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.

Monday, October 17, 2022

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, 10/17/2022
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 10/09/2022
More Information  

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

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, 10/18/2022
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 10/10/2022
More Information  

Bommer Canyon to Butterfly Valley Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Bommer Canyon to Butterfly Valley Hike

Join us as we explore the Irvine Open Space Preserve on this hike through Bommer and Shady Canyons. We’ll begin at the Cattle Camp, where ranch equipment of old still stands. After a steep ascent on the East Fork trail, we’ll make our way across part of Serrano Ridge and descend into Shady Canyon to the Butterfly Valley trail. Here, you’ll experience some of the most mature Coastal Sage Scrub in all of Orange County. After a short stop we’ll return the same way. Total round trip distance is 8 miles with an elevation gain of 1500 feet at an average moving rate of 2.5 miles per hour. All participants must carry their own water! Please come prepared with a pack, plenty of water, snacks, sturdy closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail. Under-prepared participants may be denied access to the event!

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.

Bommer Canyon to Butterfly Valley Hike
Date:
Tue, 10/18/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Bommer Canyon
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 10/10/2022
More Information  

Toddler Treks: Amazing Arachnids!

Interpretive
Interpretive

Our eight-legged friends are truly amazing arachnids! Discover the wonders of their little lives and the big impacts they have in nature. Hear a fun tale about a spinning spider and create your own arachnid craft to take home.

This fun program is for ages 2 – 6 years. Space is limited; parents must register themselves and each child. Program is free though there is a Park Entrance Fee per entry vehicle. For questions, please contact Resource Specialist, Kelley.Brugmann@ocparks.com at 714-973-6625.

Toddler Treks: Amazing Arachnids!
Date:
Tue, 10/18/2022
Time:
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Irvine Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
2
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Full
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.

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.

Buck Gully Upper Loop Evening Hike
Date:
Tue, 10/18/2022
Time:
3:00 PM - 5:30 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 10/10/2022
More Information  

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Bird Walk in Santiago Oaks

Interpretive
Bird Walk in Santiago Oaks

Stroll through the park searching high and low for our flittering friends. Listen for their sweet song and hear fun associations to help you remember these birds. Program is geared for all levels, though is focused for beginner-intermediate level birder. Bring your binoculars, sun protection, comfortable shoes, and an eye for spotting our feathered friends!

Program is free though there is a Park Entrance Fee per entry vehicle. For questions, please contact Resource Specialist, Kelley.Brugmann@ocparks.com at 714-973-6625.

Bird Walk in Santiago Oaks
Date:
Wed, 10/19/2022
Time:
7:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Where:
Santiago Oaks Regional Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
23 of 25
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, 10/19/2022
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 10/11/2022
More Information  

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Morning Yoga Hike at Quail Hill

Hiking & Fitness
Morning Yoga Hike at Quail Hill

Enjoy a 3.6 mile out and back hike to warm up your legs before experiencing a gentle flow yoga practice in nature. The hike is highlighted with a short but steep climb at a medium pace and takes us to a 360 degree view of the Quail Hill neighborhood. The yoga is suitable for those with little or no experience; slower in pace and gentle in practice. Our focus on breath calms the nervous system and has positive effects on mental, emotional and physical health. If you have never done a yoga hike before you will be surprised how connected you feel to nature. Please bring water, your own yoga mat plus a large beach towel, and wear shoes appropriate for hiking on trails.

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.

Morning Yoga Hike at Quail Hill
Date:
Thu, 10/20/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Quail Hill
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
4 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 10/12/2022
More Information  

Thursday Morning Trek: Fremont Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Thursday Morning Trek: Fremont Canyon

This week in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, we’ll hike in the remote Fremont Canyon. The hike is just under 6 miles and includes a steep hill. We will hike from the mouth of Fremont Canyon, past a historic coal mine, to the Fremont Weather Station. After enjoying a spectacular view, we will hike back the same way to our starting point. 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 shoes. Participants must be able to hike 6 miles with an elevation gain of 1200 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: Fremont Canyon
Date:
Thu, 10/20/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 10/12/2022
More Information  

Fitness Hike – Ridge Park

Hiking & Fitness
Fitness Hike – Ridge Park

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 difficult, strenuous, and fast-paced, 6.6-mile hike (1,100-ft. elevation gain) over very steep, uneven terrain with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers.

For more information and to sign up, CLICK HERE.

Fitness Hike – Ridge Park
Date:
Thu, 10/20/2022
Time:
8:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Minimum Age:
18
More Information  

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.

Restoration in Big Canyon
Date:
Thu, 10/20/2022
Time:
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Upper Newport Bay
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
14
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, 10/20/2022
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 10/12/2022
More Information  

Friday, October 21, 2022

Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm

Stewardship
Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm

Looking for a way to give back to Nature this autumn? 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, 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! 

Reviewing the 1-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this Level 2 activity. Activities may include bending, stooping, crouching, squatting, long periods of standing, reaching, pulling, grabbing, and pushing.

Please note our Minors Policy for all public activities: All minors (under 18 years of age) must be accompanied by their respective parent or legal guardian. Both parent and their accompanying minor(s) must be registered for the Irvine Ranch Conservancy led activity they wish to attend.

Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm
Date:
Fri, 10/21/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Native Seed Farm OCP
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 10/13/2022
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, 10/21/2022
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 22, 2022

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, 10/22/2022
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 10/14/2022
More Information  

Family Hike: Red Rocks/Black Star Canyon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Red Rocks/Black Star Canyon

Enjoy an early morning family hike in Black Star Canyon, part of OCParks’ 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.

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: Red Rocks/Black Star Canyon
Date:
Sat, 10/22/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 10/14/2022
More Information  

Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm

Stewardship
Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm

Looking for a way to give back to Nature this autumn? 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, 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! 

Reviewing the 1-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this Level 2 activity. Activities may include bending, stooping, crouching, squatting, long periods of standing, reaching, pulling, grabbing, and pushing.

Please note our Minors Policy for all public activities: All minors (under 18 years of age) must be accompanied by their respective parent or legal guardian. Both parent and their accompanying minor(s) must be registered for the Irvine Ranch Conservancy led activity they wish to attend.

Growing Together at the Native Seed Farm
Date:
Sat, 10/22/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Native Seed Farm COI
Difficulty Rating:
2
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 10/14/2022
More Information  
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