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 249 Events

Friday, May 31, 2024

Wildfire Awareness Series: Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm

Stewardship
Wildfire Awareness Series: Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm

For Wildfire Awareness Month, spend the morning learning about fire dependency, resiliency and plant management as we work on the farm. Come help us behind the scenes at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s one-of-a-kind Native Seed Farm in Irvine! Every day at the farm is different; depending on the needs of the farm we will be harvesting seeds from beautiful native plants, planting new seeds in the annual plots, working in our native plant demo garden, or tending to younger seedlings in our nursery.

Working with us at the Native Seed Farm is a great way to grow your community and cultivate knowledge about local plant and wildlife! Absolutely no experience or special equipment required! 

Wildfire Awareness Series: Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm
Date:
Fri, 05/31/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Native Seed Farm OCP
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
12 of 15
More Information  

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Fremont Loop Distance Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Fremont Loop Distance Hike

Join us for an extremely challenging and strenuous hiking adventure in the scenic Fremont Canyon Wilderness Area. This 16-mile loop hike is for experienced, physically fit distance hikers. The hike is on fire/SCE dirt roads with numerous significantly steep, unrelenting climbs and descents. We hike the entire rim of Fremont Canyon, passing by an abandoned coal mine, the Fremont Weather Station and the remnants of a rare stand of Tecate cypress. Along the way we’ll have sweeping views of Orange County, the Santa Ana Mountains and surrounding mountain ranges.

Fremont Loop Distance Hike
Date:
Sat, 06/01/2024
Time:
7:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
5 of 20
More Information  

Stories Carved in Stone

Hiking & Fitness
Stories Carved in Stone

The rocks of Laguna Coast Wilderness Park tell a story that dates back millions of years. Join OC Park and LCF volunteers as they take you on a journey through history. You will discover volcanic intrusions, explore rock formations 40 million years old, and experience the only naturally occurring lake in Orange County. This program starts at the Nix Nature Center where we will discuss the rock formations of Orange County. Then we will head out on trail, where we will be hiking and exploring about 1 mile up Little Sycamore Trail. The program will end with an easy walk to Barbara’s Lake.

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, and all materials will be provided. Parking is $3 per vehicle. Please meet at the Nix Nature Center amphitheater near the bathrooms.

Rain or muddy conditions will cancel this program.

Stories Carved in Stone
Date:
Sat, 06/01/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
12
More Information  

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, 06/01/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Full
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, 06/01/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Spaces Left:
1 of 3
More Information  

Nature Journaling: Marsh

Interpretive
Nature Journaling: Marsh

Nature journaling is a wonderful tool for nature observations, creating lasting memories and making deeper connections with the world around us. Each session will cover the basics of art theory and practices, journal anatomy and maximizing your senses. This month’s journaling theme is “marsh.”

The program will begin outside the Peters Canyon Regional Park Ranger Station. Bring a nature journal and your own art materials such as pencils, pens, or watercolors. A portable chair is recommended along with sun protection, water and snacks. Be prepared to move along the trail a moderate distance and sit to document the beauty around you.

The program is free and parking is $5 per vehicle.

Advance registration required.

Inclement weather will cancel the program.

For questions, please contact resource specialist Shelly Marshall at (714) 973-6625 or shelly.marshall@ocparks.com.

Nature Journaling: Marsh
Date:
Sat, 06/01/2024
Time:
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Where:
Peters Canyon Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
12
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Family Hike: Red Rocks/Black Star Canyon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Red Rocks/Black Star Canyon

Enjoy an afternoon family hike in Black Star Canyon, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. We will hike along a flat trail and cross a dry creek as we watch for red-tailed hawks and mule deer. The hike will average 3-4 miles round trip at an easy pace with a medium level of interpretation. This program is for participants who would enjoy a slower-paced and level hike. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes and bring water for the hike.

Family Hike: Red Rocks/Black Star Canyon
Date:
Sat, 06/01/2024
Time:
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
4 of 20
More Information  

Sunday, June 2, 2024

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.

Double Loop Hike: Baker Canyon
Date:
Sun, 06/02/2024
Time:
6:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Advanced Distance Hike: Bommer Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Advanced Distance Hike: Bommer Canyon

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. 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 over 2,400 feet of accumulated climbing elevation. Most months, the route stays in the Irvine Open Space Preserve for its entirety, but will occasionally feature hiking to the sea and back: 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.

