Saturday, Dec. 3 is the first day to cut a Christmas tree on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District near Red Feather Lakes – make sure you pack some extra warm clothes. The area is open Dec. 3 through 11 and permits are on sale now.
Although cutting does not start until Saturday, anxious tree cutters can buy the $10 permits needed to cut a tree ahead of time. These permits can be purchased at:
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• 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)
• the cutting area on the weekends (cash or check required).
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. 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.
Remember, this area never runs out of permits. Last year approximately 3,600 trees were sold.
Temperatures are expected to drop and 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.
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. Turn left on the Boys 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. Chains or four-wheel drive is required to enter the cutting area and there is snow in the forecast for the weekend.
For more information about cutting your own tree, please contact the visitor information office at 970-295-6700 or visit the web at www.fs.usda.gov/arp and check out the Christmas tree feature.