You might be sitting by the pool today, but close by, it’s getting ready to snow—and your mountain home awaits.
In many big cities, a 45-minute car ride only gets you across town; in Las Vegas, it takes you several climate zones away, from desert surroundings to ski slopes, the Spring Mountains, and the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Mount Charleston, a 45-minute drive from the city, is home to incredible snow-capped perches, ultimate seclusion, and temperatures around 30 degrees cooler than Vegas, no matter the season.
Whether you’re looking for a vacation home or an ultra-private residence within reasonable commuting distance of the city’s businesses and amenities, you can truly live life at the top here. “It is, as far as I know, the highest house in Nevada,” Ennis Jordan says of the luxurious log cabin known as Bristlecone Heights that he built and owns. Located on Mount Charleston at an elevation of more than 9,000 feet, the 4,260-square-foot, three-bedroom house on 4.64 acres is half a mile away from any other home. “All the land that touches my land is national forest,” says Jordan, who has listed Bristlecone Heights, at 4910 Cougar Ridge Trail, for $2.2 million with Kristen Routh-Silberman of Synergy Sotheby’s International Realty. “I’ve got 80- to 100-mile views from up here, 270 degrees of views.”
Living the high life: Bristlecone Heights is perched at over 9,000 feet above sea level.
Jordan can see the lake and mountains, all the way to the Stratosphere and North Las Vegas. “As nice as the home is, it really is as much about the surrounding views and the seclusion, the smell of the pine, and the fantastic sunrises,” Jordan adds. And the family-friendly Lee Canyon ski resort, with snowboarding lessons for preschoolers and plenty of adventures for advanced skiers, is less than eight miles away. Routh-Silberman sees similarities between Mount Charleston and the tony ski destination of Aspen, Colorado, which also brings in summer visitors who crave a temperate climate.
“Just like you see with the beautiful estates in Aspen, where people love the ability to ski in the winter, it turns out they’re also in demand in the summer,” she says. Compared with ski communities like Aspen, Big Bear, or Lake Tahoe, however, Mount Charleston feels rural and under-developed, and that’s the point. You have Vegas with its glitz and functional commerce a leisurely drive away, but you come to Mount Charleston to enjoy the air and feel at peace.
The great room at Bristlecone Heights; 323 Mont Blanc, on the market for a mere $849,000.
“It’s like flipping a switch, transporting to another world or environment in as long as it takes to get out of most towns,” says Garry Tomashowski of Mt. Charleston Realty. “The natural environment is what we’re all drawn to. If you have a home in Vegas and a house here, it’s like a second full-time home because it’s so user-friendly. You can wake up and say, ‘Honey, I want to go to the cabin tonight,’ and then go to work the next morning.” Despite the proximity to Vegas, Mount Charleston “truly is a small market,” Tomashowski adds. “It’s not subject to the Las Vegas market.”
There are about 400 homes in the community and maybe 25 to 30 on the market at any given time, says Tomashowski, whose recent listings include the 1,800-square-foot, $489,000 chalet at 4137 Matterhorn Way and a 4,439-square-foot, $999,000 stunner at 253 Ski Trail Road. “Mount Charleston is a small bedroom community.” Tomashowski says. “Sure, you don’t have a 7-Eleven down the street. But we’re selling for the purity of the experience and letting Vegas take care of the other needs. It’s a passion-driven market,” And this is 2016, so you can choose the level of isolation you want.
Bristlecone Heights, for instance, is billed as “off-the-grid,” but it has DirecTV, Wi-Fi, Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, and “all of the typical features that might be in homes in the Ridges,” says Jordan, who often heads to Vegas for the day and sees friends before heading home to his retreat in the evening. He’s got adjacent land that’s “already set up for a heliport,” which could be a big selling point for a high-flying buyer. But he might also just keep that parcel and build another home on the range.