Pumpkin Rock Trail: Easy Hike to a 15-Foot Pumpkin

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  • Total Miles: 1.69
  • Time: 45 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Best Season: All Year
  • Elevation Gain: 458 ft
  • Max Elevation: 1164 ft
  • Type of Trail: Out & Back
  • Parking Lot: Fits 20+ cars
  • Dogs: Allowed On A Leash
  • Restrooms: Available At The Parking Lot
  • Trail Popularity: High

Are you ready for the fall? This is a must-do hike to get ready for the spooky season.

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. 

Due to its uniqueness, Pumpkin Rock is one of the best hikes in Southern California, but there are many more that are even better. Check out the link to see the rest: 

Best Hikes In Southern California

Map of Pumpkin Rock Trail

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Pumpkin Rock Elevation Profile

Download Printable PDF Map

Directions and Parking

Click the link to get directions to parking lot which is located at Pikes Peak Park.

Helpful Links

Weather Forecast

If you want to hike in the county of Riverside, browse the complete trail list below!

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.

Perhaps you’re in the mood for a more scenic view? Check out Two Trees Trail in Box Springs Mountain Regional Park

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 Halloween town 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!

Want to explore a nearby abandoned mine? Check out the Tin Mine Canyon Trail: Corona’s Forgotten Past 

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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Hello, There!

I’m Phillip, and just like you, I feel very passionate about California and the outdoors. After many years of exploring amazing and hidden places, I thought I’d share them with you. Life goes by fast so get out there and enjoy it.  

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