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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Custom Cabin Retreat 2 Miles to Ski Cooper, 25 to Vail. Views!

Bedrooms 2
Space 1,500 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 - 4 nights


About the property

House, 2 Bedrooms + Office, 2 Baths, (Sleeps 6-8)

4WD or AWD car or SUV or truck is necessary in the winter!

The El Capitan Lodge: Stay in our custom built, timber framed home on 12 wooded acres and enjoy expansive views of the Rocky Mountains from our sunny deck. Located near Tennessee Pass at 10,500', this off-grid 'green' home gives you a chance to experience the beauty of clean-energy living. Think of the house as a front-country cabin, rustic yet has the comforts of indoor plumbing and electricity. We may not have TV or a microwave, but the views, stars and peacefulness more than make up for it. The house is heated by wood burning stoves and powered by the sun. So step back into a simpler way of life.

The house is a 1500 sf, 2 bedroom, 2 bath house with a huge deck that can sleep 6 in beds, and then an additional 2 - 3, if necessary. We have 2 sleeping pads, and a pack-n-play for the youngest visitor.

We have local phone service, internet, and some cell service is available. There is no television. We do have a stereo that plays radio and cd's and we invite you to borrow a book from our library, or a cd or dvd from our collection. Escape the hustle/bustle and enjoy the serenity of the mountains without the distractions of TV, traffic, or city life. You can take in the views, watch the snow quietly fall, or sit by a glowing fire with a hot cocoa.

Right out the door, we have hiking, cross country skiing, mountain biking, snowshoeing and sledding. In the winter you are welcome to use our snowshoes or sleds. In the summer, you can enjoy our scenic fire pit for a campfire, and the kids can play in the treehouse or huge sandbox. Hiking and biking trails abound.

We are 1.5 miles from Ski Cooper, 25 miles to Vail, a 2 hour drive to Denver International Airport, and an hour from the Eagle-Vail airport. You can take advantage of the many nearby attractions of dog-sledding, horseback riding, river rafting, rock-climbing, visit historic Leadville (a 20 minute drive /10 miles) or go shopping in Vail or Beaver Creek Village. Winter activities abound.

No snowmobiling or ATV riding is permitted on Forest Service Rd. 731. There are rentals and outfitters in Camp Hale and other nearby areas.

4 wheel/all wheel drive is necessary in the winter.

Keywords: off-grid, vail hut trip, mountain cabin, solar powered, private, skiing, biking, hiking, snowshoeing, vail cabin, back country skiing, timber frame, 10th Mountain Division, hut trip

More Details

Melanie Dennis
Member since: 2011
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 22, 2018

About Melanie Dennis

My husband and I have lived in the mountains of Colorado for the last 20+ years, and we love the adventures and beauty of a mountain lifestyle. Together we own a construction company, called Fiddler Creek Company (online at the same name), and we specialize in the construction of timber framed and 'green' homes. We built our off-grid home in 2003, and have lived there up through 2011, when we moved to the town of Minturn to be closer to schools for our kids. We are happy to share our house with you through VRBO. We use our house when it's not rented, as we enjoy the hiking, skiing, biking and the solace of the location.

Melanie Dennis purchased this house in 1997

Why Melanie Dennis chose Eagle County

We bought our 12 acre property back in 1997, after an extensive search through Colorado, looking for a property that was both close to amenities and community, and also offered us the experiences of the backcountry. We were also looking for a place to build our own home. This property accomplished this perfectly for us. We are nestled in the mountains between Vail and Leadville, can easily ski at Cooper, Copper, Vail, or the Summit County areas as well. In the summer there are numerous rivers for rafting, and there is awesome hiking and biking without having to drive.

What makes this house unique

Our neighborhood is surrounded by National Forest with recreational opportunities everywhere. While only being 10 short miles to Leadville, it feels like you're many more miles into the wilderness. In an hour's hike from the front door, you can be standing on top of Taylor Hill, with 360 degree views, and not a sole in sight, except perhaps,for a roaming herd of elk or a soaring red tail hawk. Or, in a 5 minute's drive you can be at Ski Cooper or the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center. For the more adventurous, you can ski/hike the 3-4 miles instead. In the 1800s, our property was in a gold and silver mining area. As you explore the surrounding forest you can sometimes find remnants of a bygone era, like a broken down miner's cabin or tin can, that has been rusting for over 100 years.


