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Sierra Blanca Retreat – JUST SOLD

Colorado, Alamosa County – MLS 727198

This very special 1,163-acre property has beautiful amenities, exceptional water rights, abundant wildlife and it borders public lands. The main residence is a 4,880 SF off-the-grid architectural masterpiece with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. In addition, there is a separate office over a detached 3-car garage near the main residence and a 1,550 SF caretaker’s house that sits at the private entry. The Japanese owner-architect designed the buildings, and the main residence and office/garage received an AIA Merit Award for Design Excellence. The property is a recreational paradise for hiking, biking and horseback riding, with direct access to the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area and BLM lands. Across the road from The Nature Conservancy’s Zapata Ranch and nestled in the foothills of Sierra Blanca, this retreat has nearby trails that lead climbers to four 14’er mountain peaks. A sanctuary from the busy world for full time living or a private ‘getaway’ for quietude and living within nature. This is a rare find and the best value in Alamosa County!

Location and Area

From Alamosa, the property is 14 miles east on Highway 160 and 9 miles north on Highway 150 to the entry on Urraca Road. It is only 8 miles to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, which offers camping and hiking amidst the largest and tallest sand dunes in North America. The city Alamosa, Spanish for a “grove of cottonwood trees,” was established in 1878. As the largest full-service city in the San Luis Valley, Alamosa is the home to Adams State University, Trinidad State Junior College, the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center (a 57-bed level IV trauma center), as well as many shops, hotels and restaurants. Some local attractions include golf at the city-owned Cattails Golf Course, a cottonwood lined 18-hole course along the Rio Grande River, and the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, which provides excursion train rides from Alamosa to La Veta and a connection to the Cumbres and Toltec Railway. The train route takes you through breathtaking country you can’t otherwise see from the highway.

Property Grounds and External Features

  • Main residence at 8,400 ft. above sea level
  • Private yet easy to get to - 30 minutes from Alamosa Airport and 8 minutes from the Great Sand Dunes National Park; 1.5 hours to Taos, Monarch and Wolf Creek Ski Area; 3 hours from Santa Fe; 4 hours to Denver
  • Senior water rights; 11.52 CFS
  • Sweet and abundant well water
  • Nearby stream runs nearly year round
  • Property is bordered by BLM and the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness area
  • Grounds are a combination of verdant meadows, aspen groves, pinion, juniper, cottonwood, ponderosa, currant bushes, wild roses and countless wildflowers
  • 655 SF main deck and large enclosed garden area with lilacs, Nanking cherry, red-twig dogwoods, apple and crabapple trees, roses and other perennials
  • Zen-like grey flagstone water feature runs through the enclosed garden of main house, utilizing a diverted stream on the property
  • Diverted stream also re-circulates into a 20,000-gallon fire mitigation tank close to house
  • Douglas fir exterior with river rock foundation
  • German titanium zinc roof and gutters
  • Fir fence and posts surrounding house are capped with titanium zinc
  • 5 frost-free water taps outside house
  • Lower level flagstone patio
  • A paradise for hummingbirds and abundant wildlife
  • Blue skies and peaceful dark nights
  • Magnificent late-summer mountainside thunderstorms, colorful autumns, and clear winters with occasional snowfall

Main Residence

The owners searched every inch of the 1,163 acres to find the perfect sheltered spot for their home. Tucked into an expanded yet protective grove of cottonwood, aspen and pinion/juniper, this spacious yet cozy “green-living” 4,880 SF, 4-bedroom, 3-bath home with separate workrooms and a total of 1,030 SF of decking is a fine example of meticulous craftsmanship and attention to beautiful detail. The owners chose the meadow where the house is sited, backed by the sheltering Sierra Blanca Mountains, because it seemed to them like a life-giving spot where Noah’s Ark might have landed. A few design elements reflect this notion, such as the sail-like solar panels atop the house, the dock-like entry deck, and the entry door (carved by the owner) showing receding waves and a dove holding an olive branch.

The entire main residence is built like fine furniture, and beautiful details are everywhere, from the mortise and tenon joinery on the stair railings, to the built-in television cabinet and reading nook, to all the little details in the traditional Japanese tatami meditation room. The home is a perfect blend of luxury and privacy, while living off the grid. It is comfortable year round–warm and bright in the winter, cool and pleasant in summer. Falling asleep to the sound of water running in the stream is wonderful, as is soaking in the hot tub in the middle of winter under an enormous full moon. All the building materials were chosen with care: river-recovered heart pine flooring; Douglas fir trim, aspen and red cedar ceilings; generous walk-in cedar closets; slate flooring in the bathrooms; and granite and stainless steel countertops in the kitchen.

