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Press Release

OC Parks Opens Gypsum Canyon Wilderness

Distinguished guests cut the ribbon to commemorate the opening of Gypsum Canyon Wilderness.  From left to right – Supervising Park Ranger II Nick Martinico, OC Parks; President & Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Connell, Irvine Ranch Conservancy; Director Pam Passow, OC Parks; Chairman Donald P. Wagner, Orange County Board of Supervisors; Vice Chair Bert Ashland, OC Parks Commission; Vice President Mark Denny, Irvine Company; Vice President Dean Kirk, Irvine Company; Senior Vice President Bill Martin, Irvi

(Anaheim, Calif.) – Discover prehistoric rock formations and surround yourself with stunning views at Gypsum Canyon Wilderness.

The 500-acre property located within OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space features 6 miles of new trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding, along with lookout points that offer sweeping views of the surrounding canyons, Santa Ana Mountains and beyond. 

“Gypsum Canyon Wilderness is full of adventure waiting to be discovered,” said Chairman Donald P. Wagner, Orange County Board of Supervisors. “I am proud to bring this park space to the residents of Orange County. I look forward to exploring the new trails and all the beauty this area has to offer.”  

Gypsum Canyon Wilderness features dramatic cobble and sandstone bluffs formed 16 to 20 million years ago when the earliest camels, horses, rhinos and saber-toothed deer roamed the area. Today, its protected and preserved native habitats are home to an abundance of wildlife including mule deer, red-tailed hawks, California gnatcatchers and bobcats. California poppies color the hillsides in the spring months while oak-studded meadows and large sycamore trees can be enjoyed year-round.

The area includes seven new trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding, ranging from easy to moderate in difficulty. Take in the expansive views of the surrounding landscape and colorful rock formations from two scenic overlooks. Visitors will have the opportunity to provide voluntary feedback about Gypsum Canyon Wilderness through on-site participation surveys and offer naming suggestions for several unnamed trails.

Gypsum Canyon Wilderness is currently accessible through scheduled guided and self-guided programs with advance registration. OC Parks balances environmental stewardship with public access to ensure the area is preserved and enjoyed. Public usage and feedback, along with further monitoring of native habitat and wildlife populations will be considered when determining future access opportunities and availability. Free public access opportunities will begin Friday, November 17, weather permitting.  


November and December 2023 Activities and Programs at Gypsum Canyon Wilderness

Advance registration required for all activities and programs.
                                      Visit for more information and to sign up. Inclement weather may cancel activities and programs. 

November 17 – Morning Mountain Bike Ride at Gypsum Canyon Wilderness
8 – 10:30 a.m.

November 18 and 25 – Wilderness Access Day: Gypsum Canyon Wilderness
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

November 22 – Plants Among Us: Learning About Plants at Gypsum Canyon Wilderness
9 – 11:30 a.m.  

November 24 – Turkey Burner Fitness Hike in Gypsum Canyon Wilderness   
8 – 10 a.m.

November 24 – Afternoon Hike at Gypsum Canyon Wilderness   
1 – 3:30 p.m.

November 29 – Early Morning Fitness Hike: Gypsum Canyon Wilderness   
7 – 9:30 a.m.

December 9 and 23 – Wilderness Access Day: Gypsum Canyon Wilderness    
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

December 15 – Morning Mountain Bike Ride at Gypsum Canyon Wilderness
8 – 10:30 a.m.

December 16 – Early Morning Fitness Hike: Gypsum Canyon Wilderness
7 – 9:30 a.m.

December 22 – Morning Hike at Gypsum Canyon Wilderness
8 – 10:30 a.m.



OC Parks
OC Parks manages nearly 60,000 acres of parks, historical and coastal facilities and open space for the County of Orange as part of OC Community Resources.


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