Christmas tree permits for the Pike-San Isabel National Forests & Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands are available to purchase online through Recreation.gov.
Permits for the Leadville, Salida, San Carlos, South Park and South Platte Ranger Districts are currently on sale. Sales for the Pikes Peak Ranger District will begin November 25, 2022.
“I have fond memories of taking my daughter, who is now fifteen years old, to cut a Christmas tree when she was still learning to walk,” said acting Deputy Forest and Grassland Supervisor Brian Banks. “Now she will be driving us,” Banks said. “It is a wonderful opportunity to spend time outdoors while helping the Forest Service maintain resilient landscapes.”
To purchase a Christmas tree permit, create an account on Recreation.gov or log into an existing account. The cost is $12.50 per tree for the San Carlos, Salida and Leadville Ranger Districts and $22.50 per tree for the South Park, South Platte and Pikes Peak Ranger Districts (including a $2.50 online transaction fee). The Recreation.gov site contains maps of designated cutting areas as well as tips for selecting and cutting trees.
Permitted dates and areas vary so it is important to carefully read all the information prior to purchasing.
When venturing out to cut a Christmas tree in the forest, bring a printed copy of the permit along with a paper map as cell service may be spotty or unavailable. Keep in mind that Forest Service roads are generally not plowed and some roads close seasonally. Handsaws and axes are the only tools allowed – chainsaws are prohibited. Bring warm layers, a rope to secure the tree to the vehicle, and have fun.