Cutting a Tree In a National Forest: Our Adventure 1

The first time I heard a friend talk about driving towards the mountains to get a tree, I knew it was something I wanted our family to try. Since before we were married, we’d always gone to the same Christmas Tree Farm each year and although it was a great experience,  I wanted to try something different. I wanted to bundle my kids up in their winter gear, grab a coffee, hopefully see some snow and wander trails, while searching for our tree.DSC_0598I didn’t know what to expect so I called the Ranger Station. I love the people there!  They told us to stop in, by our $10 permit and that they had maps available showing the tree cutting areas.


Heading out on the Baker Lake Hwy, we entered the Mount Baker National Forest and parked at the Shadow of the Sentinels trail.  

Directions: From Interstate 5, exit for Highway 20 and drive east for 17 miles to milepost 82. Then turn left to Baker Lake Road. Head north for 15 miles until you spot the sign on your right for The Shadow of The Sentinels. There is a large old-growth tree cut away section on display at the beginning of the trail.IMG_8516

While walking this boardwalk, hand in hand with my baby, stopping to read the signs to the older kids, I couldn’t believe what an amazing place this is. A light dusting of snow lingered in shaded areas, with promises for more snow soon.DSC_0679 Not only were we out finding our tree, but we were experiencing a new treasure in this area, which always blows me away. I’ve lived in Washington my whole life and still, our family is stumbling upon places that completely thrill us.DSC_0619DSC_0666

We found our perfect tree, but even better, we had a wonderful family day and we discovered a trail we can’t wait to come back and visit again with the kids. When we come back here, we’ll always remember where our tree was growing and the day we came out and brought it home. 

To learn more about Christmas Tree permits, click here or call your local Ranger Station.

And now… is a video I created, to bring you along with us on this adventure. It’s only about 2 minutes long and you’ll want your volume up. Merry Christmas!

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About Angela Strand

Angela is a wife, mama to three little ones and a lifelong Washington State resident. Besides facilitating the NW Healthy Mama website, she loves being involved in her kids' school, hiking with her girlfriends, growing all the things, writing, reading and taking photos.

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