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.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

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, 02/05/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Morning Yoga Hike in Baker Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Morning Yoga Hike in Baker Canyon

Enjoy a 3+ mile hike and gentle yoga practice in nature. The hike through Baker Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, includes some elevation and will be a nice warm up for a gentle morning yoga flow under a shaded canopy. Please bring water, your own yoga mat and large beach towel. Mats will not be provided; we will drop mats at secure location while hiking. Closed-toe shoes, water, hats and sunscreen recommended for the hike.

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 in Baker Canyon
Date:
Sat, 02/11/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
4 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
11 of 20
More Information  

Monday, February 13, 2023

Winter Birding Walk in Red Rocks

Interpretive
Winter Birding Walk in Red Rocks

It’s easy to think many of the birds we see and hear look and act the same. But do they? Bring your binoculars and join us on a slow/medium paced walk in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, 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.

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.

Winter Birding Walk in Red Rocks
Date:
Mon, 02/13/2023
Time:
7:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/05/2023
More Information  

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Rocks are Rad: Geology Hike at Black Star Canyon

Interpretive
Rocks are Rad: Geology Hike at Black Star Canyon

Join us for a morning walk to one of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks’ iconic geologic features. We will walk out to the red-faced cliffs of Black Star Canyon.  The early morning light from the sun will make for striking pictures of this geological treat.  We will cross the dry Silverado Creek and examine its effects on the local geology.  Then, we will stop at the red rock cliffs and discuss its formation and its future.  Finally, we will stop at an alluvial fan and talk about how it came to be.  This hike is geared towards families with curious minds.

The trail is an easy, flat ranch road, but the creek crossing is very rocky. Please bring water and all items needed to keep you safe during our walk. Hats and sunscreen are highly recommended as there is no shade along this route. Closed-toe shoes are a must.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

Rocks are Rad: Geology Hike at Black Star Canyon
Date:
Sat, 02/18/2023
Time:
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/10/2023
More Information  

Sunday, February 19, 2023

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 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:
Sun, 02/19/2023
Time:
3:00 PM - 5:30 PM
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 02/11/2023
More Information  

Friday, March 3, 2023

Baker Meadow Oak Planting Stewardship

Stewardship
Baker Meadow Oak Planting Stewardship

Spend your morning planting Coast Live Oak seedlings within a beautiful oak woodland in Baker Canyon. We may be using shovels and small handheld tools. No experience necessary.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

Baker Meadow Oak Planting Stewardship
Date:
Fri, 03/03/2023
Time:
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
15
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/23/2023
More Information  

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Ranger Reserve Support: Wilderness Access Day in Black Star Canyon

Stewardship
Stewardship

Come out and assist OC Park Rangers assigned to the Irvine Ranch Open Space (IROS) during this monthly special access event. The event takes place in Black Star Canyon among beautiful oak woodlands and rolling hills, with spectacular views of Orange County that only few get to see. Job duties include event set up, traffic control, visitor service/ check in, post assignments, and trail patrol. Must be a current Ranger Reserve with OC Parks to sign up. No past area experience is needed but welcomed.

Ranger Reserve Support: Wilderness Access Day in Black Star Canyon
Date:
Sat, 03/04/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
18
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

Special Events
Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

Black Star Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, offers pleasant introductory trails for beginner hikers and families as well as challenging experiences for seasoned trail users. Designated trails are available for self-guided hiking, biking and equestrian use. A variety of trail loops offer extended exploration throughout the canyons. Take time to explore the local plant communities and beautiful scenery in easy 30-minute walks or take in 7+ miles in a strong cardio trek.

Pre-registration is not required for this event, though it is available on the website. If you need driving directions, use the online registration to receive a map and instructions for getting to the Baker Canyon Staging Area. Parking is limited on Black Star Canyon Road and carpooling is strongly recommended. You will not be required to sign-in upon arrival, though an information booth with trail maps and suggested routes will be available in the staging area.

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon
Date:
Sat, 03/04/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
All Ages
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
164 of 200
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian

Equestrian
Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian

Black Star Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, offers pleasant introductory trails for beginner hikers and families as well as challenging experiences for seasoned trail users. Designated trails are available for self-guided hiking, biking and equestrian use. A variety of trail loops offer extended exploration throughout the canyons. Take time to explore the local plant communities and beautiful scenery in easy 30-minute walks or take in 7+ miles in a strong cardio trek.

There is limited space for equestrian parking along Black Star Canyon Road, carpooling is strongly encouraged. Riders must also have the ability to transport their horse to the staging area. It is a “first come, first serve” for trailer parking and therefore early arrival is HIGHLY recommended. Major crowds are typically present at the very start of the event. There are not typical equestrian amenities at the event such as hitching posts, steps to mount your horse or water troughs. Please be sure to time your arrival accordingly so you have plenty of time to enjoy the trails with your horse.  

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon, Equestrian
Date:
Sat, 03/04/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Sunday, March 5, 2023

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, 03/05/2023
Time:
7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/25/2023
More Information  

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Morning Yoga Hike in Baker Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Morning Yoga Hike in Baker Canyon

Enjoy a 3+ mile hike and gentle yoga practice in nature. The hike through Baker Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, includes some elevation and will be a nice warm up for a gentle morning yoga flow under a shaded canopy. Please bring water, your own yoga mat and large beach towel. Mats will not be provided; we will drop mats at secure location while hiking. Closed-toe shoes, water, hats and sunscreen recommended for the hike.

