California Hike Travel

Big and Little Nugget’s Adventure at Pumpkin Rock

Ever wonder which hiking trail brings out the best in Halloween spirit? I found the answer for you!


Pumpkin Rock is located in Norco, California (aka Horsetown USA), a town that’s well-known for its horse-riding activities.

Evon (aka Big Nugget) and I drove from LA to Norco, driving about 45 minutes until we saw the oh-so-familiar looking rock perched on top of the hill just on the other side.

When you’re at Norco, you feel as though you’re in a classic-western film. Nearly everything feels like the old-west, including the Jack in the Box and Rite Aid. And everywhere you look, you’ll see horses, cows, and chickens. Plus, there are fenced-in horse trails instead of sidewalks and horse stalls next to the shops and restaurants.

Embarrassingly enough, we got lost trying to find the trailhead. We asked one of the horse riders who told us the trailhead is near the Equestrian Center. We took his advice and drove over on Crestview Dr.

Surprisingly enough, we found the trailhead behind the small wooden fence just before you reach the Equestrian Center. The trailhead is on Crestview Dr. just past Trakehner Pl.

The hike starts off downhill (easy-peasy right?).

Then, the trail becomes a bit steep, but not too difficult.

Can you see Pumpkin Rock?

Then, there is the rolling hill where you practically use your momentum to run downhill and back uphill.

Big Nugget running down the hill!

After the rolling hill, the trail becomes relatively flat for a little bit until you have to ascend the last remaining hill to Pumpkin Rock.

Photo Credit: Evon Tomoda (aka Big Nugget)

The last hill is STEEP so take your time if you get exhausted. Evon hiked with her Chacos and managed to get to the top of the hill with no problems, but I would still recommend shoes with good traction since there are loose rocks and sand on this trail.

Walking up the last, steep hill!
Getting closer to Pumpkin Rock…

The Pumpkin Rock stands at 20 ft. tall and resembles Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Sadly, there are graffitis on the back of this rock.

If you keep walking, there are more rocks with graffitis and pumpkin rock paintings. Here are a few pictures that I took:

If you’re done admiring Pumpkin Rock, you have two options: head back to the parking lot or continue up to Norco Ridge. We chose to head back to the parking lot since we had an upcoming backpacking trip.

Next time though, I’d love to return and hike up Norco Ridge at some point!

Pumpkin Rock

Distance: 1.3 miles one way

Elevation Gain: 230 ft.

Time: 1-1.5 hours

Directions to Pumpkin Rock Trailhead

Have you hiked up to Pumpkin Rock on Halloween? If not, would you hike up to this infamous rock someday? Let me know by commenting down below.

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