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 1879 Events

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Second Sunday in Limestone Canyon: The Sinks and The Spring

Hiking & Fitness
Second Sunday in Limestone Canyon: The Sinks and The Spring

Explore beautiful Limestone Canyon on this serene Sunday morning hike to Dripping Springs and the west viewing deck of The Sinks. Limestone Canyon is one of the most pristine wilderness areas in the county, featuring the 20-to-40-million-year-old geologic formation known as The Sinks, as well as a year-round spring. Dripping Springs is an extremely sensitive area and an essential watering hole for wildlife.

The hike passes through coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands, and includes sweeping views from Limestone Ridge and both viewing platforms. This 9.5-mile hike moves between 3 and 3.5 mph with an elevation change of 800 feet.

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

Second Sunday in Limestone Canyon: The Sinks and The Spring
Date:
Sun, 05/14/2017
Time:
7:00 am - 12:00 pm
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
13 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Native Plant Nursery at Augustine Staging Area

Stewardship
Native Plant Nursery at Augustine Staging Area

Please join us at the Native Plant Nursery located at the Augustine Staging Area. All work at the nursery is community-driven, and the plants grown will help to enhance the native habitat within Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve!  This month we will work at the Augustine staging area to remove invasive Russian thistle, and learn about the importance of native plants and habitat as well as the distinctions between non-native and invasive species. 

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

Native Plant Nursery at Augustine Staging Area
Date:
Sun, 05/14/2017
Time:
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
6
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Lure and Lull of Limestone Canyon and The Sinks Equestrian Ride

Equestrian
The Lure and Lull of Limestone Canyon and The Sinks Equestrian Ride

Take a leisurely equestrian ride through beautiful Limestone Canyon, home of oak woodlands, grasslands, and coastal sage scrub.  View evidence of the old ranch days when cattle once roamed the area, and see some of the wild flowers that are native to our area.  You will also see The Sinks, a sandstone formation which is sometimes called the “Grand Canyon of Orange County.”

Riders should have trail riding experience and a fit and able horse.  They must have the ability to transport their horse to the staging area.

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

The Lure and Lull of Limestone Canyon and The Sinks Equestrian Ride
Date:
Fri, 05/19/2017
Time:
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Extreme Cardio Hike: Shoestring Canyon, Loma Ridge, to the Back Side of The Sinks

Hiking & Fitness
Extreme Cardio Hike: Shoestring Canyon, Loma Ridge, to the Back Side of The Sinks

Join us for a strenuous, extremely challenging, fast-paced, early morning cardio hike in Limestone Canyon. Along the way we’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Orange County and possible wildlife sightings. We will visit the back side of the Sinks to gain beautiful vistas of Agua Chinon and beyond. This is a 13.5 mile cardio hike, completed in 3 hours, includes a 2000+ foot elevation change. This hike is for experienced, physically fit hikers who enjoy the challenge of multiple steep climbs and descents.

There is one scheduled rest stop at the East Sinks Viewing Deck on this approximately  13.5  mile cardio hike, and the average four (4) mile per hour fast-paced and is extremely 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-5 activity on the land.

Extreme Cardio Hike: Shoestring Canyon, Loma Ridge, to the Back Side of The Sinks
Date:
Sat, 05/20/2017
Time:
6:30 am - 9:30 am
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
5
Distance:
14 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Adopt-a-Canyon: Agua Chinon Stewardship

Stewardship
Adopt-a-Canyon: Agua Chinon Stewardship

Are you a nature lover, hiker, gardener, or just need to get outside to refresh yourself? Does the idea of adopting a canyon across four seasons and being part of a longer term project interest you? Please come help Irvine Ranch Conservancy restore local habitat, native plants, and wildlife so they may thrive in the canyon of Agua Chinon. No experience is necessary other than a desire to explore and care for our open space. Participants may engage in plant identification, removal of invasive weeds, and planting native plants.

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

Adopt-a-Canyon: Agua Chinon Stewardship
Date:
Sat, 05/20/2017
Time:
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Family Hike: Agua Chinon

Interpretive
Family Hike: Agua Chinon

Enjoy an early evening family hike in Agua Chinon, part of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. We hike a gradual climb of 500 ft elevation of  as we watch for red-tailed hawks and mule deer.  This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. The hike will average 3 miles round trip at an easy pace with a medium level of interpretation.

This program is for participants who would enjoy a slower-paced gradual climb hike. Hikers should be in good health able to do a beginning hike over a variety of terrains. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes, and bring water for the hike. Be ready to enjoy the sounds and smells of early evening.

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

Family Hike: Agua Chinon
Date:
Sat, 05/20/2017
Time:
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
2
Distance:
3 miles
Minimum Age:
8
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Cardio Hike: Limestone Canyon and The Sinks

Hiking & Fitness
Cardio Hike: Limestone Canyon and The Sinks

Explore beautiful Limestone Canyon on this challenging fast-paced cardio hike. Along the trail, you’ll pass through coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands. Multiple steep climbs and descents are included. Enjoy views of Saddleback Peak, the Cleveland National Forest and the Sinks along the way.

