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Since about 1998, my family has gone up into the mountains to cut down our Christmas tree. We've loaded up our Jeep Grand Cherokee with a saw, rope, hot chocolate and Christmas music and made the trip up to the Red Feather Lakes to get a fresh-from-the forest Christmas tree.

To get to the cutting area from Fort Collins take US Highway 287 for 21 miles north to Livermore. At Livermore turn left onto County Road 74E (Red Feather Lakes Road), following the road for 16 miles. Turn left onto County Road 68C (Boy Scout Road) for seven miles. Signs or Forest Service personnel will direct you into the area. 

The cutting area is open daily, but on the weekend, Smokey Bear comes to visit. Our family always gets a picture with Smokey Bear, and Saturday was no exception. 

The cutting area opened last week; Sunday, December 15 is the last weekend the cutting area is open. Permits cost $10 and are available at the US Forest Service offices in: 

  • Fort Collins: 2150 Centre Avenue, Building E
  • Boulder: 2140 Yarmouth Avenue
  • Greeley: 660 "O” Street 

During the weekend, permits may be purchased at the cuttting site.

The area is rugged, and a 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended. 

For more information, visit The US Forest Service Christmas Tree Cutting page