By Reghan Cloudman
Public Affairs Specialist
For generations, families from across the Colorado Front Range have made a tradition of cutting their Christmas tree in the National Forests. Christmas tree permits for the 2019 season are available for purchase online as of November 1.
The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests is one of thirteen National Forests participating in a pilot program, for the second year, offering permits through the Open Forest system. This program allows you to purchase your 2019 Christmas tree permit from the comfort of your own home, or by using your mobile device, instead of traveling to a Forest Service office. Christmas tree permits purchased online must be printed to be valid.
Christmas tree permits are available for $20 per tree on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District near Red Feather Lakes and the Sulphur Ranger District near Fraser and Winter Park.
Some tips to make your cutting experience better include:
- Checking the weather before heading out.
- Ensure you have plenty of layers to keep you warm.
- Be sure to have the tools necessary to cut your tree and know that chainsaws are not allowed.
- This includes a handsaw or ax and something to tie down your tree securely.
For additional information on Christmas tree cutting on the forest, please visit our Christmas tree webpage for more information.
Canyon Lakes Ranger District
Tree cutting on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District near Red Feather Lakes is open from Dec. 7 to Dec. 15, 2019. The entrance is open from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For safety, visitors are asked to be out of the area by 4 p.m. The weekends are staffed and Smokey Bear will be spreading his fire prevention message. In addition to online purchase, permits are available at the Canyon Lakes District Office Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays beginning November 25, 2019.
Make sure your vehicle has four-wheel drive (not all-wheel drive) or chains. They are required to enter the area. The cutting area is located northwest of Fort Collins, south of Red Feather Lakes. Take Highway 287 north of Fort Collins for 21 miles. At Livermore, turn left onto Red Feather Lakes Road (County Road 74E) and travel approximately 16 miles to the Boy Scout Road (County Road 68C). Turn left on the Boy Scout Road and drive seven miles to the entrance of the cutting area. Signs or staff will provide direction the rest of the way.
Sulphur Ranger District
Christmas tree permit sales began on November 1, 2019, and go through January 6, 2020, on the Sulphur Ranger District. Visitors may go most anywhere on the district to harvest a Christmas tree and can find more detailed information on our website. You can get your permit online or pick up a permit at any of the following locations:
|· Murdoch’s||· Sulphur Ranger District Office|
|· Winter Park Chamber of Commerce||· Fireside Market & Eatery|
|· Granby Ace Hardware|
The Elk Creek Cutting area near Fraser and Winter Park will be open from December 1-8, 2019. You must purchase your permit prior to arriving at the cutting area. Roads will be plowed to allow one way traffic of motor vehicles equipped with four-wheel-drive, all-wheel drive, or chained tires to enter from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Area gates close at 4 p.m. Snowmobiles and ATVs are not allowed in the cutting area. From Fraser, travel west on County Road 72, take the left fork and continue on to the cutting area entrance.