While in Los Angeles, I was excited to run at Irvine Regional Park. Most people don’t go there to run, and there is a heck of a lot of things. There is a miniature railroad! And a zoo! So much. I stumbled upon it because I was looking for a new spot to run, so I wasn’t dealing with Los Angeles traffic.
About Irvine Regional Park:
- $3 per vehicle entry Monday – Friday;
- $5 Saturday – Sunday
Keep in mind Irvine Regional Park does close when they reach compacity, usually between 12-2 on weekends.
Irvine Regional Park is located at the foothills and has a long line of both oak and sycamore trees. There are plenty of trails, shared areas, and even a stone-work waterfall and foot bridge. With 495 acres, there is something to do for everyone, and you’ll likely see horseback riders while out.
What can you do at Irvine Regional Park?
- Irvine Park Railroad is a 1/3rd scale railroad departing every 30 minutes with views of most of the park.
- Group picnic areas: Even big enough to host 150+ people! Rates depend on size.
- Concessions: You can rent bikes and aqua cycle! Plus, the Lakeside Snack Bar is located near the boathouse.
- Equestrian trails: There are about 3 miles of equestrian trails.
- Children’s Pony Rides: Usually from around 10-4.
- Ball Fields
- Hike, Bike, Running Trails
- Ball Fields
This is not everything at Irvine Regional Park; you can find more details on their website. There is a lot to do, and I can see why it’s one of the most popular parks in Los Angeles.
My Experience at Irvine Regional Park:
The day before, we had run through Anaheim, and it felt overwhelming, so I wanted to get out somewhere else. We found Irvine Regional Park and got there around 8 am. A little too late for my usual running (LOL, I am usually done running by 8 am), but I was excited to run somewhere new. When we arrived, we saw several runners returning from a workout, so I was like, ” Oh, a great sign.
We did the Irvine Regional Park’s perimeter and headed towards the dam. The back trails were some of my favorites and were mostly quiet. It did get a lot hotter than I thought, and I found myself reasonably toasted by the end. You can find whatever type of trail you prefer at Irvine Regional Park, whether dirt or paved trails. There are many options, and I can’t wait to explore more, including the cross-country courses. I also want to go to the zoo.
Be sure to get there early because they aren’t joking about how crowded it gets. When we arrived around 8 am, there was still plenty of parking. When we were trying to leave around 10 am, there was a massive line trying to get into the park, and not much parking left. If you are looking for the quietest part of the park, it’s definitely in the back hiking trails towards the dam.
You can see Strava here and more hikes here.
Questions for you:
Have you been to Irvine Regional Park?
What is your favorite park in Los Angeles?