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Exploring the Abandoned Lake Dolores Waterpark

If you’ve driven to Las Vegas from Los Angeles or San Diego, you’ve passed by the abandoned Lake Dolores Waterpark.

Derelict buildings on the side of the highway on the way to or from Las Vegas are a common sight, so you probably didn’t give it much thought.

After all, what more could there be?

Surprisingly, quite a lot.

One set of ramshackle buildings belongs to Lake Dolores Waterpark, an easy day trip from Las Vegas.


History of Lake Dolores

The abandoned Lake Dolores Waterpark was once the flourishing 273 acre Lake Dolores Resort RV campground and Rock a Hoola Water Park.

Now, it sits in ruins.

A playground for the urban explorer, skateboarder, tagger, and anyone else brave enough to check out the graffiti painted buildings.

Pro-tip: Lake Dolores Waterpark is private property.

Lake Dolores Waterpark was built by Bob Byers in 1962 as a place for his extended family to gather. The man-made lake was named after his wife, Dolores.

Byers added waterslides, ziplines, and other features to the park and opened it to the public. For two decades it was the hot spot.

In the 90s Beyer sold Lake Dolores Waterpark to an investment group who modernized the park, added memorabilia from the 1950s and 1960s, and renamed it Rock a Hoola Waterpark.

Rock a Hoola had a few good years until an off-duty employee was injured and won a $4.4 million lawsuit, forcing the park into bankruptcy.

The court gave the park back to Dolores Byers who then sold it to another investment company. After renovations, the waterpark reopened as Discovery Waterpark in 2002. But it couldn’t stay in business and closed in 2004.

In March, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors approved a plan to restore Lake Dolores. Investors hope to reopen by 2023.  

How to Get to Lake Dolores Waterpark

Lake Dolores Waterpark is located at 72 Hacienda Road, Newberry Springs, CA 92365

From the 15 North heading to Vegas, you exit Minneola Road, turn right. Then you turn left on Yermo Road. And turn Left on Coyote Lake Road. Drive a couple of miles and it will be on the left hand side.

From the 15 South leaving Las Vegas, you’ll exit Harvard Road and turn right. Turn left on Hacienda Road. Drive a couple of miles and the park will be on your right.

Would you explore the abandoned Lake Dolores Waterpark?

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Monday 5th of April 2021

Hey, great article! We’re thinking of making the trek out there in April to take some cool pictures. Anything we should be on the lookout for? Did you run into any kind of security or have any pointers for a bunch of first-timers?

Debra Schroeder

Thursday 15th of April 2021

Hi Jeremy,

Thanks, glad you enjoyed the article. Watch out for snakes. We did not run into any security. But we got there relatively early in the am, maybe 7 am or so.

Trisha Velarmino

Saturday 9th of January 2021

I had heard of this place a few times, and now that I read this, I find it even more appealing to go take a look. I used to travel a lot to California and can´t believe I never went. Also, seems like a very instagram photoshoot place!

Debra Schroeder

Saturday 9th of January 2021

Hi Trisha,

It's definitely very Instagrammable. 😉


Saturday 9th of January 2021

How cool!!! Abandoned places are so fun to explore. Lucky that you got to go there before it’s refurbished. I hope they leave some of the street art - I love how vibrant and colorful it is!

Debra Schroeder

Saturday 9th of January 2021

Hi Jennifer,

They sure are. Agreed, I too hope they can keep the street art.

Shreya Saha

Saturday 9th of January 2021

It seems the park had a bad fate that it kept reopening and shutting down. I would totally be interested in visiting the abandoned park. I am intrigued by the cool graffities. Have not read about many abandoned parks, so this is really going to be intriguing.

Debra Schroeder

Saturday 9th of January 2021

Hi Shreya,

The street art was really impressive. It would be great if they could keep it but there might be too much damage to some of those buildings.

Linda (LD Holland)

Friday 8th of January 2021

I don’t recall seeing the Lake Dolores Waterpark when we drove from Las Vegas. Good to know that some people are still enjoying this deserted spot. And that new investors have been found to open the park again.

Debra Schroeder

Saturday 9th of January 2021

Hi LD,

Unless you know what you're looking for it's easy to miss given how many other abandoned buildings there are on the 15.

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