The Buford-New Castle Trailhead, a.k.a. the West Elk Trailhead, is a popular jumping off point for summer and winter outdoor activities in the Flat Tops. From the parking area you can access miles of multi-use trails and roads, including the Cherry Creek Trail and Mansfield Ditch for mountain biking and hiking and a maintained cross-country ski area in the winter. To get there from New Castle, go 6.5 miles passed the cattle guard at the Forest Boundary off Forest Road 245. This trailhead provides access to both motorized and non-motorized use. Amenities include a vault toilet and ample trailer parking.
From Rifle, head east on I-70 for 15 miles. At the New Castle exit (105), turn left at the ramp and follow the signs into New Castle. At 7th Street (County Road 245) turn right. This becomes the Buford-New Castle Road. Stay on CR245 for approximately 12 miles to the parking lot.