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Want to Cut Down Your Own Tree? Christmas Tree Permits Available Now!

By recreation.gov November 19, 2021

National Forests in Colorado now have Christmas Tree Permits available through recreation.gov.

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!


๐ŸŽ„ 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.

๐ŸŽ„ 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.
  • Bring masks for everyone in your party and be sure to wear them if you may be within 6 feet of another group.

๐ŸŽ„GET A PERMIT

Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests

  • Christmas tree permits will be on sale beginning November 9 through January 8 for the Sulphur Ranger District of Grand County.
  • Christmas tree cutting is permitted in the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of Larimer County from November 26 through January 8.

White River National Forest (Between Eagle and Glenwood Springs): Unlimited Permits, available now

Pike and San Isabel National Forest

  • South Platte Ranger District (closest to Denver): Tree cutting season is 11/29-12/12 and costs $20 per permit.
  • Pikes Peak Ranger District (closest to Colorado Springs): Permits available 11/27-12/16. Cost is $20 per permit.
  • South Park Ranger District (near Fairplay): Unlimited permits, most of the district open for cutting. Permits available 10/14-12/31. $20 per permit.
  • Leadville Ranger District (near Leadville): Permits available 11/9 - 12/31. $10 per permit.
  • The Salida Ranger District is located in the heart of Colorado along the Continental Divide surrounding the communities of Salida and Buena Vista. Permits are available 11/9 - 12/31. $10 per permit.
  • The San Carlos Ranger District includes the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, the Wet Mountains, and the Spanish Peaks. Permits available 11/9 - 12/31. $10 per permit.

๐ŸŽ„ 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.