Cut your own Christmas tree: Where and how
For generations, families from across the Front Range have made a tradition out of Christmas tree hunting in the mountains west of Denver. A trip to the Sulphur Ranger District offers a memorable holiday experience. Combined with any of Grand County’s activities and events, visitors can make a full-day or even a full-weekend event out of holiday tree shopping. Christmas tree permits are available for $10 per tree and are limited to a maximum of five permits per person. Permits must be purchased in advance.
Your permit allows you to cut Christmas trees from designated areas on the Sulphur Ranger District from Nov. 1 through Jan. 6. Most roads will be closed to motor vehicles after Nov. 20, but snowmobiles or skis may be used to access most areas.
Special Elk Creek Cutting Area
Buy your permits in advance. No permits will be available for purchase at the gates of the cutting area. Permits are available seven days a week at Murdoch’s, Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce and Granby Ace Hardware. See hours listed below.
This special cutting area is open for a short window: Dec. 2 through Dec. 9. Roads will be plowed to allow one way traffic of motor vehicles equipped with four-wheel-drive or chained tires from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., entrance gate closes at 2 p.m. Snowmobiles and ATVs are not allowed in the cutting area. From Fraser travel west on County Road 72 to the cutting area entrance.
Where to Buy a Permit
Winter Park chamber of Commerce — 78841 U.S. Highway 40 in Winter Park; open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Country Ace Hardware — 627 W. Agate in Granby; open Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply — 541 Zerex St. in Fraser; open Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sulphur Ranger District — 9 Ten Mile Drive in Granby; open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Grand Lake Chamber — 14700 US Highway 34 in Grand Lake; open 7 days a week, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
What to bring
Christmas tree hunters must bring their own handsaw or ax (chainsaws are prohibited); gear for walking through deep snow and winter clothing. Sun protection, water, warm drinks and snacks are recommended. Additionally straps, strong cords, a tarp, a sled and work gloves help when transporting and loading the tree.
Christmas trees are also available near Red Feather Lakes west of Fort Collins on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District.
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