Once upon a time, the words “log cabin in the woods” brought to mind a rustic getaway built from rough-hewn logs, with a fireplace inside and an outhouse in the back.
But now that rustic chic has gone upscale, the humble wooden cottage has given way to the multimillion-dollar wooden lodge. These luxe properties offer high-end amenities like screening rooms, music rooms with grand pianos, wine cellars, chef’s kitchens with double islands, and even smart home systems that you can operate from your phone.
About the only thing these opulent abodes have in common with their humble predecessors is their street addresses. Think countrified names like Frying Pan Road, Possum Kingdom, Lariat Road, and Rustic Canyon. And they’re still found out in the woods, among trees that mirror the logs in the walls. Come with us on a tour of some of the sweetest private mountain lodges you’ll ever see.
The most expensive cabin we’ve seen lately sits smack dab in the middle of a mountainous area of Los Angeles known as Rustic Canyon, between Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades.
Modern or Mediterranean-style homes are the norm in this area, so this cabin is a refreshing anomaly. The neighborhood-which once served as a bohemian retreat for Hollywood icons such as Walt Disney, Clark Gable, and Will Rogers-is dotted with 1920s cabins from movie sets.
Owners Marla and Larry Butler wanted to preserve the California coastal-meets-country lifestyle by constructing a 6,195-square-foot estate on a property that once housed one of these cabins. They used original materials from the cabin, such as the stones that now surround the grand fireplace.
The split-log framing is made of fallen lodgepole pines from Montana. Elsewhere in the home, original furniture and several light fixtures, windows, and a double Dutch door, have also been incorporated. There are even original cartoons of the neighborhood’s pioneers, including Rogers and Harry Haldeman.
The new home, with its six bedrooms and 5.5 baths, was completed in 2014.
Don’t let the main cabin exterior fool you-there are 7,207 square feet of living space in what could be described as an Alpine village in Island Park, ID, near Yellowstone National Park. The main cabin was built in 2003 and comes fully furnished, from the china to the grand piano.
It also features a theater room with a stage, a chef’s kitchen with an indoor grill and barbecue, a game room with an ornate billiard table that will remind you of an old saloon, plus six bedrooms, all powered by a geothermal heat pump. It’s the perfect luxury take on an Old West adventure.
Located almost halfway between Vail and Aspen, this property includes 118.93 acres of forested land. There’s hiking, Alpine skiing, and fishing-the latter in your own recirculating pond or the nearby Ruedi Reservoir. There’s also a large workshop where you can tinker with your snowmobiles.
The cabin has four bedrooms and 3.5 baths, with fireplaces in the family room, bedrooms, and kitchen. The mountain views from almost every window are stunning.
Located near Telluride, CO, this posh property allows owners to live in luxury while they attend the world-famous film festival in the fall, or hit the slopes in the winter. There’s a ski run just a short way down the drive and across the street. The potential rental income from discerning vacationers could cover monthly payments and then some.
Spring and summer in the lush woods are no hardship, either. The retreat has four bedrooms, 4.5 baths, a living room with a fireplace and vaulted ceiling, a chef’s kitchen, and an office/living/bunk space in the loft. There’s also a spacious caretaker’s unit.
Everything is bigger in Texas, and this log “cabin” is no exception. It sits on Paradise Point in the town of Possum Kingdom Lake. Though the town’s name may sound a little creepy, there is nothing odd about this waterfront home in a planned community that includes equestrian activities, tennis, volleyball, a skeet range, softball, a restaurant, and a marina.
The luxury home has five bedrooms, six full baths, and two half-baths in 7,805 square feet of space. There are unique, high-quality finishes throughout. The rooms are big enough to herd cattle, if you weren’t worried about them gouging the Venetian plaster walls.
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