Cutting your own Christmas tree: Everything you need to know about this Colorado tradition

Snow envelopes pine cones on a tree outside Monument, Colo., on Thursday, May 1, 2008. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Snow envelopes pine cones on a tree outside Monument, Colo., on Thursday, May 1, 2008. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — If you’d like to cut your own Christmas tree this year, you’ll find plenty of options in Colorado’s forests. Here’s everything you need to know to partake in this holiday tradition.

First, decide where you want to go:

Woodland Park
Cañon City
Park County
Salida, Buena Vista, or Leadville


Tree cutting near Woodland Park


When and where to get a permit

  • Colorado Springs: Permits are available at the Pikes Peak Ranger District office at 601 South Weber Street in Colorado Springs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through December 16.
  • Woodland Park: Permits are available at the east parking lot of Woodland Park Middle School on the corner of Rampart Range Road and Kelley Road from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. December 3, 4, 10, and 11. Pay with cash or check only.
  • The cost is $10 per permit.

When and where to go

  • The tree-cutting area is about 10,000 acres, and is located northeast of Woodland Park on Rampart Range Road, about three miles from Woodland Park Middle School. You’ll get a map with your permit.
  • Trees may be cut from November 28 through December 16.
  • The maximum tree size allowed is six inches in diameter at the base of the tree.

What to bring

  • Prepare for winter driving conditions. Roads may not be plowed.
  • Bring a hand saw or axe. Chainsaws are not allowed.

For more information

  • Call 719-636-1602.

Tree cutting near Cañon City


When and where to get a permit

  • Cañon City: Permits are available at the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office/San Carlos Ranger District at 3028 East Main Street in Cañon City from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday until December 24.
  • Salida: Permits are available at the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area Visitors Center at 307 West Sackett Avenue in Salida from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until December 24.
  • Pueblo: Permits are available are available at the USFS office at 2840 Kachina Drive in Pueblo from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday until December 24.
  • Westcliffe and La Veta: Permits are available at the USFS offices in Westcliffe and La Veta on an appointment-only basis. Call 719-783-2079 (Westcliffe) or 719-742-3681 (La Veta) for more information.
  • The cost is $10 per permit.
  • There’s a limit of two permits per household.

When and where to go

  • Tree-cutting areas are spread throughout the San Carlos Ranger District and BLM lands within the Royal Gorge Field Office. You’ll get a map with your permit.
  • Trees may be cut from now until December 31.
  • The maximum tree size allowed is six inches in diameter at the base of the tree.

What to bring

  • Prepare for winter driving conditions. Roads may not be plowed.
  • Bring a hand saw or axe. Chainsaws are not allowed.

For more information


Tree cutting in Park County


When and where to get a permit

  • By mail: Fill out this form and send it with payment to:
    • South Park Ranger District
      Attn: Christmas Tree Permit
      P.O. Box 219
      Fairplay CO 80440
  • Fairplay: Permits are available at the U.S. Forest Service office at 320 U.S. Highway 285 in Fairplay through December 23 at the following times:
    • From 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
    • From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays
    • From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. November 27 and December 4
  • Lake George: Permits are available at the Lake George Fire Department at 8951 County Road 90 at the following times:
    • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. December 2
    • 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. November 27 and December 3
  • The cost is $10 per permit.
  • There’s a limit of five permits per household.

When and where to go

  • Tree-cutting areas are spread throughout the South Park Ranger District, near the towns of Alma, Fairplay, and Lake George. Look for a map when you get your permit, or find one here.
  • Trees may be cut anytime until December 24.
  • The maximum tree size allowed is six inches in diameter at the base of the tree.

What to bring

  • Prepare for winter driving conditions. Roads may not be plowed.
  • Bring a hand saw or axe. Chainsaws are not allowed.

For more information


Tree cutting near Salida, Buena Vista, and Leadville


When and where to get a permit

  • By mail: Send a check or money order, along with a note listing how many tags you need, to:
    • U.S. Forest Service
      Attn: Christmas Tree Permit
      5575 Cleora Road
      Salida, CO 81201
  • Salida: Permits are available at the Salida Ranger District at 5575 Cleora Street in Salida from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Leadville: Permits are available at the Leadville Ranger District at 810 Front Street in Leadville from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • The cost is $10 per permit.
  • There’s a limit of two permits per family.

When and where to go

  • Tree-cutting areas are spread throughout the Salida and Leadville Ranger Districts. You’ll get a map with your permit.
  • Trees may be cut anytime until December 23.
  • The maximum tree size allowed is seven inches in diameter at the base of the tree.

What to bring

  • Prepare for winter driving conditions. Roads may not be plowed.
  • Bring a hand saw or axe. Chainsaws are not allowed.

For more information

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