Nov 23, 2022 - News

Christmas tree permits at Colorado national forests on sale

A permit holder drags a newly cut Christmas tree through the snow near Arapaho National Forest. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

With the holiday season in full swing, the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree has officially begun.

Driving the news: For those looking to harvest their own tree in some of the most scenic spots in the state, permits are opening up at several national forests across Colorado.

Where to go:

πŸŽ„ Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests
  • Permits: $20 per tree; up to 5 trees allowed
  • Harvest locations: Canyon Lakes and Sulphur Ranger Districts
  • Permitting cutting dates: Through Jan. 7, 2023, but varies based on location
  • Size limitations: Entire tree must be cut down at ground level
πŸŽ„ Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
  • Permits: $8 per tree; up to 5 trees allowed
  • Harvest locations: Grand Valley, Gunnison, Norwood, Ouray and Paonia Ranger Districts
  • Permitting cutting dates: Through Dec. 31
  • Size limitations: Tree height β€” 20 feet max.; stump height β€”Β 6 inches; stump diameter β€” 6 inches max
πŸŽ„ Pike and San Isabel National Forests
  • Permits: $10-20, based on location; between 2-5 trees allowed, depending on site
  • Harvest locations: South Platte, Pikes Peak, South Park, Salida, Leadville, and San Carlos Ranger Districts
  • Permitting cutting dates: Through Dec. 31, but varies based on location
  • Size limitations: Tree height β€”Β 15 feet max; stump height β€”Β 6 inches; stump diameter β€”Β 6 inches max
πŸŽ„ Rio Grande National Forest
  • Permits: $8 per tree; up to 5 trees allowed
  • Harvest locations: Forest-wide, in designated areas
  • Permitting cutting dates: Through Dec. 31
  • Size limitations: Tree height β€”Β 20 feet max; tree diameter β€”Β 5 inches max at shoulder height; stump height β€”Β 6 inches max
πŸŽ„ San Juan National Forest
  • Permits: $8 per tree; up to 5 trees allowed (Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir off limits)
  • Harvest locations: Forest-wide, in designated areas
  • Permitting cutting dates: Through Dec. 31
  • Size limitations: Tree height β€”Β 20 feet max; stump height β€”Β 6 inches max
πŸŽ„ White River National Forest
  • Permits: $10 per tree; up to 5 trees allowed (Colorado Blue Spruce off limits)
  • Harvest locations: Forest-wide, in designated areas
  • Permitting cutting dates: Through Dec. 31
  • Size limitations: Tree height β€”Β 15 feet max; stump height β€” 6 inches max; stump diameter β€”Β 6 inches max.
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