There is so much to see on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks land that it’s hard to squeeze into one post. The Sinks is a particularly beautiful portion of Limestone Canyon with a viewing deck for . . . viewing (of course!).
In March of 2011, OC Parks and the Irvine Ranch Conservancy dedicated a newly built viewing deck boasting stunning vistas of Orange County’s very own “mini Grand Canyon,” the Sinks, in Limestone Canyon.
You can only see the spot on Wilderness Access Days and docent-led programs.
Is Limestone Canyon open to the public?
Yes and no. There is NO open public access where you can freely come and go as you please on any day. However, access to the canyon is limited to docent-led hikes or a Wilderness Access Day.
Wilderness Access Days are scheduled at intervals to balance public access to the lands and maintaining the health of the wildlife and natural habitats.
In November 2019, there is even a scheduled “Into the Wild Limestone Eco Challenge 12K/25K.” Again, the access is limited to racers.
You can find the schedule for Wilderness Access Days on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks website called letsgooutside.org
How Do Wilderness Access Days work at Limestone Canyon?
Go to https://www.irlandmarks.org/activities for information and registration. Again, you cannot just visit anytime and hike out there on your own.
Wilderness Access Days are free, but you must create an account and register online ahead of time. These days do fill up, so make sure you sign-up early.
Then check in at the staging area before you head out on a hike. You can also participate as an equestrian or on designated mountain biking trails.
On the day I visited the deck, a turkey vulture was flying over the canyon and wildflowers were starting to bloom.
What are the other Wilderness Access Days locations?
More about Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks
- Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks (overview)
- Quail Hill Loop Trail
- Wildflowers and Kid-Friendly Spots to See Them
Originally published in March 2011.