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Rueter-Hess Recreation

FAQs (Rueter-Hess)

Where is Rueter-Hess located?

The reservoir entrance is located at Hess Road and Double Angel Road.

  • From I-25, take Hess Road east, approximately 4.75 miles to the entrance. Turn right on Double Angel Road (it is a dirt road).
  • From Parker Road, take Hess Road west, approximately 2.75 miles to the entrance. Turn left on Double Angel Road (it is a dirt road).
  • From East Mainstreet and Chambers Road, take Chamber Road south, approximately 1 mile to Double Angel Road. Turn right on Double Angle Road about 0.75 miles across Hess Road to the entrance.

Do I need an entry reservation?

Vehicles driving into the reservoir portion of the property need to make an online vehicle reservation to access the park. The cost of a parking pass is $10.  One parking pass per car is required.  All-day parking passes can be purchased by clicking here.

When is the reservoir open?

The reservoir is open Friday through Monday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the winter months.

Why isn’t the reservoir open to the public all the time?

Limiting access to the reservoir at this time provides the balance needed to meet costs and the Master Plan goals while preserving water quality, public safety, and natural resource protection.

As stewards of the land and community, it is the wish of the Parker Water and Sanitation District (PWSD) and its local partners to preserve this land as a resource and to educate visitors about the history of the reservoir.

How will Rueter-Hess water be used?

The primary purpose of Rueter-Hess Reservoir is drinking water storage for the Parker Water and Sanitation District and its storage partners. To learn more, click here.

However, limited recreational programs and special events are currently available through recreation partners and contracted vendors.

What watercraft is allowed?

Standup paddle boards, canoes, and kayaks are allowed. Wind surfing will be allowed on a trial basis for 2024. Waders and belly boats are not allowed. Click here for the current rules and regulations.

Can I bring my own paddleboard, kayak or canoe?

Yes, it will need to pass an aquatic nuisance species (ANS) inspection before launching. All watercraft must be cleaned, drained, and dry before access will be allowed.

What safety equipment is required for my watercraft?

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW)  manages watercraft safety equipment. For more information visit the CPW website.

All watercraft users will need to wear a PFD with a sound producing device at all times while on the water.

Do I need to register my watercraft?

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW)  manages watercraft registrations.  For more information visit the CPW website.

You do not need to register your watercraft to use at Rueter-Hess as it is a privately owned facility.

Are boats allowed at the Rueter-Hess Reservoir?

No motorized watercraft are allowed.

Stand-up paddle boards, canoes, kayaks, and windsurfing watercraft are currently permitted.  Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Inspections will be required for all approved watercraft upon entry.

Can I use a remote control device (board, drone, etc.)?

No.  Remote control devices are not allowed in, on, or near the reservoir.

Is fishing allowed at the reservoir?

Catch-and-release only.  Limited adult anglers with valid state fishing licenses will be allowed to fish daily when the reservoir is open to the public. Anglers may fish from the water or from shore when open to watercraft. After watercraft season anglers may fish from shore until ice forms on the reservoir. (Anglers younger than 16, who are not required by the state to have a license, may fish.  They must also make a reservation to fish.)

(Motorized watercraft or belly boats are not allowed).

For more information click here.

What species of fish have been stocked at the reservoir?

Stocking of recreational species began in the fall of 2018, and include:

  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Wiper (Striped Hybrid Bass)
  • Channel Catfish
  • Black Crappie
  • Blue Gill


Do I need a Colorado State Fishing License to fish?

Yes, you will need a valid state fishing licenses to fish at Rueter-Hess Reservoir.

What is the water temperature at Rueter-Hess?

Summer water temperatures range from 65-72ºF.

Is hiking and biking allowed?

The Rosie Rueter Trail and Incline Challenge are open daily from sunrise to sunset. 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.  To access these trails, 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 Newlin’s Gold trail connects to the Percy Hess Trail and is approximately 7 miles long (out and back) from the entrance station. It is located on the reservoir property’s southern boundary. Access to this trail is Friday through Monday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. If you want to drive into the reservoir, a $10.00 vehicle access reservation is required. Click here to obtain the reservation

Are running or bike trails available?

Yes. The current trails include:

  • Incline Challenge (approximately 0.75 miles one way)
  • Rosie Rueter-Hess Trail (approximately 1.5 miles one way)
  • Coyote Run Loop (approximately 2.75 miles)
  • Connection to the East/West Trail (approximately 0.33 miles one way)
  • Newlin Gold Trail (entrance into the reservoir is needed) (approximately 7 miles out and back)

Is horseback riding allowed on the trails?

No.  Equestrians are not permitted around the reservoir in order to maintain the water quality of the reservoir.

Are there any amenities available?

The property is largely rugged and undeveloped. Please bring plenty of food and water with you. Porto-O-Lets are available at the parking lots.  Use the pack it in, pack it out rule and make sure all trash and debris is collected and disposed of properly.

Where can I take my dog on the Rueter-Hess property?

Dogs are only allowed on the trails. However, they cannot go on the incline, the shoreline, or in the water. Remember to have your dog leashed and to pick up and dispose of waste properly.  There are no waste bags available on the property.

Is Rueter-Hess a part of the Colorado State Park system?

No. Rueter-Hess Reservoir is owned by Parker Water & Sanitation District. Douglas County manages recreation on the property.

How is Rueter-Hess recreation funded and managed?

Funding and oversight of reservoir recreation are through the Rueter-Hess Recreation Advisory Board, which includes Douglas County, the Town of Parker, the Town of Castle Rock, the City of Lone Tree, the City of Castle Pines, Douglas County and use fees.  Douglas County manages and maintains recreation on the property.

Can I swim in the reservoir?

No.  Swimming is not permitted in order to maintain the water quality of the reservoir.

When was the construction of the reservoir completed?

The construction of Rueter-Hess Reservoir was completed in 2012 to hold 75,000-acre feet of stored water. The dam rises 185 feet above the bedrock and the reservoir is 1,170 acres.