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 390 Events

Sunday, August 18, 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, 08/18/2024
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 08/03/2024
More Information  

Portola to The Sinks

Hiking & Fitness
Portola to The Sinks

Do you want to explore the Sinks, a geological rock formation that has got its reputation as “Orange County’s miniature Grand Canyon”? Come out and join us on a hike from the Portola staging area to the West Sinks in OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon. Distance is about 6 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. This activity originates in the City of Irvine (Portola Staging Area) and travels into OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space.

Portola to The Sinks
Date:
Sun, 08/18/2024
Time:
6:30 am - 9:30 am
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/03/2024
More Information  

Beginner Fitness Hike in Weir Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Beginner Fitness Hike in Weir Canyon

Enjoy the tranquil, oak-studded canyons of Weir Canyon, nestled within the OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. This beginner-level fitness hike includes a 250-foot elevation gain across 3.5 miles. Participants should maintain an average pace of 2.5 mph. Essentials include a backpack and water. Don’t forget to bring snacks, sunscreen, a hat, and to wear sturdy, closed-toe footwear.

Beginner Fitness Hike in Weir Canyon
Date:
Sun, 08/18/2024
Time:
7:00 am - 10:00 am
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/03/2024
More Information  

Native Plant Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Native Plant Hike

This event is on August 18, 2024 at 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Please disregard any other posted or emailed times from Let’s Go Outside.

Come join Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists to learn about the seasonal life of California Native Plants with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists on this enjoyable 2.5 mile hike (175-ft. elevation gain) over moderately uneven terrain.

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, please email volunteer@lagunacanyon.org for availability.
Group sizes will be minimized for safety purposes.
Each individual adult must sign the liability waiver – provided by the lead volunteers – when they arrive at the event.
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.
Participants must bring plenty of water, closed-toed hiking shoes, and sun protection.
Location: Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (405 South to 133 south to stoplight at 73 turn-off; make a U-turn, go 1 block. Dilley is on the right).

Parking: $3

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

Native Plant Hike
Date:
Sun, 08/18/2024
Time:
8:00 am - 10:30 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, 08/18/2024
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 Journaling at Night on Blue Moon

Interpretive
Nature Journaling at Night on Blue Moon

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.

This month sees a Blue Moon, though not in color! There are typically three full moons in a season; this summer there are four, making this month’s full moon known as a “Blue Moon.”

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 on Blue Moon
Date:
Sun, 08/18/2024
Time:
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/03/2024
More Information  

Bommer Canyon Preserve Almost Full Moon Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Bommer Canyon Preserve Almost Full Moon Hike

Experience the serenity of Bommer Canyon Preserve under an almost 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 Almost Full Moon Hike
Date:
Sun, 08/18/2024
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 08/03/2024
More Information  

Monday, August 19, 2024

Dripping Springs Trail Restoration

Stewardship
Dripping Springs Trail Restoration

Spend the morning watering and mulching Coast Live Oak seedlings within a beautiful oak woodland and then hike to Dripping Springs, a natural water source dripping out of an earthquake fault and down a gorgeous fern-covered rock face. Your work on the trail will benefit the rare plants and animals that this unique feature supports!

Dripping Springs Trail Restoration
Date:
Mon, 08/19/2024
Time:
8:00 am - 11:30 am
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/05/2024
More Information  

Hot Birds of Summer in Limestone Canyon – Bird Walk

Interpretive
Interpretive

Birds are among the most colorful and entertaining forms of wildlife on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. Bring your binoculars and join us on a slow/medium paced walk in OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon, 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 Limestone Canyon - Bird Walk
Date:
Mon, 08/19/2024
Time:
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/04/2024
More Information  

Equestrian Trail Ride: Horseshoe Loop to Fremont

Equestrian
Equestrian Trail Ride: Horseshoe Loop to Fremont

Bring your horse and join us on the sage-scented trail up and down gentle hills. We will start from Irvine Park and proceed on the Irvine Regional Park Horseshoe Loop to Waterworks Trail that will take us under the towering overpass of the 241 Toll Road. We will see the foot of the Irvine Lake Dam and catch a glimpse of the heart of Fremont Canyon, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. We will pass the site of an enormous coal pile left by miners of yesteryear and then return to the park.

