Irvine Ranch Conservancy, along with its partners OC Parks and the City of Irvine, are thrilled to welcome nature lovers back to the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks with the return of Wilderness Access Days. These free activities are the perfect opportunity for visitors of all levels to get out and explore native wildlands found in Orange County.
Explore OC Parks’ Black Star Canyon during Wilderness Access Day on Saturday, July 10. Black Star Canyon offers pleasant introductory trails for beginner hikers and families, as well as challenging experiences for seasoned trail users. A gateway to the backcountry of the Cleveland National Forest and the northern Santa Ana Mountains, visitors can take in views of the striking red rocks, views of Irvine Lake and the Pacific Coast, along with diverse coastal sage scrub and chaparral habitats with a variety of rare plant and animal species.
Nature enthusiasts can enjoy self-guided access in the southern portion of Irvine’s Open Space Preserve during Wilderness Access Day in Bommer Canyon on Saturday, July 17. During this Wilderness Access Day, the entire southern Open Space Preserve trail network will be open for self-guided hiking and biking, including single-tracks in Shady Canyon and Bommer Canyon that are reserved for guided activities only. Visitors can stroll past ancient oak and sycamore groves, through rough rock outcrops and explore trails that were once used by cattle and ranchers in the historic Cattle Camp.
“Irvine Ranch Conservancy staff, volunteers and partners are excited to welcome visitors back to experience the beauty of the Landmarks,” said Dave Raetz, Irvine Ranch Conservancy Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. “Throughout the pandemic, IRC staff and land owners worked diligently to restore and preserve local trails and natural habitats, so they would be ready for nature lovers to enjoy once again.”
Free activities on the Landmarks were temporarily postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are gradually resuming in accordance with the most current guidance from State and local health agencies. Pre-registration is not required, but is encouraged to ensure participation. For more information about the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks and to register for an upcoming Wilderness Access Day, visit LetsGoOutside.org.