Lake Dolores Water Park
Embark on a full immersive experience as you journey through the abandoned Lake Dolores Water Park, nestled in Newberry Springs, California, famously recognized as the Rock-a-hula waterpark. Explore every angle and aspect of this once-thriving destination, taking in the echoes of its past glory and uncovering the mysteries left behind amidst the remnants of this now-deserted aquatic playground. Below are several 360-degree panoramic images captured around the park and uploaded to Google Maps.
Image by: Justin Zzyzx
Image by: Justin Zzyzx
Image by: tow tyler
Image by: Ernesto Gonzales
Image by: Joshua Wrye
About the Abandoned Water Park
Lake Dolores Water Park, an abandoned attraction located in Newberry Springs, California, stands as a modern relic in the Mojave Desert and serves as a magnet for enthusiasts of urban exploration, street art, and remnants of the past. This defunct park, once bustling with life and laughter, now paints a picture of decay and nostalgia, attracting those fascinated by what’s been “abandoned in California.”
History and Evolution
Lake Dolores Water Park’s story began with Bob Byers, a local businessman who designed and built the park primarily for his family’s enjoyment. The park, named after Byers’ wife, Dolores, had its humble beginnings in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Byers chose a stretch of arid land on the eastern edge of the Mojave Desert, near Interstate 15, for his ambitious project. The site was advantageous due to the presence of underground springs fed by the Mojave Aquifer, allowing for the creation of Lake Dolores, a 273-acre man-made lake.
In May 1962, the site opened to the public as a basic campground, drawing business from motocross enthusiasts and travelers between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Over the next two and a half decades, the campground evolved, with various rides and attractions being added, eventually transforming into a full-fledged waterpark. It was promoted with the catchy slogan “The Fun Spot of The Desert!” and featured a variety of attractions, including steel waterslides, V-shaped waterslides, and the “Zip-Cord” ride.
Despite its innovative attractions and initial popularity, the park’s attendance dwindled in the late 1980s, leading to its closure. It underwent a change of ownership in August 1990, when Byers sold the park to Lake Dolores Group LLC, led by businessman Terry Christensen. The new owners envisioned a revamped park with a 1950s theme. They introduced modern fiberglass water slides and reopened the park as “Rock–A–Hoola” on July 4, 1998. Despite these efforts, the park once again faced challenges and eventually closed its doors in 2004.
Abandonment and Modern Exploration
Since its closure, Lake Dolores Water Park has become a haven for activities like urbex (urban exploration), with its decaying structures providing a haunting backdrop for adventurers. The park’s remnants, including the graffiti-adorned structures, appeal to street artists and photographers who capture the site’s post-apocalyptic ambiance. The park’s state of decay, coupled with its historical significance, makes it a poignant destination for tourists exploring California’s abandoned sites.
Urban explorers find the park’s desolation and the remnants of its past — from the faded signs to the rusting slides — irresistibly intriguing. These elements, set against the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert, create a surreal landscape. The site’s accessibility from Interstate 15 also adds to its allure for those seeking the thrill of exploration.
Lake Dolores Water Park, in its silence, tells a story of a bygone era, dreams, and eventual desertion. It stands as a testament to the ever-changing tides of entertainment and the inevitable passage of time. For urban explorers, graffiti artists, and tourists, the park offers a unique journey into the past, set in the desolate beauty of the Mojave Desert, and continues to pique the curiosity of those fascinated by the concept of abandonment and the art that emerges from it.
Do you have 360-degree panoramic images captured in an abandoned location? Send your images to Abandonedin360@gmail.com. If you choose to go out and do some urban exploring in your town, here are some safety tips before you head out on your Urbex adventure.
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