General Features

  • Built in 2004
  • 9.7 Kw. photovoltaic system with 274,000 BTU solar thermal collectors; German hot water vacuum tube panels for system; 20 Kw. back-up generator (propane)
  • Rocky Mountain Hardware throughout
  • Marvin windows, many of them tilt and turn
  • Screened-in porch of Douglas fir and many large south-facing windows give the home an abundance of natural light and the breezy feel of the great camps of the Adirondacks, keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter
  • Fresh air is brought in via a house-wide heat recovery ventilator
  • River-recovered heart pine and slate flooring
  • 10' and 8' aspen tongue and groove and western red cedar ceilings
  • Vantage whole house lighting control system
  • Large open living, dining and kitchen areas
  • Radiant in-floor heating
  • 8' solid Douglas fir doors throughout
  • High end Hansgrohe and Kohler fixtures and Toto and Kohler toilets
  • Plenty of storage–including 5 walk-in storage rooms
  • House wired for CAT-5

– Main Level –


  • Custom hand-carved front door
  • Slate floor
  • Custom built-in sitting bench and shoe cabinets
  • Sliding door of Doug Fir and laminated glass with rice paper separates foyer from main living area

Walk in Coat Closet and Storage

  • Cedar-lined coat closet
  • Large custom-built storage room with deep hand-built shelving.

Laundry Room

  • Kenmore Elite front-loading washer and dryer, deep utility sink and shelving

Living Room

  • 24' x 24' and open to dining room and kitchen–this bright, expansive space brings all of nature’s beauty indoors
  • Built-in cherry and Douglas fir cabinet has hinged bench seat with hidden storage for flat screen TV; pull-out drawers and shelves for A/V equipment and DVD storage
  • French doors from living room out to deck
  • Sliding door out to screened-in porch
  • Recessed cherry reading alcove with built-in book shelves; recessed lighting; underneath deep pull-out drawers for storage
  • In-floor electrical and computer outlets; wired for CAT-5

Gourmet Kitchen and Open Dining Room

  • Extremely efficient and gorgeous Finnish floor-to-ceiling Tulikivi soapstone fireplace with bake oven - a centerpiece within the large open living/dining/kitchen area
  • Kitchen has multiple windows with southern exposure, looking out to enclosed garden and Sierra Blanca’s Twin Peaks
  • Granite counter tops
  • Stainless steel island includes baking-height level
  • Stainless steel double sinks with extra-deep drying sink in island
  • Sub-Zero refrigerator
  • Viking 6-burner stove top w/grill; stainless steel backsplash
  • Bosch dishwasher with cherry panel front
  • Recessed and pendant lighting
  • Custom cherry cabinets with satin nickel pulls
  • Built-in custom cherry and Douglas fir desk with cookbook shelves
  • Slide-out under-cabinet-mount TV
  • Sliding door from kitchen to deck and enclosed garden with water feature
  • Walk-in pantry with hand-built shelving
  • Separate dog/storage room with 2 insulated doggie doors out to fenced deck and dog run; deep stainless steel dog tub with tile backsplash; casement windows looking out to entrance
  • Dining room has wall of windows with southern exposure; looking out to Sierra Blanca and lush meadows

Guest Room

  • Double-door cedar lined closet with built-in shelving
  • Sliding glass door to screened-in porch

Guest Bath

  • Cesame porcelain pedestal sink
  • Slate floors
  • Slate shower/tub combo
  • Custom-designed medicine cabinet
  • Custom-designed sconces

Art Studio/Bedroom

  • Wall of storage cabinets; various animal decorative pulls
  • Built-in shelving and bookshelves; L-shape cherry desktop
  • Windows to south and west

Mechanical Rooms

  • Insulated stainless steel solar heat-exchanger tank
  • Back-up propane boiler
  • Automatic circulation and venting system
  • Multiple heating zones via lacquer finished copper pipes
  • Battery banks w/mechanical ventilation
  • Photovoltaic inverters and controllers


  • Custom-crafted mortise and tenon stair railings
  • Built-in bookshelves at upper landing
  • Large storage underneath stairs at lower landing
  • Custom-designed sconces

– Upper Level –

Study/Bedroom and Japanese Tatami Meditation Room

  • Storage closets
  • Meditation Room is of western red cedar and strawboard-lined walls
  • Circular window offers a contemplative view
  • Built-in tree trunk ledges for decorations or altar
  • Pebble stone step-up

Master Bedroom and Bath with Private Porch out to Hot Tub

  • Cedar-lined wall-to-wall window seat with built-in storage underneath
  • His and her separate cedar-lined walk-in closets with built-in cubbies and shelving
  • Bath has granite counters with double under-mount Kohler sinks
  • Custom-designed medicine cabinets w/lights
  • Deep Kohler oval tub
  • Slate floor and shower
  • Cedar-lined sauna with glass door
  • Separate water closet
  • Gorgeous views out to Sierra Blanca
  • Linen cabinet
  • Screened door out to private deck with hot tub
  • Hot tub is automatically filtered with ultraviolet light and hydrogen peroxide

