The hike to Pumpkin Rock might get you in the mood for Halloween and it is easy so, I can almost recommend it as a fun hike for families. Unfortunately, sometimes the pumpkin has very inappropriate graffiti painted on it and that might be hard to explain to the your little ones, so use your best judgement before hiking. I recommend looking on Instagram to see how the pumpkin is looking before you bring your kids.
Pumpkin Rock is a giant boulder that has been painted to resemble The Skeleton King from the Tim Burton movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. If you just want to walk to the Pumpkin the trail is little under 1 mile each way from the parking lot. The trail has an easy incline and you don’t need hiking poles or special shoes.
Directions to Pumpkin Rock
Pumpkin Rock is located in the city of Norco. There are a few different trails and places to start this hike, however, I think the easiest is to put the address for George Inglass Equestrian Event Center in your GPS
The directions lead to a dirt parking lot just past the Norco Animal Shelter. There are a few no parking signs, but lots of available parking. There are no water faucets or bathrooms so plan accordingly. The trailhead starts right at the edge of the parking lot. There are multiple trails that lead to Pumpkin Rock just follow the widest trail that is heading up.
Photos at Pumpkin Rock
Unfortunately, the day that I hiked to Pumpkin Rock the pumpkin was covered with graffiti. I tried to take pictures from different angles, but I could still the graffiti no matter where I stood. I took a few pictures and then we decided to keep hiking. There are many trails up above the rock that look like they are used for hiking, horseback riding, and bicycles. I had cell phone service so you could always look on google maps.
Hiking Back to the Car
On the way back to the car we took a side trail so that we could get up close with the metal horse statues that we saw on the way up. They remind me of the life-sized metal sculptures that we saw in Borrego Springs. Fun fact: the city of Norco bills itself as Horsetown, USA there is supposedly more horses than people in Norco.
If you work up an appetite hiking to Pumpkin Rock I suggest stopping at Tio’s Tacos in Riverside for some delicious tacos and some eclectic art. Tio’s has a variety of tacos and an agua fresca bar. My favorite thing to order is Chilaquiles and the good news is they serve breakfast all day. After ordering at the counter there are plenty of tables outside to eat at. When you are done eating be sure to explore the 1/2 acre of art that is made from recycled materials.