When it comes to my passion for photographing abandoned Americana, my love really is with places from the mid-20th century or older. However any place that is abandoned I’ll check out, even if it was abandoned just thirteen years ago, which is the case with Lake Dolores’ Rock-a-Hoola Waterpark off Interstate 15 in Newberry Springs.
Originally, the area around Lake Dolores was a private resort, but opened to the public in 1962. By 1998, it had new owners, and a massive remodel, which added the Rock-a-Hoola Waterpark with the most horrendous and gaudy “retro” theme, which ended up looking like a that 1980s vision throwback to the 1950s. You can check out a video of what it once looked like here, now it has been overrun by graffiti, and I was able to only locate one spot that featured the original “Rock-a-Hoola” text. The park closed in 2004.
Today, a hill looms high with nothing but oddly foreboding supports from the long disappeared waterslides over tag ridded buildings that continue to fade and decay in the hot Mojave sun.
I took loads of photos, so gear up for a pretty picture heavy post!
One of my favorite photographers, Troy Paiva, visited the location just six years after its closure, check out his spectacular photographs here.
February 2020 Update: Kesha used Rock-a-Hoola in her music video for “High Road”
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3 comments on “Rock-a-Hoola Waterpark – The Abandoned Waterpark Rotting in the Mojave”
I wonder about this place everytime I drive by. Great photos!
I had NO idea this place even existed! Great photos, and thanks for the info!
Thanks Janey, this is extraordinary. Love your friend Troy’s photos too and his story. Reminds me some of the Sutro Baths in SF. I really want my oldest brother to subscribe to your site. He is well known in SoCal for his radical custom cars and memorabilia. In fact many of his creations are in Europe and Asia where folks love his work. Altho he is aging quickly and does not have as many of his artifacts left he has a lot of history to share. You two are cut from the same cloth! His name is Joe Moreno. Plan on a visit to his home in Phelan next time in high desert to see what he has in his 6 car garage and outbuildings. Thanks for the memories a la Jack Benny!