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Mt. hood with high clouds as seen from Highway 26 approaching Government Camp from the west.
Lizzie Keenan | 09/27/2021 | Christmas Trees, Villages of Mt. Hood

Paul Bunyan Your Way To A Merry Christmas

Mt Hood and the Mt. Hood National Forest deep in winter snow.

For those who celebrate Christmas, the Christmas tree is often the centerpiece of your family's festivities. Many family holiday traditions include going to your local Christmas tree farm to pick the perfect piece of timber for your home. But did you know you could cut down your own tree in the wild?

In Mt. Hood National Forest you can channel your inner Paul Bunyan, put on your merriest plaid and head into the forest to chop down your very own Christmas tree. Here are the steps to take to complete the experience: 

Wear weather appropriate attire (i.e. ugly Christmas sweaters, waterproof boots, any and all flannel), pack some bungee cords, and a saw, and drive up Highway 26 towards the forest.

  • Buy the required $5 tree-cutting permit online here. This page also provides you with a map and directions on the legal places to chop down a tree.

  • Enter the woods (following all the rules outlined on your permit) and let the trees speak to you. Does the wide-bottomed Douglas fir inspire holiday spirit? Or maybe a quirky Charlie Brown-esque pine begs to be taken home. You will know when you find it.

  • Chop, chop (or more likely saw, saw).

  • Secure the tree to your car and tag it with your permit.

  • Now add one more bungee cord across the top, because the last thing you want is to see a flying tree in your rear view mirror on your way home.

  • Stop in Sandy for celebratory drinks and eats for your ride home. Some of our suggestions include hot crepes from Le Happy, ooey gooey pastries and hot chocolate from Tollgate Inn Bakery or a beer or hard cider at Bunsenbrewer or Boring Brewing

Unsure about braving the forest? There are a number of U-cut tree farms in Mt. Hood Territory. Check to see how to prepare and plan for your visit. 

Lizzie Keenan has the lucky job of promoting Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge region of Oregon everyday. When not at work, she enjoys doing yoga with alpacas, taking selfies with llamas, and eating avocados. 

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