Each year, the US Forest Service allows people to cut down their own Christmas trees in Colorado, but where, when, and how you do it is important. The rules vary from region to region, including the dates that chopping is allowed and how much a permitting costs.

There are 11 different national forests in Colorado and two national grasslands that are generally open for chopping. While dates vary depending on where you’re at, most are expected to run from December 3rd to 11th, according to the US Forest Service. You’ll find a map of where each national forest and grassland is located below, but you’ll want to follow this link to find information about the specific spot you’re headed. Once you’re on this page, you’re able to click on each region to find specific rules and regulations.

Permits tend to cost $5 to $20 dollars, though certain specials run on an annual basis. For instance, each 4th grader generally gets one free Holiday tree permit as part of the “Every Kid in a Park” initiative. One is required to bring the 4th grader to a US Forest Service District Office in order to obtain this permit.

If you’re on the Front Range and looking for a tree, the easiest spots to find them are Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests (Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins area) or Pike and San Isabel National Forests (Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Cañon City area).

If you’re planning on chopping down your own tree for the holidays this year, have fun, but as always, make sure you follow the stated rules on the trail and always leave no trace.

Map of National Forests from US Forest Service
Map of National Forests and Grasslands in Colorado. Follow this link to find specific rules and regulations that pertain to chopping down trees in each region. Media Credit: US Forest Service website via Screenshot.

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