds of Fremont Canyon
Date:
Fri, 09/09/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
1 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 09/01/2022
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, 09/09/2022
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  

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 out to Limestone Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, and hear fascinating tales of these incredible flying mammals. 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. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Bats: Heroes of the Night
Date:
Fri, 09/09/2022
Time:
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 09/01/2022
More Information  

Saturday, September 10, 2022

FREEKS Ride: Clockwise

Mountain Biking
FREEKS Ride: Clockwise

Join us in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space for a challenging docent-led mountain bike ride for very experienced off-road riders in excellent cardio shape. Climb challenging State Spur to Cathedral Rock, and then descend into Fremont Canyon while passing some of Orange County’s most spectacular geological formations. The ride continues out to Mini-Moab and then over to Sierra Peak, passing the Tecate Cypress forest, then past Sierra Peak, and over to the last descent down through historic Black Star Canyon.

Motorized recreation vehicles of any class or type are not permitted for use in the Nature Preserve. Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-5 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

FREEKS Ride: Clockwise
Date:
Sat, 09/10/2022
Time:
7:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
25 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 09/02/2022
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:
Sat, 09/10/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 09/02/2022
More Information  
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10