Remember, this cardio hike is much faster than a walk, and features a 1,600-foot elevation change and up to 10 miles. Experienced cardio hikers, that can hike uphill at an average pace of 3.5-to-4 mph without stopping, are welcome.  Please make sure you are in excellent physical condition!

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

Cardio Hike: Limestone Canyon and The Sinks
Date:
Sun, 05/21/2017
Time:
7:00 am - 10:00 am
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
9.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Moderate-Paced Ride: Limestone Canyon via Hicks Haul Road

Mountain Biking
Moderate-Paced Ride: Limestone Canyon via Hicks Haul Road

This is a moderate-paced ride designed for the intermediate rider who has experience and skills, but sometimes needs to move slower in more technical areas with steep descents/ascents. This program is for very physically fit riders in excellent cardio condition. The ride starts at the Augustine staging area and travels along the Hick’s Haul paved road, continuing to Shoestring, Augustine, The Sinks, Raptor, and the adjacent oak woodlands. We will climb approximately 1600 feet over an 11 to 14 mile journey in this 2.5-hour program.

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

Participants must wear a helmet and carry at least 100 ounces of water, snacks, and spare tubes and tools (in case of flats). Your bike must be trail worthy, with at least a front suspension, and in good working condition. We do NOT ride on bike paths, but rather on hazardous rocky, rutted, sandy fire roads and some singletrack. This is for adult riders only

Moderate-Paced Ride: Limestone Canyon via Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Sun, 05/21/2017
Time:
8:00 am - 10:30 am
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
11.5 miles
Minimum Age:
16
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Evening Adult Beginner Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon to The Sinks

Mountain Biking
Evening Adult Beginner  Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon to The Sinks

A slow-paced beginner mountain bike ride for adults in Limestone Canyon through sycamores, oaks, and habitat native to California. The route takes us to The Sinks, Orange County’s own mini “Grand Canyon.” Along the way, we will stop and talk about the local habitat, and hope to see some of our local native animals and raptors. For mountain bikers with minimum of six months of trail experience who would like to join IRC-Certified volunteers on a 8 – 9 mile ride with 400 – 800 feet of elevation gain.  This ride is for adult riders only. Allow up to 2.5 hours of riding time.

Reviewing the 1-through-5 will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this variable ride rated at a level-3  activity on the land.

Evening Adult Beginner  Mountain Bike Ride: Limestone Canyon to The Sinks
Date:
Sun, 05/21/2017
Time:
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Mountain Bike Clinic – Terrain Skills

Mountain Biking
Mountain Bike Clinic - Terrain 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 skills developing terrain-influenced bike handling over several types of man-made features, this is the clinic for you!

Class begins with a brief overview of rider fundamentals starting with platform position and weight transfer then covering equipment basics & setup, braking, gearing and a brief bike maintenance Q&A session followed by a series of exercises demonstrating terrain-influenced bike handling over a variety of man-made features including log piles, rock step-ups, A-frames and many more. 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.

This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.

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 - Terrain Skills
Date:
Sun, 05/28/2017
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 has closed.
More Information  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Self-Paced Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
Self-Paced Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Enjoy an evening fitness hike through stunning rock formations and fragrant native plants as you listen to the sounds of nature. This hike is done at your own pace as a walk, jog, or run (speed range typically 2.5 to 3.5 mph), so is suitable for beginners who are just starting their fitness program as well as more experienced hikers who are looking for a workout. This out-and-back program travels the 3.5 mile route to scenic Loma Ridge (450′ elevation gain) and back down, with most participants completing the route in about 1.5 hours. The hike is family-friendly, but children must be closely supervised by an adult and able to hike with the group, or be safely carried by a strong adult or secured in a jogging stroller. This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.

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

Self-Paced Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Thu, 06/01/2017
Time:
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon

Special Events
Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon

Please note: Pre-Registration is now required due to limited parking capacity.

Start your weekend off by exploring the endless 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, hooves or wheels, Wilderness Access Day in Limestone Canyon is a treasure waiting to be discovered by hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers alike.

All participants are requested to check-in and complete their registration at the Augustine Staging Area prior to accessing the trail system. The highly popular “The Sinks” is a 9-mile round trip hike over moderate terrain and can take the majority of the designated event time.

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon
Date:
Sat, 06/03/2017
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:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon, Equestrian

Equestrian
Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon, Equestrian

Please note: Pre-Registration is now required due to limited parking capacity.

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, 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 pre-registration is required. Major crowds are typically present at the very start of the event.

Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon, Equestrian
Date:
Sat, 06/03/2017
Time:
8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
Variable
Minimum Age:
8
Spaces Left:
Full
More Information  

Exploring Limestone Canyon: The Sinks

Interpretive
Exploring Limestone Canyon: The Sinks

Join us on a moderate-paced hike through the beautiful Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. This month we will have a guided walk that is a 9-mile distance, and 800′ elevation gain, round-trip hike to introduce you to The Sinks, an iconic geological formation often compared to a mini-Grand Canyon for Orange County. Chat with your naturalist as you enjoy this out-and-back  trail as it meanders through the bottom of the oak woodland canyon, taking in the sights of hugging canyon walls, soaring hawks and possible hidden deer.

