Christmas Tree Cutting Begins on Local National Forests

Contact(s): Lawrence Lujan

DENVER, Colo., Nov. 20, 2018 – The USDA Forest Service will offer cut-your-own Christmas tree opportunities on the Pike, Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests. A $20.00 permit per tree is required to you can cut a tree with a limit of five trees per household. These permits are for personal use only and local restrictions apply.

“Cutting a Christmas tree in a national forest is a popular recreational experience for many people in the Front Range metro areas,” said Lawrence Lujan, Regional Press Officer for the Rocky Mountain Region. “It gives them an opportunity to take part in managing their own national forests and is a great activity for connecting children to the natural world.”

The Forest Service will again offer one free Christmas tree permit to 4th graders who have a valid 2018 Interagency 4th Grade federal lands pass as part of the Every Kid in a Park program. To get their free Christmas tree permit, participating fourth-graders must be accompanied by an adult and bring in a valid Interagency 4th Grade Pass or voucher to the district office of the area where they would like to cut their tree. This free permit is only available at USDA Forest Service ranger district offices that sell permits as listed below. For more information on the Every Kid in Park program or to get a voucher, fourth graders need to log on to and follow the instructions. Paper vouchers can also be taken to USDA Forest Service offices and exchanged for an Interagency 4th Grade Pass plastic card. The 4th grade pass is also valid for free entry to all national parks, national forests and national wildlife refuges that charge an entrance or standard amenity fee.

Cutting areas and permit purchase information on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest:

Elk Creek special cutting area (near Winter Park) and other designated locations on National Forest System lands in Grand County. 

For details about where you can cut and cutting dates visit

  • Permit sales began Nov. 1 and end Jan. 6.
  • Elk Creek Cutting areas event dates are limited to Dec. 1-8. Permits must be purchased prior to arrival at cutting area.
  • Cutting available in other designated locations see:, click on Grand County
  • You can purchase a permit:

Issues Every Kid in the Park passes

  • Country Ace Hardware
    627 W. Agate
    Granby, CO 80446
    Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce
    14700 US Highway 34
    Grand Lake, Colorado 80447
    Hours: Sunday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Winter Park Chamber of Commerce
    78967 US Highway 40
    Winter Park, CO 80482
    Hours: Sunday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Issues Every Kid in the Park passes starting 11/21

Required: Permit to cut a tree; tire chains or 4-wheel drive vehicle

Red Feather Lakes Area (Near Red Feather Lakes, Colo.)

For details about where you can cut and cutting dates visit

  • Red Feather Cutting area dates are limited to Dec. 1-9
  • Permits are available at:
    • Canyon Lakes Ranger Station: 2150 Centre Avenue, Building E, Fort Collins, CO Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday only starting Nov. 26.
    • Issues Every Kid in the Park passes
    • Online: starting Nov. 19
    • Tree cutting area in Red Feather is open on the weekends only during the cutting period 
  • Required: Permit to cut a tree; tire chains or a four-wheel drive vehicle

Cutting areas on the Pike National Forest:

For details about where you can cut and cutting dates visit

Buffalo Creek (near Pine Junction) and Camp Fickes

  • Permits are available at:
    • South Platte Ranger Station: 30403 Kings Valley Drive, conifer, CO  80433 
  • Required: Permit to cut a tree; tire chains or a four-wheel drive vehicle (Camp Fickes Area only)

Rampart Range Road (near Woodland Park)

  • Permits are available at:
    • Pikes Peak Ranger Station: 601 South Weber Street in Colorado Springs, CO
    • Woodland Park Middle School - east parking lot (weekends only during the cutting period) 
  • Required: Permit to cut a tree; tire chains or a four-wheel drive vehicle

South Park area (near Fairplay)

  • Permits are available at:
    • South Park Ranger Station: 320 South Highway 285, Fairplay, CO
    • Mail into the Fairplay office with a check or money order prior to tree cutting
  • Required: Permit to cut a tree
  • Recommended: 4-wheel drive vehicle or tire chains

Online permits cannot be used on the Pike National Forest.

For safety reasons, all tree cutting sites entry hours are from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm during the cutting dates.

General rules for cutting your own Christmas tree on a national forest:

  1. Cut a tree with trunk size around 6 inches in diameter (strictly enforced in some areas – some local exceptions may apply)
  2. Bring a handsaw to cut trees – no chainsaws allowed
  3. Use of chainsaws, snowmobiles, ATVs, other off-road vehicles and cutting trees marked with blue paint are strictly PROHIBITED
  4. Cut trees within 4 inches from the ground and below all live limbs - take the whole tree
  5. All pets must be on a leash and under master control (it is recommended to leave pets at home)
  6. No trespassing on private property
  7. Be sure to keep Christmas tree in water when displayed or stored at home
  8. Dress appropriately for winter conditions and walking through the forest

Thinning stands of smaller trees by removing some as Christmas trees reduces competition among all trees, helps reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, and promotes healthier growing conditions for the remaining forest. 

For more information on Christmas tree cutting, additional cutting dates, safety and directions to cutting areas please check the Forest Service website at for details.

The USDA Forest Service is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture that manages 193 million acres of land, roughly the size of Texas. The Rocky Mountain Region includes 17 national forests and seven national grasslands located in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.



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