Hiking to the Abandoned Norco Powerhouse [DEMOLISHED]

Jan 24, 2021

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Distance 

2.3 Miles

Time

~25 Min

Difficulty

Easy

Season

All Year

Elevation Gain

98 Ft

The Norco Powerhouse is an easy 0.9-mile trail located at 1111 Pedley Substation Rd Norco, California. This old abandoned hydroelectric powerhouse is located between a plant nursery and a neighborhood. It’s well known for its architecture and graffitied walls. Dogs are allowed on leashes.

***UPDATE: The Norco Powerhouse building has been demolished as of 9/3/21.

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Map of Norco PowerHouse

How to Get to Riverside PowerHouse

It’s pretty easy to get to the Riverside Powerhouse and it takes only about 10 minutes from your parked car to the abandoned building. 

Directions to Norco Powerhouse: Norco Powerhouse, Norco, CA 92860 

The Hike

norco powerhouse 2

I went ahead and parked my car on the residential street, Viceroy Ave.

Then, I walked through the gated nursery as this led me to the horse trail.

norco powerhouse 1

I followed the pebbled and graveled road. 

norco powerhouse 3

I eventually reached a sign that said “Keep Out”,  which splits into two.

I took the left side to the dirt horse trail. Be aware and stay clear of the people riding their horses, as well as horse poo! Yuck.

norco powerhouse 4

As I walked along this road, I noticed the road splits into three. I kept walking straight. You can follow 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. 

norco powerhouse 5

Finally, I reached my destination. A tall building with graffiti art and interesting arched doorways. Take a look around and read some of the messages on the walls. Some of them made me smile and chuckle a bit.  

This place will give you the creeps if you venture to it at night!

norco powerhouse

The image above was taken from the opposite side of the PowerHouse entrance.

norco powerhouse 7

The small room next to the entrance leads to a secret little place upstairs. Curious? Climb up this rusted built-in ladder.

norco powerhouse

The upstairs part has a small arch where you can peek through to the entire main area from above.

Be careful if you have younger ones up here, as there are some holes on the ground in which their foot can slip through.  

norco powerhouse

This is the view from upstairs through the small arch.

An interesting sight when the light shines through all the holes in the ceiling and through the archways. 

norco powerhouse 8

It’s a bummer this place was torn down. All that’s left are memories and photos of this historic place.

I hope you enjoy these pictures if you didn’t get the chance to visit in person. Be sure to check out other hikes we recommend in Riverside County!

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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.  

Restaurant Spotlight

Norco’s Best Burger

A local favorite for all things burgers. They’ve been open since the ’90s and are still serving up some awesome burgers and pastrami sandwiches. They also have a drive-thru making ordering and picking up a lot easier. 

Directions: 3158 Hamner Ave Norco, CA 92860

Nearby Attraction

Horseback Riding

It’s no surprise that this small town has some great horseback riding tours. Definitely, a fun activity to do with the whole family. You’ll be passing right by the Norco Powerhouse as well! Here are some of the local riding tours if you’re interested: 

  • S&D Horseback Riding 
  • Western Trails Horseback Riding

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Hello, There!

We’re Monica and Phillip. Just like you, we share a passion for the outdoors and our beautiful state of California. After many years of exploring amazing and hidden places, we thought we’d share them with you! We hope this blog shows you tons of new CA adventures!