This route takes you from Buford, 22 miles east of Meeker on the White River, to New Castle, 44 miles south, on the Colorado River between Glenwood Springs and Rifle. The road is gravel surfaced and maintained regularly. There are many switchbacks and blind curves so drive carefully.
From the Buford side, you pass through two miles of open meadows crossing both the North and South Forks of the White River, and then begin climbing. After a series of switchbacks and curves, you enter the forest boundary six miles from Buford. The road continues to climb gradually through aspen and pine, changing to spruce and fir as you gain elevation. North Elk Creek lies to the west and Burro Mountain to the east. Once again you traverse several switchbacks, climbing out onto the southern portion of the Flat Tops. The Burro Mountain Road climbs to the north onto the top of Burro Mountain, providing a panoramic view of the Flat Tops Wilderness and the South Fork of the White River to the east.
The spruce-fir forest is now broken by large open parks as you cross the plateau. Hiner Springs is 15 miles from Buford, at the junction of the Blair Mountain Road, Forest Road 601. Meadow Lake is five miles southeast on this road then to Forest Road 823.
Twenty-two miles from Buford, you come to Triangle Park where Bar HL Road starts to the west across the plateau. Rifle is accessible via the Little Box Canyon Road starting one mile to the west. The Bar HL Road continues through rolling open parks bordered by aspen and spruce-fir stands for 11 miles. Travel may be difficult during inclement weather as this road is unsurfaced. The Bar HL Road branches going down the Rifle Creek to the south and onto Hay Flats to the north, but these roads are generally not suitable for passenger cars.
Leaving Triangle Park, the Buford-New Castle Road begins to lose elevation as you drop into West Elk Creek in the Colorado River drainage. The spruce-fir gives way to aspen, and the aspen to piñon-juniper as you near New Castle. Once off the National Forest, you travel through irrigated meadows as you complete the 44 mile trip to New Castle.
Directions from Meeker: Take State Highway13 east for 1 mile, turn right onto County Road 8. Travel 18 miles, until you come to a bridge on the right. Turn right and proceed on this road for 1 1/2 miles to a stop sign, then turn right on the Buford-New Castle Road (Forest Road 245, County Road 59).
Directions from New Castle: Go north to West Elk, Forest Road 245 which becomes the Buford-New Castle Road.