Cut your own tree and meet Smokey at the Red Feather Christmas tree cutting area

PHOTO COURTESY OF CANYON LAKES RANGER DISTRICT Smokey Bear typically greets visitors for part of the day on Saturdays and Sundays.

Christmas tree cutting on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District near Red Feather Lakes started this weekend and will continue through December 10. You can enter the area between 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. For safety reasons, we ask everyone to be out of the area by 4 p.m.

The price is $10 per tree (cash only), with a limit of five trees per person, and permits are a must! On the weekend, permits may be obtained at the cutting area. For weekday cutting, permits must be obtained in advance from the District’s offices in Fort Collins at 2150 Centre Avenue, Building E (closed Wednesdays), or at the Pawnee National Grassland office, 660 O Street, Greeley, or at the Boulder Ranger District office, 2140 Yarmouth Avenue, Boulder.

Prepare before you go! You must have 4WD (not AWD) or chains. Fill up your gas tank before you head to the cutting area. You must use a handsaw, not a chainsaw. Pets are not recommended; dogs must be on a leash. Bring food and a warm beverage, blanket, shovel and first aid kit. For more info, see https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/arp/passes-permits/?cid=stelprdb5162141

To get to the tree cutting area from Fort Collins, take Highway 287 21 miles north to Livermore. At Livermore, turn left onto County Road 74E (Red Feather Lakes Road). Follow Red Feather Lakes Road 16 miles and turn left onto County Road 68C (Boy Scout Road). Follow Boy Scout Road for 7 miles. Signs or Forest Service personnel will direct you into the cutting area.

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