Sure, buying your Christmas tree at a corner lot, picking one up from the front of King Soopers or even opting for an an artificial one from the holiday section at Target is easy — or varying degrees of easy, anyway. But there’s nothing quite like cutting your own Christmas tree. Here are some options for Christmas tree cutting in Durango:
Christmas Tree Cutting in San Juan National Forest
You can cut a Christmas tree in San Juan National Forest for the cost of a permit: a mere $8. Not too shabby, eh? Each permit allows you to cut one tree up to 20 feet tall until Dec. 31. Bonus: Every fourth grade students can get a free permit if they have a valid “Every Kid in a Park” pass or a paper voucher that can be downloaded online. (Aforementioned fourth-grader needs to be present.)
National Forest permits are now on sale at several locations around Southwest Colorado. In Durango, Christmas tree cutting permits are available at:
- San Juan Public Lands Center, 15 Burnett Court (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Mon.-Fri.)
- Kroegers Ace Hardware, 8 Town Plaza, Durango (Open daily, hours vary)
Durango Christmas Tree Train
By far the coolest way for you to cut Christmas trees in Durango is on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad’s Christmas Tree Train. The special Durango train is scheduled for Nov. 26-27, Dec. 3-4 and Dec. 10-11. The train will depart the downtown Durango depot and head to Cascade Canyon wye (the turnaround spot). There, passengers will disembark and head out into the surrounding San Juan National Forest to find their perfect Christmas tree.
The rules for Christmas-tree cutting are the same, except the San Juan Mountains Association will be on board to sell the necessary tree-cutting permits, which will still be $8 in addition to the train fare. Cutting overgrowth of small white firs will help reduce wildfire danger along the railroad corridor. SJMA and Firewise of Southwest Colorado volunteers along with the Durango train staff will help passengers choose and cut their own holiday tree at the Cascade Wye.
Hand saws will be provided, and trees will be loaded onto a special boxcar for the return trip home.When you’re done finding your perfect tree, you can warm up with a hot beverage by the fireplace at Cascade Canyon Wye or stroll to the footbridge over the Animas River.
You must book your reservation by phone at 1-888-872-4607 for the special Christmas tree trains.
Make it a Winter Wonderland getaway and stay with us at the Durango Quality Inn, consistently rated among the top Durango hotels. We’re right on Main Avenue in the heart of Durango and are surrounded by winter activities. Bring your winter gear for daytime excursions and get snug and cozy at night in the Quality Inn Durango. Book your room today!