Mornings in the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks are a perfect time to be out on the land. It’s when the air is crisp and clear and temperatures are pleasant for being active outdoors. With the sun not yet directly overhead, you can discover stunning and dramatically lit views of the canyons, peaks and meandering trails of the Landmarks, as well as sprawling vistas beyond.
A series of weekly morning hikes in the City of Irvine Open Space Preserve and nearby nature preserves are designed to let visitors get in a nature hike before the day gets too hot. Every Wednesday and Thursday, you can take in the impressive landscapes and active wildlife that call the local hills home, while still having plenty of time for whatever else your day may bring.
The Morning Nature Hike series continues August 6 with Morning Nature Hike: Quail Hill, and on August 20 with Morning Nature Hike: Orchard Hills. Each location offers a unique perspective of the sprawling and beautiful Irvine Open Space Preserve over about 7 miles of hiking.
Each Wednesday morning, the “Mid-Week Hike” series also rotates between Orchard Hills, Quail Hill and Agua Chinon. These hikes are slightly longer than the “Morning Nature Hikes,” usually about 10 to 12 miles. With the longer distance comes an earlier start time of 7 a.m., so hikers can finish before temperatures become too hot.
The next Wednesday hike is the Mid-Week Hike: Quail Hill. This hike includes some steep climbs and descents along single-track trails, with 2,700 feet of accumulated elevation climb, leading to sprawling views of Orange County and beyond. The hike is done at a moderate pace, about 3 miles per hour.
The “Mid Week Hike” series continues with Mid Week Hike: Agua Chinon on July 29, and Mid-Week Hike: Orchard Hills on August 5.
Don’t let the heat of the summer months preclude you from enjoying the open spaces and nature preserves of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. Pick a Wednesday or Thursday morning and enjoy a great docent-led hike while temperatures are pleasant and views are spectacular.
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 morning hike, remember to wear comfortable clothes, closed-toe hiking shoes, a hat, sunscreen and bring plenty of water.