Rock owners can pick up their rocks through September

ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Rock Snake is now meeting its end as the City is asking for rock owners to pick up their contributed rock through the month of September.

Beginning in October, the SLO Painted Rock group along with Wanda Kohl and any volunteers interested, will be out collecting the remaining rocks. They plan to be out at the lake Saturday mornings through October from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. 

The Rock Snake has enjoyed a two-year run, but the time has arrived for those who contributed to the rock collection to come out to the lake to collect them. Over the last few years, the Rock Snake has endured varying weather conditions, and many rocks have been displaced as the Rock Snake sits along a walkway and where cars park. 


The Rock Snake started in August 2020 when a unique set of rocks started to appear around Lake Park in the Atascadero. There was a large, diamond-shaped rock that was placed at the east end of Atascadero Lake Park before the bridge that said, “This is a Rock Snake. Add your painted rocks, and let’s see how long it’ll grow.” 

The City wishes to give a special thanks to Atascadero resident Wanda Kohl, who started the Rock Snake as a way to spread positivity to those in her community through her art. It was an opportunity for the community to share their artwork with special rocks and on social media, be able to tag the rock group’s Facebook page “SLO Painted Rocks,” and a few other fun pages such as “Rocks Behaving Badly,” where people hide rocks around the neighborhood. 

Towards the end of 2020 and into 2021, the Rock Snake grew to a record number of rocks that measured over a half mile, wrapping around the lake. Many added rocks from “Happy Mother’s Day” to gender reveals to one promposal asking “Will you go to the high school prom with me?” along with a little rock that said, “Yes!” At one point, there were over 4,000 consecutive rocks around the lake. The City reached out to volunteers to assist with moving small sections of rocks to the main Rock Snake when the paving of Marchant took place. 

They were moved to Lake View Drive to join the main snake and in hopes to gain the attention of the Guinness Book of World Records. While the Rock Snake didn’t qualify for any type of record setting, it was truly the longest, most contiguous set of art on the Central Coast.

If you would like to be a part of the volunteers, please contact Wanda Kohl either by phone or text at (805) 468-9084. 

The City of Atascadero would like to thank all who participated in creating the Rock Snake and engaging in positive inspiration through the COVID years.