Visited: October 5, 2015
Unfortunately, the Rock-A-Hoola has been closed for many years and is entirely fenced and posted "No Trespassing." I would have loved to explore the area.
Lake Dolores was originally built by Bob Byers, as a playground for his extended family, and named for his wife. Construction took place during the late 1950s and early 1960s upon a site with several underground springs fed by the Mojave Aquifer. Over the years a campground, rides and attractions were added and the site evolved into a waterpark, advertised as "The Fun Spot of the Desert."
A number of waterslides were the main attraction at the waterpark. Riders would skim down the 150-foot slides on small plastic "floaties," ending up in the lagoon at the slide's end. Other attractions included slides that ended about 15 feet above the water, which would shoot the rider out of the end "like a human cannonball." A zipcord ride, diving boards and a raft ride were also part of the thrills.
The park reached its peak of popularity in the early 1970s and into the mid-1980s. But as everything runs its course, attendance waned in the late 1980s and the park closed. Byers sold the propery in 1990 to Lake Dolores Group LLC and in 1995 the group revamped the waterpark along a 1950s theme, removed the old waterslides, added new rides and opened the park under the name, "Rock-A-Hoola."
Unfortunately, Rock-A-Hoola never turned a profit and in 2000, the park was in bankruptcy and eventually ownership was returned to Dolores Byers. She sold the property the following year to S.L. Investment Group, who then put $400,000 into renovating the park. In May of 2002, the park reopened under the name "Discovery Waterpark." During 2002 and 2003, the park was open on weekends and during their last season in 2004, the park was open intermittently. It's been closed ever since.
Most of the park's hardware has been sold over the years, the water slides and attractions long closed and long gone. Repeated vandalism has unfortunately trashed the site, which resulted in the entire property being fenced and posted "No Trespassing."
The park has not died entirely though, since closing it has been used as a location for reality shows, skate films, TV commercials and music videos. Who knows, maybe some day the Rock-A-Hoola will be revived and once again provide visitors with cool relief in the desert sun.
Much as I wanted to scoot through the fence and explore the area, it was the first day of my roadtrip and I didn't want to spend the night in jail. Here are some photos I took from the road:
Hopefully you enjoyed this 'roadside' view of the Rock-A-Hoola. As with all my posts, feel free to download any of my pictures that strike your fancy and use them in whatever project you'd like. Credit back to Cali49.com would be nice, but it's not required. Life's too short to worry about copyrights on pictures.
If any readers have stories from when they visited the park, please post them in the comments below. And if you have pictures from when the park was open, I'd love to add a few to this post.