Is your favorite holiday Halloween? Even if it isn’t, this fun hike to a large pumpkin-painted rock perched on top of Norco Hill will keep you in the Halloween spirit all year long!
Pumpkin Rock Trail is an easy 1.7-mile hike in Norco, California. The trail features a 15-foot tall pumpkin, horses, and scenic views at a total elevation of 1,165 feet. There are bathrooms located near the parking lot. Dogs are allowed on leashes.
Map of Pumpkin Rock Trail
Directions and Parking
Here are clickable directions.
The Pumpkin Rock trail is located at Vandermolen Drive, Crestview Dr, Norco, CA 92860.
I parked at the Pikes Peak Park parking lot. The lot is a decent size and there are restrooms here as well. Surprisingly, it was easy to find parking and wasn’t as busy for a Sunday.
Hike to Pumpkin Rock
To get to the trailhead, I walked along the dirt road to the side of the parking lot. There’s no actual sign that mentions where the trail to the pumpkin begins, so keep that in mind!
It technically starts past these gates through the equestrian center. It will appear closed, but the gate to the far left should be open.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see any real horses on this hike.
When reaching the “USA” sign, there’s a split with two paths.
Since this is considered a loop trail, you can choose to take either side.
The path to the right of the sign is a bit steeper. However, there are some awesome, large metal horse sculptures via this route.
I saw plenty of yellow, daisy-like spring flowers scattered throughout the hills (during spring and summer).
It was a nice touch to these otherwise bleak dirt paths.
The last stretch of the hike is pretty steep but very doable.
After the leg workout, I shortly arrived at the largest pumpkin I’ve ever seen in my life!
Okay, maybe it’s not a real pumpkin. But the pumpkin-painted rock is still very awesome!
The perfect spot for some fun photos.
It’s sad to say that there was more graffiti than I intended to see.
Here’s the backside of the pumpkin. There are tons of boulders in many sizes.
To the right of the pumpkin is a smaller painted pumpkin rock.
I spent some time looking down at the city of Norco. The sunsets here look very nice, especially on a clear day.
The hills had a warm, golden glow right before the sun completely set. The giant jack-o’-lantern sits perfectly on top of the hill.
It really does feel like Halloweentown in the small city of Norco.
The best part is, you don’t have to wait until October to enjoy this easy and fun hike!
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Who Painted the Pumpkin Rock in Norco?
I was very curious to know about the backstory of the grand, Jack Skellington-inspired painted rock. Sadly, I can’t find the name of the artistic soul that brought some life into the hills of Norco.
However, the rock has been sitting there for more than 20 years and has been enjoyed by many.
Not surprisingly, the hike to Pumpkin Rock is busier during the fall months.
Thanks to city volunteers, this pretty pumpkin gets some fresh coats of orange paint near Halloween time.
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