Permits are now available to cut your own Christmas tree in the national forest, with three options: online at http://Recreation.gov; at some Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest offices; and from local vendors. Permits purchased online have to be printed to be valid and must be with you when removing your tree.
Permits may be purchased in person from the Chelan, Entiat, Methow Valley, Wenatchee River, and Cle Elum Ranger District offices. Locally, permits are available at Pardners Mini Market in Winthrop, and Hanks’ Harvest Foods and Hank’s Mini Mart in Twisp.
Christmas tree permits cost $5 each (if purchased online there is an additional $2.50 charged for the reservation/transaction fee). Each tree permit allows a family to cut one tree, with a tree height limit of 15 feet, or dig a small live transplant tree. Permits are limited to two permits per household.
The permits are non-refundable and are only good on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Christmas trees cannot be harvested in wilderness areas, campgrounds, developed recreation areas, or tree plantations.
Free tree permits are available to fourth-graders as part of the national Every Kid Outdoors initiative. Fourth-graders with a valid Every Kid Outdoors pass can get one free holiday tree cutting permit from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
High clearance 4-wheel drive vehicles are recommended for driving on national forest roads during the winter months. Check conditions ahead of time, as many forest roads are already closed due to early snow.