Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
2301 University Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

The park is open Every day from 7 a.m. to Sunset

The Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center is open
Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Closed Monday and major holidays
No fees are collected at this time.

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve and Ecological Reserve represent approximately 1,000 acres of open space. Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve surrounds the Ecological Reserve. The park includes the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center. Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve totals approximately 135 acres. The Nature Preserve is made up of the bluffs surrounding the Bay. Three sensitive species use the bluffs: The California Gnatcatcher, San Diego Cactus Wren, and Burrowing Owl. Two important plant communities are found on the bluffs - grasslands and coastal sage scrub. Upper Newport Ecological Reserve totals 752 acres. This coastal wetland, one of the largest in southern California , is renowned as one of the finest bird watching sites in North America. During winter migration up to 35,000 birds may be using the Bay at one time. It is home to six rare or endangered species: Light Footed Clapper Rail, Brown Pelican, Belding's Savannah Sparrow, Black Rail, Peregrine Falcon and California Least Tern. The Bay is home to one endangered plant species - Saltmarsh Bird's Beak. Considered a "critical estuary" habitat - Upper Newport Bay is one of the most pristine remaining estuaries in Southern California.


Of all county facilities, Upper Newport Bay is one of the best in Orange County for recreation and wildlife viewing. Upper Newport Bay is a Mecca for birders, joggers, bicyclists, hikers, horseback riders, educators...and more! The availability of camping at Newport Dunes Resort makes Upper Newport Bay a desirable destination for families, as well as individuals.

Come visit Upper Newport Bay's Muth Interpretive Center. Located in the County's premier nature preserve, Upper Newport Bay in Newport Beach features the area's natural beauty within a state-of-the-art facility.


September 29, 2016 
Park Hours Change Starting Nov. 6

The clocks fall back early Nov. 6, marking the end of daylight saving time and OC Parks’ spring-summer operating schedule. Most regional parks close at 6 p.m. for the fall and winter, and wilderness parks close at sunset.

August 19, 2016 
OC Parks Mobile App Now Available

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The OC Parks mobile application is now available to download. The new app makes it easy to explore all that the County regional and wilderness parks have to offer.

Using the OC Parks app for iOS or Android, you can easily get outside and find a park near you with the most detailed, accurate maps of all regional, wilderness, beach and historic parks and regional trails operated by the County of Orange. The app also offers detailed park descriptions and photos.

The mobile app lets users easily locate the closest playgrounds, parking and restrooms in each park. Search recent OC Parks news, events and alerts regarding park access, weather, trail conditions and more.

February 10, 2016 
Extended Park Hours Begin March 13

Starting Sunday, March 13, the spring-summer hours for regional parks are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. That includes Carbon Canyon, Clark, Craig, Laguna Niguel, Mason, Mile Square and Yorba regional parks. Irvine Regional Park opens at 6 a.m. and will close at 9 p.m. Wilderness parks are open at 7 a.m. and close at sunset year round.

December 4, 2015 
Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer in OC Parks Trees

The Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB) is an invasive beetle that attacks common native and landscape trees, leading to branch dieback and overall decline. This can have a devastating effect on local trees, and you may see some being treated or removed in County parks.

August 28, 2013 
OC Parks Welcomes Back NASA’s JPL Educational Series “Mars and Stars”

The first event in a three-part series will visit Upper Newport Bay on Saturday, September 14 with a special presentation on Dawn Mission.

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10/21 -  Wild Tales
10/28 -  Wild Tales
10/30 -  Family Science Sunday
11/4 -  Wild Tales
11/5 -  Explore the Bay Family Hike