White River National Forest

maroon Bells scenic photo of peaks with greenery and the lake.

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Graphic: Annual Pass Image. Select to view recreation pass information.
Plan a Visit
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White River National Forest is the most visited national forest in the nation encompassing 2.3 million acres. With 11 ski resorts, eight Wilderness areas, 10 mountain peaks over 14,000 feet and 2,500 miles of trails, this forest is a place where you can press play on adventure and inspiration!

Christmas tree permits now available

Christmas tree cutting permits for the White River National Forest will be available on www.recreation.gov beginning Nov. 14 and from local White River National Forest offices and local vendors beginning Nov. 15.

Permits are $10, with an additional $2.50 fee if you purchase on-line. Trees must be for personal use and there is a limit of five permits per person.

Visit here for complete details, including vendor locations and the rules and regulations for Christmas tree cutting.

National image of mother and child gathering


Winter Recreation

The White River National Forest is a world-renown winter recreation destination for snowmobiling, snowshoeing, resort skiing and riding, backcountry skiing and Nordic skiing. People recreating in the winter need to be aware and prepared. Please see our Winter and Backcountry Safety page.

Rangers on snowmobiles check out a great view on Vail Pass            Skiers follow a trail through deep snow

Sweetwater Lake 

The White River National Forest, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Eagle Valley Land Trust are working together to manage Sweetwater Lake. Much of the property around the lake was private land and was recently acquired by the U.S. Forest Service through the Land and Water Conservation Fund as part of the Great American Outdoors Act. For the latest on Sweetwater Lake, visit the Eagle Valley Land Trust Sweetwater Lake page.

Sweetwater Lake in autumn

Recent News


Travel Management

UTV driving through a mud bog on the Battlement Jeep Trail

Find Motor Vehicle Maps and more information about traveling on the forest.

Current Conditions