After our trek, you are welcome to enjoy the trails during Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon.

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

 

Exploring Limestone Canyon: The Sinks
Date:
Sat, 06/03/2017
Time:
8:30 am - 1:00 pm
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon

Mountain Biking
Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon

We start our ride 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 the Box Spring which provides year-round water for wildlife like deer.
Reviewing the 1-through-5 Difficulty Ratings will help you evaluate your readiness to participate in this level-4 activity on the land.

Oak trees provide shade and acorns, which the Indians used to grind into acorn meal. 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 down on Limestone Ridge, a fun singletrack that leads us towards the Augustine Staging area, enjoying views of Saddleback and Santiago Canyon. From there we will follow the Shoestring Trail to climb back up to Loma Ridge, and then coast back down on the paved Hicks Haul Road to our starting point.

Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon
Date:
Sun, 06/04/2017
Time:
7:00 am - 10:30 am
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
16 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Native Plant Nursery at Augustine Staging Area

Stewardship
Native Plant Nursery at Augustine Staging Area

Please join us at the Native Plant Nursery located at the Augustine Staging Area. All work at the nursery is community-driven, and the plants grown will help to enhance the native habitat within Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve!  This month we will work at the Augustine staging area to remove invasive Russian thistle, and learn about the importance of native plants and habitat as well as the distinctions between non-native and invasive species. 

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

Native Plant Nursery at Augustine Staging Area
Date:
Thu, 06/08/2017
Time:
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
1
Minimum Age:
6
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Intermediate Evening Mountain Bike Ride

Mountain Biking
Intermediate Evening Mountain Bike Ride

Explore Limestone Canyon by night on this intermediate mountain bike night ride. We will ride out of Augustine, up Loma Ridge, down to The Sinks, and along Limestone Ridge or Limestone Valley, depending on the group. Please plan for a distance between 10-12 miles. Please arrive early as it will get dark quickly.

Trails include natural hazards such as sand, tree roots, exposed rocks, and ruts.  Expect several steep climbs on this 12-mile ride with an elevation gain of 2,600 feet.  This night ride is for experienced adult riders.  Lights required.

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

Intermediate Evening Mountain Bike Ride
Date:
Thu, 06/08/2017
Time:
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
14 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Self-Paced Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Hiking & Fitness
Self-Paced Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road

Enjoy an evening fitness hike through stunning rock formations and fragrant native plants as you listen to the sounds of nature. This hike is done at your own pace as a walk, jog, or run (speed range typically 2.5 to 3.5 mph), so is suitable for beginners who are just starting their fitness program as well as more experienced hikers who are looking for a workout. This out-and-back program travels the 3.5 mile route to scenic Loma Ridge (450′ elevation gain) and back down, with most participants completing the route in about 1.5 hours. The hike is family-friendly, but children must be closely supervised by an adult and able to hike with the group, or be safely carried by a strong adult or secured in a jogging stroller. This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.

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

Self-Paced Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road
Date:
Thu, 06/08/2017
Time:
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
3
Distance:
3.5 miles
Minimum Age:
12
Family Friendly:
Yes
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Adopt-a-Canyon: Agua Chinon Stewardship

Stewardship
Adopt-a-Canyon: Agua Chinon Stewardship

Are you a nature lover, hiker, gardener, or just need to get outside to refresh yourself? Does the idea of adopting a canyon across four seasons and being part of a longer term project interest you? Please come help Irvine Ranch Conservancy restore local habitat, native plants, and wildlife so they may thrive in the canyon of Agua Chinon. No experience is necessary other than a desire to explore and care for our open space. Participants may engage in plant identification, removal of invasive weeds, and planting native plants.

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

Adopt-a-Canyon: Agua Chinon Stewardship
Date:
Sat, 06/10/2017
Time:
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Where:
Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
Variable
Distance:
0 miles
Minimum Age:
14
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Agua Chinon Geology Hike to Both Sides of The Sinks

Interpretive
Agua Chinon Geology Hike to Both Sides of The Sinks

Come along with us to visit one of the most photographed and famous sites on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks – The Sinks. This interpretative program will begin with a hike along a riparian corridor currently being restored with native plants and will visit both east and west sides of The Sinks.  Along the way we’ll talk about the geologic processes that over millions of years created the geologic features of The Sinks, Loma Ridge, and Agua Chinon Creek.

Agua Chinon Geology Hike to Both Sides of The Sinks
Date:
Sun, 06/11/2017
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 am
Where:
Irvine Open Space Preserve
Difficulty Rating:
4
Distance:
8.5 miles
Minimum Age:
18
Spaces Left:
Registration has closed.
More Information  
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