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. 7 through 15 and permits are on sale beginning Dec. 2.
Tree cutters can get their permit — cash only — at the cutting area on weekends or in advance from the:
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Canyon Lakes Ranger District office, 2150 Centre Ave., Building E, Fort Collins;
Pawnee National Grassland office, 660 “O” St., Greeley;
Boulder Ranger District office, 2140 Yarmouth Ave., Boulder.
The cutting area is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For cutting during the week, permits must be purchased in advance from one of the offices listed above. 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.
The cutting area is located north of Fort Collins, south of Red Feather Lakes. Take U.S. 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 7 miles to the entrance of the cutting area. Signs or U.S. Forest Service personnel will provide directions the rest of the way.
Visitors have been cutting Christmas trees in this area for more than 30 years. Remember, this area never runs out of permits. Last year approximately 3,800 trees were sold.
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. Chains or four-wheel drive is required to enter the cutting area.
For more information about cutting your own tree, please contact the visitor information office in Fort Collins at 970-295-6700 or visit the web at www.fs.usda.gov/arp.