With southern California’s beautiful year-round weather, the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks are the perfect place to have a “staycation.” From the mountains to the sea, Orange County residents can find large geologic wonders, wide open spaces, and a coastal oasis in their own backyard. From OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon to the City of Newport’s Buck Gully and the City of Irvine’s Bommer Canyon, the Landmarks offer visitors a wealth of open spaces and nature preserves to escape the everyday stresses of life. Nature lovers can discover the hidden gems of Orange County during a staycation on the Landmarks this summer and beyond.
Visitors looking for wide open spaces are invited to explore the City of Irvine’s Bommer Canyon. The canyon beckons hikers, bikers, and equestrians for the ultimate adventure as they pass by ancient oak sycamore groves and rough rock outcrops. Rich in both local history and vegetation, Bommer Canyon gives visitors the opportunity to explore its unique coastal sage scrub habitat daily from dawn to dusk and during docent-led programs. On Saturday, August 18 from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. outdoor enthusiasts can explore Bommer Canyon during the Wilderness Access Day: Bommer Canyon program. Offered monthly, visitors will have full self-guided access to the entire southern Open Space Preserve trail network, including the single-tracks in Shady Canyon and Bommer Canyon that are reserved for guided activities only.
Hikers can head to the coast this summer and explore the City of Newport Beach’s Buck Gully Reserve. This natural coastal canyon is often seen as a secluded oasis among the hustle and bustle of Newport Beach. Visitors can explore 1,200 acres of wilderness from dawn to dusk daily through self-guided access and during docent-led programs. On Friday, September 7 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. volunteers can join the First Friday Habitat Restoration in Buck Gully stewardship program. Offered monthly, this activity allows visitors to give back to nature and help native plants thrive, improving habitat for wildlife. All training, tools, and gloves will be provided to ensure your safety and comfort.
Explore your own backyard and enjoy a staycation on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks this summer and beyond. Remember to wear sunscreen and don’t forget to pack water, a snack, and wear appropriate clothing and shoes. Programs are open to the public with required registration, but space is limited and early registration is recommended. For more information and to register for a program visit www.LetsGoOutisde.org/activities.