Rueter-Hess Reservoir

Recreation at Rueter-Hess Reservoir

Rueter-Hess Reservoir (RHR) is nestled in the sandstone-rimmed bluffs and Gambel Oak valleys of north eastern Douglas County. Abundant in history and rugged landscape, the reservoir resides on the property owned by Parker Water and Sanitation District (PWSD). It is an invaluable water resource to residents in Douglas County and people of the greater Front Range of Colorado. It is located on Hess Road, one mile east of I-25 at the Castle Pines Parkway, Exit 188, or three miles west of Parker Road.

Rueter-Hess Recreation Authority Partnership

The Rueter-Hess Reservoir is owned by the Parker Water Sanitation District for purposes of providing drinking water storage. The Rueter-Hess Recreational Authority (RHRA) is a partnership that provides recreational opportunities for the public at the Rueter-Hess Reservoir.


The partnership includes the cities of Castle Pines and Lone Tree, the Towns of Castle Rock and Parker, Douglas County and the Parker Water & Sanitation District.  For 2021, the RHRA contracted with South Suburban Park and Recreation District to manage and provide recreational programming and services on behalf of the RHRA.

Paddle Days at Rueter-Hess

Participants must provide their own watercraft (paddle board, canoe or kayak).   

  • 2022 Paddle Days: Fridays - Sundays, May 27 - September 4
  • Fees: $15 per person. Includes gate entry and watercraft inspection.
  • Reservations: Reservations are required for each person entering the reservoir, regardless of activity.
  • Reservations open one week prior to the first of the month.
  • Lifejackets must be worn by all participants. 
  • Updated: ages 2 to 7 may share a watercraft with a guardian. Ages 8 to 15 may have their own watercraft but a registered adult guardian must be present on the water.  
  • Walk-up registration is NOT available.
  • No pets. No fishing. No swimming. No rafts or inflatable tubes. No alcohol.
Watch this video for tips to help make your experience at Rueter-Hess Paddle Days easy and fun!

Rueter Hess Reservoir
Parker, CO 80108

Rules & Regulations

Know before you go. Read up on the rules & regulations at the Rueter-Hess Reservoir.


Incline Challenge

Parking Located immediately west of the Rueter-Hess Water Purification Facility (11865 Heirloom Pkwy, Parker CO), a parking lot has been designated for visitors at the trailhead of the Incline Challenge. Visitors should turn west off of Heirloom Parkway when they reach the Rueter-Hess Water Purification Facility, and continue west to the designated Incline parking area. The Incline features 132 steps and the Rosie Rueter Trail loop that leads to and from the parking lot is just over a mile long.

Make sure to read the Trail Rules.

The incline is open daily from sunrise to sunset.