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!

Christmas tree cutting on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District will be from December 2 - 10, 2017.

On the weekend, permits may be obtained at the cutting area. For weekday cutting, permits must be obtained in advance from our offices in Fort Collins at 2150 Centre Avenue, Building E. (closed Wednesdays) or in Ault at 115 N 2nd Ave.  The District never runs out of permits! The price is $10 per tree (cash only), with a limit of five trees per person. Permits go on sale November 27th.

Planning Your Trip to the Red Feather Cutting Area

  • You must have at least one of the following:
    • 4WD (Not AWD)
    • Traction devices (Not socks)
    • Be aware of what your vehicle allows related to traction devices. Not all vehicles are capable of handling the winter conditions located within the Christmas tree cutting area.
  • 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 typicallye greets visitors for part of the day 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 National Forest boundary and respect surrounding private property.
  • Cut trees with a stump diameter of six inches or less and 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 something 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 cutting area. Park off 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 reach of any potential falling trees.
  • Park vehicles in areas where they will not be hit if dead trees fall.
Please Note: The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests are currently accepting comments on a proposal to increase the Christmas tree permit fee to $20 per tree beginning in 2018. Revenue from fees helps fund ammenities such as plowing, parking, staffing, maps, signs and other enhancements. Please tell us what you think about this holiday activity, the facilities and services provided. Comment here by February 16, 2017 or use a comment card available at the Fort Collins or Granby office or at the sale area.

Contact the district office at (970) 295-6700 or with any questions or concerns. Office is open Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday.

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!