– Lower Level –

2 Separate Workrooms/Studios/Bedrooms

  • Air compressor and 220 volt outlets
  • Abundance of windows brings in lots of natural lighting
  • Each has outside access to flagstone patio
  • Built-in shelving
  • Deep stainless steel sink with stainless steel counter and back splash; fiberglass sink; running water
  • Beautiful, natural English linoleum floors


  • Step-down, glass-enclosed and tiled shower
  • Sink with cherry cabinet and tile countertop

Home Office and Garage

  • A separate 820 SF home office over the 3-car garage was sited to enjoy truly spectacular views of Twin Peaks in the Sierra Blanca, as well as the western valley floor and San Juan Mountains.
  • Outside metal snow drip steps with steel hand railings
  • Cement walkway and garage apron
  • Mechanical closet in garage
  • Radiant in-floor heat in both garage and office
  • River-recovered heart pine floors in office
  • Cathedral aspen office ceiling with sky-lights
  • Surround built-in bookshelves w/desktops
  • Sleeping/meditation loft
  • Bathroom with Vermont slate flooring and Douglas fir countertop; Kohler sink; glass-enclosed and tiled shower w/cedar slat flooring; Toto toilet
  • Storage room w/natural linoleum flooring

Caretaker’s/Guest Residence

  • Located at the private entrance to the property and 3/4 miles below the main house; situated as a ‘sentinel’ for caretaker to oversee the property
  • Has sweeping and unobstructed views of the valley floor and faraway San Juan Mountains
  • Sunny, comfortable 1,550 SF active/passive solar home with a 265 SF carport; architectural details inside and out
  • 455 SF front porch/deck with covered Douglas fir tongue and groove overhang (165 SF)
  • Covered deck with spectacular valley views for sunset watching extends to large private fenced-in garden
  • Exterior of house is Douglas fir
  • Painted steel roof
  • Roof-laminated 3 Kw photovoltaic system and 150,000 BTU solar hot-water panels
  • Lilacs, roses, aspen, peonies, evergreens and other perennials in garden
  • Cathedral and 8' ceilings with Douglas fir trim throughout; fir baseboard molding
  • Solid birch doors
  • Pella windows
  • Open living/dining area
  • Vermont Casting wood stove
  • Radiant heat under porcelain tile flooring
  • 2 bedrooms w/closets–one a walk-in w/built-in shelving
  • Full kitchen with maple cabinets; 4-burner gas stove; dishwasher; Kenmore fridge/freezer; double pantry doors with pull-out and swivel shelving
  • Laundry room has Maytag Neptune front-loading washer and dryer; deep utility sink
    1 bath with tub shower combo
  • Large storage room
  • Two mechanical rooms: one w/solar battery banks and inverter/controller; one with solar hot water heat exchanger, backup boiler and water pressure tank
  • Passive solar uses a heat-retaining colored plastered wall of south facing windows looking out to fenced-in garden area
  • Back-up generator

Wildlife and Recreation

This property is under a conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy designed to maintain the ecological integrity of wildlife, plants, water and the land. The easement allows for a generous 50,000 SF of additional building construction, whether on the two existing home sites and/or on one or two new sites, as long as the property remains under single ownership. Also, a subdivision of one designated 40-acre parcel with spectacular views may be sold for separate ownership. There is direct access to the National Forest for a myriad of recreational opportunities. You can drive up to a trailhead in the morning, hike to the top of 14,345 ft. Blanca Peak by lunch, and be home for a soak in the hot tub by evening, while enjoying a multitude of stars.

The property has an ideal combination of abundant wildlife habitat and hiking trails in a very private and secure setting. There are deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, wild turkey, bobcat, red fox, and on occasion you may see signs of a mountain lion. If you feed the birds you are in for a treat, as the air will fill with song. Hummingbirds are entertaining and plentiful–over 50 can be buzzing around the feeders at one time.

Now $1,575,000 – Significant Price Reduction

This property is offered by Legacy Properties West Sotheby's International Realty, LLC, Tom and Zach Morse, Brokers. All information provided by Legacy Properties West Sotheby's International Realty, LLC or its sales representatives in connection with this property was acquired from sources deemed reliable; however, we do not warrant its accuracy or completeness and any users of such information waive any claims related thereto. Legacy Properties West Sotheby's International Realty, LLC recommends that every item of interest to the purchaser (i.e. issues regarding title, water, minerals, survey, zoning, permits, land use regulations and other applicable laws, and any other issues) be independently verified by the purchaser's attorney.

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