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.

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Found 478 Events

Friday, July 19, 2024

Nature Creativity: Photography

Interpretive
Nature Creativity: Photography

Nature can inspire the creativity in all of us. In this program you will learn how to explore the natural world by taking pictures! Bring a camera or just your phone!
This program is for ages 12 and older. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Participants should wear closed-toed shoes, sun protection, and bring water.

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

This program is free. Parking is $3 per vehicle. Please meet at the Nix Nature Center amphitheater near the bathrooms.

Rain or muddy conditions will cancel this program.

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

Nature Creativity: Photography
Date:
Fri, 07/19/2024
Time:
9:30 am - 11:30 am
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
More Information  

Wild Tales

Interpretive
Wild Tales

Spending time outside is one of the best ways to nurture curiosity and instill a love of the natural world. Bring your young ones and join OC Parks staff to learn all about the Newport Back Bay.

Our Wild Tales program is offered every Friday from 10:00-11:00am and includes a story time, an age-appropriate hike, and a themed craft. Each week will focus on a different topic that encourages young ones to learn about the outdoors.

The program begins at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center. Program content is tailored for the preschool level (ages 2-5), but all are welcome to attend. Please wear comfortable attire and closed-toe shoes.

Advance registration is required.

Adverse weather conditions may move the program indoors or cancel it.

Wild Tales
Date:
Fri, 07/19/2024
Time:
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 6:00am on 07/05/2024
More Information  

Twilight Fitness Hike in Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Twilight Fitness Hike in Limestone Canyon

Limestone Canyon is a treasure waiting to be discovered. Join us for an afternoon, moderately paced, 5.5-mile fitness 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 OC Parks’ magnificent Irvine Ranch Open Space.  Views of Limestone Canyon, and the surrounding wilderness, from Limestone Ridge will be the highlight of our tour.

Twilight Fitness Hike in Limestone Canyon
Date:
Fri, 07/19/2024
Time:
5:00 pm - 7:00 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 07/04/2024
More Information  

Bats: Heroes of the Night

Interpretive
Bats: Heroes of the Night

As the day starts to settle into the night in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, bats awaken, stir and streak into the evening sky. Come hear fascinating tales of our 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.

Bats: Heroes of the Night
Date:
Fri, 07/19/2024
Time:
7:30 pm - 9:30 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 07/04/2024
More Information  

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Mountain Bike Clinic: Fundamental Skills

Mountain Biking
Mountain Bike Clinic: Fundamental Skills

If you are new to mountain biking and interested in getting started the right way, or if you are an intermediate rider wanting to broaden your existing bike skills, this is the clinic for you!

Class begins with an overview of rider fundamentals: Balance, Body Position, and Wheel Placement. You will learn which is your “Chocolate Foot,” why the mantra ‘Heavy Feet / Light Hands” is essential, and how to “Fly Your Head Like a Cheetah.” Theory will always be followed by a cycle of demonstration, practice and feedback. Difficulty will be tuned for individual participants with levels for Beginner, Experienced, and Challenge. These riding techniques will be taught and practiced at the Mountain Bike Skills Development area.

Mountain Bike Clinic: Fundamental Skills
Date:
Sat, 07/20/2024
Time:
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/05/2024
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.

Wilderness Access Day: Bommer Canyon
Date:
Sat, 07/20/2024
Time:
8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Where:
Bommer Canyon Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/05/2024
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Red Rock Wilderness

Hiking & Fitness
Wilderness Access Day: Red Rock Wilderness

Come explore OC Parks’ newest trails at Red Rock Wilderness through this self-guided opportunity.

Located within OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, Red Rock Wilderness features more than 8 miles of new trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding along with a scenic overlook that offers 360-degree views of the nearby iconic red rocks, Black Star Canyon Wilderness, Irvine Lake, Santiago Canyon and beyond. 3 miles of multi-use trails within Loma Ridge Nature Preserve, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, will also be accessible for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

Visitors will have the opportunity to provide voluntary feedback about Red Rock Wilderness through on-site participation surveys and offer naming suggestions for several unnamed trails.

