Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
2301 University Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949)923-2290
unbic@ocparks.com

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.

Activities

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.

News

May 1, 2020 
OC Parks COVID-19 Modified Operations

UPDATED 6/30/20: In an effort to minimize the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on park patrons, staff, and the Orange County community at large, and consistent with the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Governor’s office, the Orange County Board of Supervisors and the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA), OC Parks are operating in the following manner as of 6/30/20.


March 8, 2019 
Now Showing: California Mountain Lions Documentary

The Muth Interpretive Center at Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve will offer twice-daily screenings of the four-part documentary "California Mountain Lions."

This 28-minute program will be offered twice daily in the Ray and Elsa Watson Theater in the Muth Interpretive Center.

Showtimes: 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.


February 24, 2020 
Extended Park Hours Begin March 8

The clocks spring forward early March 8, marking the beginning of daylight-saving time and OC Parks’ spring-summer operating schedule. Most regional parks will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wilderness parks and selected regional parks are open at 7 a.m. and close at sunset year round.


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