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, October 6, 2022

Fitness Hike – Dilley

Hiking & Fitness
Fitness Hike – Dilley

Please be aware this is a Fitness Hike and not for beginners; the pace is approximately a 19-minute mile. Raise your heart rate and your spirits on this strenuous, fast-paced, 4.8-mile hike over steep and uneven terrain (650-ft. elevation gain) with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers.

For more information and to sign up, CLICK HERE.

Fitness Hike – Dilley
Date:
Thu, 10/06/2022
Time:
8:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Minimum Age:
18
More Information  

CANCELLED: Restoration in Big Canyon

Stewardship
Stewardship

Around 25,000 plants have been installed at our Big Canyon restoration site, and we would love your help protecting the new plantings from invasive plants. Invasive plants pose a huge threat to displacing native plant communities and wildlife at the Bay, second only to habitat loss. By removing invasive weeds, we will ensure the Big Canyon project site thrives with native plants for years to come. No prior plant ID/weeding experience necessary.

Minors must have a legal guardian present at all times.

To register, go to: RestoreBigCanyon.eventbrite.com

Interested in bringing out a large group of 15 or more? Please contact Zachery Flores at zachery.flores@newportbay.org for more information on how to sign up.

Time & Location
We will meet at 9am at the project site entrance. A map with directions will be included in your confirmation email following registration. From the parking location, the project site is a short 5-minute walk into the canyon. NOTE: There are no restrooms at this location.

What to Bring/Wear
Be sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water. We also recommend wearing breathable clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. Hand tools, shovels, and gloves will be provided. All volunteers not yet fully vaccinated must wear a face mask while on the project site. Face masks are optional for fully vaccinated volunteers.

CANCELLED: Restoration in Big Canyon
Date:
Thu, 10/06/2022
Time:
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
14
More Information  

Sunset Mountain Bike Ride to Mini Moab

Mountain Biking
Sunset Mountain Bike Ride to Mini Moab

Think you would enjoy a challenging but relaxing evening biking in the wilderness on empty trails with both a sunset and a nice view of city lights? Then join us on this ride to Mini Moab in Fremont Canyon, a part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Mini Moab is located at the top of Coal Canyon above the 91 Freeway; this spot provides views of the Fremont Canyon Wilderness as well as Orange and surrounding counties. This ride is for experienced off-road riders, in excellent cardio shape, that have some experience with evening/night riding.

Please review the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings to help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this program. This program has the distance/elevation of a level 5 program, but the ride time can accommodate a slower pace. Motorized recreation vehicles of any class or type are not permitted for recreational use. Please visit our FAQ page for answers to activity specific questions you may have prior to registering.

Sunset Mountain Bike Ride to Mini Moab
Date:
Thu, 10/06/2022
Time:
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
17 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 09/28/2022
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, 10/06/2022
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 09/28/2022
More Information  

Friday, October 7, 2022

Distance Hike: Limestone Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Distance Hike: Limestone Canyon

Join us for a scenic, fast-paced, challenging, distance hike in the beautiful Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. This hike is for physically fit hikers who enjoy the challenge of multiple steep climbs and descents. This 10–13 mile hike offers sweeping views of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains as well as possible wildlife sightings. This hike may include a visit to The Sinks and/or Dripping Springs.

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.

Distance Hike: Limestone Canyon
Date:
Fri, 10/07/2022
Time:
7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
13 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 09/29/2022
More Information  

Bommer Canyon Exploration Day

Special Events
Bommer Canyon Exploration Day

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 1 pm. This includes the single-tracks in Shady Canyon and Bommer Canyon that are reserved for guided activities only. Registration is required for this event. 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 1 pm.

Special Notice: Parking at the Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp is extremely limited due to ongoing construction, and will be available on a first come-first serve basis. Additional parking may be available at the Bommer Canyon Trailhead and Turtle Rock Community Park. Alternate parking options also include the Quail Hill Trailhead, Quail Hill Community Center and Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.

Bommer Canyon Exploration Day
Date:
Fri, 10/07/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 09/29/2022
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, 10/07/2022
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 8, 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, 10/08/2022
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 09/30/2022
More Information  

Bird Walk – Dilley

Interpretive
Bird Walk – Dilley

Spot local native and migratory birds with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists on this 2-mile hike over moderate but uneven terrain (up to 100-ft elevation gain) through one of the most diverse plant communities in the United States.  No experience necessary!  For ages 12 and up (minors under 18 must be accompanied by an adult).  Wear hiking or walking shoes and bring your binoculars.

For more information and to sign up, CLICK HERE.

Bird Walk – Dilley
Date:
Sat, 10/08/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
12
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, 10/08/2022
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 09/30/2022
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.

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.

Bridges of Buck Gully Hike
Date:
Sat, 10/08/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Buck Gully Reserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 09/30/2022
More Information  

Family Hike: Round Canyon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Round Canyon

Enjoy nature with friends and family in Round Canyon. We hike along a fairly flat trail as we watch for red-tailed hawks and mule deer. This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. The hike averages 2-3 miles round trip at an easy pace with a medium level of interpretation. This program is for participants who would like a slower-paced and level hike. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes, and bring water for the hike.

