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.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

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, 09/29/2022
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
7 of 20
More Information  

Friday, September 30, 2022

9/30 – Ranger Reserve – Lot Cameras

Stewardship
Stewardship

Service LACO parking lot trail cameras (replacing batteries & SD cards and correcting camera clocks if needed).

9/30 - Ranger Reserve - Lot Cameras
Date:
Fri, 09/30/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
18
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, 09/30/2022
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, October 1, 2022

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon

Special Events
Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon

PRE-REGISTRATION is REQUIRED for this event. 

All participants are required to have, a printed copy or on their phone, the confirmation email to show through the window of their vehicle to drive through the entry gate.

You will need the confirmation email for you and your guests to enter the trail system.

Start your weekend off by exploring numerous opportunities found throughout magnificent Limestone Canyon. Designated trails will be open for self-guided trail use in OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Trail routes vary in distance and level of difficulty with choices ranging from easy one-hour walks to strenuous 15-mile cardio treks. Whether traveling by feet or wheels, Wilderness Access Day in Limestone Canyon is a treasure waiting to be discovered by hikers and mountain bikers alike.

Participants will want to plan their day successfully by using Trail Tips to prepare.

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon
Date:
Sat, 10/01/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Spaces Left:
177 of 400
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon, Equestrian

Equestrian
Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon, Equestrian

PRE-REGISTRATION is REQUIRED for this event. 

All participants are required to have, a printed copy or on their phone, the confirmation email to show through the window of their vehicle to drive through the entry gate.

You will need the confirmation email for you and your guests to enter the trail system.

Come experience Limestone Canyon’s beauty from the back of your horse. Designated trails will be open for self-guided access hiking, biking, and equestrian use during Wilderness Access Day in Limestone Canyon. Equestrian riders who have trail riding experience with a fit and able horse will enjoy the historic ranch roads of days gone by. Take in the awe-inspiring vistas from the mighty ridge tops and drink in the cool canyon shade through the oak grove.

There is limited space for equestrian parking. Riders must also have the ability to transport their horse to the staging area.

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon, Equestrian
Date:
Sat, 10/01/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Distance Hike: Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
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.

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.

Distance Hike: Quail Hill
Date:
Sun, 10/02/2022
Time:
7:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
14 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
15 of 20
More Information  

Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon

Come explore OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. This scenic hike involves 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, 10/02/2022
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
20 of 20
More Information  

Intro to Cardio Hike: Weir Canyon Rifle Range Loop

Hiking & Fitness
Intro to Cardio Hike: Weir Canyon Rifle Range Loop

Thinking the cardio hikes might be too fast for you? If so, join us in beautiful Weir Canyon for this slightly slower introduction to cardio hiking. Along the trail, you’ll pass through coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands where deer and bobcats are frequently observed. Multiple steep climbs and descents, and sweeping views, are included throughout this 6-mile hike. Please make sure you are in excellent physical condition! Even though this is a slower cardio hike, it is faster than a walk. You must be able to hike 3+ miles per hour the entire time without stopping.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land. Please review our Trail Tips and FAQ pages to ensure you arrive prepared for this hike.

Intro to Cardio Hike: Weir Canyon Rifle Range Loop
Date:
Sun, 10/02/2022
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
15 of 20
More Information  

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, 10/02/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
14 of 15
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.

• 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, 10/02/2022
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, 10/02/2022
Time:
4:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
17 of 20
More Information  

Monday, October 3, 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 OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space and through beautiful Weir Canyon Nature Preserve. 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. 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:
Mon, 10/03/2022
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
9 of 10
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 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, 10/03/2022
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
20 of 20
More Information  

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Distance Hike: Bommer to the Sea

Hiking & Fitness
Distance Hike: Bommer to the Sea

Join us for a challenging and beautiful hiking adventure to the sea and back. Hiking distance is up to 14 miles and is designed for advanced hikers. Participants must be physically fit and have distance hiking experience. Singletrack trails, steep climbs and descents are numerous on this route, with approximately 2400 feet of accumulated climbing elevation. Beginning in Bommer, the hike will head into Crystal Cove State Park, then pass through Laguna Coast Wilderness Park before returning to the Irvine preserve.

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.

Distance Hike: Bommer to the Sea
Date:
Tue, 10/04/2022
Time:
7:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
14 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 09/26/2022
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 OCParks’ 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.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3/4 activity on the land. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Tuesday Morning Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Tue, 10/04/2022
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 09/26/2022
More Information  

Tecate Cypress Stewardship Day

Stewardship
Tecate Cypress Stewardship Day

The Tecate Cypress is a rare species found only in southern California and northern Baja California.  The northern most population in the Santa Ana Mountains is in severe decline due to too-frequent wildfires. In effort to protect this rare species, locally genetic trees will be watered and mulched in Fremont Canyon, in close proximity to the staging area.

Please be aware that you may be instructed to use tools for this activity such as; but not limited to, pliers, mallets, trowels and shovels.

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.

Tecate Cypress Stewardship Day
Date:
Tue, 10/04/2022
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 09/26/2022
More Information  

Wednesday, October 5, 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, 10/05/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
12 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 09/27/2022
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, 10/05/2022
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 09/27/2022
More Information  

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Thursday Morning Trek: Limestone Canyon and Dripping Springs

Hiking & Fitness
Thursday Morning Trek: Limestone Canyon and Dripping Springs

This week in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, we’ll hike in Limestone Canyon to Dripping Springs. The hike is a 7-mile loop hike which includes some hills and descents. In addition to the springs, we will enjoy panoramic views of the wildlands from East Loma. 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 boots. Participants must be able to hike 7 miles with an elevation gain of 1300 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: Limestone Canyon and Dripping Springs
Date:
Thu, 10/06/2022
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 09/28/2022
More Information  
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