A hiking guide at Pumpkin Rock

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Hike the Pumpkin Patch Trail just outside Los Angeles and see a massive 15-foot pumpkin towering over the valley.

Pumpkin Rock located in the hills above Norco


Are you looking for an unusual hiking destination in the greater Los Angeles area? One of the most unusual hikes is the Pumpkin Trail at Norco. At the end of the hike is a massive random rock painted to be a Halloween pumpkin – why not? It’s fairly easy to get to and provides a great break from nearby Los Angeles.


Hiking the Pumpkin Rock Trail (and visiting Norco) should be on the bucket list things to see and do in Los Angeles. It is undoubtedly one of the best hiking trails in and around Los Angeles. Not only is the Pumpkin Rock Trail a great Halloween spot, but it’s also located in a Wild West equestrian town near Los Angeles.

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California’s Unusual Pumpkin Rock Trail

The Pumpkin Rock Trail is a fairly easy hike (or moderately difficult, depending on alltrails.com) and is very popular for bird watching, horseback riding and hiking. Hikers can expect to see other people on the hike. Dogs are welcome but must be leashed in some areas (they may also be off-leash in some areas).

The best time to hike the trail is March through October (and for Halloween).

  • Best time: March to October
  • Duration: About 53 minutes to complete
  • Length: 1.7 thousand

Related: Halloween in New Orleans: The Ultimate Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your Trip

What to Know About Hiking the Pumpkin Rock Trail

Hikers should be aware that there is no shade on this trail – so take a hat and plenty of water if going on a sunny summer day. It’s a decent hike, so wear proper footwear – sturdy shoes or hiking boots are best and avoid crocs and sandals. Parts of the trail are quite steep.

The Pumpkin Rock Trail is a short enough trail that most kids can do it (although watch out for broken glass strewn across the rocks, and there’s graffiti some parents might not want their kids on). children see). Yet parents know what their children are capable of more than anyone.

There isn’t really a single trail that goes up Pumpkin Rock. Instead, there are dozens of trails through the hills of Norco that crisscross and intertwine. Norco Hills and everything is pretty much confined so hikers can feel free to wander the trails without getting lost.

  • Trailhead address: Vandermolen Dr, Crestview Dr, Norco, CA 92860
  • Car park: At the parking lot at Pikes Peak Park

There are restrooms located near the parking lot (so go there before you hit the trail).

Related: You haven’t experienced Halloween until you’ve celebrated it in these countries

The main attraction along the route is the 15-foot tall pumpkin (as well as the scenic views at an elevation of 1,165 feet). Lots of photo opportunities and one of the great Halloween hikes to do in the fall (especially when it starts to cool off).

The Pumpkin Rock was painted in the style of Jack Skellington – the “Pumpkin King” of Halloween Town. It is located on the ridge above Norco and is visible from the highway below. It has become something of a landmark over the years.

It’s been painted like a giant pumpkin since the mid-1990s. It’s periodically repainted after being covered in the inevitable graffiti (some hikers occasionally lend a hand to touch up the pumpkin).

Norco is famous for its large number of horses (allegedly, horses outnumber people there 2 to 1) and is known as “Horsetown USA”. The town horses are obvious from just driving to the trailhead – it will be hard to miss the ranches, feed stores, hitching posts and people trotting on horseback. Expect to see people riding horses along the trails through the hills of Norco.

See Norco’s horse fair, equestrian events and rodeos. There is also a refuge for large animals – including animals that have been rescued from Southern California wildlife.

Norco prides itself on being an “equestrian community” with a traditional, rustic western flavor. As an equestrian community, there are few sidewalks in the city – instead there are equestrian trails where riders can ride down the streets and hitch their horses near businesses.

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