Start a new family holiday tradition this year by cutting a native Christmas tree from a forest just 30 minutes outside Denver. On Saturday, December 5, Golden Gate Canyon State Park will hold a Christmas Tree Cut and Holiday Open House. The park is offering 250 permits (through a lottery) for cutting a Christmas tree in selected areas of the park. The permit cost is $35 per tree, with a limit of one permit per household. Here’s how it works:
This year, Christmas tree permits will be issued on a lottery system. The entry period for the permit draw will be open from November 1 through November 15, so mark your calendars!
Applications must be submitted online by visiting this website. No applications will be accepted over the phone, or in person.
A random drawing will be held and the chosen applicants will be notified by email the week of November 16.
On Saturday, December 5, applicants chosen for a permit can visit the park between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to choose and cut their tree.
A valid park pass is required for each vehicle (either an annual state parks pass or a $9 daily pass), which can be purchased online here or at the park’s self-service station (exact change required).
The tree permits are valid rain or snow, and no refunds will be given for bad weather.
Areas for both 4-wheel and 2-wheel drive vehicles will be available, and some hiking will be required. Permit holders with high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicles can use the pre-selected backcountry area and, in the case of bad weather, must have chains available for use.
Access to the backcountry area will be limited to 9 a.m. through 2 p.m. All other vehicles will be required to stay in the designated parking areas along the main park roadway. Access to these areas will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Trees must be cut with hand tools, such as a handsaw or an axe. Chainsaws and power saws are strictly prohibited. Tree selections include Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine, Lodge pole pine and Rocky Mountain juniper.
By cutting a Christmas tree, the permit holders will assist Golden Gate Canyon State Park in thinning overcrowded and dense vegetation. This selective thinning will improve the overall forest health and reduce the impacts of future wildfires.