Turtle Rock Nature Center

The Turtle Rock Nature Center is located at the base of the San Joaquin Hills in the City of Irvine, and serves as a community resource for environmental interest and concern. The five-acre nature preserve is both a home for wildlife and an outdoor classroom where visitors and program participants learn to protect our natural environment. Visitors can explore the nature center at their leisure, taking a self-guided trail walk during regular operating hours. Trails may be closed due to inclement weather.

Programs and Services

Nature Trail
Winding through the nature preserve is a paved trail that displays native Southern Californian habitats, including riparian, desert and woodlands. Frequent visitors to our nature preserve trail include local birds who enjoy swimming in our pond, lizards who bask in the sun on our rocks, and rabbits who disappear into the desert brush.

Native Plant Garden
Designed and completed by Eagle Scout Nathaniel Pinckney, the native plant garden features some common plant species native to Orange County. Visit the garden for a chance to learn about the importance of local plant species and to get information on how to plant natives in your own backyard.

Labyrinth
The labyrinth – a circular, winding rock path – was designed and completed by Eagle Scout Michael Nakahara, Troop 606.There are as many ways to walk the labyrinth as there are individuals. It represents our passage through time and experience. Like the journey of life, no time or effort is wasted. Every step takes us closer to our goal.

Badge programs for Boy and Girls Scouts are offered at the Turtle Rock Nature Center. Earn specific badges for your troops in an unique learning environment. For more information, call 949-724-6738 or email jsam@cityofirvine.org.  

Birthday parties are also available at the nature center. Come celebrate your birthday around our fire ring with a scavenger hunt, crafts, games and more. Fully staffed nature-themed parties are available for children ages 4-10. Please call four weeks prior to desired date. For more information, call 949-724-6738 or email jsam@cityofirvine.org.  

Group tours are offered on a reservation basis. Tours include a guided walk on the nature center trail, where naturalists will share information on local habitats, plants and wildlife, and visitors could see common animals such as birds and rabbits. 

Read the Nature Center Chronicles, our quarterly newsletter, for the latest news on Turtle Rock Nature Center.

Available for Reservation 

  • Patio area
  • Fire pit

To reserve these areas, please call the Center at 949-724-6738.