South Platte Holiday Tree Permits




Christmas Trees on the South Platte Ranger District

We are excited to be a part of your holiday traditions.


All Christmas tree permits for the 2020 season will be sold online this year starting October 15, 2020. Please visit to purchase your permit. 


Although permit sales have moved online this year, the process to purchase your Christmas tree permit stays the same: you must choose a specific cutting day and cutting area when purchasing your Christmas tree cutting permit. Please visit for more information.


Permits are not available for purchase at the South Platte Ranger District office.
Please DO NOT mail permit requests to the district office.




  • Cost: $20.00 per permit/tree plus a processing fee
  • Maximum: 5 trees per household
  • Trees must be for personal use only and not for resale.
  • Permits are NON-REFUNDABLE and must be used on the date specified.


South Platte Ranger District Christmas Tree cutting locations

Buffalo Creek: Buffalo Creek experiences snow that results in icy, snowpacked roads.  Visitors will need a 4-wheel drive vehicle, shovels, sand, and tow straps in case of emergency. Take Hwy 285 to Pine Junction, turn left onto County Rd 126 and drive for about 12 miles. Visitors can meet Smokey Bear in this location on weekends. There is private land within the Buffalo Creek areas in the South Platte Ranger District boundary. Trees must be cut on National Forest Service land and it is the permittees’ responsibility to make sure they are on National Forest. 

Camp Fickes: There are no camping, no trailers or picnics allowed within the cutting area. High clearance 4-wheel drive capable vehicles are required for access. This area is at the end of Forest Service Rd 550.

Sugar Creek This area is located along Douglas County Road 67, approximately 1.5 miles south of the Sprucewood/County Road 40 junction. The area is best accessed from Sedalia, CO off Hwy 85 (Sante Fe)

South Platte Ranger District Christmas tree cutting locations map


2020 Dates:

October - Permits are only available for purchase online at starting October 15, 2020. 

November/December - Christmas tree cutting dates will be 11/27-12/13. Cutting on the weekends will be limited. 


Available Dates:  

Available tree cutting dates will be listed on


Rules and Conditions

Please DO:

Have your permit purchased from visible and available.

Remove the entire tree including all lower branches and stem wood.

Choose trees that are 6 inches or less in diameter at gound level.

Please DO NOT:

Tresspass on private property.

Cut a tree without a permit.

“Top” the trees by cutting only half of the tree.

Leave any live limbs on the stumps by cutting trees 6 inches or less from the ground.

Safety Suggestions:

  • Shooting is not allowed in the Buffalo Creek area at any time during Christmas tree cutting. §36 CFR261.58(m).
  • Shooting is not allowed in the Sugar Creek area at any time. §36 CFR261.50(a).
  • Dress warm and be prepared for changes in weather.
  • Forest roads may be snow covered and icy. You should carry chains and/or use a four wheel drive vehicle. It may also be necessary to use a high clearance vehicle.
  • Have a full tank of gas.
  • Leave pets at home.
  • Pack out your trash.
  • Teach family members what to do in case they get lost.
  • Bring a hand saw. Chainsaws, axes, and power saws are not allowed.
  • Please be at the area entrance no later than 2:30 p.m. to allow for plenty of daylight to find and cut your tree. The sun sets early during the holiday season and darkness falls around 4:30 p.m.

Holiday Spirit:

Plan on making your tree cutting experience one to remember with friends and family! Bring lots of warm clothes, a picnic lunch, cameras, and Santa hats!

South Platte Ranger District Office:

30403 Kings Valley Drive, Suite 2-115

Conifer, CO 80433

Phone: (303) 275-5610

Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8am - 4:30pm.

Closed Federal holidays and weekends.

Access to the district office is through the upper parking lot of the King's Valley Marketplace.


  • The South Platte Ranger District office is closed due to COVID-19. 
  • We expect all weekend permits to sell out. 
  • By removing these smaller trees you are contributing to forest health and reducing fire danger.
  • Persons cutting or removing trees from National Forest System lands without a valid permit are subject to a fine of up to $5000 and/or 6 months imprisonment.
  • Please observe all rules and conditions.

South Park Ranger District Holiday Tree Program

Pikes Peak Ranger District Holiday Tree Program