The Perfect October Hike
is just over an hour away from Los Angeles. This festive rock in Norco CA, is a short hike with a big reward. If this hike is too far, make it more worth it by also checking out the abandoned Norco Powerhouse. This giant pumpkin, well known to the locals, can be seen from miles away as its bright orange color sticks out on the top of a hill. The hike to the rock can be approached via a short 20 minute hike or a longer 3-mile loop which hikes along the ridge leading to the Pumpkin Rock. We took the shorter approach this time around, here is the guide to that approach.
Distance: Less than a mile
Elevation gain: Completely uphill, but very short. (550ft)
If you happen to be living in or near the Inland Empire, you will have a shorter drive to this spot.
Park at this address (20 minute hike approach) : 3500 Crestview Dr. Norco CA
(Or type in Pumpkin Rock in Maps)
We’re not sure if we took the most correct path to the rock, we parked on the maps where it indicated the shortest hike to the rock. Looking towards the rock, which can be blatantly seen from the parking area we found a quick approach by beginning to climb the hill. It was very steep but we found an easier path along the storm drain heading in the same direction.
A very steep incline of about 650ft may feel overwhelming, but having the rock right in the distance is a good motivator. To be honest we did it for the pictures, but if you’re looking to make a 3-mile loop out of this hike, check out the trip report on alltrails here.
When we got to the rock, some hooligans had drawn some obscene graffiti all over the rock. Seeing this for the first time was disappointing, so we headed back into town to the local home depot and picked up some orange paint to cover the mess.
The bright orange color we chose didn’t exactly match the pumpkin skin completely, but in the end it looked a lot better than just leaving it as it was. And we were happy we made the extra trip to help clean the rock, the Pumpkin Rock shines as a nice crafted piece among the scattered and ugly graffiti on the rest of the hike.
Enjoy the photos you take of this amazing rock, without any of that obscene graffiti is the background.
So Who Regularly Maintains The Rock?
After doing some research, it was found that two Norco locals, Micheal Van Veghtan and Manual Cruz repaint the rock whenever they get the chance. Over time graffiti will accumulate on the rock and these men take the time out of their days to paint it bright orange once again, while picked up trash around the area.
Check out this photo after they repainted the rock in 2013.