Rock A Hoola Waterpark 2012 Video

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Some quick video I shot in September of 2012 at the abandoned Rock-a-Hoola waterpark just outside of Barstow, CA. Over the years, I have been watching the slow and sad death of this park from a once almost pristine, ready to open status, to this graffiti-filled skeleton remains and hangout of who knows what.

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On my trips first few to California to start a tour in 2006 and 2007, I would occasionally stop and talk with the maintenance man who lived on the property. In our last conversation, he told me the place had been sold to some Japanese developers who had plans to turn the land into high-end condominiums.  The economy tanked in 2008 and that’s when I suspect he left.  The trailer house he lived in vanished about that time and the destruction began in earnest.

In the video, you may notice a black SUV with dark window tint that was parked alongside one of the abandoned buildings – with its engine running… yea, a good sign that I should probably leave quickly and I did…

The remnants of Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark


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Park History

The park was originally designed and built by local businessman Bob Byers for use by his extended family. Lake Dolores was named after Byers’ wife. The initial phases of conception, planning, and construction took place in the late 1950s and early 1960s. An expanse of arid land on the eastern edge of the Mojave Desert 100 yards from Interstate 15 was chosen for the project. Lake Dolores, the body of water, is a 273-acre man-made lake fed by underground springs.

Over the next 25 years, rides and attractions were added, and the site evolved into a waterpark, which was advertised on television with the slogan “The Fun Spot of The Desert!”. The park saw its peak attendance between the early 1970s and the mid-1980s. After a downturn in popularity in the late 1980s, the park closed.

It had been opened and closed multiple times. The final incarnation was “Discovery Lake” and was open 2003/2004.

(This is a repost of a defunct YT channel I had in 2012)

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Update: March 2020, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors approved a General Plan amendment and a conditional use permit that allows developers to restore the abandoned water park. Plans include rehabbing the 41-acre former water park; restoring the 22-acre lake and 2-acre pond for boating, swimming and camping; and additional office and administration space, commercial and retail.
Read: Plans to restore abandoned water park along 15 Freeway near Barstow move forward

(H/T Wikipedia)

Mark Anthony

Mark Anthony is The Vegas Tourist! Popular Tourism Ambassador, a frequent contributor to Las Vegas forums as well as travel media and bloggers. Loves to help people discover new things to see, do and experience while visiting Las Vegas and Beyond!

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