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Travel Tips

Travel Tips
Travel Tips

Exploring the Abandoned Water Park Between Los Angeles and Las Vegas

Abandoned Places California

If you've ever done the drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, you've spotted the abandoned park on the I-15. I've driven past it numerous times and each time, it comes up in conversation but I end up being too lazy to go, especially because there aren't obvious exits. Or let's be real, I'm either too excited to get to Vegas or too exhausted and want to go home!

But finally, I made it a point to explore it and I'm so glad I did because I'm completely fascinated by abandoned places. This abandoned water park is known as the Lake Dolores Water Park and is located along the I-15 in Newbury Springs, California in the western Mojave Desert between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Lake Dolores Water Park Newbury Springs

Abandoned Waterpark Lake Dolores

A quick history of this abandoned water park according to Wikipedia:

  • It was originally called Lake Dolores Water Park & Resort but as it got sold and bought by several different companies, it's also known as the Rock-A-Hoola Water Park and Discovery Water Park. 
  • It first opened in March of 1962 and closed late 1980's. After a $400,000 renovation, it reopened in 2002 to be open only on weekends but officially closed in 2004.  
  • Supposedly there are no current owners of the property and visitors are free to explore what is legally considered empty land. 


It's definitely a little creepy since nobody is there, super windy and quiet. The only reason why I was willing to go in was because it was during the day. There is absolutely no way I would go if it was dark. It would be way too scary!

Almost every corner of the park is vandalized and graffitied with nothing other than the buildings or things that are bolted into the floor remains. Most doors were ripped off throughout the buildings, no toilets in the bathrooms and any valuable metal or copper wire are all removed or stolen.

Abandoned Water Park Newbury Springs

Abandoned Park near Las Vegas

Even though it's completely vandalized, it feels like a modern, unique museum. There's enough left at the Lake Dolores Water Park to imagine what it must have been like; the locker rooms to change, the quick eats counter with the fountain soda machine still in tact, the employee offices and of course the several rides.

As much as I wish people didn't graffiti the entire place, some of the art is actually very impressive and gives the place personality. Is it just me, or do you look at talented graffiti and think, I wish you would explore a legitimate outlet to express your gift instead of on unwanted walls? Maybe I'm just old, ha!

If you're doing the drive anyway, I would highly suggest stopping by for a unique experience. It's not that big of a property so just with 30 minutes you would be able to walk through the entire abandoned park. It looks like someone tried to put gates up maybe a few years ago but it's wide, wide open for easy access. I do recommend going during the day since there are remnants of drug and/or gang activity that most likely happen after dark. Along those lines, make sure you watch where you're walking so you don't step on needles or broken glass.


Abandoned Water Park Newbury Springs

Lake Dolores Water Park Newbury Springs

Directions from Los Angeles on I-15:
Take Exit 198 for Minneola Rd
Right onto Minneola Rd
Left onto Yermo Rd
Left at Coyote Lake Rd
Continue onto Hacienda Rd

Directions from Las Vegas on I-15: 
Take Exit 206 for Harvard Rd
Take Right on Harvard Rd
Turn Left onto Hacienda Rd

What do you think of abandoned places? Would you explore? 

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Lake Dolores Water Park Newbury Springs

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