South Platte Holiday Tree Permits

A tree cutter wraps the orange tree permit around his cut Christmas tree

A tree cutter tags a tree with their Holiday tree permit. (USFS photo)

The 2020 Holiday Tree Program may experience delays. We appreciate your patience as we develop a plan to safely operate this program. Check back for updates about this program here or call (303) 275-5610.

Holiday Trees on the South Platte Ranger District

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


  • Cost: $20.00 per permit/tree                                                                                                       
  • Maximum: 5 trees per household                                                                                                        
  • Trees must be for personal use only and not for resale
  • Permits are NON-REFUNABLE and must be used on the date specified.
  • We are not responsible for permits lost in the mail. Replacement permits will not be re-issued.

South Platte Ranger District Holiday Tree 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 (see map).

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)

2020 Dates: Coming October 2020

  • Mail-in permit requests
  • Walk-in permits at Conifer office
  • Cutting dates

Sold Out Dates:  

For immediate updates on which dates are sold out, contact the South Platte Ranger District at (303) 275-5610.

  • Walk-in: TBD
  • Mail-in: TBD

Rules and Conditions

Please DO:

Place your permit on the tree after you have cut it

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 or more than one with a single permit.

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

Leave any live limbs on the stumps by ensuring you cut 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 Clause 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.


  • We expect all weekend permits to sell out by mid-November. Bookmark this page for sale updates. 
  • Payments for counter sales may include cash, checks, money orders, and credit cards. 
  • Payments for mail in requests may include check or money order and must be postmarked by Nov 1. 
  • 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