High Line Canal

Owned and operated by Denver Water
Recreational use agreements with seven agencies
Reservations: Day use area — no reservations required
Length: 71 miles
Capacity: The maximum capacity is 600 cubic feet per second. On average, the canal is about 2 feet deep.
Contact: Multiple agencies for recreation

  • Douglas County Parks, Trails and Building Grounds: 720-733-6990
  • Metro District of Highlands Ranch Parks and Open Space: 303-791-2710
  • South Suburban Parks and Recreation: 303-798-5131
  • Greenwood Village Parks, Trails and Recreation Department: 303-486-5773
  • Cherry Hills Village Parks, Trails and Recreation Department: 303-783-2733
  • Denver Parks and Recreation Department: 720-913-1311
  • Aurora Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department: 303-739-7160


From a diversion dam on the South Platte River 1.8 miles upstream from the mouth of Waterton Canyon, the canal runs 66 miles (106 km) east-northeast through Douglas, Arapahoe, and Denver counties, ending at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Lateral in the Green Valley Ranch area in northeast Denver. The canal is accessible along most of its length. To reach its starting point, take Colorado 470 to Wadsworth (Colorado 121) and follow Colorado 121 south to the Kassler Center.

Seasonal Information

Open year-round, 5 a.m. — 11 p.m., subject to modification by recreation agencies.

Special Events

Permits must be obtained from both Denver Water and the recreation management agency for the area of the event.

Recreation Opportunities

  • Nature viewing: Wildlife viewing, including birds, mammals and several species of reptiles.
  • Bicycling: Road bikes are best suited on the hard surfaces of the canal trail in Denver and Aurora. The routes through South Suburban, Highlands Ranch, Chatfield, Cherry Hill and Greenwood Village are all soft-surface trails, more suitable for mountain bikes.
  • Hiking: The trail is used by a variety of people, from walkers with strollers to joggers and runners. Please be considerate of others.
  • Horseback riding: Horses are welcome on most of the canal, but be aware of the regulations along different parts of the canal.
  • Picnicking: The canal winds through many parks that provide picnic tables. There are a few tables available along the canal trail. Benches also are provided along most of the canal. See local area maps for locations.

Note: Please be aware that pets must be on a leash, and that owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.