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Snowmobiling: Colorado > White River National Forest > Blanco Ranger District

Quick Facts

Buford-New Castle Road

Length: 44 Miles (73.33 Kilometers) from Buford to New Castle
Road Number: 245
Vehicle Accessibility: Seasonally open to Passenger Vehicle

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

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 piƱon-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.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Open and closed dates vary due to annual snowfall. Check with our district office for more information. Updated: 2004-08-17 07:15:00.0

Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Leslie Connelly (Thornton, CO)
Time of Day: all day
Length of Time: 6 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Wow, we spent most of the day on this road because of the scenery. We stopped off the side of the road for lunch in a grove of pine trees. If you are going to be sitting still for more than 5 minutes, bring bug spray. Those black flies bite. We saw deer, hawk, marmots, chipmunks or ground squirrels, and lots of birds. We went through at the time of the Lost Lake fire and could see the smoke. One ironic thing we saw was a Budweiser truck. I have no idea where he was coming from or going. We stopped often, pulled off the road and enjoyed the view.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Camping Meadow Lake Campground offers RV (under 16 ft.) and tent camping. Dispersed camping also available.
ICON Automobile Travel Buford-New Castle Road
ICON Fishing Meadow Lake
ICON Hunting surrounding area, with required license
ICON Snowmobiling Trails maintained by the Rifle Snowmobiling Club.
ICON Viewing Scenery Vistas in all directions.

Related Activities
Cliff Lake Trail - This trail begins east of Meeker, along the South Fork of the White River, near the South Fork Campground. It takes you through blue spruce, aspen, and oakbrush allowing occasional views of South Fork Canyon.

Meadow Lake - Meadow Lake is located 25 miles north of New Castle approximately a 1 1/2 hour drive on 2-wheel drive roads (in good weather). Meadow Lake offers camping, fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing, 4-wheel driving and vistas.

Meadow Lake Campground - Meadow Lake is located 25 miles north of New Castle. The campground sits north of Meadow Lake which is within walkable distance and offers great views.

Meeker vicinity Snowmobiling Area - The Meeker area offers ample snowfall, miles of trails and thousands of acres of open parks for almost unlimited snowmobiling opportunities. Following includes a list of open areas.

North Elk Trail - The North Elk Trail leads from the Buford-Newcastle Road (Forest Road 245) into the North Elk Creek drainage. It is open to motorcycles and ATVs.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Ste. 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO


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