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.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Fremont Loop Cardio Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Fremont Loop Cardio Hike

Join us for a strenuous, extremely challenging, fast-paced cardio hike in Fremont Canyon. This is an advanced 16 mile cardio hike, completed in less than 4 hours and includes 3500 ft of elevation gain. This hike is for experienced, physically fit hikers who enjoy the challenge of multiple steep climbs and descents. There are no rest stops and the average 4 miles per hour fast-pace can be extremely difficult over steep terrain in the wilderness setting.

Please bring a minimum of 100 oz. water and trail snacks.  Come prepared with a pack, sturdy closed-toed hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail for this extreme fast-paced hike in a wilderness area. Each participant must carry his or her own pack and water.  Under-prepared participants may be denied access to this program.

Fremont Loop Cardio Hike
Date:
Sat, 01/29/2022
Time:
6:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
9 of 20
More Information  

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Fremont Geology Hike to the Weather Station

Interpretive
Fremont Geology Hike to the Weather Station

Join us on this interpretative hike to learn about the geologic evolution of Orange County, as well as historic mining activities of the county . We’ll hike up to our turnaround point, the Fremont Weather Station, where winds are sometimes clocked at up to 100 mph, and then stop by the site of an abandoned coal mine as we return to the staging area.

This challenging hike includes steep hills with a 1200-foot elevation change, but you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Orange County and the Cleveland National Forest.

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

Fremont Geology Hike to the Weather Station
Date:
Sun, 01/30/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Celebrate Cultures in Nature: Chinese Lunar New Year

Interpretive
Celebrate Cultures in Nature: Chinese Lunar New Year

Discover unique historical tales about the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks as we celebrate different cultures together! Each month, a different culture and celebration will be highlighted, with the possibility of the program presented in multiple languages which will allow for everyone to fully enjoy the beauty of the land.

This month we will focus on the Chinese Lunar New Year. Come explore how people who are born in the Year of the Tiger are brave, competitive, unpredictable, and confident. They are very charming and well-liked by others, just like those who enjoy the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks!

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

Celebrate Cultures in Nature: Chinese Lunar New Year
Date:
Tue, 02/01/2022
Time:
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Distance Hike to Mini Moab: Fremont Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Distance Hike to Mini Moab: Fremont Canyon

Come along with us on this epic hike from the bottom of Fremont Canyon to the bold, sandstone outcrops marking the ridgeline locally known as “Mini Moab.” This extremely challenging out-and-back hike is for experienced, physically fit distance hikers. We climb steeply along ranch roads past an abandoned coal mine, the Fremont Weather Station, remnants of a rare stand of Tecate cypress, and Lizard Rock. Less than a mile after entering the Coal Canyon Ecological Reserve, we reach our destination. The view from Mini Moab is nothing short of spectacular! After a break for snacks and to enjoy the view, we’ll retrace our steps back to the Fremont Staging Area.

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

Distance Hike to Mini Moab: Fremont Canyon
Date:
Wed, 02/02/2022
Time:
7:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
14 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Thursday Morning Trek: Fremont Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Thursday Morning Trek: Fremont Canyon

This week in the 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.

Thursday Morning Trek: Fremont Canyon
Date:
Thu, 02/03/2022
Time:
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
6 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
1 of 20
More Information  

Equestrian Trail Ride: Fremont to Weir Canyon

Equestrian
Equestrian Trail Ride: Fremont to Weir Canyon

Experience the wonders of two preserves located on the beautiful Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks preserve located adjacent to Irvine Regional Park, Fremont and Weir Canyon. We begin our equestrian ride atop the Waterworks trail an old filled-in V ditch that served to water the vast acres of the old Irvine Ranch of Orange County. We parallel Santiago Creek and enter the mouth of Fremont Canyon where native flora and fauna abound and find refuge from the sprawling urban environment. We turn and head toward Weir Canyon along the MWD trail and find ourselves gaining elevation and on little hills. As we head into the canyons we find hawks overhead and the coastal sage scrub turn into chaparral. We may find wildflowers or native grasses sprouting and certainly, we will hear sounds from Irvine Park. Serenity will be found as we enter the quietness of Weir Canyon where Oaks abound and restoration continues where Ox carts once traversed. After travelling back in time, we make our way back to the park and toward our original starting point going through Lower Weir Canyon and back into the park.

