How to get a permit to cut your own tree in the national forest

If you’d like to cut your own Christmas tree, you can now get permits for the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests. Permits are available now through Dec. 24.

Details from the Forest Service:

Cutting areas are located within national forest lands in the eastern portions of Pierce, King, Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties. Maps and information about cutting areas are provided where permits are sold at ranger stations and the public service centers.

Permits are also sold at REI’s Alderwood Mall store daily and the Outdoor Recreation Information Center located inside the downtown Seattle REI store. Permits cost $10 each, one tree per permit, with a tree height limit of 12 feet. Trees taller than 12 feet require a tall tree permit for $20. REI locations sell only the $10/12-feet and under Christmas tree permits. The permits are for 2014 season and are nonrefundable.

Cash, credit cards and checks are accepted at Forest Service stations, the Outdoor Recreation Information Center in the Seattle REI and the Alderwood Mall REI stores. Glacier and Verlot Public Service Centers only accept cash and checks. Forest Service offices and REI stores are closed Thanksgiving Day. Forest Service offices may close early Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve; please call ahead for operating hours.

Plan to purchase a parking permit if the trip includes parking in a designated Sno-Park lot. Get a tree early before snow falls as most trees are reached by narrow, unplowed mountain roads. High-clearance vehicles are often required for forest roads along with tire chains and a shovel. Check ranger stations for road and weather information or look here.

Here’s where to get a permit in our area:

Darrington Ranger Station, 1405 Emens Ave. N., Darrington; 360-436-1155


  • Monday to Friday 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 29, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.
  • Dec. 6, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.
  • Dec. 13, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Verlot Public Service Center, 33515 Mountain Loop Highway, Granite Falls; 360-691-7791


  • Nov. 28-30, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.
  • Dec. 6-7, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.
  • Dec. 13-14, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Skykomish Ranger Station, 74920 NE Stevens Pass Highway, Skykomish; 360-677-2414


  • Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 29, 8 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 6, 8 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.

Seattle REI, Outdoor Recreation Information Center, 222 Yale Ave. N., Seattle; 206-470-4060


Daily 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

REI Alderwood Store, 3000 184th St. SW, Lynnwood; 425-640-6200


  • Monday to Saturday 10 a.m.- 9 p.m.
  • Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

For even more locations, go here.

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