The Flat Tops is a playground for OHV enthusiasts with a series of motorized trails connecting throughout the 235,000 acres of the Flat Tops area of White River National Forest. One of the most popular parking areas within close proximity to Rifle is the West Elk Trailhead, a year-round parking area for motorized and non-motorized recreational activities.
West Elk Creek is located along Forest Road 245 (Buford-New Castle Road) approximately 7.5 miles north of the Forest boundary. The parking area has room for several dozen passenger vehicles and trailers. During the summer, the West Elk Trailhead serves as the southern access point for Motorized Trail #2290 . During the winter, the trailhead is one of the access points to the Flattops snowmobile trail system, providing parking for snowmobilers who wish to follow the Buford-New Castle Road. The trailhead also provides parking for the West Elk non-motorized trail system, which is located immediately east of the parking area.