Day Trip: Pick your own pinon tree for Christmas |

Day Trip: Pick your own pinon tree for Christmas

Nancy Hamlett

Why settle for a droopy Christmas tree when you can kick-start your Christmas spirit with a fresh cut pinon pine?

Pack up the kids, the dogs and sleds. Bring the hot chocolate and snacks, or plan a tailgate party.

Christmas tree hunting in Northern Nevada is a day trip you don’t want to miss.

Permits for a pinon pine, Nevada’s state tree, cost only $5 each, and you’ll bag a tree with a heady pine scent. Bushy, thick boughs are guaranteed to hold all of your ornaments, and when properly cared for, this tree won’t dry out until well after Christmas.

Unlike other trips featured in The Record-Courier, this say trip requires some special equipment. Layers of warm clothes are a must, as fickle temperatures can fluctuate during the day, and hats, gloves and waterproof boots are strongly advised. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended as the roads leading into the cutting areas are rocky and rough, and the BLM also suggests that tree hunters start out early in the morning when the roads are still frozen.

With the recent precipitation, the secondary roads will be slick with mud. Don’t forget a hatchet, hand saw or chain saw to cut down your prize tree, and rope is a necessity is you need to tie to tree to the top of your vehicle to transport it.

The BLM advises that you should always expect the unexpected on a day trip into the mountains. Inform a friend or relative where you plan to go and when you expect to return and take emergency supplies.

If you get stuck or lost, you’ll be grateful that you packed food and water, a flashlight, first aid kit, blankets and waterproof matches. It seems like a lot of planning, but a Christmas tree day trip yields huge rewards.

The biggest reward is an exciting, fun filled day with your loved ones.

Tree cutting permits are available at the Bureau of Land Management office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, and they cost $5 each. The offices are open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5p.m. Saturday through December 16. Contact the BLM at 885-6000.Tree Cutting Areas: Four prime pinon pine tree areas are managed by the BLM. Precise maps and directions are available when you purchase a permit at the BLM Office.

The Carson City-Brunswick Area is accessed off U.S. 50 East in Carson City or by continuing up Johnson Lane to Sunrise Pass Road.

The Jack Wright Summit Area lies north of State Route 208 near Holbrook Junction in Douglas County.

The Yerington Area can be accessed by traveling over Sunrise Pass to the east side of the Pinenut Mountains. However, with the recent snow, the area would be best accessed through Smith Valley.

The Carson City-Como Area is accessed through Dayton.