We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Improve this listing
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 5 Riparian View, Irvine CA 92612, Irvine, CA 92612
Phone Number: (949) 261-7963
Website
Improve this listing
Today
6:00 am - 6:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 6:00 am - 6:00 pm

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 29 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 17
    Excellent
  • 7
    Very good
  • 2
    Average
  • 2
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
An Easy to Find Welcoming Urban Sanctuary

The San Joaquin sanctuary sits on Newport Back Bay surrounded by urban development. But the site is so well situated that a visit is like a trip to the wilderness. I don't... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed September 1, 2015
Lois C
,
North Tustin, CA
Add Photo Write a Review

29 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Rate and write a review
Roll over, then click to rate
  Click to rate
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
North Tustin, CA
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015 NEW

The San Joaquin sanctuary sits on Newport Back Bay surrounded by urban development. But the site is so well situated that a visit is like a trip to the wilderness. I don't remember hearing much traffic noise and certainly the sanctuary was not crowded. A perfect place to see western sea birds and others, plus lizards, snakes,all kinds of nature.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2015

Wow! I got up early and went exploring here. I saw so many migrating birds, rabbits, and photographers! It was fantastic and wish I had had time to return. Fabulous place. Nice flat trails with so many bird ponds.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015

Visited during the mid of day. The place is under construction, many trails closed, the whole place is construction site, very dusty and dirty. It says the project will be finished by 2016.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2015

I was in southern California recently (March) and had a little time before my flight home so I decided to check out this place very close to the John Wayne Airport. I was amazed as soon as I drove into the parking lot at how close the American Avocets were to the photographers already there. Unfortunately I did not get... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
121 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015

This is a very good place for birdwatchers and bird photographers to see birds. Entrance is free. There are ponds where waders are so close and easy to photograph. At the first pond we visited, we came upon hummingbirds, avocets, teals, herons, sandpipers, coots and kildeer. We took a hike along the trails and found some more birds, including an... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Santa Ana, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

We have been using this sanctuary in Irvine to train with backpacks, boots and other hiking gear for our upcoming thru hike on the Appalachian Trail. It is flat, about 2.5 miles around, and we enjoy the birds, especially the beautiful cranes and the pelicans. A few years ago we did see a mountain lyon from a distance, but have... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
California
Level Contributor
105 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2014

I had no idea this Sanctuary was in the middle of Irvine! We came tonight for the Bat Walk program and it was great ($18 each for adults, less for children). Biologist Stephanie and the volunteer guides gave a great presentation on bats, followed by an evening walk where we saw numerous bats flying around. It was a great experience.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

If you enjoy bird viewing or photography, then this is great place to visit in Southern California. It doesn't have a lot for those who are not very interested in birds.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Fairfax, Virginia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014

This is really a reservoir. It occupies a prime piece of land and holds reserve water that the Irvine Water District does not have to tap. So, with a little magic, the water company turned it into a wildlife sanctuary, hiking trail, and park. It's minimal - a small visitors' center, restrooms, pamphlets, and lots of gravel paths. What you... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
Tustin, California
Level Contributor
66 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014

If you come here, there isn't much to do besides the bird-watching trails, which gets old really fast and are pretty lame, so don't come here.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3

Travelers who viewed San Joaquin Wildlife Santuary also viewed

 
Irvine, Orange County
Irvine, Orange County
 

Been to San Joaquin Wildlife Santuary? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from San Joaquin Wildlife Santuary staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?