As far as I can tell this rest area was built by CDOT as a place for commercial trucks to pull off the highway when there is a closure in Glenwood Canyon. This happens pretty often because if vehicle collisions, rock fall, mud slides and all sorts of other randomness. Given its close proximity, it naturally became an access point to the river but I can’t find information on whether or not that was intended in the beginning. Whether it was intended in the beginning or not is a moot point as it seems to have been solidified as a legitimate access point by CDOT who just completely revamped the entire pull out keeping boaters in mind. The entire area has now been paved and along with the 23 designated commercial trucking spots they have also built in 15 parking spots designated for boat trailers, a nice pit toilet and an improved boat ramp. They designed everything to have a better flow and have built much nicer facilities, really some great improvements.
I have been searching for more information on this ramp but haven’t been finding a whole lot. When I search for anything with the word “Tibbets” in the google machine it mostly comes back with information on Brigadier General Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay that dropped Little Boy on Hiroshima in WWII. While it was cool to read more about that history, there appears to be no link to General Tibbets and a random truck stop and boat ramp in Western Colorado. I will continue to research and if I can come up with a credible history someday, I will update this page.
There is no west bound I 70 access to this ramp. If you are coming from the east running shuttle, you will need to exit at New Castle and get back on the Hwy eastbound. If you are putting on here and running shuttle down stream you will need to proceed to Exit 109 about 1 ½ miles east of Tibbets and get back on the west bound entrance.