Want to cut down your own Christmas tree this year? The cutting area on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District near Red Feather Lakes is open Dec. 6 through 14 and permits were available beginning Nov 24.
Tree cutters can get their permit (cash only) from:
• Canyon Lakes Ranger District office (2150 Centre, Ave., Building E, Fort Collins),
• Pawnee National Grassland office (660 “O” Street, Greeley),
• Boulder Ranger District office (2140 Yarmouth Avenue, Boulder)
• at the Red Feather cutting area on the weekends.
The cutting area entrance is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For safety reasons, visitors are asked to be out of the area by 4 p.m. For cutting during the week, permits must be purchased in advance from one of the offices listed above. On the weekends, permits can be purchased at the cutting area. Smokey Bear will greet people at the cutting area on weekends from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., so make sure to pack your camera.
Visitors have been cutting Christmas trees in this area for more than 30 years. Remember, this area never runs out of permits or trees! More than 3,000 trees are cut annually in this area.
It can get cold while looking for your tree, remember to dress for the weather. You also need the right tools to cut your tree and no chainsaws are allowed in the Red Feather cutting area. Chains or four-wheel drive is required to enter the cutting area.
The cutting area is located north 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 U.S. Forest Service personnel will provide directions the rest of the way.
For more information about cutting your own tree, please contact the visitor information office in Fort Collins at 970-295-6700. The Sulphur Ranger District also has Christmas tree cutting near Winter Park. Information on both these sites is available online at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/xmastrees.