hike pumpkin rock trail

Hike the Pumpkin Rock Trail

The hike to Pumpkin Rock is one of those things you just have to do at least once. It's obviously a great Halloween hike, and there are lots of photo opportunities. The trails to Pumpkin Rock can be confusing — this guide gives you the main route up, complete with parking and bathrooms.

Rating:
4.5 / 5
Distance:
1.2 miles (1.9 km)
Time:
1 Hour
Difficulty:
Easy
Climbing:
370 ft (113 m)
Trail Condition:
Unmarked Dirt
Challenges:
Climb, Confusing Trails
People:
Crowded
Known For:
A Giant Pumpkin!
Best Time:
Early Morning or Evening
Dogs:
Yes
Bathrooms:
Yes
Parking:
Free
Park Website:
Hike Weather:

Pumpkin Hike Trail Hike Trail Maps

Google Maps trailhead:
Norco Animal Control Shelter , Norco, CA, 92860, USA

Hike Location

hike pumpkin rock trail location
The Pumpkin Rock Trail is about 1 hour east of downtown Los Angeles, and about 1 hour away from most points in Orange County and Palm Springs.

3D Hike Map

hike pumpkin rock trail 3d map
The hike to Pumpkin Rock starts at the equestrian center, then makes it's way up Norco Hills to the big painted pumpkin.

Hike Elevation Profile

hike pumpkin rock trail elevation
The hike is not long, but it is steep. Take your time, the heat can make it seem harder than it actually is.

Interactive Hike Map

Pumpkin Hike Trail Hike Map Downloads

Download a GPX file to use on your GPS device. GPS devices are great to plan and follow routes, and there are tons of free electronic hiking maps that you can use. But don't rely solely on electronic navigation, always have a paper backup. Print out the PDF below, get a topo map, and/or print these directions.

View a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File

Pumpkin Hike Trail Hike Directions

hike pumpkin rock trail

Do you have the right gear for this hike? Check out all the gear and clothing that I personally use and recommend. I've tested it all and cut the junk out so you don't waste your money.

What to Expect

Turn by Turn Directions to Pumpkin Rock

hike pumpkin rock trail parking
Follow the directions to the trailhead address, which is the equestrian center. There’s plenty of parking. Just be mindful of a few “no parking” signs along some sections.
hike pumpkin rock trail parking
There’s also more parking closer to the equestrian center, which is the huge structure to the right of the parking area.
hike pumpkin rock trail trailhead
The trailhead is right at the entrance to the parking lot.
hike pumpkin rock trail sign
There’s a sign for Norco Hills that’s seen better days. Not much in terms of maps or signage in the park, but most folks will have cell reception and can navigate with Google Maps satellite view.
pumpkin rock trail
Follow the wide trail as it makes it’s way up and to the right.
pumpkin rock trail
Avoid smaller side trails and stay on the wider, more established path.
pumpkin rock trail
At around 0.2 miles you’ll see a larger trail to the left. Hike to the left here.
horse sculpture on the pumpkin rock trail
If you were to have gone straight at that last intersection, you would have seen these cool horse sculptures. You can make the small detour on the way back to check them out.
pumpkin rock trail
After the intersection, the trail heads uphill and is well defined.
pumpkin rock trail
Shortly after that, there’s an intersection of a few trails around a boulder field. Hike straight to the right.
pumpkin rock trail
The trail makes it’s way uphill again.
pumpkin rock trail
At about 0.3 miles, hike to the left toward Pumpkin Rock, which you can see in the background.
pumpkin rock trail
The trail heads uphill with some narrower sections. Watch your footing on the loose sand.
pumpkin rock trail
Avoid the small side trails and stay on the more worn path.
pumpkin rock trail
At the next big intersection with boulders, head straight through and up the final stretch of hill.
pumpkin rock trail
This is the steepest section of the hike.
pumpkin rock
At last! The zipper-mouthed monument!
pumpkin rock
Here you are, Pumpkin Rock. Hopefully the graffiti won’t be too bad. One time I was here and someone had strategically painted a certain piece of anatomy next to it’s mouth.
views of Norco and Corona
The views of Norco and Corona are pretty spectacular too.
pumpkin rock trail
If you want to get more hiking in, just follow the ridge trail that continues past Pumpkin Rock. You can use Google Maps to navigate here. It’s all pretty contained.
road runners
If you do explore more, keep your eyes open for wildlife like road runners, rattlesnakes, squirrels, and hawks.
cris hazzard at pumpkin rock
To get back, just go down the way you came up. Happy trails, trick-or-treaters!

Pumpkin Hike Trail Hike Video

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A quick note. These directions are meant as a guide for the hike, and not a definitive source. Conditions change, and the information here can be different based on time of day, weather, season, etc. There can be small side trails that you might see but I missed. I have made every effort to include all the information you need to complete the hike successfully. I recommend using this guide in conjunction with a map, GPX file, common sense, and call to the ranger station or park office. If you do the hike and notice something has changed, please contact me and I will update the guide.