Location: Telluride, Colo.
The Skinny: Situated a lung-busting 11,300 feet above sea-level, the Alta Lakes Observatory offers the chance to live comfortably in a seriously extreme environment. For the wealthy outdoorsman accustomed to the high altitude, the rustic, hand-built cabin offers access to some of North America's best backcountry skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and mountain biking, never mind the cachet of owning one of the highest homes in the United States. For the inexperienced, said abode may cause splitting headaches, fatigue, and nausea, thanks to the lower-oxygen content of the air.
Currently operating as a guest lodge, the Observatory contains three bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms, but, thanks to a plethora of convertible couches, can sleep as many as 12. Wintertime access is by ski, snowshoe, or snowcat only, virtually ensuring a Shining-style bloodbath, but until then, peace and quiet.
· Alta Lakes Observatory [Telluride Real Estate Brokers]