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Newest Area for Orange County Residents to Explore: Red Rock Wilderness

Explore Red Rock Wilderness in Orange County with OC Parks and Irvine Ranch Conservancy! 🌄🌿 Discover 8 miles of scenic trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback with riding in this newly opened natural habitat. #RedRockWilderness #OpenToThePublic

OC Parks is thrilled to expand its regional parks system with more chances for the public to experience the outdoors within Orange County, and Irvine Ranch Conservancy (IRC) is excited to help you explore what the Irvine Ranch Open Space has to offer! The newest area to join the Landmarks for public enjoyment, Red Rock Wilderness features colorful sandstone, cobble bluffs and breathtaking views of the Santa Ana Mountains. 

Situated on top of the 20 to 40-million-year-old Sespe formation, Red Rock Wilderness was once home to early rhinos and crocodiles that roamed the area. Now, the area offers a protected and preserved natural habitat for a variety of plants and animals, including bobcats, mule deer, grey foxes and a variety of bird species. Colorful California poppies, lupine and other wildflowers blossom in the spring while coast live oaks, prickly pear cactus, coastal sage scrub and native grasses are visible year-round.

Through OC Parks’ and IRC’s continued partnership, the organizations work together to balance environmental stewardship with public access to ensure the area is preserved and enjoyed for recreation, education and exploration. Right now, Red Rock Wilderness is only accessible through scheduled guided and self-guided programs with advanced registration. Free public access opportunities will begin Saturday, May 18.

The approximately 1,500-acre area contains more than eight miles of new trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding along with a scenic overlook that offers 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape. Visit OCParks.com/irvine-ranch-open-space for more information on the public access programs from OC Parks and to sign up. IRC staff and volunteers are looking forward to hosting public activities here and exploring the land with the community soon. Visit letsgooutside.org/activities/ in the coming weeks and months to see activities led by IRC.