Whether you’re carrying on a beloved family tradition or creating a new one, make memories that will last a lifetime and support the health of forests across the Centennial State this holiday season.
What are you waiting for! Cue the holiday tunes, pour yourself some cocoa, find a forest near you, and get your Christmas Tree Permit today!
🎄 THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
- Please follow all the rules of the national forest where you purchase your permit. Some have very specific instructions for the size of tree you can cut down, and the areas where you can find a tree.
- You won't find a perfectly manicured tree like you would at a Christmas tree lot. Be prepared for more of a "Charlie Brown" style tree.
- Be aware that you can only be on National Forest land. It can sometimes be difficult to know where National Forest ends and private property begins.
- Due to the recent mountain pine beetle epidemic, before you head into the forest to cut your Christmas tree, look up – look down – look around! Avoid standing dead trees. Stay out of recently burned areas. Be aware that trees can fall at any time and use extra caution on windy days.
🎄 PLAN YOUR TRIP
- Permits are only available through recreation.gov or in-person through local vendors. (See below for links to purchase permits).
- Cell service may be spotty or unavailable. Be sure someone knows where you are and when to expect you back.
- Check the latest weather conditions, forest warnings, and road closures before you leave on your trip.
- Bring a map with you. Don’t rely on GPS because it may not be up-to-date with forest service roads.
- Dress warmly and take extra dry clothes. Expect winter weather, including cold temperatures, snow, and winds.
- Roads may not be plowed. Four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive are recommended. Carry tire chains, a shovel, and a tow chain.
- Be sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas.
- Bring a spare key and give it to someone else in your party. Don’t get locked out of your car!
- Bring plenty of food and water with you as well as an overnight survival kit in case you become stranded.
- Park in areas so that traffic can safely pass, and do not block gates.
- Start your day early. Be sure to find your tree and leave the woods before dark. Plan to return to your vehicle by 3:00 pm.
- We don't recommend bringing your pets but, if you do, they must be on a leash.
🎄GET A PERMIT
- Christmas tree permits will be on sale on November 10
- Christmas tree cutting is permitted from November 10 through January 7 for the Sulphur Ranger District of Grand County
- Christmas tree cutting is permitted in the Elk Creek Cutting Area from December 1 - 10
- Christmas tree cutting is permitted in the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of Larimer County from November 24 through January 7
White River National Forest (Between Eagle and Glenwood Springs):
- Christmas tree permits will be on sale on November 16
- Christmas tree cutting is permitted from November 16 to December 31
Pike and San Isabel National Forest
- South Platte Ranger District (closest to Denver): Dated permits required 11/24-12/10 (these go quick and start early!)
- Pikes Peak Ranger District (closest to Colorado Springs): Unlimited permits available 11/24-12/17
- South Park Ranger District (near Fairplay): Unlimited permits available 10/12-12/31
- Leadville Ranger District (near Leadville): Unlimited permits available 11/20 - 12/31.
- The Salida Ranger District is located in the heart of Colorado along the Continental Divide surrounding the communities of Salida and Buena Vista. Unlimited permits available 11/20 - 12/31.
- The San Carlos Ranger District includes the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, the Wet Mountains and the Spanish Peaks. Unlimited permits available 11/20 - 12/31.
🎄 FREE TREES FOR 4TH GRADERS
The Forest Service is offering fourth grade students with an "Every Kid Outdoors" pass or voucher a free Christmas tree cutting permit. To learn more about the “Every Kid Outdoors” program or to obtain a voucher, please visit www.everykidoutdoors.gov for more information.