For generations, families from across Colorado have made a tradition of cutting their Christmas tree in the National Forests.
Christmas tree permit sales go through January 6, 2020 and are available for $20 per tree. You can get your permit online or pick up a permit at one of the following locations:
- Country Ace Hardware
- Fireside Market & Eatery
- Sulphur Ranger District Office
- Winter Park & Fraser Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center
The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests is one of thirteen National Forests participating in a pilot program, for the second year, offering permits online at openforest.fs.usda.gov. Christmas tree permits purchased online must be printed to be valid.
Some tips to make your cutting experience better include:
- Check the weather before heading out.
- Ensure you have plenty of layers to keep you warm.
- Be sure to have the tools necessary to cut your tree and know that chainsaws are not allowed. This includes a handsaw or ax and something to tie down your tree securely.
- Cut trees only within the national forest boundary and respect surrounding private property.
- Snowmobiles, motorcycles, and ATVs are prohibited in the Elk Creek cutting area.
- Four-wheel drive or appropriate traction devices (chains or similar, not tire socks) are required on all vehicles.
- Roads are one-way and narrow in Elk Creek. Use caution and drive slowly.
The Elk Creek Cutting area near Fraser and Winter Park will be open from December 1-8, 2019. You must purchase your permit prior to arriving at the cutting area. Roads will be plowed to allow one way traffic of motor vehicles equipped with four-wheel-drive, all-wheel drive, or chained tires to enter from 9 am to 2 pm. Area gates close at 4 pm. Snowmobiles and ATVs are not allowed in the cutting area. From Fraser, travel west on County Road 72, take the left fork and continue on to the cutting area entrance.