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 in Baker Canyon
Date:
Sat, 03/11/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
4 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/03/2023
More Information  

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Nature’s Grocery Store

Interpretive
Nature's Grocery Store

Come enjoy and learn about the bounty of the local flora and fauna. We will talk about how the animals and early settlers of the area survived and thrived with what nature has to offer. We will discuss how over-grazing, weather, and seasonal patterns affected the daily availability of food in times when there were no grocery or convenience stores.  Buckwheat graham crackers, prickly pear jam, and lemonade berry drink are a few of the tempting treats that we will taste-test. After a few snacks, we will take a short stroll along Baker Canyon and take in all the bounty of nature.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

Nature's Grocery Store
Date:
Sun, 03/12/2023
Time:
8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/04/2023
More Information  

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Fitness Hike: Mesa Loop

Hiking & Fitness
Fitness Hike: Mesa Loop

Join us for a strenuous, challenging, fast-paced, afternoon fitness hike in Blackstar Canyon Wilderness Park. Along the way we’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Orange County and possible wildlife sightings. This is a 5 mile fitness hike, completed in 1.5 hours and includes a 650+ foot elevation change. This hike is for experienced, physically fit hikers who enjoy the challenge of multiple steep climbs and descents.

There are no rest stops on this approximately 5 mile fitness hike, and the average 3.5 mile per hour fast-pace can be difficult over steep terrain in the wilderness setting.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land.

Fitness Hike: Mesa Loop
Date:
Wed, 03/15/2023
Time:
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/07/2023
More Information  

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Thursday Morning Trek: Baker Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Thursday Morning Trek: Baker Canyon

This week in OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, we’ll hike in Baker Canyon. This scenic hike includes steep climbs and descents on both single and double-track trails with about 1100 feet of accumulated climbing. We will enjoy sweeping views of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks and the Santa Ana Mountains. On clear days, we can see Catalina Island and even beyond into the Los Angeles Basin. Please wear hiking shoes/boots and bring water, a trail snack, sun screen, hat, and any other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail. Participants must be able to hike 7 miles with an elevation gain of 1100 feet at an average moving rate of 3 miles per hour. Each hiker must carry their 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: Baker Canyon
Date:
Thu, 03/16/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
7 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/08/2023
More Information  

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Starry, Starry Night

Interpretive
Starry, Starry Night

Come join us for an interactive evening under the stars.  Immerse yourself in a scaled-down version of our solar system.  Test your imagination in naming the constellations.  Reenact the struggle between Orion and the Scorpion.  The hike will average 2-3 miles round trip at an easy pace with a high level of interpretation. This program is for participants who would like a slower-paced hike. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes and bring water for the hike. This activity is designed with kids ages 5 – 12 in mind but, everyone is welcome.

Please review the Difficulty Ratings on the banner above before registering. Understanding the 1-through-5 ratings system will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-2 activity on the land.

Starry, Starry Night
Date:
Sat, 03/18/2023
Time:
6:30 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:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/10/2023
More Information  

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Moderate Paced Mountain Bike Ride: Baker and Fremont Canyons

Mountain Biking
Moderate Paced Mountain Bike Ride: Baker and Fremont Canyons

Enjoy riding in the wilderness on empty trails? Then join us on a docent-led mountain bike ride that loops through Fremont, Baker and Black Star Canyons. The route features expansive views, as well as the flora and fauna of the Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve and Black Star Canyon Nature Park. If you are very physically fit and in excellent cardio shape, this is a great opportunity to enjoy this seldom visited wilderness of Orange County!

This is a moderate-paced ride designed for the experienced beginner to intermediate rider who is in excellent cardio shape and is physically fit, but sometimes needs to move slower on steep ascents/descents. We will ride both fire roads and largely non-technical single track trails. The ride will regroup and rest as needed and an opportunity will be provided for a snack break.

Please note, the ride is approximately 15 miles long with 2300 feet of elevation gain. The route has climbs with some extended steep sections.  The climb to Cathedral Rock is a 3+ mile climb that gains 1500+ feet in altitude (average 9% gradient with a number of steeper pitches).

Moderate Paced Mountain Bike Ride: Baker and Fremont Canyons
Date:
Sun, 03/19/2023
Time:
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
15 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/11/2023
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 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:
Sun, 03/19/2023
Time:
3:00 PM - 5:30 PM
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 03/11/2023
More Information  

Monday, March 20, 2023

Discover Hidden Canyons: Black Star

Interpretive
Discover Hidden Canyons: Black Star

Discover the hidden canyons and trails found in Black Star Canyon, part of OCParks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space. These seldom-hiked trails offer fantastic vista views, wildflowers, secluded oasis of oaks, and rising rocky outcrops. Come take a stroll along the trails to discover the hidden gems of Orange County. We will listen to tales of how the geology was formed underfoot to tales of the plants and animals that call these protected habitats home. Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes for our hike as well as proper sun protection and, please bring plenty of water.

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.

Discover Hidden Canyons: Black Star
Date:
Mon, 03/20/2023
Time:
8:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Where:
Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 03/12/2023
More Information  
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