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Take a look at the view from a Mount Charleston cabin — PHOTOS

It’s early August and the punishing heat in the Las Vegas Valley is overwhelming. But Ennis Jordan has a popping blaze in the stone fireplace at his Mount Charleston cabin, which is perched 9,000 feet above sea level in the middle of the Toiyable National Forest.

“It’s about 50 degrees cooler up here,” he said. “I legitimately needed it to cut the chill this morning.”

The 4,300-square-foot cabin is made of Montana lodgepole pines and sits on 4.5 acres. From every angle, it looks like an upscale resort lodge. On the north side of the home, the deck is more than 3,000 square feet. It has sweeping views of thousands of pines standing in the national forest, and below that the Las Vegas Valley. To the east, you can see Lake Mead.

In mid-August he said he had a clear view of the Perseid meteor showers above the Las Vegas city night lights.

“That was really something,” Jordan said. “You could see a lot from up there.”

Inside, the walls of windows bring the outdoors inside. The oversized master suite is designed for the owner to witness the sun rising over the mountain. Of course, it has drapes to block out the early-morning light for late sleepers. The master has a large shower and walk-in closet.

The loft above has room for a desk and a peeking window to see the large main living area below.

“My grandson loves that window,” Jordan said.

The sweeping main room has exposed beams in the ceiling, Venetian plaster on the walls and distinct wood flooring. The room’s focal points are the stone fireplace and a large pool table. Native bristlecone pine accents the hearth, some of the custom furniture and inlays in the floor.

Jordan, a lover of nature, considers himself a steward of the land of sorts. He quickly points out that the trees used in building the home were dead. Even the Montana logs that were hauled up the mountain and expertly crafted together had been lying dead in a grove for two years. He hired Montana-based Rocky Mountain Log Homes to build his Mountain Charleston vacation home.

A Nashville native, Jordan grew up hunting and fishing. He said he sees real beauty in the pine trees, even the dead ones, including the one he had hauled up to display in the yard like a precious sculpture.

“It’s God’s artwork,” he said.

Jordan, a Harley motorcycle enthusiast, has been riding up to Mountain Charleston for years after he moved to Las Vegas from Florida. On one trip, about 14 years ago, he spotted a small cabin between Lee and Kyle canyons along Duck Creek Road. It was among 30 acres of private land left over from a 1900s sawmill. He said he purchased the cabin and its 2.5 acres for $380,000.

Over the years, he added more property to the spread. About four years ago he decided to tear down most of the original cabin, except for the fireplace and create his retreat. The nearly three years it took to build his castle of seclusion was a labor of love, said Jordan, who lives full time at Lake Las Vegas.

The home has a masculine feel. The sinks in the kitchen are copper. “Because it’s cool,” he said. The upgraded appliances are Wolf.

The owner’s love of nature provided the beauty for the two-story cabin, but it was his engineer’s mind that carved out its foundation.

Jordan, who owned and operated a concrete company, carved out 10,000 tons of rock and dirt from the mountain to create his retreat. He equipped it with a commercial-grade solar system with 24 large panels on the roof. He drilled under the deck to tap into a 450-foot well and hook it up to a high-pressure speed pump, storage tanks and hot water heaters. It tastes a lot different than city tap water (think fancy, expensive bottle water). And there are the two garages. One to house the industrial batteries for the solar system and all-terrain vehicles; the other for the four-wheel drive trucks.

“We are totally off the grid,” he said.

During construction, he managed things from a staging area at the base of the mountain. Everything — pine logs, equipment, the furniture, the pool table — was carefully calculated and organized daily before it was hauled up the mountain, and finally, over a 1-mile steep, graded road through Toiyable National Forest. Jordan said he has a permit from the U.S. Forest Service to use the road to access his home. Indeed, he had the keys to the gate that blocks other cars from it. Hikers seemed to be welcomed to explore it and surrounding paths.

Jordan and a few neighbors who live down the road in cabins — one is a full-time resident who was building a greenhouse that August day — keep the road graded and in good condition.

When it snows, (and you can see avalanche trails on each side of the valley, which means the cabin is above the path) he uses an eight-passenger Sno-Cat to get his guests up the hill and tucked by the fireplace with a nearby bar.

He said he is not worried about fires in the area, mostly because the U.S. Forest Service has cleared the brush and low-hanging wood at the nearby Spring Mountain Youth Camp and around his property in an attempt to avoid wildfires. About two years ago the Carpenter, the largest blaze on the mountain in decades, consumed nearly 28,000 acres and destroyed several buildings.

He has a clearing above the cabin that he has offered the U.S. Forest Service and emergency helicopters and vehicles to use. He said he has gotten the paperwork approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to turn it into a heliport. He is awaiting the Mount Charleston Town Advisory Board for final approval. He wants to open it to the U.S. Forest Service to help keep a lookout for fires.

Jordan has listed the cabin on its 4.5 acres for nearly $2.5 million. Gavin Ernstone with Simply Vegas has the listing.

The cabin creator is already planning a second retreat — this time made of stone and glass — about 100 feet higher on the mountain. He pulls some designs of it from the custom built-in bookcase in the living area.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “I love this mountain. It’s very quiet here.”

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