Advanced Distance Hike: Bommer Canyon
Date:
Sun, 06/02/2024
Time:
7:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
14 miles
Minimum Age:
18
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 OC Parks’ 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.

After the springs, we continue to the Sinks, Orange County’s own “Grand Canyon,” where we enjoy our snacks during a short break. On our way back, we ride along Limestone Ridge, a fun singletrack that leads us towards the Augustine Staging area, enjoying views of Saddleback and Santiago Canyon. From there we will climb back up to Loma Ridge, and then coast back down on the paved Hicks Haul Road to our starting point. 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, 06/02/2024
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
5 of 15
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.

Intro to Cardio Hike: Weir Canyon Rifle Range Loop
Date:
Sun, 06/02/2024
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Weir Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
16 of 25
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.

Bommer Canyon East Fork and Ridge Route Loop Hike
Date:
Sun, 06/02/2024
Time:
7:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Bommer Canyon Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
14 of 20
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. 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, 06/02/2024
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Mile Square Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
25 of 25
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.

Photo Journey Limestone Canyon: The Sinks, Loma Ridge Backcountry and Sunset
Date:
Sun, 06/02/2024
Time:
4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Monday, June 3, 2024

Plants Among Us: Learning About Plants at Baker Canyon

Interpretive
Plants Among Us: Learning About Plants at Baker Canyon

Curious to learn about the plants among us, who’s sus and who’s not? Join us for a hike at Baker Canyon, part of OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, where we’ll look at local flora, talk about native and non-native species, and learn how different plants impact our ecosystems. Learning to identify plants, both native and non-native, is a great way to cultivate a relationship to our local wildlands.  

This activity is geared towards participants who are curious about our local plants and ecosystem. Please bring water and all items needed to keep you safe during our walk. Hats and sunscreen are highly recommended.

Plants Among Us: Learning About Plants at Baker Canyon
Date:
Mon, 06/03/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
5 of 15
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, 06/03/2024
Time:
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
15 of 25
More Information  

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Early Morning Hike: Whiting Wilderness Park

Hiking & Fitness
Early Morning Hike: Whiting Wilderness Park

Join us on this early morning hike in OC Parks’ Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. This hike involves steep climbs and descents on a variety of trails, both double and singletrack, and is done at an average moving pace of 3 mph. Though challenging, we are rewarded with canopied woodlands, sweeping views, and possible wildlife sightings. Distance is 6 – 9 miles depending on weather and trail conditions. Please come prepared with a daypack, 70 oz. (2 quarts) of water, trail snacks, closed-toe hiking shoes, sunscreen, first aid, and any other supplies needed to keep you safe on the trail. Each participant must carry his or her own pack and water. Under-prepared participants may be denied access to this program.

Early Morning Hike: Whiting Wilderness Park
Date:
Tue, 06/04/2024
Time:
7:15 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
9 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
3 of 10
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, 06/04/2024
Time:
7:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
19 of 25
More Information  

Bridges of Buck Gully Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Bridges of Buck Gully Hike

Be inspired by both the natural beauty and recent history of Newport Beach’s Buck Gully Reserve, as we explore this protected area and the collaboration that made it possible. Buck Gully is a natural coastal canyon that opened to the public in 2012 with the installation of four bridges to provide safe public access. The bridges allow exploration of the entire Buck Gully Reserve, and also provide unique vantages and viewing platforms from which to pause and observe the abundant life in and around the stream that runs through the gully year-round. Our guided program starts with a short walk from the Oasis Senior Center to the beginning of the Buck Gully trail, with a visually dramatic entrance into this special canyon. We’ll cross two bridges on the first section of our walk, and then enter the canopied singletrack portion of the trail as we pass by the third bridge. At the fourth and last bridge, we will pause to enjoy the shaded beauty of this hidden refuge, and then retrace our route back to the Oasis.

Bridges of Buck Gully Hike
Date:
Tue, 06/04/2024
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Buck Gully Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
19 of 20
More Information  

Tecate Cypress and Coast Live Oaks Stewardship Day

Stewardship
Tecate Cypress and Coast Live Oaks Stewardship Day

Spend the morning watering and nurturing Tecate Cypress trees and Coast Live Oak seedlings at the Fremont 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.

Tecate Cypress and Coast Live Oaks Stewardship Day
Date:
Tue, 06/04/2024
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
4 of 4
More Information  
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