How do I register for programs?
The best way to register is to click on the “Register” button on the activities calendar. Select the number of participants from your household, checking to make sure the program age and difficulty is appropriate for all visitors. After you register, you will receive an email with driving directions to the meeting area.
Can I bring my dog on programs?
To protect sensitive habitats and wildlife, dogs are not permitted during Irvine Ranch Conservancy-led activities.
Additionally, dogs are not permitted in OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space Preserve, in the City of Newport Beach’s Buck Gully Reserve, nor in the City of Irvine’s Open Space Preserve, except for leashed dogs on the Quail Hill Loop Trail. For other program operators’ regulations, please contact the appropriate agency as listed in the activity description.
Protects you and your dog from:
- Poison oak
- Venomous Snakes
- Ticks and Lyme disease
- Harming open space
Protects wildlife from:
- Starvation – wildlife avoid areas frequented by other predators such as dogs.
- Territory disruption – domestic dog scent harms coyote and bobcat territories.
- Nest abandonment – birds frightened by dogs can leave their nests, endangering their young.
Why does the calendar only provide programs through the current month?
If you look at the top of the calendar there is a pull down menu. You can select different months depending on how many programs have been scheduled. Also, if you look near the top on the right hand side, you will see page numbers; click on those to see dates later in the month. The calendar is usually updated every 3 months.
How do I find directions to the meeting areas?
Once you register and receive a confirmation code, you will also be provided with driving directions. If you sign up more than a few days in advance, you will be sent a reminder email with a map attached.
Can I be dropped off at the staging area to participate in an activity?
We do not permit registered attendees to be dropped off at the staging area in order to participate in activities. In case of emergencies, activity participants need to be able to evacuate the staging area using their own transportation. Many of the staging areas are in remote areas with poor cellular service, making it difficult and sometimes impossible to hail a taxi or rideshare service.
What should I bring on my hiking program?
If you are hiking, we recommend hiking boots or very sturdy sneakers. No open toed shoes or high heels are allowed. For all programs bring more water than you would normally drink in a couple of hours, some snacks, sunscreen and hats for day programs. Layers are also highly recommended as the temperature changes frequently. If going on a night hike, you may bring flashlights with red tinting (you can buy the red tinted saran wrap and put that on over your flashlight with a rubber band).
Where can I go for self-guided hiking?
There are several parks in Orange County that allow self-guided access. Visit www.ocparks.com for a listing. Or, check our website for the upcoming Wilderness Access Days in Bommer Canyon, which are offered once a month (usually the third Saturday).
What would be considered an easy or moderate hike?
We have several themed hikes that offer a high level of interpretation. These are considered the easiest programs. Look for family specific programs such as Family Wilderness Walks or Animal Evidence Hikes. Our Mid-Week hikes are generally considered moderate. They go about three to five miles and tend to have some elevation gain and loss. If you click on the title of the program in the activities calendar, it will tell you how far they are going and the elevation gain if known.
Do I have to have my own horse?
Yes, we are not able to provide horse rentals for our rides. If you are signing up for an equestrian program you must have your own trail worthy horse and the appropriate amount of experience for the ride you have registered for. The horse should be well-mannered and have experience riding on a trail.
What characterizes a strenuous ride?
Oso Trail in Casper’s Park would be considered strenuous. Most of Laguna Coast Wilderness Park would be considered moderately strenuous. Orange County trails are not terribly strenuous, generally speaking, for experienced trail riders and horses.
What characterizes a moderate ride?
For Orange County, moderate rides have some elevation gain and some up and down terrain. The length of a trail should also be considered. A trail ride of two-three hours would be considered moderate by most standards; four + hours would be considered strenuous.
Mountain Biking Program
What is an appropriate bike for these rides?
Bikes must be considered trail worthy; they need knobby tires, multiple low gears, and should have at least a front shock. Bikes that are not appropriate for our trails include BMX, road bikes, an upright city bike with slick/thin tires, bikes with any attachments, and beach cruisers. Motorized recreation vehicles of any class or type are not permitted for recreational use.
What should I bring on my ride?
- Mountain Bike
- Gloves (if you prefer)
- 100 oz of water
- Calories (Clif bars and gu)
- Spare tubes
- Hand pump
- Tool kit
- Patch Kit if you have one
- Sun Glasses
- Appropriate biking attire (cotton clothing and jeans are NOT considered appropriate attire)
What should I bring on night rides?
- Mountain Bike
- 70 oz of Water
- Spare Tubes
- Tool kit
- Hand Pump
- Extra layers
- 12 watt bulb that lasts 3 hours (minimum)