Norco Powered

Do a short and scenic hike to the top of Norco Mountain in Riverside County

Solitude and a possible sunset viewing can be hard to come by in bustling Southern California. But you can find it at the Norco Mountain via Powerline Road trail. The 2.5-mile out-and-back trail in Norco climbs 643 feet to the summit of Norco Mountain—a small peak overlooking the Inland Empire. True to its name, the trail is almost constantly in the presence of powerlines, but other than that aspect it is a pleasant trail with beautiful views of the surrounding hills and mountains in every direction you look.

The trail begins in a small park at the end of a cul-de-sac. At the back of the park behind the horse corral you’ll see a dirt path, which quickly leads you to Powerline Road (NOTE: Be sure to follow this route to avoid crossing into private property). It’s a steady uphill from the trailhead to the summit but the grade of the trail keeps it from feeling too challenging, likely because it’s an actual road used by the power company; this also means that the trail is wide and very easy to follow. If you take the road until it ends, you’ll reach a fence with a “No Trespassing” sign posted on it. However, a little before the end you’ll see a spur trail on your right.

That spur will allow you to summit the little mountain without going into the restricted area. Once you reach that point there are plenty of places to sit and enjoy the view as the sun dips below the horizon, filling the sky with vibrant hues of pink, orange, and purple. The San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains can be seen off in the distance while the lights of the Inland Empire begin to fill the night sky. Make your way back down the same way.

{January 2024 Note: Due to recent rains, be sure to check trail conditions before embarking on this hike.}The Norco Mountain via Powerline Road trail begins behind Ridge Ranch Park in Norco, at the end of a residential cul-de-sac. GPS might send you straight to Powerline Road, which is private property. Look for the park instead and enter the trail on foot via the bypass trail described above to avoid trespassing. Street parking only; be sure to obey all posted parking signs and be respectful of the residents. Location. Bring a headlamp or flashlight if you plan to watch some of the sunset from here. Dog-friendly!

Story and photos by Natalie Bates, @wanderwithnatalie

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. From Town to Falls

    Mount Tam’s Cascade Falls is a bit under the radar, tucked back off a residential area in Mill Valley. Some people drive up to the tiny parking lot nearest to the falls. Do an easy 3-mile (round-trip) hike right from downtown Mill Valley, weaving through quiet streets and secret trails.

    View
  2. The Carson Show

    Carson Falls is ready for primetime. This three-tiered, 100-foot stunner is hidden back in a canyon outside of Fairfax and reached on a 3.25-mile (round-trip) hike.

    View
  3. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park waterfall hike in Sonoma Valley

    Sweet as Sugarloaf

    Right in the heart of wine country there’s plenty more than wine flowing right now, with an oft unheralded waterfall that surges to an exuberant spectacle from all the recent rain.

    View
  4. Sponsored

    Sonoma Valley's 100 Days of Winter Wellness Guide

    This winter wellness plan goes to 100! Nurture yourself in 2024 with Sonoma Valley’s 100 Days of Winter Wellness guide. It’s a perfectly curated array of inspiration and ideas.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. A woman stands at Dante's View in Death Valley, looking out to Telescope Peak and Manly Lake, Badwater Basin below.

    Sunset Hike (and Manly Lake Vista!) at Dante's View

    It’s one of the world’s best places to watch a sunset. Dante’s View is a 5,476-foot vantage of the whole southern basin of Death Valley from the top of the Black Mountains. On clear days you get views of both the highest and lowest points in the contiguous U.S. 

    View
  2. Skull On!

    Temescal Canyon not only has epic views, it's got a waterfall right now, one that only shows after big rains. Head out on this 4.6-mile loop.

    View
  3. Woman hiking on the trail at Trebek Open Space in Los Angeles County

    Trebek Open Space

    While most hikers head over to adjacent Runyon Canyon, instead do the 2-mile hike at Trebek Open Space and pay your respects to the legendary Jeopardy host and philanthropist, Alex Trebek.

    View
  4. Woman on Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at Death Valley National Park

    Starry Night & Dark Sky Adventures

    You don’t have to stay out all that late to experience eminent stargazing at Death Valley National Park. The park's been given the highest ranking of darkness by the International Dark-Sky Association. Here are a trio of amazing ways to witness the mesmerizing night sky at Death Valley:

    View