Rain or inclement weather will cancel the program. Advance registration required. Learn more and register here.

Wilderness Access Day: Red Rock Wilderness
Date:
Sat, 07/20/2024
Time:
8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Where:
Red Rock Wilderness
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/05/2024
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Red Rock Wilderness, Equestrian

Equestrian
Wilderness Access Day: Red Rock Wilderness, Equestrian

Come explore OC Parks’ newest trails at Red Rock Wilderness through this self-guided opportunity.

Located within OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, Red Rock Wilderness features more than 8 miles of new trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding along with a scenic overlook that offers 360-degree views of the nearby iconic red rocks, Black Star Canyon Wilderness, Irvine Lake, Santiago Canyon and beyond. 3 miles of multi-use trails within Loma Ridge Nature Preserve, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, will also be accessible for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

Visitors will have the opportunity to provide voluntary feedback about Red Rock Wilderness through on-site participation surveys and offer naming suggestions for several unnamed trails.

Rain or inclement weather will cancel the program. Advance registration required. Learn more and register here.

Wilderness Access Day: Red Rock Wilderness, Equestrian
Date:
Sat, 07/20/2024
Time:
8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Where:
Red Rock Wilderness
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/05/2024
More Information  

Kids Native Plant Tea!

Interpretive
Kids Native Plant Tea!

Join OC Park Naturalists in learning about identification and use of California’s native plants! Participants will learn how to identify plants and then make their own cold native plant tea!

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.

This program is for ages 7 and older. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants must bring plenty of water, closed-toed hiking shoes, and sun protection.

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

The program is free, and parking is $3 per vehicle. This program will meet at the Nix Nature Center amphitheater near the bathrooms.

Rain or muddy conditions will cancel the program.

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

Kids Native Plant Tea!
Date:
Sat, 07/20/2024
Time:
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
7
Family Friendly:
Yes
More Information  

Photo Journey Limestone Canyon: The Sinks, Loma Ridge Backcountry and Sunset

Interpretive
Photo Journey Limestone Canyon: The Sinks, Loma Ridge Backcountry and Sunset

Join us in the back-country wilderness for a journey filled with beautiful sights that are photographic and artistic sketching opportunities. Our journey begins in the afternoon. We will be deep in a secluded canyon, where time is measured in centuries, even millennia, in the sandstone cliffs of this ancient place called Limestone Canyon.
You will board a 4-wheel drive vehicle for a 13-mile tour of the canyon and hills surrounding it. We will stop frequently for 15-30 minutes to admire the views, take photos, sketch landscapes, and answer questions. Stops will include short walks with views of The Sinks, a trip up Cactus and Markel Spur, with optional, single track, one-mile hike into Box Springs or a 1.5 mile Markel Spur to East Sinks loop hike. Both the Box Springs and Markel Spur hikes provide the visitor a true back-country experience. An alternative, but similar, hiking trail may be used.

Photo Journey Limestone Canyon: The Sinks, Loma Ridge Backcountry and Sunset
Date:
Sat, 07/20/2024
Time:
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/05/2024
More Information  

Family Hike: Agua Chinon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Agua Chinon

Enjoy an afternoon family hike in Agua Chinon, part of OC Parks’ 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.

Family Hike: Agua Chinon
Date:
Sat, 07/20/2024
Time:
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
5
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/05/2024
More Information  

Nature Journaling at Night

Interpretive
Nature Journaling at Night

Come nature journal at night! We will observe as the day winds down for the nocturnal life to wake up. Nature journaling is a wonderful tool for nature observations, creating lasting memories, and making deeper connections with nature. Build upon your own sense of place to maximize mindfulness and relaxation. Each session will cover the basics of art theory and practices, journal anatomy, and immersing your senses in the wonders of nature.

