Planning on cutting down your own Christmas tree? (You’re more admirable than I, but hey, my reliable ol’ 9-foot plastic behemoth does the trick just fine.) 5280 has the deets on what you need to know before you go. But here’s the TL;DR version:
🎄 Permitting: Cutting down trees is allowed in most national forests during the holidays (typically November to December), you just need a permit. Permits range in cost from $5 to $20 depending on the forest — and I’d cough up, because the fine for not having one is $100. You can purchase yours online at recreation.gov.
🎄 Where to go: Some close-to-Denver options include Arapaho National Forest or the Vasquez / Little Vasquez areas near Winter Park (both about a 1.5-hour drive from the city). See a map of all the Colorado forests that allow tree-cutting this time of year.
🎄 What you need:
- Handsaw (the Forest Service doesn’t allow chainsaws)
- Tarp (for wrapping up your precious cargo)
- Sled (for forest-to-car transport)
- Rope (to secure your tree to your car)
- Four-wheel drive vehicle (just trust me on this one)
- Tape measure (your tree’s trunk shouldn’t be more than 6” in diameter)
- A Christmas playlist and a thermos of hot chocolate (optional, but highly recommended)