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.

Family Hike: Round Canyon
Date:
Sat, 10/08/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 09/30/2022
More Information  

Keep It Wild – Native Plant Nursery

Stewardship
Keep It Wild - Native Plant Nursery

Join Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers in beautiful Laguna Coast Wilderness Park at our native plant nursery as we care for native plants from their seed stage to their mature, ready-to-be planted stage. Volunteers may collect seeds, sow seeds in flats, bump plants up, plant at restoration sites, sterilize plant containers, and help maintain the nursery. Gain hands-on experience with habitat restoration while working alongside other zany and interesting plant lovers! Wear closed-toed shoes, layered clothing and sun protection. Bring water. Ages 16 and up. Ages 16 and 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Attendance is limited and registration is required at: https://lagunacanyon.org/events/

Keep It Wild - Native Plant Nursery
Date:
Sat, 10/08/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
16
More Information  

Mesa Loop Nature Hike

Interpretive
Mesa Loop Nature Hike

Join us for a moderately paced hike around the Mesa Loop Trail! On the way we’ll talk about some of the local flora and fauna that call the canyons their home, and take in the striking views that only this location can provide.  This area was heavily affected by the Bond Fire and we’ll have a chance to check out recovery and talk about adaptations for surviving fire.  It’s going to be warm, so please bring plenty of water

Total hike is approximately 3 miles and 300 foot elevation gain.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land.

Mesa Loop Nature Hike
Date:
Sat, 10/08/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
2.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 09/30/2022
More Information  

Earthcache Hike to Dripping Springs: Limestone Canyon

Interpretive
Earthcache Hike to Dripping Springs: Limestone Canyon

Come and hike with us to Dripping Springs, location of the Earthcache site listed on www.geocaching.com. The cache is titled, “Dripping Springs Aquifer- Irvine Ranch Wildlands, GC1ZC04.” This hike is open to existing geocachers, those curious about geocaching and non-geocachers alike. There will be as much time as needed at Dripping Springs so all cachers can record their data and make their observations to confidently log their visit to this cache site. Dripping Springs is a natural spring and fern grotto found in the heart of Limestone Canyon part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. This hike will follow Limestone Canyon and then up the Sandtrap trail and down to Dripping Springs and back through Limestone Canyon for an approximate 7 mile loop. Total climbing elevation is around 1300 feet.

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.

Earthcache Hike to Dripping Springs: Limestone Canyon
Date:
Sat, 10/08/2022
Time:
8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
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 09/30/2022
More Information  

Animal Tracking in Fremont Canyon

Interpretive
Animal Tracking in Fremont Canyon

Come search for evidence that animals leave behind in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. Mule deer, bobcats, coyotes and even mountain lions call this hidden canyon home. Gain the basic tracking techniques as we search for evidence such as tracks, fur, bones, homes, and even scat. You never know what you may find! Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes that you do not mind getting a little dusty. This program is focused on older children and adults.

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.

Animal Tracking in Fremont Canyon
Date:
Sat, 10/08/2022
Time:
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 09/30/2022
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 mammal. 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 have a short introductory presentation in the staging area before the walk.

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:
Sat, 10/08/2022
Time:
5:45 PM - 7:45 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 09/30/2022
More Information  

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Mountain Bike Clinic: Rider Skills

Mountain Biking
Mountain Bike Clinic: Rider Skills

If you are new to mountain biking and interested in getting started the right way, or if you just want to hone your existing bike skills developing rider-influenced techniques to navigate your bike over common trail features and obstacles, this is the clinic for you!

Class begins with a brief overview of rider fundamentals starting with platform position and weight transfer followed by a series of exercises demonstrating rider-influenced bike maneuvers such as front & rear wheel lifts, bunny hops, drop-offs, late & emergency braking and cornering techniques over pavement, loose dirt, rocks, logs, ruts & potholes. These riding techniques will be taught and practiced at the Mountain Bike Skills Development area and towards the end of the morning, participants will enjoy a short ride into Round Canyon to put their new skills to use then wrap up by discussing trail etiquette for bikes.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-3 activity on the land.

Mountain Bike Clinic: Rider Skills
Date:
Sun, 10/09/2022
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 10/01/2022
More Information  

Trail Stewardship – Mariposa Trail

Trail Work
Trail Stewardship – Mariposa Trail

Join Laguna Canyon Foundation in maintaining the Mariposa trail in James Dilley Greenbelt Preserve portion of Laguna Coast Wilderness. Trail work is a challenging yet FUN experience! Tools, training, and gloves are provided.
For more information and to sign up, CLICK HERE.

Trail Stewardship – Mariposa Trail
Date:
Sun, 10/09/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Minimum Age:
18
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, 10/09/2022
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  
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