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Field Trips

August 25th Field Trips

You will have been up late on Saturday Night. Sleep in a bit!  Field trips will depart from the AYRES HOTEL and SUITES. If you are not staying at this hotel, please arrange a ride over to the Ayres Hotel and Suites:  325 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks (All Day)

Experience part of Orange County’s only National Natural Landmark, including significant geological and biological sites. On a private driving tour hosted by the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, participants will enjoy a tour of Limestone Canyon, you will see part of 40,000 acres of permanently protected open space identified as one of the world’s biodiversity “hot spots.” The tour will include a stop at The Sinks, described by some as a “mini Grand Canyon,” and at Box Springs for a sack lunch. The tour may also include a short, moderate hike to Dripping Springs to see a lush natural spring and fern grotto.

Highlights: Wildlife exploration, hiking
Activity Level: Low
Cost: $40, lunch included
Leave Ayres hotel by 9:10 am, return by 4:00 pm

Catalina Island (All Day)


Ride the Catalina Flyer Ship on a 1.5 hour voyage across the Pacific Ocean to arrive at Avalon, Catalina. On a Private loop tour of the island, hosted by the Catalina Conservancy, participants will enjoy a visit to the Nature Center, view bald eagle nests with possible fledglings, visit Middle Ranch Lake, meet and greet biologists at the Native Plant Nursery and search for the Catalina Island Fox. Participants will top off the tour with lunch at the classic Catalina Airport.

Highlights: Pacific Ocean boat ride, bison, wildlife viewing
Activity Level: Low
Cost: $80, lunch included
Leave Ayres Hotel by 7:40 am, return by 6:45 pm

Falls Canyon Hike (Half Day) 8am to 1 pm

Follow Naturalist Joel Robinson and cross Trabuco Creek to find a hidden tributary where a perennial waterfall awaits worthy adventurers.  Splash through the flowing creek, climb over large boulders, and balance on fallen tree trunks.  Meander under ancient oak, sycamore, maple, bay and alder.  Navigate through wild grape vine.  See if you can find a newt or a treefrog near a giant fern grotto.  Arrive at the base of a steep cliff where a waterfall (taller than Holy Jim Falls) drops into small rock pool.  Many opportunities to get wet and identify local wildlife and plants.

Highlights: Wildlife exploration, swimming, local culture
Activity Level: Moderate (overgrown single track trail with steep slopes, poison oak, boulder and fallen tree obstacles, multiple creek crossings, gradual elevation gain, 1-2 miles round-trip depending on starting point)
Cost: $30, lunch included
Leave Ayres Hotel by 7:15 am, return by 1:00 pm


Surfing (Half Day)

Known for its consistent quality of good waves, Huntington Beach has been dubbed the “Surf Capital of the World.” After gearing up in a wetsuit, learn some  “totally rad” tips from a surf instructor; grab a board, and then it is time to hit the waves. Whether you are a pro or have never surfed in your life, a dip in the Pacific Ocean will rejuvenate you. A paddle out away from the shore always means a good chance of seeing dolphins or sea lions. After a few hard hours of surfing, enjoy a picnic lunch on the warm California sand.

Highlights: Exercise after all that conference eating, beach combing, local culture, wildlife viewing
Activity Level: Moderate – High
Cost: $50, lunch included
Leave Ayres Hotel by 7:40 am, return by 1:00 pm


Whale Watching and Picnic on the Sand (Half Day)

On this 2.5 hour cruise along the Pacific Ocean, view blue and finback whales. Experience the sight of megapods of dolphins jumping in and out of the Pacific Ocean. Afterwards, enjoy a picnic lunch on the sands of Newport Beach before heading back to the ENC.

Highlights: Bird and marine animal viewing, enjoy SoCal weather
Activity Level: Low
Cost: $50, lunch included
Leave Ayres hotel by 8:45 am, return by 1:50 pm

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