Eagle County House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1500 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM / Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Ski-Out
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking ...
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , tub , Clawfoot tub
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , Private 3/4 bathroom
    Bedroom 2 - 1 double , 1 twin/ single , 1 baby crib , pack-n-play
    Office - 1 twin/ single , Open room at top of stairs
  • Queen size Beds (1), Double Beds (1), Twin or Single Beds (1), Baby Cribs (1)
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • Games
  • Music Library
  • Stereo
  • Video Library
  • Deck / Patio
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • horseback riding
  • shopping
  • sledding
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • ski lift privileges
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • spelunking
  • swimming
  • whitewater rafting


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(28 traveler reviews)

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Custom Cabin Retreat 2 Miles to Ski Cooper, 25 to Vail. Views!
average rating of 5.0 based on 28 reviews


  • 5 of 5

The property was secluded, just what we wanted. No tv, no distractions, just great family time! Minutes from Ski Cooper. While the road was steep, it was no problem for a 4x4.

  • Submitted: Jan 22, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Beautiful roomy cabin in a gorgeous location

  • 5 of 5

This cabin is utterly gorgeous and was designed and personally built by the owner. It is full of charming details, like painted tiles and sinks and arched doorways. It was very clean and comfortable. When we woke up and saw the knock-out view, we liked it even better. The cabin has everything you need (games, warm beds, a big soft couch, sleds, snowshoes, fully-stocked kitchen), and the owners even laid a fire for us. Our kids spent about 3 hours sledding on the property, while we drank tea by the fire. Melanie and Greg were responsive, local, and gracious, and we even got to meet them, as they were skiing up behind their property. It was very close to Ski Cooper/Tennessee Pass/Leadville, while feeling a million miles from anyone. I could have spent the winter there!

Two cautionary notes:

1)This cabin is off-grid, meaning no TV, no microwave, probably no cell service (ours didn't work), and most of the heat comes from the wood stoves. We loved this, but it might not be for everyone.

2) The road up to the cabin is in good shape, but dirt and rather steep. We have an all-wheel drive SUV that usually does fairly well in city snow, but we DEFINITELY needed our snow chains. I suspect any car could make it up in the summer, but you may want to consider this if you're visiting in the winter.

We hope to come back! It was really a great visit. Thank you Melanie & Greg!

  • Submitted: Jan 16, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Love this Unique Cabin!

  • 5 of 5

This cabin is not just a place to stay, but an amazing experience. We loved the wood stoves and all the attention to detail with this cabin. It is amazing fun for kids and adults both! Great family time spent with no tv! We visited in the winter and the wood stoves and gas back up heat kept us cozy and warm. This is a dream house!

Plus very close to Ski Cooper Resort, great small ski resort that we loved as well!

  • Submitted: Jan 15, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Charming and relaxing

  • 5 of 5

Beautiful home with glorious Mountain View. A great place to stay!

  • Submitted: Dec 28, 2017
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Absolutely beautiful! The perfect mountain retreat.

  • 5 of 5

We just arrived home and I find myself missing the cabin already. It is so lovely. It had everything one could ever want in a mountain retreat. From the moment you see the property as you are coming up the drive you are in awe. It is absolutely adorable. As you enter the home you know you have chosen well. Our family has been renting properties for vacations for many years. This property was by far the loveliest of all. So many things to love about it. We hadn't been in the home for more than 5 minutes and we were planning our next visit. This is a one of kind property. Secluded but only 10 miles from Leadville or RedCliff. Hiking right outside your door. And views,views,views! I could go on and on about how much we enjoyed our time there. The only thing we needed was more vacation time.

  • Submitted: Jun 22, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Beautiful and unique remote getaway!

  • 5 of 5

Such a unique place. Loved the wood burning stoves and view from the deck. We cooked all our meals in, there is a small gas stove/oven available that's not in the pictures, and the kitchen had everything we needed. Hiked around Turquoise lake - up Timberline Trail to a small lake - very family friendly. Really enjoyed the lack of TV and cell service, gave our family a chance to relax (and put together a puzzle!). Would definitely return.

  • Submitted: Sep 30, 2016
  • Stayed: September 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
52 Miles
Eagle County Airport
Nearest Barpub
10 Miles
Nearest Golf
10 Miles
Mount Massive Golf Course
Nearest Motorway
1 Miles
Hwy 24
Nearest Restaurant
10 Miles
Nearest Ski
2 Miles
Ski Cooper
Nearest Point of Interest
Ski Cooper
Nearest Point of Interest
Camp Hale
Nearest Point of Interest
Nearest Point of Interest
Redcliff, CO.
Nearest Point of Interest
Vail, CO
Car: necessary


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning fee - 4 ppl $100
Refundable damage deposit $200
Tax Rate 4.4%

Additional fees apply for groups larger than 5 people:
Cleaning fees for groups of 5 or more are $100.
Additional guest fee per night for any guest over the 5 person maximum of $15 per person per night.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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