(Updated for 2014) Have you ever hiked into the woods in early December, trudging through several feet of snow to chop down your own Christmas tree?
Have you ever done it in tennis shoes?
I have, and my former father-in-law never failed to remind me that girls from California should seek footwear advice from a local before heading to the Rockies to chop down a tree in December. (Ex-father in law, you see.) He took great enjoyment from reminding me of that little faux pas.
Which is sort of like my father asking me if I remembered to turn on the oven whenever I’m cooking a turkey. Ha ha!
Colorado offers some lovely places to chop down your own tree. I’ve chosen the top 4 closest to Denver. Most are less than 2 hours away, many even closer. It’s really a treat to hike out into the forest, find just the right tree and haul it back to the car – only to discover that it’s actually 12 feet tall and your ceilings are 8 feet. Beware – the trees look a lot smaller in the forest than they do in your living room.
We went into the national forest at Red Feather Lakes to get our tree. That was fun, good for thinning the forests, and you get a really natural organic tree. Plus, the price is right! Typically $10 for a permit.
1. Sulphur Ranger District (Winter Park / Fraser Area)
Families from the Front Range have been cutting down Christmas trees in the mountains west of Denver for generations. A trip to the Arapaho National Forest offers a memorable holiday experience. Visitors can make this a full-day or full-weekend event if they want to hit the slopes at Winter Park Resort or maybe give the historic Fraser Tubing Hill a try!
2. Canyon Lakes / Red Feather Lakes (Fort Collins Area)
Christmas tree cutting on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District will be open from December 6-14, 2014. Visitors have been cutting Christmas trees in this area for more than 30 years and they never run out of permits or trees! More than 3,000 trees are cut annually in this area.
3. South Platte Ranger District (Buffalo Creek Area)
Christmas tree permits are available for this location at the Morrison Office at 19316 Goddard Ranch Court. Some of the cutting dates are already sold out so don’t delay!
4. Pikes Peak Ranger District (Colorado Springs Area)
Near Woodland Park, CO, this is a great location to cut your own tree for those of you south of Denver.
Best wishes from my family to yours for a fun and safe holiday season. Enjoy your Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s. Remember that for your Denver Real Estate needs, I’m just a click away.