This ride travels on wide trails and single tracks with several moderate to steeper climbs. Equestrians who have trail riding experience and their own fit and able horse are welcome. You will need to transport your horse to the staging area. Owners of unshod horses, please note that footing will include areas of gravel and distances over asphalt pavement. Please bring water on the ride.

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

Equestrian Trail Ride: Fremont to Weir Canyon
Date:
Thu, 02/03/2022
Time:
10:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
10 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
6 of 10
More Information  

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

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 planted 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.

Tecate Cypress Stewardship Day
Date:
Tue, 02/08/2022
Time:
9:30 AM - 11:30 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 01/31/2022
More Information  

Friday, February 11, 2022

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 15-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.

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

Fremont Loop Distance Hike
Date:
Fri, 02/11/2022
Time:
7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/03/2022
More Information  

Saturday, February 12, 2022

FREEKS Ride: Clockwise

Mountain Biking
FREEKS Ride: Clockwise

Join us 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.

FREEKS Ride: Clockwise
Date:
Sat, 02/12/2022
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 02/04/2022
More Information  

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Animal Friends of the Oak Woodlands

Interpretive
Animal Friends of the Oak Woodlands

[Please note: this is a Children’s Program] Spend a few hours in the wildlands of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks with your young naturalists. We will learn about animals and their important roles in the Oak Woodlands habitat through fun games, nature activities and a very leisurely paced walk on a trail with little to no elevation gain. Please wear sturdy shoes, comfortable clothing, and bring water. Binoculars and a magnifying glass are optional. This activity is tailored towards elementary school-aged children. In order to maximize the availability for young participants, we kindly request that only one adult caretaker per family signs up.

Animal Friends of the Oak Woodlands
Date:
Sun, 02/13/2022
Time:
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
2 miles
Minimum Age:
6
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/05/2022
More Information  

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Animal Tracking in Fremont Canyon

Interpretive
Animal Tracking in Fremont Canyon

Come search for evidence that animals leave behind in nature. 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.

Animal Tracking in Fremont Canyon
Date:
Sat, 02/19/2022
Time:
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/11/2022
More Information  

Sunset Stroll: Fremont Canyon

Interpretive
Sunset Stroll: Fremont Canyon

Come for a relaxing sunset stroll in the wildlands of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. Experience the sights and sounds as dusk settles in while learning about the native plants and animals. We will be walking at a leisurely pace of 1.5 mph for an hour and a half on trails with little to no elevation gain. Please wear sturdy shoes, comfortable clothing, and be prepared for the cooler evening temperatures. Don’t forget to bring water, a flashlight, and binoculars if you choose.

Sunset Stroll: Fremont Canyon
Date:
Sat, 02/19/2022
Time:
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/11/2022
More Information  

Monday, February 21, 2022

Distance Hike: Fremont to Weir Canyon

Hiking & Fitness
Distance Hike: Fremont to Weir Canyon

Join us for an early morning distance hike from remote Fremont Canyon to the oak woodlands of Weir Canyon. Shortly after leaving Irvine Regional Park, this hike climbs steeply from the mouth of Fremont Canyon and passes an abandoned coal mine. We continue through Upper Blind Canyon, up to a scenic overlook and then drop down to Weir Canyon as we wind our way back to Irvine Regional Park.

Distance is up to 14 miles and is designed for advanced hikers. Participants must be physically fit and have distance hiking experience.

Distance Hike: Fremont to Weir Canyon
Date:
Mon, 02/21/2022
Time:
7:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
14 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/13/2022
More Information  

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Fremont Loop Cardio Hike

Hiking & Fitness
Fremont Loop Cardio Hike

Join us for a strenuous, extremely challenging, fast-paced cardio hike in Fremont Canyon. This is an advanced 16 mile cardio hike, completed in less than 4 hours and includes 3500 ft of elevation gain. This hike is for experienced, physically fit hikers who enjoy the challenge of multiple steep climbs and descents. There are no rest stops and the average 4 miles per hour fast-pace can be extremely difficult over steep terrain in the wilderness setting.

Please bring a minimum of 100 oz. water and trail snacks.  Come prepared with a pack, sturdy closed-toed hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail for this extreme fast-paced hike in a wilderness area. Each participant must carry his or her own pack and water.  Under-prepared participants may be denied access to this program.

Fremont Loop Cardio Hike
Date:
Sat, 02/26/2022
Time:
6:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Where:
Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration for this event opens at 8:00am on 02/18/2022
More Information