When planning travel to Mt. Hood Territory, please be aware of current health advisories.
Mt. hood with high clouds as seen from Highway 26 approaching Government Camp from the west.
Lizzie Keenan | 10/01/2018 | 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 tree lot to pick the perfect piece of timber for your home. But, did you know you could cut down your own tree? And not just one from a tree farm. 

In the 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: 

Gather your friends, family, weather appropriate attire (i.e. ugly Christmas sweaters, waterproof boots, any and all flannel), some bungee cords, and a saw, and drive up Highway 26 toward Zigzag Ranger Station.

  • Buy the required $5 tree-cutting permit from a knowledgeable Forest Service ranger at the Zigzag Ranger Station. They will provide 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 for celebratory hot chocolates at AntFarm Cafe and Bakery in Sandy on your way home. 

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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