Ever since a pair of 2014 Vice articles exposed the haunting decay of the Flintstone’s Bedrock City park in Arizona, the once-charming roadside attraction has captivated the internet. They even referred to it as “the best place to start a cult since Charles Manson took over an old Western movie set“, and they’re not wrong. It looks unsettling, mostly abandoned, like it hasn’t been touched in millennia, since it was occupied by a certain modern stone-age family.
It opened in 1972, and its convenient location right near the Grand Canyon made it a popular spot for families. Initially, at least. Over the course of 40 years, lots of things changed… but Bedrock City didn’t. The Vice article says you can still get coffee for 5 cents, and that many of the dust-covered souvenirs in the gift shop are labeled as “Made in America”. Scattered across the 30-acre park are statues of beloved Flintstones characters and buildings you can explore… although I fear that kids today only know Fred Flintstone as the mascot for Fruity Pebbles. The park (well, the land) had been up for sale, for the low, low price of $2 million, but as it’s still standing and open for the morbidly curious to explore, we can safely assume no buyer has bitten.
It’s interesting to see pictures of it from the 1980s, a time when it was still, more or less, a popular attraction. Even though everything is still in the same place, you get the sense that everything is a bit spiffier. As interesting as it is today, in an unsettling way, it’s nice to remember it as a place where people legitimately stopped off, brought their families, and made some good memories.
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