SNELLING, Calif. — If you ever need a reminder about how out of shape you are, take a trip to Lake McSwain in Mariposa County, and visit the Splash-n-Dash inflatable waterpark. It’s not a bounce house or blow-up pool toy. This is a 125,000-square-foot vinyl obstacle course.
“We are now North America’s largest inflatable, floating water park. It is like American Ninja Warrior meets Wipe Out,” says operator Mary Gathman-Kent. Unlike American Ninja Warrior, you don’t need any special skills to participate, although it would help.
Every year, Gathman-Kent and her team add different obstacles to the park. This summer’s addition was Big Boy, a three-story tower with a blob at the bottom.
What’s a blob you ask? Well, the mechanics of the blob aren’t complicated. If you’ve ever launched a younger sibling off of a half-deflated air mattress you know how it works, but if you want more specifics, ask blob lifeguard Kaleb Borba.
“First time we filled it up I put too much air in it so I didn’t get too high, but when we perfected it, I probably got 10 or 15 feet high,” Borba says.
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It’s new additions to the park that keep visitors coming back--visitors like a pop singer, Pink.
”She posted it on her Instagram and tagged the park, and ever since I have been slammed with phone calls, messages, inquiries, and reporters,” Gathman-Kent says. "She is a great person."
Splash-n-Dash is unlike other waterparks in many ways. For one, it’s pretty affordable. An all-day pass is just under $38. So, whether you are a toddler full of energy or an out-of-shape grownup, the bouncy obstacle course is bound to put a smile on your face--that is until you fall into the chilly water.
“It is a freshwater lake fed by the snowpack from Yosemite,” Gathman-Kent says.
CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS YOU NEED TO VISIT: Learn more about Bartell's Backroad's top 5 must-see state parks!