2024 April 7 Field Trip – Dripping Springs

Hike to Dripping Springs

With the Irvine Ranch Conservancy

April 7 Sunday

Tentatively canceled as of April 2, 2024 due to trail closures and conditions. Please email Mel Letterman at mletterman@irconservancy.org for any questions or concerns.
Registration Closed March 15 – Filled to Capacity


LOCATION Dripping Springs is a year-round spring in the middle of Limestone Canyon that is expressed through the side of a vertical rock face. Famous for its lush ferns (Adiantum capillus-veneris) and rare wildflowers (Epipactus gigantea, Monardella hypoleuca ssp. intermedia, and many others), Dripping Springs is an extremely sensitive area and an essential watering hole for wildlife in Limestone Canyon. We may be going at the beginning of peak wildflower season, so there will be a variety of different common wildflowers (clarkias, cardinal catchfly, goldenstar, thistles) scattered around the area. Limestone Canyon is only accessible through scheduled programing only, so this is a unique opportunity to explore a less-trafficked area in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains.

THE HIKE:  This is a moderate hike; participants should be comfortable with hiking up hill in exposed areas with no shade. The hike will be a loop from Augustine Staging Area to Limestone Canyon Rd. then Dripping Springs to Sandtrap and back to Limestone Canyon Rd. Most of the hike will be flat and shaded by oak trees, but there is a section through Sandtrap trail (approx. 1.6 mi.) that is up hill and not shaded. Overall, the hike will be approximately 6 mi. long.

REGISTRATION:  Click here to register yourself for this hiking event.
Registration Closed March 15 – Filled to Capacity

Meet Time:  8:30 am, April 7.
Meet Location:  Augustine Staging Area in Limestone Canyon off E Santiago Canyon Rd.
Duration:  Approximately 2.5 – 3 hours, depending on the number of stops and speed of group.
Physical Difficulty:  Moderate – some uphill and fully exposed areas.
Bring:  Hat, sunscreen, water, camera, wildflower book/notebook, and good hiking footwear.
Plant Intensity:  Moderate to high.
Facilities:  Bathrooms available at the beginning/end of hike. No water.
Hike Leader:  Mel Letterman for CNPS and Irvine Ranch Conservancy (IRC) Staff.
Additional Information: An additional waiver (through IRC) will need to be signed by each participant at the beginning of the event.