Bring a red-tinted flashlight or a soft light to use as your light source, nature journal and your own art materials such as pencils, pens, or watercolors. A portable chair is recommended along with warm layers, water, and snacks. Be prepared to move along the trail a short distance and sit to document the night’s beauty around you.

Nature Journaling at Night
Date:
Sat, 07/20/2024
Time:
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/05/2024
More Information  

Sunday, July 21, 2024

Advanced Distance Hike: Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
Advanced Distance Hike: Quail Hill

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. Hike 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. Over 2800 feet of accumulated climbing elevation is experienced on this route.

Advanced Distance Hike: Quail Hill
Date:
Sun, 07/21/2024
Time:
6:30 am - 12:00 pm
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
14 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/06/2024
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!

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, 07/21/2024
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 07/06/2024
More Information  

Limestone Canyon – Weekend Hike to Both Sides of the Sinks

Hiking & Fitness
Limestone Canyon - Weekend Hike to Both Sides of the Sinks

Join us on this moderate-paced hike over the ridge and the through beautiful Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. We will enjoy short breaks at the East and West Sinks viewing platforms before hiking back through the canyon. We will enjoy a view of wonderful vistas in addition to spectacular view of The Sinks. This hike involves hiking on both double and single-track trails with an elevation gain of 1000.

Limestone Canyon - Weekend Hike to Both Sides of the Sinks
Date:
Sun, 07/21/2024
Time:
7:00 am - 11:00 am
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
10 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/06/2024
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, 07/21/2024
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  

Evening Family Beginner Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon to The Sinks

Mountain Biking
Evening Family Beginner Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon to The Sinks

For families and children ages 12 and up who would like to join IRC-certified volunteers in OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space on a longer, slow-paced, family-oriented ride through sycamores, oaks, and habitat native to California. The route takes us to The Sinks, Orange County’s own “Grand Canyon.” Along the way, we will stop and talk about the local habitat, and hope to see some of our local native animals and raptors. The ride is an 8-9 miles with 400-800 feet of elevation gain that may require hike-a‐bike for some riders. Motorized recreation vehicles of any class or type are not permitted for recreational use.

Evening Family Beginner Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon to The Sinks
Date:
Sun, 07/21/2024
Time:
5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/06/2024
More Information  

Bommer Canyon Preserve Full Moon Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Bommer Canyon Preserve Full Moon Hike

Experience the serenity of Bommer Canyon Preserve under a full moon during this moderate-paced hike in the Irvine Open Space Preserve. We’ll experience mature coastal sage scrub and fantastic sunset 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 Preserve Full Moon Hike
Date:
Sun, 07/21/2024
Time:
8:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Where:
Bommer Canyon Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/06/2024
More Information  

Full Moon Hike on Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
Full Moon 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 2.5 miles round trip to scenic Loma Ridge and back down.

Full Moon Hike on Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Sun, 07/21/2024
Time:
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/06/2024
More Information  

Monday, July 22, 2024

Monday Morning Super Trek: Weir Canyon to the Overlook Trail

Hiking & Fitness
Monday Morning Super Trek: Weir Canyon to the Overlook Trail

Come start your week with us on our Super Treks in the Landmarks. Join us as we explore Weir Canyon, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. We will hike up over Rifle Range and continue to the Overlook Trail where we will be rewarded with sweeping views of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks and more distant views of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Los Angeles Basin, and Cleveland National Forest. We will return through a beautiful oak woodland. Please wear hiking shoes/boots and bring water, a trail snack, sunscreen, hat, and any other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail. Participants must be able to hike 9+ miles with an accumulated elevation gain of 1800 feet at an average moving rate of 3 miles per hour.

Monday Morning Super Trek: Weir Canyon to the Overlook Trail
Date:
Mon, 07/22/2024
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 am
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
9.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 07/07/2024
More Information  
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