This is a walking ride that travels on single track trails and wide ranch roads. There will be several easy to moderate climbs. The ride will start and finish in Irvine Regional Park. Equestrians who have trail riding experience and their own fit and able horse are welcome.

Equestrian Trail Ride: Horseshoe Loop to Fremont
Date:
Mon, 08/19/2024
Time:
9:00 am - 1:30 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 08/04/2024
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, 08/19/2024
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 08/04/2024
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:
Mon, 08/19/2024
Time:
8:30 pm - 10:30 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 08/04/2024
More Information  

Tuesday, August 20, 2024

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

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

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 and enjoy wonderful vistas. Total round trip distance is 8 miles with an elevation gain of 700 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 to West Sinks
Date:
Tue, 08/20/2024
Time:
7:30 am - 1:00 pm
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 08/05/2024
More Information  

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, 08/20/2024
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 08/05/2024
More Information  

Buck Gully Upper Loop Evening Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Buck Gully Upper Loop Evening Hike

Explore the richness of Newport Beach’s Buck Gully Reserve as we hike during the beautiful early evening hours. The stream is running and the rich plant and animal life is enjoying the cool, shady canyon, making for a fantastic evening hike in a natural oasis amid the suburban surroundings. We’ll walk along San Joaquin Hills Road, which overlooks Buck Gully, for the first mile and then drop down into the canyon on the Bobcat Trail, looping back through the upper end of the gully along the Buck Gully Trail. This activity is conducted at a walking pace, approximately 3 miles per hour.

Buck Gully Upper Loop Evening Hike
Date:
Tue, 08/20/2024
Time:
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Where:
Buck Gully Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
4 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/05/2024
More Information  

Limestone Canyon Night Ride

Mountain Biking
Limestone Canyon Night Ride

Join us for a night mountain bike ride through Limestone Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. This should not be your first night ride. Bring adequate lights, jacket, plenty of water, spare tubes, tools and all other equipment to be self-sufficient on the trails. We will ride approximately 11 miles, with 1500′ of climbing along singletrack trails and ranch roads. Hopefully we will see some of our local nocturnal critters.

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.

Limestone Canyon Night Ride
Date:
Tue, 08/20/2024
Time:
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
11 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 08/05/2024
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, 08/20/2024
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 08/05/2024
More Information  

Wednesday, August 21, 2024

Critter Investigation: Sneaky Stingrays

Interpretive
Critter Investigation: Sneaky Stingrays

OC Parks invites you to come and learn more about an underwater critter that is commonly lying right beneath the sand: the sneaky stingray. We’ll learn about the behaviors and habits of stingrays and how to avoid them in the ocean!

This fun and engaging program includes a story time, an age-appropriate hike, and a themed craft.

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.

The program and parking are free. Adverse weather may cancel the program or move it indoors.

Critter Investigation: Sneaky Stingrays
Date:
Wed, 08/21/2024
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 08/07/2024
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 Wednesday night in OC Parks’ 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.

After Work Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Wed, 08/21/2024
Time:
6:00 pm - 8:00 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 08/06/2024
More Information  

Thursday, August 22, 2024

Biking the Bay

Mountain Biking
Biking the Bay

Join OC Parks for an interpretive bike ride around Upper Newport Bay! Participants will have the opportunity to get their heart rate up and pedal around the Bay, all while learning about local ecology and history.

This moderately-paced ride will cover a 10 mile section of the Back Bay Loop trail over the course of 2 and a half hours. We will remain on the paved portion of the trail and will have interpretative stops along the way.

Participants must provide their own bike and helmet. Please note that the pace and talking points are geared towards individuals aged 14 and up. Minors must have a parent/guardian present at all times.

Distance: 10 miles
Elevation Change: 155 feet

Advance registration required. The parking and program are free. Rain or adverse weather will cancel the event.

Biking the Bay
Date:
Thu, 08/22/2024
Time:
7:30 am - 10:00 am
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 6:00am on 07/22/2024
More Information  
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15