Before getting demolished, the Norco Powerhouse was a spooky Riverside relic dating back to the time when CA was beginning to power its cities. The abandoned building quickly became an attraction for hikers, photographers, and equestrians.
The Norco Powerhouse used to be an easy 0.9-mile trail located at 1111 Pedley Substation Rd Norco, California. This old abandoned hydroelectric powerhouse was located between a plant nursery and a neighborhood. It was known for its architecture and graffitied walls. Dogs were allowed on leashes.
***UPDATE: The Norco Powerhouse building has been demolished as of 9/3/21.
Norco PowerHouse Map
How to Get to Riverside PowerHouse
Getting to the Riverside Powerhouse is fairly easy and only takes about 10 minutes from your parked car to the abandoned building.
Directions to Norco Powerhouse: Norco Powerhouse, Norco, CA 92860
Looking for hikes in Riverside County? Checkout these posts!
Norco Powerhouse Trail
You can park your car on the residential street, Viceroy Ave.
Walk through the gated nursery as this will lead you onto the gravel road. Expect beautiful views of the LA and San Bernadino National Forests.
Follow the graveled road which runs parallel to the horse trail. It’s not uncommon to see equestrian groups passing by.
When you reach a sign that says “Keep Out”, take the left side, which merges onto the horse trail. Be aware and stay clear of the people riding their horses, as well as horse poo!
As you walk along this road, you’ll reach another intersection where the road splits in three directions. Keep walking straight as shown by the red dotted line.
Go ahead and wave hello to the tall horses and tour guides on horseback. They’re friendly people! You’re almost there.
Finally, you’ve reached your destination, a tall building with graffiti art and interesting arched doorways. Take a look around and read some of the messages on the walls.
This place will give you the creeps if you venture to it at night!
The image above was taken from the opposite side of the PowerHouse entrance.
The small room next to the entrance leads to a secret little place upstairs. Curious? Climb up this rusted built-in ladder.
The upstairs room has a small arch where you can peek through to the entire main area.
Be careful if you have small children, as there are some holes on the ground big enough for their feet to slip into.
This is the view from upstairs through the small arch.
The light shines through all the holes in the ceiling and through the archways to form a very interesting view.
It’s a bummer this place was torn down. All that’s left are memories and photos of this historic place.
I hope you at least get enjoy these pictures if you didn’t get the chance to visit in person. If you’re looking for hikes in the area, feel free to click HERE to checkout more Riverside Hikes.
History of Norco PowerHouse
The Norco PowerHouse has a bit of history behind it. William E. Pedley founded Riverside Power Company in the early 1900s. A little background on Mr. Pedley, he was the designer, builder, and engineer of the irrigation system in Riverside.
Built in 1903, this hydroelectric powerhouse was named after him and was meant to power the entire city of Pedley California as well as surrounding cities. Along with this project, they had also built a cement channel where water would travel down into the PowerHouse.
This is what helped create hydroelectric power, with the help of turbines. You can find this now-graffitied channel on the opposite side of the main entrance along the hill. Troubles arose as the county had voided the contract of the power plant because of the faulty systems.
Three years later, a company by the name of Pacific Light and Power took over. However, this didn’t last long, as the PowerHouse was then later abandoned in 1914 because of water damage to the headworks.
The fate of the Pedley PowerHouse was short-lived, indeed. It’s now a hang-out spot for paintballers, gratifiers, curious cats, and adventure seekers.
Is The PowerHouse Haunted?
There’s a lot of stories that go around mentioning creepy sightings and experiences at this place. When we hiked down there, we were greeted by a local on horseback. She asked, “Found any ghosts yet? I’ve heard a lot of stories about this place.” We laughed and I was left curious.
There seems to be paranormal encounters that have been kept within the walls of this place and rumors that only the locals know of.
There are some scary and fun videos online where people have claimed to hear growling noises or whispers. One person mentioned feeling chills and as if there was another presence inside. It was dark, so this can add to the spookiness of it all.
Another person claims that séances are sometimes done, which can possibly be explained by some pentagram signs drawn on the walls. The most extreme story I came across was that a person had hung themselves there.
Seems like an exaggerated case, but who knows. If you’re interested in the paranormal, you can try ghost hunting in this old abandoned building at night.
Is the Norco PowerHouse closed?
Yes the Norco Powerhouse was demolished in September of 2021.
How is the Norco PowerHouse rated?
The Norco PowerHouse is rated a 4.5 our of 5 stars.