Hiking on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks can lead to beautiful ridgetop views, sweeping vistas, and offers outdoor enthusiasts an opportunity to connect with the local lands. When enjoying the longer days of the summer season, properly preparing for a hike is vital to staying safe and helps ensure a positive experience. Take time to plan for an outdoor adventure and enjoy the beauty, fresh air and exercise that comes with hitting the trails on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks.
To stay safe and get the most out of your time on the lands, it’s important nature lovers prepare for the unique challenges that come with hiking, especially as temperatures rise. Hikers can start their journey off on the right foot while enjoying the sights and smells of summer with the below tips.
Hydration is key to staying happy and healthy on those long treks outdoors. Remember, water is often not available at the staging areas or along the trails, so come prepared with plenty of fluids.
- Drink water before and after your journey.
- Bring at least 32 ounces of water per hour, per person.
- Drink before you’re thirsty – being thirsty is a sign of dehydration.
Although special clothing is not always necessary, dressing in comfortable and breathable clothing will help visitors stay cool on the lands this summer. It’s important that visitors ensure their attire matches their activity.
- Layering is key in all types of weather. Loose fitting, long-sleeved shirts in the summer helps protect skin from the sun’s harsh rays.
- Bring a wide-brimmed hat to protect your neck and face.
- When hiking during the day, try to wear sunglasses whenever possible to protect your eyes.
- Wear sturdy hiking shoes for longer hikes on unpaved trails
- Wear closed-toed athletic shoes for activities led on paved trails.
Specialized gear is generally not necessary for easy to moderate hikes on the Landmarks. Bringing along a light backpack with the below items will help visitors enjoy their time outdoors this summer.
- Bring a snack! Fruit, granola, or a meal bar will help during hikes 3 hours or longer.
- Pack your cell phone, ID card, medications and info on any health-related issues that may arise.
- Make sure to bring and wear sunblock – it should be re-applied every two hours.
- A basic first-aid kit may also be helpful on the lands.
- Once again, don’t forget to bring water!
It’s important for visitors to understand their fitness levels before joining a program. Reviewing the difficulty rating listed with each activity will help visitors gauge what to expect during the activity. Each difficulty rating is measured between Level 1 and Level 5 and based on the following criteria.
- Average Pace
- Estimated Stops
- Accumulated Elevation
- Steepness of Ascents and Descents
- Trail Surface and Type
Another way to beat the heat on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks is to join programs offered in the mornings and evenings. The Tuesday Morning Fitness Hike on Paved Hicks Haul Road on Tuesday, July 17 from 7:30 – 10 a.m. and Self-Paced Fitness Hike on Hicks Haul Road on Thursday, July 19 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. are great opportunities for hikers to get outside and explore the outdoors without the sun’s direct heat.
To learn more or to register for any of the above activities, or others, visit www.LetsGoOutside.org/activities . Most activities are free and require pre-registration. When attending a hike, remember to wear comfortable clothes, closed-toe hiking shoes, a hat, sunscreen and bring plenty of water.