Canyon Lakes Ranger District Christmas Tree Sale

Small boy in a red coat poses with Smokey Bear in the snow.

Welcome and thank you for making us a part of your holiday tradition!










Image of the open forests online screenPurchase your Christmas tree permit online through the Open Forest system as early as November 1, 2019. The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests is one of several forests providing you an opportunity to purchase a Christmas tree permits online. Other purchase options are still available. See details below. The Forest Service will use feedback from the 2019 Christmas tree season to continue to refine and improve the online permit system for our Forest visitors in the future. Other purchase options are still available. See details below.

Christmas tree cutting on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District will be from December 7 - 15, 2019.

Permits are $20 per tree, cash only. Permits may be obtained at the cutting area during the first two full weekends in December.  Starting November 25, 2019 - Please visit the Canyon Lakes Ranger District Visitor Center at:

Canyon Lakes Ranger District
2150 Centre Ave., Building E
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Mon. – Fri. 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Closed Wednesdays

The District never runs out of permits!


Planning Your Trip to the Red Feather Cutting Area

  • You must have at least one of the following:
    • 4WD (Not AWD)
    • Traction devices such as chains or cables. Tire socks won't do the job.
  • Snowmobiles, motorcycles, and ATVs are prohibited.
  • You can enter the area between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. For safety reasons, we ask everyone to be out of the area by 4 p.m.
  • Directions:
    • 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 seven miles. Signs or Forest Service personnel will direct you into the area.
  • Map of the Red Feather cutting area. (pdf, 299KB)
  • The sale area will be open during periods of bad weather unless Highway 287 is closed. For more information please visit the Colorado Department of Transportation website.

Smokey Bear's Cabin

  • Smokey Bear greets visitors at his cabin in the cutting area on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Make sure to bring your camera!

Cutting Instructions

  • There are several miles of roads within the cutting area, so remember to spread out when searching for your tree.
  • Use a handsaw to cut your tree. Chainsaws are prohibited in the Red Feather cutting area.
  • Cut trees only within the National Forest boundary and respect surrounding private property.
  • Only cut trees with a stump diameter of six inches or less and cut the trunk within six inches of the ground, below any live branches.
  • Take or scatter any unused portion of your tree.
  • Attach permit to tree in a visible location.
  • Do not cut any tree marked with blue paint or designated as a wildlife tree.
  • Do not forget to bring rope to safely tie down your tree.
  • Pack out all trash.

Safety & Comfort

  • Roads are narrow and slick with limited sight distance, please use caution.
  • Drive slowly within the cutting area. Park off of roads in plowed areas or pull-offs; do not obstruct traffic. One-way traffic only on all roads within the cutting area.
  • If someone in your group is missing, don't wait, notify Forest Service personnel immediately.
  • Have a full tank of gas.
  • Each year a number of people either lose their keys or lock them in their vehicle. Bring a spare key and give it to another member of your party.
  • Remember, cell phones may not work in the cutting area.
  • Expect winter conditions, including below-freezing temperatures and cold winds. Dress warmly.
  • Bring food and a warm beverage, blanket, shovel and first aid kit.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • Pets are not recommended; dogs must be on a leash if brought into the area.

Visiting Mountain Pine Beetle-Hit Areas

  • Remember, your safety is your responsibility.
  • Falling trees are always a hazard when visiting the forest.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid dense patches of dead trees. They can fall without warning.
  • Stay out of the forest when there are strong winds that could blow down trees. If you are already in the forest when the winds kick up, head to a clearing out of range of potential falling trees.
  • Park vehicles in areas where they will not be hit if dead trees fall.

We are happy to answer your questions at the district office. You can contact us at (970) 295-6700 or The office is open Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday, 8:30-4:30. Closed Wednesdays.

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!