GOLDEN, Colo. — Golden Gate Canyon State Park is offering up a limited number of permits for those eager to cut down their own Christmas tree this holiday season. 

In a news release distributed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the park announced a lottery system where 250 permits will be issued for cutting down a Christmas tree in selected areas of the park. 

Tree selections include: Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine, Lodge pole pine and Rocky Mountain juniper. The permit costs is $35 per tree, with a limit of two permits per household. 

From Nov. 1 through Nov. 12, those interested in applying for a permit can do so at this link.  Applications will not be accepted over the phone, in person or at the Golden Gate Canyon State Park visitor center. 

A random drawing to select the permit winners will be held on Nov. 13. Those selected will be notified no later than Nov. 15, according to the park. Participants must then call the visitor center at 303-582-3707 to pay for each tree permit by 4 p.m. on Nov. 22. 

On Dec. 7, the park will host a Christmas Tree Cut and Holiday Open House. Prior to going out and cutting their tree, participants that purchased tree permits must check in at the visitor center to pick up their permit. 

All trees must be cut with hand tools, such as a handsaw or an axe. Chainsaws and power saws are prohibited. The Forest Service recommends you bring the following to be prepared:

  • Handsaw or ax
  • Winter clothing
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Water, warm drinks and snacks
  • Sled for pulling tree
  • Straps, cord, tarp and work gloves
  • Straps, strong cord, tarp and work gloves for loading tree on vehicle
  • Vehicle safety kit: shovel, blanket, first aid kit
  • Full tank of gas
  • Chains, if you don’t have four-wheel drive

"By cutting a Christmas tree, the permit holders will assist Golden Gate Canyon State Park in thinning overcrowded and dense vegetation," Golden Gate Canyon State Park officials said. "This selective thinning will improve the overall forest health and reduce the impacts of future wildfires."

Golden Gate Canyon State Park is located about 30 miles northwest of Denver in Jefferson and Gilpin counties. 

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