The Taj Mahal Of The Mojave Desert

Well, not quite, but the story is interesting enough.

This rather strange structure sits in the middle of the Mojave Desert, halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, just a few miles outside of Barstow. Considering the temperatures last weekend passing by this spot (109 degrees Fahrenheit), a short stop to take a dip in the large artificial lake would have been very welcome. But no, that was not to be.

This place used to be called ‘Lake Dolores’, after the original owners wife and it can rightly be attributed to be the world’s first water park. Even though Dolores was still alive when the water park was built, she is dead now. So in a way, “Taj Mahal” is not too far fetched.

More details about “Lake Dolores” can be found here. The story of the place is quite fascinating and makes an astonishing read of the rise and fall of an enterprise from the 1950s to the 1990s.

Maybe one day the structure will be brought back into life. It is certainly well kept even after years of being out of operation. It looks as if one would only need to open the gates and start charging entrance fees and it would be up and running again. Even though I do not really like water parks, should it ever open again, I might go there, because I like the impossible.

And the world’s first water park in the middle of the Mojave Desert – can one imagine anything more impossible?

One thought on “The Taj Mahal Of The Mojave Desert”

  1. I was briefly involved with the Lake Dolores waterpark (also known as “Rock-A-Hula”) after it closed. While well designed and built, its location is just not conducive enough to make it viable without the other amenities that were planned. It was originally conceived to be an RV campground (hence the construction of the large lake on the property), but the developers ran out of money before they could finish the campground, and the attendance at the waterpark was insufficient to support its continued existence. It’s sad, as you pointed out, it’s a nice facility, but was just built probably 20 – 30 years too soon.

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